Toshoku America Emerges From Bankruptcy

(Washington, D.C.) -- Toshoku America, Inc., the American subsidiary of Japanese food trading company Toshoku Ltd., recently emerged successfully from a billion-dollar bankruptcy reorganization. The positive outcome was a product of the coordination of efforts in both the Tokyo and U.S. courts. Given the current economic climate in Japan, it is noteworthy that this matter was resolved on an expedited basis.

“What made this case unique was our ability to bridge the cultural and legal differences between the U.S. and Japanese legal and business communities,” commented partner Gary Apfel, who headed the Akin Gump team.

On February 24, 1999, Toshoku America consummated its amended plan of reorganization, which was confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Toshoku America filed a voluntary petition seeking relief under the provisions of chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on December 24, 1997, shortly after its parent company, Toshoku Ltd., filed a petition for reorganization in Japan. Pursuant to the terms of the plan of reorganization, all classes of creditors remained unimpaired except for a class of financial institution lenders, which received a defined amount of the Debtor’s residual cash and an allocation of Toshoku America’s claims against Toshoku Ltd.

In confirming the plan, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court noted that while the case started as “a major international, difficult, complicated case” with little hope of success, it was resolved “because of extraordinarily good lawyering in this case by a lot of effort by the Debtor’s lawyer [and others].”

Akin Gump served as counsel to Debtor Toshoku America, Inc.

Founded in 1945, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P., a leading international law firm, numbers more than 840 lawyers with offices in Austin, Brussels, Dallas, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio and Washington. The firm has a diversified practice and represents regional, national and international clients in a wide range of areas, including antitrust; banking and financial institutions; bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights; capital markets; communications; corporate and securities; employee benefits; energy; entertainment; environmental; estate planning and probate; food and drug; government contracts; health; insurance; intellectual property; international; investment management; labor and employment; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; privatization; project finance; public law and policy; real estate and finance; taxation; and technology. For additional information, please visit our Web site at http://www.akingump.com.