Limetree Bay Refining and several of its affiliates filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Limetree Bay intends to use the Chapter 11 process to engage in discussions with its lenders, creditors, equity owners and others to evaluate options to maximize the value of the estate and recoveries for stakeholders, including exploring a potential sale of its assets.
Limetree Bay received commitments for up to $25 million in new debtor-in-possession financing that, upon court approval, is expected to provide sufficient liquidity to meet ongoing business obligations related to the maintenance of the refinery during the Chapter 11 process. Limetree Bay retained B. Riley Advisory Services, a subsidiary of B. Riley Financial, as restructuring advisor, with B. Riley's Mark Shapiro serving as chief restructuring officer.
The Chapter 11 filing was necessitated in part by the recent temporary suspension of Limetree Bay's petroleum refining and processing operations on May 12 and the indefinite suspension of its plans to restart the refinery due to severe regulatory and financial constraints. Given the uncertainty related to the restart of production and commercial sales of refined products, the company believes filing voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 is the most prudent course of action. It is expected that management will continue to be responsible for handling the care and maintenance of the refinery and all other necessary day-to-day operations throughout this process.
"We are extremely grateful to our investors, employees and business partners for standing by us through the restart process and these uncertain times," Jeff Rinker, CEO of Limetree Bay, said. "Severe financial and regulatory constraints have left us no choice but to pursue this path after careful consideration of all alternatives. The Chapter 11 process provides Limetree with the clearest path to maximize the value of our estate for our stakeholders while safely preparing the refinery for an extended shutdown."
Limetree Bay's parent company expects to continue operations at its oil storage terminal business. Baker Hostetler is acting as legal counsel for Limetree Bay.