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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Dec. 15, 201112:00 PM EST

Trailer Bridge reorganization plan expected next week

by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

If all goes well, Trailer Bridge Inc. expects to be on the fast track to getting out of bankruptcy.

Less than a month after the Jacksonville-based marine and truck freight company filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, attorneys for the company said Wednesday that Trailer Bridge expects to file its reorganization plan next week and hopes to emerge from bankruptcy before spring.

At a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Jacksonville, Gregg Galardi, a New York attorney representing Trailer Bridge, said the company intends to meet with bondholders on Friday and then submit its plan next week.

Galardi did not give many details about what the plan will contain.

He did say that “the company still hopes there will be a recovery for equity,” meaning that current shareholders of the publicly traded company would be able to retain stock in the restructured company.

After the hearing, Galardi said he couldn’t say any more about the plan.

He also told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jerry Funk that Trailer Bridge hopes to have a confirmation hearing on the plan in late February and to emerge from bankruptcy at the end of February or in early March.

Funk cautioned that while he would like to see the case resolved as quickly as possible and hopes the company can meet those deadlines, he can’t guarantee that Trailer Bridge can fit that schedule into a crowded court calendar.

“I’ve got about 6,000 cases and they’re all important to the people that filed them,” he said.

Attorneys for Trailer Bridge’s creditors also said that while they are hoping for a successful reorganization, they will not necessarily rubber-stamp the company’s plans.

“We support the reorganization efforts,” said Richard Thames of Stutsman Thames & Markey, representing the official committee of unsecured creditors.

“It doesn’t mean at this point we’re on board with their plan,” he said.

John Macdonald of Akerman Senterfitt said his client, Seacor Holdings Inc., shouldn’t be painted as the bad guy for raising objections to motions by Trailer Bridge.

“Spirited objection is healthy for any case,” he said.

Seacor is one of Trailer Bridge’s largest secured creditors, holding a majority of senior secured notes issued by the company. It was objecting to fees proposed for Global Hunter Securities LLC, which is serving as an investment banker for Trailer Bridge.

Trailer Bridge filed for Chapter 11 on Nov. 16, with the company facing a deadline to pay off $82.5 million in bonds.

Its Chapter 11 petition listed assets of $102.7 million and total liabilities of $118.1 million.

The company’s stock was delisted by Nasdaq after the bankruptcy filing but it continues to trade in the over-the-counter market under the ticker symbol “TRBRQ.”

The stock, which was trading at 33 cents before the bankruptcy filing and at a 52-week high of $3.95 in February, has been trading below 10 cents a share for the past week.

Company officials say that the bankruptcy filing has not affected its business, which consists

of shipping freight between Jacksonville and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.

“The operations of the company remain unchanged,” Co-CEO William Gotimer said after Wednesday’s hearing.

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