TCREUR_Public/121205.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                           E U R O P E

          Wednesday, December 5, 2012, Vol. 13, No. 242

                            Headlines



G E R M A N Y

RHOEN-KLINIKUM AG: Moody's May Downgrade Rating to 'Ba1'


I R E L A N D

* IRELAND: January-November Corporate Insolvencies Up 3% to 1,547


I T A L Y

CELL THERAPEUTICS: Had US$4.6 Million Net Loss in October


L U X E M B O U R G

FAGE INT'L: S&P Affirms 'B' Rating on US$400MM Unsecured Notes


P O R T U G A L

BMORE FINANCE: Moody's Cuts Rating on Class D Notes to 'Caa3'


S P A I N

* SPAIN: Requests EUR39.5-Bil. Funds to Recapitalize Ailing Banks


S W E D E N

PERSTORP HOLDING: S&P Assigns 'B-' Corporate Credit Rating


U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

BURDENS: In Administration, to Sell Remaining Braches
GREY STREET HOTEL: Goes Into Market After Administration
HBOS PLC: MPs Grill Ex-CEO Over Decision to Sell Holdings
HMV GROUP: Sells Live Music Venue Business to Cut Debt Pile
MF GLOBAL: UK Administrators Recoup GBP1 Billion in Assets

VION: Puts Pork Section of UK Meat Empire Up for Sale
WALMSLEY: In Administration for the Second Time


                            *********


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G E R M A N Y
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RHOEN-KLINIKUM AG: Moody's May Downgrade Rating to 'Ba1'
--------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has downgraded Rhoen-Klinikum AG's long
term issuer rating and the rating of its senior unsecured notes
by one notch to Baa3. The outlook is negative.

Ratings Rationale

The action reflects disappointing Q3 2012 figures resulting in
another revision of Rhoen's 2012 EBITDA forecast to EUR295
million from EUR350m at the beginning of the year, mainly driven
by ongoing challenges in turning around University Hospital
Giessen and Marburg ("UKGM") as well as higher than expected cost
inflation.

Constant public debate and the highly political nature of private
hospital ownership in Germany, which is even more relevant in the
case of university hospitals, such as UKGM, make it difficult to
forecast how successful the new management team will be in
materially improving the situation and/or how long this process
may take. Whereas Moody's still expects 2013 trading levels to
improve reflecting partly the non-recurring nature of the
negative one-off effects of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA bid in 2012
and the recent management change, Moody's expects the
profitability recovery to remain moderate and be subject to
downward risks so that leverage levels will remain elevated for
at least next 12-18 months. The restructuring program initiated
to turn UKGM's performance around will also need time to deliver
results. The historically negative free cash flow generation of
Rhoen, associated with large capital needs and acquisitions and
resulting limited ability to reduce its debt materially in the
short-term, does not offer much tolerance for negative surprises.
Leverage and cash flow coverage ratios as per end of September
2012, with debt/EBITDA at 3.2x, and RCF/net debt at 18.9%
position Rhoen weakly in the Baa3 rating category, hence the
negative outlook.

Moody's Baa3 long-term issuer rating for RKA reflects: (i) its
market position as one of the leading private hospital operators
in Germany, with a solidly diversified hospital network and an
increasing coverage of the outpatient market as a result of
opening or purchasing medical care centers; (ii) its track record
of organic growth, as reflected by a steady rise in the number of
admissions and by external growth through the acquisition,
integration and restructuring of hospitals; (iii) its stable and
recurring revenue base; and (iv) its good liquidity cushion.

The rating also reflects: (i) limited free cash flow generation
driven by high capital expenditures /periodic acquisition spend
and dividend payments; (ii) continued pressure on the company's
profitability stemming from cost inflation, with limited
prospects of higher reimbursement rates, driving the need for
constant efficiency improvements and rising patient numbers; and
(iii) challenges posed by achieving or maintaining efficiencies
for lower profitability/restructured clinics.

Outlook

The negative outlook anticipates that, although Rhoen should
gradually recover trading margins and absolute EBITDA over the
2013-2014 period, the gross leverage may remain elevated at above
3.0x over the next 12-18 months (current estimated level for full
year 2012 is 3.3x). Failure to achieve progress in improving UKGM
situation and/or further margin pressure from cost inflation or
sizeable acquisition spend would also lead to negative rating
pressure.

What Could Change the Rating -- UP (Baa2)

Upward rating pressure is currently unlikely but could be driven
by longer-term improvements in RKA's business profile, including
a broader regional diversification, but primarily by a
sustainable generation of credit metrics that are in line with
mid-range of the Baa rating category, such as an RCF/net debt
ratio of above 30% and gross leverage sustainably below 2.5x. In
addition, Moody's would expect sustainable positive FCF
generation.

What Could Change the Rating -- DOWN (Ba1)

The ratings could be downgraded if: (i) RKA's profitability
deteriorates, which would be reflected by the company's EBITDA
margin falling below 10% and material negative free cash flows;
(ii) gross leverage increases sustainably above 3.25x; (iii) the
company's RCF/net debt ratio falls sustainably below 20%; or (iv)
RKA fails to preserve its attractive liquidity profile or
significantly increases its capital expenditure commitments.

The principal methodology used in rating Rhoen-Klinikum AG was
the Global Healthcare Service Providers Industry Methodology
published in December 2011.

Rhoen-Klinikum is one of the leading private hospital operators
in Germany. Over last twelve months ending September 2012, the
company generated revenues of around EUR2.8 billion.



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I R E L A N D
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* IRELAND: January-November Corporate Insolvencies Up 3% to 1,547
-----------------------------------------------------------------
InsolvencyJournal.ie reports that the total number of corporate
insolvencies registered in Ireland so far this year stands at
1,547, a 3% increase on the January to November 2011 total of
1495.  Of these 139 were recorded in November,
InsolvencyJournal.ie notes.

The construction sector continues to be most severely affected by
business failures and accounts for 25% of the total insolvencies
so far this year, InsolvencyJournal.ie discloses.  This sector
remains in some difficulty and is expected to continue to suffer
into 2013, InsolvencyJournal.ie notes.

Novembers' figures show an increase in retail insolvencies up
from 18 in October to 28 recorded in November,
InsolvencyJournal.ie states.  The total number of retail
insolvencies year to date, stands at 204 no change on the same
period last year, InsolvencyJournal.ie says.

The hospitality sector totals show some positive signs when
comparing January to November 2012 to the same period in 2011 as
total insolvencies are down 22% year on year, according to
InsolvencyJournal.ie.

There has been a 43% increase in receiverships from January to
November 2012 when compared to the same period in 2011, up from
253 to 362 year on year, InsolvencyJournal.ie notes.  The overall
number of examinerships recorded year to date is also up by 73%
compared to same period last year, InsolvencyJournal.ie says.
That is 26 examinerships from January to November recorded this
year and 15 cases recorded January to November last year,
according to InsolvencyJournal.ie.

Total Court Liquidation and Creditors Voluntary Liquidation
figures show a drop of 5.6% from January to November 2012 (1,158)
compared to January to November 2011 (1,147),
InsolvencyJournal.ie discloses.  There is a notable slowing down
in the amount of companies opting to go into liquidation,
InsolvencyJournal.ie notes.

Commenting on these overall corporate insolvency statistics, Ken
Fennell of kavanaghfennell commented, Overall corporate
insolvencies for the calendar year ending December 2012 look like
reaching 1,700, which is in line with last year's numbers,
InsolvencyJournal.ie relates.  The figures show a leveling out of
corporate insolvencies, which is a positive sign,
InsolvencyJournal.ie says.  However, the business environment
remains challenging and it will be interesting to see the affects
of the budget and the consumer spend over the Christmas period,
InsolvencyJournal.ie states.



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I T A L Y
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CELL THERAPEUTICS: Had US$4.6 Million Net Loss in October
---------------------------------------------------------
Cell Therapeutics, Inc., provided information pursuant to a
request from the Italian securities regulatory authority, CONSOB,
pursuant to Article 114, Section 5 of the Unified Financial Act,
that the Company issue at the end of each month a press release
providing a monthly update of certain information relating to the
Company's management and financial situation.

The Company reported a net loss attributable to common
shareholders of US$4.64 million on US$0 of net revenue for the
month ended Oct. 31, 2012, compared with a net loss attributable
to common shareholders of US$10.88 million on US$0 of net revenue
during the prior month.

Estimated research and development expenses were US$2.4 million
for the month of September 2012 and US$2.4 million for the month
of October 2012.

There were no convertible notes outstanding as of Sept. 30, 2012,
and Oct. 31, 2012.

A copy of the press release is available for free at:

                        http://is.gd/9OzMqP

                      About Cell Therapeutics

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Cell Therapeutics, Inc.
(NASDAQ and MTA: CTIC) -- http://www.CellTherapeutics.com/-- is
a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing an integrated
portfolio of oncology products aimed at making cancer more
treatable.

Cell Therapeutics reported a net loss attributable to CTI of
US$62.36 million in 2011, compared with a net loss attributable
to CTI of US$82.64 million in 2010.

The Company's balance sheet at Sept. 30, 2012, showed
US$36.17 million in total assets, US$32.60 million in total
liabilities, US$13.46 million in common stock purchase warrants,
and a US$9.89 million total shareholders' deficit.

                    Going Concern Doubt Raised

The report of Marcum LLP, in San Francisco, Calif., dated
March 8, 2012, expressed an unqualified opinion, with an
explanatory paragraph as to the uncertainty regarding the
Company's ability to continue as a going concern.

The Company's available cash and cash equivalents are US$47.1
million as of Dec. 31, 2011.  The Company's total current
liabilities were US$17.8 million as of Dec. 31, 2011.  The
Company does not expect that it will have sufficient cash to fund
its planned operations beyond the second quarter of 2012, which
raises substantial doubt about the Company's ability to continue
as a going concern.

                        Bankruptcy Warning

The Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011, noted that if the
Company receives approval of Pixuvri by the EMA or the FDA, it
would anticipate significant additional commercial expenses
associated with Pixuvri operations.  Accordingly, the Company
will need to raise additional funds and are currently exploring
alternative sources of equity or debt financing.  The Company may
seek to raise that capital through public or private equity
financings, partnerships, joint ventures, disposition of assets,
debt financings or restructurings, bank borrowings or other
sources of financing.  However, the Company has a limited number
of authorized shares of common stock available for issuance and
additional funding may not be available on favorable terms or at
all.  If additional funds are raised by issuing equity
securities, substantial dilution to existing shareholders may
result.  If the Company fails to obtain additional capital when
needed, it may be required to delay, scale back, or eliminate
some or all of its research and development programs and may be
forced to cease operations, liquidate its assets and possibly
seek bankruptcy protection.



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L U X E M B O U R G
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FAGE INT'L: S&P Affirms 'B' Rating on US$400MM Unsecured Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B' issue rating
on the US$400 million unsecured notes due 2020, issued by
Luxembourg-based dairy company Fage International S.A. (Fage;
B/Negative/--). "At the same time, we assigned a recovery rating
of '4' to the notes, indicating our expectations of average (30%-
50%) recovery for noteholders in an event of a payment default,"
S&P said.

"Fage is launching a US$250 million tap to its existing US$150
million senior unsecured notes due 2020. Proceeds of the proposed
additional US$250 million notes will be used to fully repay
Fage's 2015 notes (currently rated 'B') and all bank lines
outstanding, and to fund investments, primarily a new factory in
the U.S.," S&P said.

"The additional 2020 notes will be co-issued by Fage and its
U.S.-based subsidiary Fage USA Dairy Industry Inc. (Fage USA).
The notes will be guaranteed by Fage Luxembourg Sarl (the parent
company of Fage USA and Fage's non-Greek European operations) and
Fage Dairy Industry S.A. (Fage Greece). As at Sept. 30, 2012, we
understand that the issuers and guarantors represent more than
90% of the group's sales, EBITDA, and assets," S&P said.

"The recovery rating on the notes reflects the company's fair
valuation (particularly based on its strong brand and growing
U.S. business), the relatively limited prior ranking liabilities
(in the form of a US$50 million secured revolving credit facility
[RCF]) and a favorable center of main interest (COMI) in
Luxembourg or the U.S. The recovery rating is constrained at '4',
however, by the operating pressures we see in the Greek business
and the existence of some debt baskets in the notes'
documentation," S&P said.

"The documentation for the 2020 notes contains a series of
covenants limiting Fage's ability to raise debt, subject to a
fixed-charge coverage incurrence ovenant of 2.0x. The
documentation also contains restrictions on the company's ability
to pay dividends, sell assets, or enter into mergers and
acquisitions," S&P said.

"Fage plans to amend the documentation for the 2020 notes in
connection with the offering. It is launching a consent
solicitation to obtain the consent of more than 50% of the
existing US$150 million 2020 noteholders to the amendments. If
fewer than 50% of existing noteholders consent, FAGE may launch a
second consent solicitation, in which new noteholders may
participate together with existing noteholders. In such a second
consent solicitation, new noteholders will be deemed to have
voted in favor of the amendments by virtue of purchasing the new
notes," S&P said.

"We believe that Fage's COMI would most likely be Luxembourg in
the event of an insolvency proceeding, because," S&P said:

    Fage, which will co-issue the 2020 notes, is incorporated in
    Luxembourg;

    As per the amended documentation of the 2020 notes, Fage will
    hold its board meetings, keep its corporate book, and run the
    administration of the company in Luxembourg; and

    Fage now owns the group's intellectual properties, notably
    including its trademarks and yogurt technologies.

"However, we do not exclude the possibility of insolvency
proceedings taking place in the U.S., where the group generated
about 56% of revenues and 71% of EBITDA in the 12 months to Sept.
30, 2012, with these figures rapidly increasing. We view the
Luxembourg and U.S. jurisdictions as rather favorable for
creditors. However, Fage is exposed to multiple jurisdictions,
with its production assets located in the U.S. and Greece, and
its intangible assets in Luxembourg. We therefore believe that
recovery prospects could be somewhat impaired," S&P said.

"Under our recovery rating methodology, we simulate a
hypothetical payment default for Fage. Given our view of Fage's
strong brand, we value the company as a going concern. We
calculate Fage's stressed enterprise value at default using an
EBITDA proxy. Under this hypothetical scenario, we calculate that
Fage's EBITDA at the point of default would likely total about
EUR43 million. We use a 5.0x stressed EBITDA multiple to estimate
a stressed enterprise value of about EUR215 million at default,"
S&P said.

"After deducting priority liabilities -- including enforcement
costs and Fage's secured US$50 million RCF, which we assume would
be fully drawn at the hypothetical point of default -- we
calculate that recovery prospects for the existing and additional
noteholders would be slightly below 50%. Given Fage's
multijurisdictional exposure and the existence of some debt
baskets in the notes' documentation, we believe that recovery
prospects would fall in the 30%-50% range, resulting in a
recovery rating of '4'," S&P said.


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P O R T U G A L
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BMORE FINANCE: Moody's Cuts Rating on Class D Notes to 'Caa3'
-------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has downgraded to Caa3(sf) from B3(sf)
the ratings of the class D notes in BMORE Finance No. 4
originated by Banif Mais (not rated), as a result of increased
loss expectations at the notes' legal maturity in May 2014. The
rating action concludes the review initiated by Moody's on 11
September 2012, following increasing negative credit enhancement
(CE) level.

Issuer: BMORE Finance No. 4 plc

    EUR12M D, Downgraded to Caa3 (sf); previously on Sep 11, 2012
    B3 (sf) Placed Under Review for Possible Downgrade

Ratings Rationale

"The downgrade reflects the build-up of a principal deficiency
ledger (PDL), which is likely to turn into a loss for the class D
notes given the high delinquency levels and the limited expected
recoveries on past defaults," says Sebastian Schranz, a Moody's
analyst and lead analyst for the issuer.

"We downgraded the notes to B3(sf) in March 2012 because of the
expectation of additional defaults not being covered by excess
spread (unpaid PDL). In September 2012, we placed the notes on
review for downgrade due to the increasing negative CE level
compared to levels in other Portuguese ABS transactions," adds
Mr. Schranz.

Despite the write-off of a large stock of long overdue
receivables in May 2012, which triggered an unpaid PDL,
delinquency levels in BMORE Finance No. 4 have remained at very
high levels. The 60+ day delinquency rate on current balance
currently stands at 33.09%, while 90+ day delinquencies stand at
57.23% as of November 2012.

At the same time, incoming recoveries reduced the unpaid PDL
level slightly to EUR0.4 million as of November 2012. Assuming
the unpaid PDL remains constant, the notes may nevertheless
suffer an estimated loss of 22% of the current notes balance.

Some uncertainty stems from the future performance of the pool.
If future delinquencies create further losses, which are not
covered by future recoveries, the rating of the notes can be
negatively affected.

Moody's does not expect a materially high amount of recoveries
for the remaining life of the transaction. However, recoveries
significantly in excess of expectations may reduce the current
PDL level.

BMORE Finance No. 4 is a Portuguese asset-backed securities (ABS)
transaction backed by a portfolio of auto and consumer loans
originated by Banif Mais, a subsidiary of Banif -- Banco
Internacional do Funchal rated B1. The transaction was originated
in May 2004 and currently has a pool factor of 0.5% (outstanding
balance as a proportion of the initial transaction balance). The
most junior class D notes are the only notes still outstanding,
all other notes have been repaid.

Key modelling assumptions, sensitivities, cash-flow analysis and
stress scenarios for the affected transactions have not been
updated, as the rating actions have been primarily driven by the
expected loss on the class D notes based on the current PDL
level.

Principal Methodology

The methodologies used in this rating were "Moody's Approach to
Rating European Auto ABS", published in November 2002, and
"Moody's Approach to rating Structured Finance Securities in
Default, published in November 2009.



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S P A I N
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* SPAIN: Requests EUR39.5-Bil. Funds to Recapitalize Ailing Banks
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Emma Rowley at the Telegraph reports that Spain formally
requested EUR39.5 billion of European funds to recapitalize its
struggling banks, while its prime minister held back from ruling
out a bail-out for the state also.

According to the Telegraph, Spain's economy ministry said it had
requested the disbursement of EUR39.5 billion (GBP32 billion) of
European funds for its banking sector, as agreed under a June
rescue deal.

The money represents EUR37 billion for its four nationalized
banks -- Bankia, Catalunya Banc, NCG Banco and Banco de Valencia
-- and EUR2.5 billion for a so-called "bad bank", the Telegraph
discloses.  The ministry, as cited by the Telegraph, said it
should be paid to the state's banking fund by mid-December.

Despite the bail-out for its stricken banking sector, Spain faces
speculation that it will require a sovereign rescue also, the
Telegraph notes.  So far, Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy
has resisted making a decision on that count, although in an
interview over the weekend he did not rule out the possibility of
a rescue by the European Central Bank, the Telegraph relates.

Spain, the Telegraph says, is trying to reduce its deficit to
6.4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) for this year, but could
struggle to hit that target as its economic downturn shrinks tax
revenues.



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S W E D E N
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PERSTORP HOLDING: S&P Assigns 'B-' Corporate Credit Rating
----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'B-' long-term
corporate credit rating to Sweden-headquartered specialty
chemicals company Perstorp Holding AB. The outlook is stable.

"At the same time, we assigned our 'B' issue rating to Perstorp's
EUR270 million (Swedish krona [SEK] 2.4 billion) and US$380
million (SEK2.6 billion) first-lien senior secured notes due
May 2017. The recovery rating on the first-lien senior secured
notes is '2', indicating our expectation of substantial (70%-90%)
recovery for creditors in the event of a payment default," S&P
said.

"In addition, we assigned our 'CCC' issue rating to Perstorp's
US$370 million (SEK2.6 billion) second-lien senior secured notes
due August 2017. The recovery rating on the US$370 million notes
is '6', indicating our expectation of negligible (0%-10%)
recovery for creditors in the event of a payment default," S&P
said.

"We have not assigned ratings to Perstorp's currently undrawn
SEK550 million committed revolving credit facility (RCF), nor the
SEK2.3 billion (US$328 million) part of the mezzanine loan that
we understand over 81% of mezzanine lenders have consented to
roll over," S&P said.

"The final capital structure differs from the preliminary capital
structure. Notably, the first-lien notes have increased by US$62
million (SEK430 million) to US$722 million from the preliminary
US$660 million. The second-lien notes have decreased by US$60
million (SEK415 million) to US$370 million from the preliminary
US$430 million. In addition, the RCF documentation now
incorporates additional covenants that stipulate reported net
debt to EBITDA of a maximum of 9.5x, and EBITDA interest coverage
of a minimum of 1.25x. We anticipate about 20% headroom under
these covenants in the next 12 months under our conservative
credit scenario. We note, however, that the headroom under the
new covenants is lower than the 30% headroom under the covenant
specifying minimum EBITDA of SEK940 million stipulated in the
draft RCF documentation. Nevertheless, these changes have no
effect on the corporate credit and issue ratings," S&P said.

"The ratings on Perstorp reflect our assessment of Perstorp's
business risk profile as 'fair' and its financial risk profile as
'highly leveraged.' Funds managed by French private equity fund
PAI Partners SAS (PAI; not rated) have owned Perstorp since 2005.
We forecast Standard & Poor's-adjusted financial debt at year-end
2012 of SEK10.9 billion, or SEK9.9 billion excluding a SEK0.9
billion shareholder loan," S&P said.

"The stable outlook reflects our view of Perstorp's 'adequate'
liquidity and our projection that its EBITDA and EBITDA margin
will show a degree of resilience to the likely difficult European
macroeconomic environment in 2013. This also assumes that the
negative FOCF we forecast will remain limited, with the company
managing expansion capital expenditures (capex) or otherwise
receiving support from a EUR30 million undrawn committed capex
facility from PAI in the form of a subordinated equity
contribution," S&P said.

"We view a ratio of adjusted debt to EBITDA (excluding the
shareholder loan) of about 6.0x-7.5x through the cycle as
commensurate with the current rating. Including the shareholder
loan, this ratio would be closer to 7.0x-8.5x," S&P said.

"Rating downside could occur if Perstorp's covenant headroom or
liquidity deteriorated materially. A material deviation from our
base case, such as EBITDA dropping to SEK1.2 billion-SEK1.3
billion in 2013, could also result in rating pressure," S&P said.

"Rating upside is unlikely over the coming years, in our view, as
it would require substantial EBITDA growth from expansion
projects and a more supportive macroeconomic environment, such
that adjusted debt to EBITDA (excluding the mezzanine loan)
improved to 5.5x or less on a sustainable basis," S&P said.



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U N I T E D   K I N G D O M
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BURDENS: In Administration, to Sell Remaining Braches
-----------------------------------------------------
Construction Inquirer reports that administrators have been
appointed at the 13 remaining branches of builders' merchant
Burdens.

The company is now being run by administrators from Duff & Phelps
who are hoping to sell off the firm's remaining branches,
according to Construction Inquirer.

The report relates that Duff & Phelps were called in to WTB
Trading Ltd. -- which is the main trading arm of the Burdens
Group -- and WTB Group.

"Due to the established name of Burdens and quality of the
business we have already been able to sell three of the branches
within the group and have had interest expressed in the remaining
thirteen. . . . We will continue to trade the company as a going
concern whilst we continue discussions with those parties
interested in acquiring some, or all of the remaining branches,"
the report quoted Philip Duffy of Duff & Phelps as saying.

The report notes that Wolseley bought 22 branches from Burdens
last month for GBP30 million and the latest sales were to the
Bradford Group.  The report relates that the 22 branches now
owned by Wolseley continue to trade under the Burdens name.


GREY STREET HOTEL: Goes Into Market After Administration
--------------------------------------------------------
Janet Harmer at caterersearch.com reports that the 49-bedroom
Grey Street hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne has been put up for sale
after falling into administration, due to the tough economic
climate.

Offers in the region of GBP3.75 million are being sought by
Colliers International for the freehold boutique business,
including rental income from bar and restaurant operator the
Living Room, which leases and operates the restaurant within the
hotel, according to caterersearch.com.

The report notes that the hotel is continuing to operate and will
honor all current bookings while being run by the administrators,
BDO.

"Unfortunately the economic climate and difficult trading
conditions have adversely affected the hotel," the report quoted
Graham Newton, BDO business restructuring partner as saying.

Grey Street was original opened as a hotel, following a
GBP6 million development, in 2004 by Niche Hotels, a company set
up two years earlier by Alan and Alison Corlett and Simon
Eccleston.


HBOS PLC: MPs Grill Ex-CEO Over Decision to Sell Holdings
---------------------------------------------------------
Louise Armitstead at The Telegraph reports that Sir James Crosby,
the former HBOS chief, faced accusations from MPs that he sold
out his holdings in the bank amid growing warning signs of its
looming collapse.

According to the Telegraph, it emerged at a session of the
Parliamentary Commission on Banking on Monday that Mr. Crosby
sold around two-thirds of his holdings in HBOS between the time
he left in 2006 and its collapse two years later.

The Telegraph relates that the bank's former chief executive said
he understood how it could be seen as getting out, but that this
was not his motivation and that he was "balancing his portfolio".

Mr. Crosby admitted that the bank collapsed because of
"incompetence" in its corporate lending division, telling told
MPs that he "horrified and deeply upset" by its failure, the
Telegraph notes.  "I am apologizing," the Telegraph quotes Mr.
Crosby as saying.  "I played a major part in building a business
that subsequently failed."

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the committee, repeatedly put it to
Mr. Crosby that HBOS had been brought down by the "incompetence"
of reckless lending decisions and poor controls, the Telegraph
discloses.

Mr. Crosby, as cited by the Telegraph, said: "I will agree that
corporate banking losses were excessive . . . and the lending in
those terms were not good."  Replying to Mr. Tyrie's assertion
that "it was incompetence that brought this bank down", Sir James
conceded: "Correct."

However, Mr. Crosby insisted that some of the growth after the
merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland in 1999 was positive, the
Telegraph notes.

According to the Telegraph, Rory Phillips QC crushed Mr. Crosby's
claims to success: "The seeds for what went wrong at HBOS were
sown during your time . . . [by the] plans and strategy that you
made after the merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland."

Mr. Phillips, as cited by the Telegraph said that Mr. Crosby's
successor, Andy Hornby, had just "nine months" to spot the
problems and "From about the middle of 2007, there was nothing
very much that could be done."

Over two and half hours, the committee quizzed Mr. Crosby over
the corporate lending policies that have led to GBP45 billion of
impairments in four years, the Telegraph recounts.

Mr. Hornby, who was quizzed by the Committee after Mr. Crosby,
accepted that HBOS's losses were catastrophic, the Telegraph
discloses.  According to the Telegraph, Mr. Hornby said that the
"core driver" came from the bank's corporate lending division and
the group had been hit by the "unforeseen and totally
unprecedented closure of the wholesale markets".

HBOS plc is a banking and insurance company in the United
Kingdom, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lloyds Banking Group
having been taken over in January 2009.  It is the holding
company for Bank of Scotland plc, which operates the Bank of
Scotland and Halifax brands in the UK, as well as HBOS Australia
and HBOS Insurance & Investment Group Limited, the group's
insurance division.  The group became part of Lloyds Banking
Group through a takeover by Lloyds TSB January 19, 2009.


HMV GROUP: Sells Live Music Venue Business to Cut Debt Pile
-----------------------------------------------------------
Perry Gourley at The Scotsman reports that HMV Group on Dec. 3
sold more of its live music venue business to cut its debt pile
and said more disposals are to follow.

According to the Scotsman, the firm said it had sold Mama Group,
which owns the HMV Picture House venue on Lothian Road in
Edinburgh, and a 50% interest in ticketing business Mean Fiddler
to a subsidiary of Lloyds Development Capital.

The deal is for GBP7.3 million although GBP3.5 million of the
purchase price will be deferred for a year, the Scotsman notes.
HMV had bought Mama in 2010 for GBP46 million, the Scotsman
recounts.

HMV, famous for its Nipper the dog trademark, is battling
declining music, DVD and games markets and is focused on shifting
to growth areas such as technology products, as well as selling
off non-core parts of its business, the Scotsman discloses.

Proceeds from the sale of Mama, which also owns London venues
such as the HMV Forum and the Jazz Cafe as well as festivals
including Lovebox and Global Gathering, will be used to pay down
debt, the Scotsman states.

At the end of its 2011-12 financial year, the company owed some
GBP166.7 million, the Scotsman says.

Talks to sell the Gay and Heaven clubs -- the remaining parts of
its live business -- are ongoing, according to the Scotsman.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Jan. 23,
2012, BBC News related that HMV struck a deal with banks and
suppliers aimed at halving its debts in the next few years.  The
company said it was being given "significantly enhanced" headroom
in which to recover, BBC disclosed.  The new deal with suppliers
gave the company 2.5% of the shares in HMV and should cut debt by
50% within three years, BBC noted.  The group then reiterated
concerns about its ability to trade in its current form,
according to BBC.  Its banks agreed to waive a test of its
finances which was due last January, BBC recounted.

United Kingdom-based HMV Group plc is engaged in retailing of
pre-recorded music, video, electronic games and related
entertainment products under the HMV and Fopp brands, and the
retailing of books principally under the Waterstone's brand.  The
Company operates in four segments: HMV UK & Ireland, HMV
International, HMV Live, and Waterstone's.


MF GLOBAL: UK Administrators Recoup GBP1 Billion in Assets
----------------------------------------------------------
Patrick Fitzgerald, writing for Dow Jones' Daily Bankruptcy
Review, reports that MF Global's U.K. administrators have
recovered around GBP1 billion in assets.

DBR relates KPMG, the insolvency administrator that is winding
down MF Global under the U.K.'s equivalence of Chapter 11, said
in a report Thursday that it has nearly doubled the amount of so-
called nonsegregated assets.  Those assets -- cash and securities
collected from banks, clearinghouses and exchanges -- are
earmarked for the U.K. arm's unsecured creditors.

According to the report, the recovered funds, which when
converted to dollars amounts to US$1.6 billion or roughly the
amount of the shortfall in customer funds that was discovered
when the brokerage collapsed in October 2011, may not be
available to plug that gap.

DBR notes KPMG said a month ago that it could eventually recover
up to US$3.2 billion to distribute to clients and creditors,
whose claims will likely total somewhere between US$3 billion and
US$3.6 billion.

The report also notes the U.K. administrators have already made
an interim distribution of 26 cents on the dollar to MF Global
clients, but are holding off on doling out any more until they
resolve a number of issues with the bankruptcy trustees
overseeing the liquidation of MF Global's U.S. broker-dealer and
its holding company parent.  Among those issues is a lawsuit
filed by Louis Freeh, the former director of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation who is overseeing the Chapter 11 case of MF
Global Holdings Ltd. Mr. Freeh has appealed the administrators'
rejection of the holding company's US$418 million claim.
That appeal is pending.

The U.K. unit, the report adds, is also sparring with James
Giddens, the trustee of MF Global's U.S. brokerage operation,
over US$700 million that Mr. Giddens says belongs to U.S.
customers.  The dispute hinges on whether those U.S. customers
who did business in foreign markets and were supposed to have
money in so-called segregated accounts can tap the assets held in
a general pool of funds for U.K creditors.

                         About MF Global

New York-based MF Global (NYSE: MF) -- http://www.mfglobal.com/
-- is one of the world's leading brokers of commodities and
listed derivatives.  MF Global provides access to more than 70
exchanges around the world.  The firm is also one of 22 primary
dealers authorized to trade U.S. government securities with the
Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  MF Global's roots go back
nearly 230 years to a sugar brokerage on the banks of the Thames
River in London.

MF Global Holdings Ltd. and MF Global Finance USA Inc. filed
voluntary Chapter 11 petitions (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Case Nos. 11-
15059 and 11-5058) on Oct. 31, 2011, after a planned sale to
Interactive Brokers Group collapsed.  As of Sept. 30, 2011, MF
Global had US$41,046,594,000 in total assets and
US$39,683,915,000 in total liabilities.  It is easily the largest
bankruptcy filing so far this year.

Judge Honorable Martin Glenn presides over the Chapter 11 case.
J. Gregory Milmoe, Esq., Kenneth S. Ziman, Esq., and J. Eric
Ivester, Esq., at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, serve
as bankruptcy counsel.  The Garden City Group, Inc., serves as
claims and noticing agent.  The petition was signed by Bradley I.
Abelow, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of
MF Global Finance USA Inc.

The Securities Investor Protection Corporation commenced
liquidation proceedings against MF Global Inc. to protect
customers.  James W. Giddens was appointed as trustee pursuant to
the Securities Investor Protection Act.  He is a partner at
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in New York.

Jon Corzine, the former New Jersey governor and co-CEO of
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., stepped down as chairman and chief
executive officer of MF Global just days after the bankruptcy
filing.


VION: Puts Pork Section of UK Meat Empire Up for Sale
-----------------------------------------------------
Louise Lucas at The Financial Times reports that Vion is set to
sell the pork section of its ailing UK meat empire to a
management team after announcing its intention to leave Britain,
joining a string of casualties in the food industry.

According to the FT, the privately owned Dutch food producer,
which last year had sales of EUR2.35 billion in the UK, has been
hit by a combination of escalating input inflation -- not least
for pork, as US droughts and a poor UK harvest pushed up the
price of livestock feed -- and cash-strapped consumers.

Vion is continuing negotiations over the UK business's two other
arms, red meat and poultry which employ 2,500 and 6,000 workers
respectively, and expects to secure deals for them in the next
few months, the FT discloses.

The purchase of the pork business, which has estimated sales of
EUR0.8 billion and a workforce of 5,000, is being bankrolled by
Endless, a Leeds-based turnround house, the FT notes.

Vion, as cited by the FT, said "enormous" investment would be
needed to match larger and more competitive plants across Europe,
but Scottish politicians accused the company of putting self-
interest ahead of the workforce.

According to the Scotsman's Erikka Askeland, the deal, which
could be announced this week, would include ten pork farming and
processing sites across the UK, potentially securing 5,000 jobs.
However, the deal would not include the Netherlands-based
company's poultry or red meat business, which employ 8,500, where
it is understood the sales process is less advanced, the Scotsman
notes.  The sale of the pork business would not include the Halls
of Broxburn factory in West Lothian, which is being closed down
with the loss of 1,750 jobs, the Scotsman states.

Vion's remaining pork operations include processing sites at
Scunthorpe, Hull, Haverhill, Malton and at Cookstown, Co Tyrone,
the Scotsman discloses.  Affected sites in Scotland include pig
farms in Brydock, near Banff, and at Muirden, near Turriff, the
Scotsman says.


WALMSLEY: In Administration for the Second Time
-----------------------------------------------
Insider Media reports that furniture chain Walmsley's has gone
bust for the second time in little more than a year.

The Walsall-headquartered retailer, which has 24 stores across
the UK and 105 staff, is the latest casualty of the turbulent
retail environment, according to Insider Media.

Mark Phillips and Julie Swan, partners at insolvency practitioner
PCR, were appointed as joint administrators of Walmsley Furniture
Ltd on Nov. 19, 2012.

"Unfortunately, Walmsley's has, like so many other retail
businesses, suffered from the economic recession that has
blighted the British high street. . . . .We are currently
investigating to what extent we will be able to fulfill orders,
however, this is dependent on our ability to acquire stock from
third-party suppliers.  I would stress that it will take some
time for us to assess the situation," the report quoted Mr.
Phillips as saying.

Walmsley's, which can trace its roots back to 1933, last entered
administration in August 2011, the report recalls.


                            *********

Monday's edition of the TCR delivers a list of indicative prices
for bond issues that reportedly trade well below par.  Prices are
obtained by TCR editors from a variety of outside sources during
the prior week we think are reliable.  Those sources may not,
however, be complete or accurate.  The Monday Bond Pricing table
is compiled on the Friday prior to publication.  Prices reported
are not intended to reflect actual trades.  Prices for actual
trades are probably different.  Our objective is to share
information, not make markets in publicly traded securities.
Nothing in the TCR constitutes an offer or solicitation to buy or
sell any security of any kind.  It is likely that some entity
affiliated with a TCR editor holds some position in the issuers'
public debt and equity securities about which we report.

Each Tuesday edition of the TCR contains a list of companies with
insolvent balance sheets whose shares trade higher than US$3 per
share in public markets.  At first glance, this list may look
like the definitive compilation of stocks that are ideal to sell
short.  Don't be fooled.  Assets, for example, reported at
historical cost net of depreciation may understate the true value
of a firm's assets.  A company may establish reserves on its
balance sheet for liabilities that may never materialize.  The
prices at which equity securities trade in public market are
determined by more than a balance sheet solvency test.

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Thursday's edition of the TCR. Submissions about insolvency-
related conferences are encouraged.  Send announcements to
conferences@bankrupt.com

Each Friday's edition of the TCR includes a review about a book
of interest to troubled company professionals.  All titles are
available at your local bookstore or through Amazon.com.  Go to
http://www.bankrupt.com/booksto order any title today.


                            *********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter-Europe is a daily newsletter co-
published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  Valerie U. Pascual, Marites O. Claro, Rousel Elaine T.
Fernandez, Joy A. Agravante, Ivy B. Magdadaro, Frauline S.
Abangan and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2754.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Europe subscription rate is US$625 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription
or balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter Chapman at 240/629-3300.


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