Thursday, April 17, 2014
I've been reporting on Calumet Photographic's bankruptcy for some time now. Let's review what's happened so far.
On March 12th Calumet Photographic, the US based photography store chain filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and closed all their US locations. The Calumet stores in the United Kingdom, and elsewhere in Europe, being financially separate entities from the US company, were unaffected by the US bankruptcy.
Many US Calumet customers, caught by surprise by the bankruptcy, were holding photography gear rented from the company, unable to return it, prepaid orders, and store credits.
As per court papers filed April 7, 2014 in Calumet’s bankruptcy case, a new company, CalPhotoUS LLC formed by former owners of Calumet Photographic, has offered $2,825,000 to acquire some, but not all inventory, store leases and other assets.
The inventory and leases are for former Calumet stores in Oak Brook, Illinois, Chicago (Goose Island), Illinois (Bliss Street and Cherry Street), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, California and Washington, DC. (The Cambridge, Massachusetts store, may become part of this deal, however, specific contingencies as stated in the court papers must occur for that to happen.)
CalPhoto would also take responsibility for any liabilities related to the leases as well as the stores to be reopened former employees. In addition, CalPhoto would take responsibility for customer deposits, product repairs, gift cards and warranty claims, at least for the reopening stores, if not all of Calumet.
The Calumet Bankruptcy Trustee has recommended the Bankruptcy Court accepts the acquisition offer of CalPhoto.
Noting the “Good Faith” requirement of the Bankruptcy Code, The Bankruptcy Trustee gave a 21 day notice to all creditors listed in the Calumet Photographic creditor matrix which is Exhibit B in the court papers filed, all Calumet Photographic landlords, taxing authorities, lien holders, counterparties to the contracts proposed, all parties who have expressed an interest in buying any Calumet assets, and all parties which have requested notice of proceedings.
This sets April 29 as a hearing date at which the Bankruptcy Trustee has requested the Bankruptcy Court to approve the CalPhoto acquisition proposal of Calumet.
It's now just under two weeks before the proposal will come before the Bankruptcy Court.
(Extra Update: It appears as though the Cambridge, Massachusetts store will not be part of the acquisition, even if the court accepts the offer, as Calumet's bankruptcy trustee has been liquidating the store's inventory, along with the other stores not part of the acquisition offer.)