Judge Says Vitro Prevented Creditor Collections
December 7, 2012

by Casey Neeley, cneeley@glass.com

Editor's Note: The Binswanger Glass Co., mentioned in this article is not Binswanger Enterprises, LLC which was recently acquired by Grey Mountain Partners.

An opinion handed down by Judge Harlan Hale in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas orders 10 units of Vitro SAB be put into involuntary bankruptcy. In the opinion written Tuesday, Binswanger Glass Co. and VVP Auto Glass Inc., are named as two of the involuntary units ordered through bankruptcy.

In the 15-page opinion, Judge Hale finds that Vitro worked to prevent creditors from collecting funds owed to them after it defaulted on several hedge fund notes.

"Specifically, the Court learned during oral arguments that one of the alleged debtors, VVP Auto Glass Inc. sold its stock to an entity not named as a party in these involuntary petitions ... Surprisingly, the alleged debtors did no provide this information to the [court] despite their presence there during the consolidated appeals of the bankruptcy court's orders dismissing the involuntary petitions. Additionally, five of the alleged debtors reincorporated in the Bahamas October 11, 2011, after the involuntary petitions were filed and dismissed. This fact was not revealed to any court until the hearing on October 5, 2012, nearly a year after the alleged debtors reincorporated," Judge Hale writes.

"Despite the alleged tax purposes for such transfers, there was not a shred of documentary evidence to demonstrate that the moving of substantial assets outside of the United States was for a bona fide tax purpose," he adds.

"Vitro is currently considering all of its legal rights regarding Judge Hale's ruling, including a potential appeal," says Vitro spokesperson Roberto Riva Palacio. "The impact of the ruling on Vitro is minimal given that the entities placed into bankruptcy by the ruling constitute a very small portion of Vitro's global business enterprise. We are also prepared to continue serving our U.S. customers due to the fact that our main subsidiary is protected by a separate and distinct Concurso proceeding."

"Vitro disagrees with Judge Harlin Hale's opinion and we believe that the opinion contains numerous inaccurate assertions," says Vitro's executive legal president and general counsel, Alejandro Sanchez Mujica. "Throughout its restructuring process, Vitro has always complied with both Mexican and U.S. law, as well as all legal orders issued in both countries, including those related to the Vitro's subsidiaries and their assets."

Hale has previously ruled to not enforce Vitro's Mexican-based bankruptcy restructuring plan. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld this ruling against Vitro's appeal November 28.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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