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Creditors criticize Superferry plan


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POSTED: Friday, June 19, 2009

The attorney for the Hawaii Superferry's unsecured creditors committee criticized the bankrupt company yesterday for filing a motion to abandon its two ships.

Craig Wolfe of New York-based Kelley Drye & Warren LLP said the committee was disappointed that the company wants to walk away from the two high-speed ferries “;so early in the Chapter 11 case.”;

Hawaii Superferry filed a motion in federal Bankruptcy Court last week seeking approval to abandon the Alakai, which had operated between Honolulu and Kahului, and the newly built Huakai, which had been earmarked for Hawaii.

“;If Judge (Peter) Walsh grants the company's request, any hope of this company returning the vessels to service to Hawaii or elsewhere will vanish,”; Wolfe said. “;The committee is working diligently to investigate the facts underlying the proposed abandonment of the vessels and will take appropriate steps to protect the interest of unsecured creditors in connection with this matter and in these Chapter 11 cases generally.”;

The Superferry cited a lack of liquidity and costs for insurance, maintenance, security and storage as reasons why it wanted to relinquish the ships.

Hawaii Superferry filed for bankruptcy on May 30 after the state Supreme Court ruled that Act 2, a law passed by the state Legislature in October 2007, was unconstitutional because it benefited a specific company. The law had enabled the Superferry to keep operating while trying to complete an environmental impact statement study.

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for July 1.