Homebuilder Champion To Put Assets Up for Auction

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Monday said Champion Enterprises Inc (CJHBQ.PK), a maker of factory-built homes and modular buildings, could go ahead with an auction of its assets next month.

Champion, which sought bankruptcy protection in November, has said it wants to complete the sale process no later than March 18.

Judge Kevin Gross of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington, on Monday approved bid procedures for an auction, according to court papers.

A group of the company’s secured creditors including its bank lenders and investment firms Centerbridge, MAK Capital and Sankaty Advisors will serve as the lead bidder, or “stalking horse” at the auction, according to court documents. The “credit bid” group that would allow the bidders to offer an $80 million debtor-in-possession bankruptcy financing loan led by Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) as part of the bid.

The company says it plans to close a sale no later than March 18, according to court documents.

Morgan Joseph & Co is acting as the banker on the deal.

The case is In re: Champion Enterprises Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No 09-14019. (Reporting by Emily Chasan)