But by filingdeclaring bankruptcy, the Otters have won an automatic stay versus the Oilers legal actions, which, the Otters hope, will enable Sherry Bassin, the owner of the Otters, to sell the group without disturbance from the Oilers. Bassin has the Erie Hockey Club, which possesses the Otters.
The bankruptcy gives the Otters breathing space to pursue completion of sale process, the Otters said in a statement today. The team said it expects company as usual as company operations are strong as the group continues its run in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.
The Otters also stated a sale of the group, in United States Bankruptcy Court, would be in far excess of all creditor claims, including those of the Oilers.
The Oilers in 2014 took legal action against the Otters in United States District Court in Erie to require a sale of the team to recover what the Oilers claim were $4.6 million in loans that group made to the Otters in exchange for an offer to purchase the Otters from Bassin. The offer collapsed, leading the Oilers to sue.
A federal judge dismissed that match in December, but the Otters said the Oilers, through a subsidiary, the Ontario Major Junior Hockey Corp., or OMJHC, revealed it planned to conduct a personal sale of the possessions of Erie Hockey Club today under the Uniform Commercial Code of Pennsylvania.
The bankruptcy filing puts that effort on hold.
Erie Hockey Club strongly contests the legality of this threatened action, the Otters said in the statement. However, despite repeated demands that the OMJHC avoid pursuing this course of action, and license Game Plan to finish the sale process in the regular course of business, OMJHC has declined to cancel this supposed private sale.
The filing of the Chapter 11 petition automatically remains any actions of OMJHC against the assets of Erie Hockey Club. It is Erie Hockey Clubs intention to conclude the sale process in Chapter 11, which will certainly enable the sale to continue in an organized manner and without disturbance by OMJHC.
A spokesman for the Oilers was not immediately offered for comment.
The bankruptcy filing comes on the eve of Game 1 of the Otters second-round playoff series against the London Knights. The groups fulfill Thursday at 7 pm at Erie Insurance coverage Field. In addition, the Ontario Hockey League Priority Option is arranged for Saturday.
The Otters today filed an initial flurry of motions in the case. The Otters, as is typical with debtors in bankruptcy, want a judge to approve a law firma law practice and other specialists to deal with the bankruptcy for the group.
United States Bankruptcy Judge Thomas P. Agresti is appointed the case.
Erie Times-News (Erie, Pa.)
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