Ritchie Capital Objects to Polaroid “Fire Sale”

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asset management company Ritchie Capital has objected in a court filing to a “fire sale” of bankrupt camera-maker Polaroid Corp, saying it will result in significantly less recovery proceeds.

The motion was filed on Thursday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Minneapolis under seal, because some of the information contained in the objection was obtained by Ritchie Capital on a confidential basis, the company said in a statement on Friday.

The auction of Polaroid is expected to be held on March 30, and PHC Acquisitions, an affiliate of Luxembourg-based private equity firm Genii Capital, is the lead bidder, or “stalking horse.”

Ritchie Capital said it believed PCH Acquisitions had “undisclosed conflicts of interest” and that there were better value-creating options, including an alternative offer that the asset management company leads.

“We hope that the court will give careful consideration to our objection and will at least postpone the sale to permit the facts to be disclosed and evaluated,” Ritchie Capital said.

Polaroid filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December. Petters Group Worldwide has owned the company since 2005. Petters paid $426 million to acquire the company.

The Genii affiliate has offered to buy Polaroid as a going concern for $42 million plus the assumption of some liabilities.

Polaroid has argued the deal is necessary to create a floor for the bidding.

The case is In re: Polaroid Corp, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota, No. 08-46617.

(Reporting by Juan Lagorio; Editing by Gary Hill)