Furniture Brands' bankruptcy plan approved

Jul. 15, 2014 @ 11:28 AM

Nearly all of the people and businesses that were owed money by the former Furniture Brands International voted in favor of the company’s final liquidation plan, which received approval Monday by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge.

At least 96 percent of each category of creditor vote to accept the plan. How much of the debt the creditors could expect to be paid could range from 3.4 percent to 13.9 percent but most likely will be in the lower end of that range, depending on how much the final liquidation of property raises, according to tables filed in bankruptcy court.

Among the company assets yet to be sold are 17 properties around the Southeast, including the former Broyhill Lenoir Furniture Corp. Warehouse at 1409 College Ave. SW in Lenoir and the former Thomasville Plant 8 in Hickory.

All 17 are being auctioned by Hilco Real Estate, which had a bid-submission deadline of June 24. Most of the 17 are former manufacturing plants, distribution centers or offices of Thomasville Furniture, and eight are in the city of Thomasville.

The court set a deadline of Jan. 31, 2015, for all of the properties to be sold. If they aren't sold by that date, they could be abandoned.

Once all of the company’s remaining assets are sold, there is expected to be no more than $72.2 million available to distribute to those who are owed money. The claims against Furniture Brands came to about $1.9 billion after it filed for bankruptcy protection last September.

Also Monday, the court approved paying Meredith Graham, who has been in charge of the company’s bankruptcy proceedings, a bonus equal to half of her base pay of $286,000. She also will stay on as a consultant to the court-appointed trustee who will complete the liquidation. Graham, 41, formerly was Furniture Brands’ chief administrative officer, general counsel and corporate secretary.

Furniture Brands filed for bankruptcy protection in September. In November most of its assets were bought by KPS Capital Partners, which reorganized them under a new company, Home Heritage Group.