Kaiser Aluminum Corporation and 21 affiliates, including three Canadian subsidiaries, received confirmation of a plan of reorganization by the United States District Court for the District of Delaware on May 11, 2006. The plan proposes to resolve employee benefit claims, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation claims, US$2.9 billion in unsecured debt claims, and mass personal injury litigation claims, primarily through the issuance of new stock and some cash payments. Insurance proceeds will also help fund trusts that will be established under the plan for certain types of personal injury litigation claims.
The case commenced in February 2002, with the filing by Kaiser and several US affiliates under Chapter 11. Three Canadian subsidiaries were added to the Chapter 11 proceedings in January 2003, and at the same time applied for and were granted creditor protection under s. 18.6 of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.
The plan, the confirmation order and order granted by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice protect the operations of Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical of Canada Limited from the US-based claims, while at the same time allowing the Canadian subsidiary to continue to pay trade creditors in the ordinary course.
Kaiser, under the direction of Edward Houff, chief restructuring officer, and John Donnan, general counsel, are represented in the US by a team that included Gregory Gordon, Henry Gompf, Troy Lewis and Daniel Winikka of Jones Day, and Daniel DeFranceschi of Richards, Layton & Finger, PA; and in Canada by Jay Carfagnini, Brian Empey and John Alton of Goodmans LLP.
The official committee of unsecured creditors are represented in the US by Lisa Beckerman and Brian Kilmer of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, and William Bowden of Ashby & Geddes, PA; and in Canada by Sheryl Seigel of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP.