Court Rejects Self-Managed Bankruptcy of Renewables Firm German Pellets

A German court has rejected a bankruptcy protection plan filed Wednesday by German Pellets, one of the world’s largest producers of wood pellets for heating, Handelsblatt has learned.

The insolvency court in Schwerin in northern Germany turned down the renewable energy company’s plan to effectively self-manage the bankruptcy process. Under the proposal, German Pellets’ founder Peter Leibold’s would have remained head of the company, with an insolvency administrator monitoring progress in the talks with bondholders.

Instead, the court has ruled in favor of a conventional bankruptcy. Bettina Schmudde of the law firm White&Case has been named the company’s insolvency administrator and will take charge of the proceedings. The court would not comment on its ruling when contacted by Handelsblatt.

A number of major bondholders, including investors in the United States, had been sharply critical of the plan because of Mr. Leibold’s continued leadership role, believing he should answer for the company’s financial collapse. Many had planned to vote against the plan, according to sources.

Frank Günther, a consultant who advised Germen Pellets on the bankruptcy and has been named its interim head, sharply criticized the court’s rejection and argued that most bondholders were behind it: “With this decision the court has defied the wishes of seven major creditors. That is unheard of,” he told Handelsblatt.

Read the full story here:  Handelsblatt