WestPoint: No time to lose in slugfest

NEW YORK — WestPoint Stevens says there’s no time left to lose squabbling over the myriad of interests trying wrest control of the company.

In bankruptcy court papers filed late yesterday in preparation for Thursday’s hearing, the company said that after two years in bankruptcy it’s crucial that it find a way to emerge from Chapter 11 as quickly as possible in order assure the long-term future of the mill.

But the deadlock between the creditors, particularly the steering committee of first tier lenders against the interests of Carl Icahn and other second tier debt holders, threatens to devalue the company further.

Nine objections have been filed to date opposing the steering committee/Wilbur Ross stalking-horse proposal for an auction of the assets in June. Icahn, who has a competing bid, has stated that stalking horse protections should not be extended to Ross.

"This stalemate cannot be allowed to damage the value of the Debtors’ business operations," WestPoint stated in its court filing. "The Debtors have determined that the best way out of this stalemate is to move forward with a section 363 sale for the entire business of the Debtors. The Debtors are therefore using the stalemate for the benefit of their estates by compelling the First Lien Lenders to bid up the assets.

"In spite of the objections, debtors need to move this case forward," the filing stated.

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