Restricted Stock Partners, a New York-based online marketplace for restricted securities and other illiquid assets, has acquired Trade Receivable Exchange Inc. (T-REX), an online auction platform for the bankruptcy trade claims market. No financial terms were disclosed. RSP is backed by Pequot Ventures.
Restricted Stock Partners (RSP) announced today that it has acquired Trade Receivable Exchange, Inc. (T-REX), the largest online auction platform serving the $75 billion bankruptcy trade claims market. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
T-REX of Denver, Colo. will integrate its proprietary auction system and claims trading data with the Restricted Securities Trading Network (RSTN), an electronic platform for trading illiquid securities. T-REX's 650 members will be given immediate access to the RSTN trading platform, increasing overall membership to approximately 1,500 institutional and accredited investors. Trading of bankruptcy claims on the RSTN will begin on June 16, 2008.
“The purchase of T-REX accelerates our expansion into the bankruptcy trade claims market, our third new asset class after restricted securities and auction-rate securities,” said Barry E. Silbert, CEO of Restricted Stock Partners. “As the breadth of illiquid assets traded on the RSTN continues to grow, we've been successful in attracting a large and diverse base of investors who are interested in purchasing all forms of illiquid assets.”
Since launching in September 2005, the RSTN has emerged as the largest secondary market for trading illiquid securities such as restricted stock, warrants and convertibles in public companies (a $1.2 trillion asset class), and all forms of auction-rate securities (a $250 billion asset class). RSTN's 850 existing members manage more than $250 billion in investments. More than 1,000 transactions have taken place through the RSTN marketplace since its inception.
Bankruptcy trade claims consist of unsecured payment rights against debtors that have filed for bankruptcy. Holders of such claims include vendors, landlords, lawyers, leasing companies, unions and employees of the debtor.
Unsecured creditors are often willing to sell their claims at a discount as it can take years before a bankruptcy case settles and it is difficult to predict how much of the claim will be recovered. Distressed debt buyers purchase billions of dollars in Chapter 11 bankruptcy claims each year in anticipation of turning a profit at the conclusion of the bankruptcy case.
Competitive bidding for such claims through the RSTN will enable sellers to receive a fair market price. Potential buyers will benefit from easy online access to a broad range of bankruptcy claims to which they otherwise might not have had access.
Bankruptcy claims can be listed for sale on the RSTN at no cost and potential purchasers can become members free of charge. As with all securities traded on the RSTN, the entire documentation and settlement process for claims transactions will be handled by Restricted Stock Partners. A transaction fee is deducted from the proceeds upon completion of a sale.
“In light of the expected increase in bankruptcy filings, this acquisition couldn't come at a better time,” according to T-REX CEO David Williams, who cited Bankruptcydata.com statistics showing that 43 public companies have already filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008, up from 28 for the same period in 2007. “RSTN's diverse investor network will enable us to grow more rapidly and take maximum advantage of the expected surge in Chapter 11 filings brought on by the credit crisis.”
In connection with the deal, Williams will join the company to lead the RSTN's expansion into the bankruptcy claims trading space.
“By acquiring T-REX, we will improve efficiency and transparency in the trade claims market, similar to our efforts with restricted securities and auction-rate securities,” Silbert said. “As an independent secondary market, the RSTN will help unsecured creditors obtain liquidity for bankruptcy claims, while providing attractive opportunities for investors seeking to participate in this growing market.”
Trade Receivable Exchange, Inc. (T-REX), of Denver, Colo. is an online auction platform launched in 2007 to provide liquidity for holders of bankruptcy trade claims. Over 650 members have joined T-REX since its launch. For more information, visit www.T-REXauctions.com.
About Restricted Stock Partners
Restricted Stock Partners (RSP) of New York, N.Y. manages the Restricted Securities Trading Network (RSTN) (www.RestrictedSecurities.net), the largest online marketplace for restricted securities and other illiquid assets. The RSTN has 850 members with more than $250 billion in assets available for investment. RSP is backed by Pequot Ventures, a New York-based venture capital firm focused on investing in innovative market-leading companies. For more information about RSP, visit www.RestrictedStockPartners.com.