TCREUR_Public/140108.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, January 8, 2014, Vol. 15, No. 5



BOURGAS SHIPYARDS: Future Uncertain; May Halt Operation
ROON FOOD: Owes Around BGN28 Million to Creditors


* DENMARK: Number of Corp. Bankruptcies Hit Record Low in 2013


AEG POWER SOLUTIONS: Closes Business in Lannion, France


FREESEAS INC: To Close $8.5MM Final Tranche of $10MM Investment


JAZZ III CDO: S&P Raises Rating on Class E-1 Notes to 'B-'
* IRELAND: Business Failures Down 19% in 2013 to 1,365


ALPINE BAU: Receiver Rejects DARS's EUR13.5-Million Claims

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

BARRATTS: Administrator Confirms Firm Sold
CO-OPERATIVE BANK: BoE, FCA to Launch Probe Into Near-Collapse
E-NET COMPUTERS: Posts GBP1-Mil. Loss; To Halt Trading Activities
HEARTS OF MIDLOTHIAN: Bid to Lift Transfer Embargo Fails
MCKECHNIE BRASS: In Administration, Cuts 60 Jobs

SOUTHAMPTON FRUIT: Enters Administration After Asset Sale



BOURGAS SHIPYARDS: Future Uncertain; May Halt Operation
FOCUS News Agency, citing Banker Weekly, reports that the future
of Bourgas Shipyards JSC is unclear.

According to FOCUS News, Bulgarian media started talking about
the company's problems in December 2013.

It transpired in November that the company is on the verge of
bankruptcy and would halt operation because of outstanding debts,
FOCUS News discloses.

First Investment Bank is one of the company's main lenders and
the company has assets worth BGN15.8 million pledged as
collateral in favor of the bank, FOCUS News notes.

Bourgas Shipyards JSC is a Bulgarian ship builder.

ROON FOOD: Owes Around BGN28 Million to Creditors
SeeNews, citing business newspaper Capital Daily, reports that
Roon Food, which was placed into insolvency, stopped paying its
debts back in 2010 and owes some BGN28 million (US$19.5
million/EUR14.3 million) to creditors.

Roon Food is operating under the Bravo brand name, SeeNews
discloses.  According to SeeNews, Capital Daily said that a
private enforcement agent has requested a ban on the sale of
Bravo branded products.  SeeNews relates that the newspaper said
the company lost rights on the brand in April 2013.

Capital Daily said that the company's loss for 2011 amounted to
BGN51,000, which was double the year-earlier losses, SeeNews

Roon Food is a Bulgarian meats producer.


* DENMARK: Number of Corp. Bankruptcies Hit Record Low in 2013
Frances Schwartzkopff at Bloomberg News reports that the
Danish statistics agency said on its Web site just under 5,000
businesses declared bankruptcy in 2013, the lowest level in five

According to Bloomberg, the agency said 4,993 businesses were
declared bankrupt in 2013, 8% lower than 2012 and 23% lower than
in 2010.

The agency said there were 1,474 businesses declared bankrupt in
4Q compared to 1,046 a year earlier, Bloomberg notes.


AEG POWER SOLUTIONS: Closes Business in Lannion, France
To face the challenges raised by the decrease in revenue and
losses in operations, AEG Power Solutions have decided to focus
their business on their core areas of competitive strength in
delivering high quality power systems and solutions for
infrastructure, industrial and demanding commercial applications
and advanced solutions for renewable energies and next generation
distributed power generation.  In this process, the Group is
readjusting its footprint and has decided to place in liquidation
its entity in Lannion (France), which can no longer be
financially supported.  The AEG PS Group experienced close to 11%
decrease in revenue from 2011 to 2012, and is expecting another
decrease by 25% in 2013 as announced in its Q3 interim management
report.  The Group EBITDA was down 66% in 2012 compared with 2011
and as announced in the interim Q3 report, losses are expected
for 2013. In this context, the Board of 3W Power, the holding
company of AEG Power Solutions and its new Chairman, Dr. Dirk
Wolfertz, have announced the appointment of Jeffrey Casper, Chief
Financial Officer of the Group, as Chief Restructuring Officer,
in charge of leading a recovery program for the company.  To
secure the business, AEG Power Solutions must adjust its
structure to fit within its financial capabilities and is forced
to close its business in Lannion (France) which was structurally
losing money. Lannion's management announced on Jan. 6 to the
local works council its intention to file for bankruptcy
protection for the entity.  The group cannot support the losses
of Lannion nor finance the cash flow required to run the entity
which would be EUR6 million for the first half of 2014.
Lannion's cumulated losses (EBITDA) over 5 years have reached
EUR27 million, out of which EUR11,1 million over the last 2
years.  Up to now, these losses have been fully supported by the

Though it is clear that AEG Power Solutions cannot finance any
initiatives proposed by the bankruptcy court, the Group will
consider every possibility to redeploy employees from Lannion in
other entities if competencies match future needs.  AEG PS will
allow any intellectual property rights linked to the Lannion
business to contribute to selling of assets.  AEG is a brand
under license of Electrolux and cannot be used further by
Lannion, so the entity will be run as of today under its former
denomination of Harmer & Simmons.

The case will be filed on January 8 at Saint-Brieuc commercial

                     About AEG Power Solutions

AEG Power Solutions (AEG PS) Group is a global provider of power
electronics systems and solutions for all industrial power
requirements offering one of the most comprehensive product and
service portfolios in the area of power conversion and power
control.  Two complementary operating business segments,
Renewable Energy Solutions (RES) and Energy Efficiency Solutions
(EES) serve customers worldwide.  The RES product and service
portfolio consists of systems and solutions for solar power
plants, such as solar inverters, monitoring and control systems
as well as power controllers for a wide range of industrial
applications such as polysilicon, energy storage, sapphire and
glass.  The EES product and service portfolio includes high-
performance uninterruptable power supplies (UPSs), industrial
chargers and DC systems.

Thanks to its distinctive expertise bridging both AC and DC power
technologies and spanning the worlds of both conventional and
renewable energy, the company creates innovative solutions for
smart grids.

AEG PS' global footprint includes 22 facilities and offices
around the world with 1,600 employees.

AEG Power Solutions Group is the sole subsidiary of the holding
company 3W Power S.A. (WKN A0Q5SX / ISINLU0953526265), based in
Luxembourg.  The Group is headquartered in Zwanenburg in the
Netherlands.  The shares of 3W Power are admitted to trading on
Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ticker symbol:3W9).


FREESEAS INC: To Close $8.5MM Final Tranche of $10MM Investment
FreeSeas Inc. will consummate the second and final tranche of the
US$10 million previously announced investment by Crede CG III,
Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crede Capital Group, LLC, an
existing shareholder of the Company.

Mr. Ion G. Varouxakis, chairman, president and CEO of the Company
commented: "We are very pleased to close this transaction which
injects much needed cash into the Company.  The Company shall now
be in a financial position to finance the dry-dockings of its
fleet enabling the return to operation of the vessels at a very
opportune time, as the market recovery gathers pace.  This
injection shall also position the Company for the acquisition of
vessels that can immediately produce income.  We look into the
coming year with great expectations."

At the closing, the Company will sell to the Investor 85,000
shares of the Company's Series C Convertible Preferred Stock for
US$8.5 million.  The shares of Series C Preferred Stock to be
issued will be convertible into shares of the Company's common
stock at the lower of (i) US$2.00 and (ii) the closing bid price
of the Company's common stock on Dec. 30, 2013, and such
conversion price will be the same as the conversion price of the
shares of Series B Convertible Preferred Stock previously issued
to the Investor on Nov. 4, 2013.

                        About FreeSeas Inc.

Headquartered in Athens, Greece, FreeSeas Inc., formerly known as
Adventure Holdings S.A., was incorporated in the Marshall Islands
on April 23, 2004, for the purpose of being the ultimate holding
company of ship-owning companies.  The management of FreeSeas'
vessels is performed by Free Bulkers S.A., a Marshall Islands
company that is controlled by Ion G. Varouxakis, the Company's
Chairman, President and CEO, and one of the Company's principal

The Company's fleet consists of six Handysize vessels and one
Handymax vessel that carry a variety of drybulk commodities,
including iron ore, grain and coal, which are referred to as
"major bulks," as well as bauxite, phosphate, fertilizers, steel
products, cement, sugar and rice, or "minor bulks."  As of
Oct. 12, 2012, the aggregate dwt of the Company's operational
fleet is approximately 197,200 dwt and the average age of its
fleet is 15 years.

Freeseas disclosed a net loss of US$30.88 million in 2012, a net
loss of US$88.19 million in 2011, and a net loss of US$21.82
million in 2010.  As of Sept. 30, 2013, the Company had US$107.35
million in total assets, US$106.63 million in total liabilities,
all current, and US$711,000 in total shareholders' equity.

RBSM LLP, in New York, issued a "going concern" qualification on
the consolidated financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31,
2012.  The independent auditors noted that the Company has
incurred recurring operating losses and has a working capital
deficiency.  In addition, the Company has failed to meet
scheduled payment obligations under its loan facilities and has
not complied with certain covenants included in its loan
agreements.  It has also failed to make required payments to
Deutsche Bank Nederland as agreed to in its Sept. 7, 2012,
amended and restated facility agreement and received notices of
default from First Business Bank.  Furthermore, the vast majority
of the Company's assets are considered to be highly illiquid and
if the Company were forced to liquidate, the amount realized by
the Company could be substantially lower that the carrying value
of these assets.  These conditions, among others, raise
substantial doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a
going concern.


JAZZ III CDO: S&P Raises Rating on Class E-1 Notes to 'B-'
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its credit ratings on
all classes of notes in Jazz III CDO (Ireland) PLC's U.S. dollar-
denominated issue.

The rating actions follow S&P's assessment of the rated notes'
increased overcollateralization, the transaction's reduced time
to maturity, and S&P's review of the October 2013 trustee
reports.  S&P last reviewed this transaction on April 24, 2012.

           Current     as of                           OC as of
          notional  Apr 2012                  Current  Apr 2012
Class     (mil. EUR)  (mil. EUR)         Interest  OC (%)
Unfunded    1371.1    1371.1               N/A    N/A       N/A
S           122.50    122.50     6mLIBOR+0.30%   10.3       8.5
A-1          78.75     78.75     6mLIBOR+0.45%    5.9       4.4
B-1          10.70     10.70     6mLIBOR+0.90%    5.3       3.5
B-2           6.80      6.80             6.38%    5.3       3.5
C-1          17.50     17.50     6mLIBOR+1.40%    4.9       2.5
D-1          21.00     21.00     6mLIBOR+3.00%    3.9       1.4
E-1          21.00     21.00     6mLIBOR+5.25%    2.8       0.3
Sub         100.63    100.63               N/A    0.0       0.0

N/A-Not applicable.
OC- Overcollateralization = (total funded collateral - tranche
    balance [including tranche balance of all senior tranches])/
    total exposure.


         Current    balance
           rated      as of
         balance April 2012
Class   (mil. EUR)    (mil. EUR)  Interest       Components
                                               (mil. EUR)
Q           3.7       6.19        N/A       6.80 class B-2
                                            note principal
                                            3.2 class E-1
                                            note principal

N/A--Not applicable.

Since S&P's April 2012 review, the transaction's performance has
benefited from the following factors:

   -- Scenario default rates at each rating level have fallen
      sharply as the transaction is nearing its legal final
      maturity.  This is mainly due to more than EUR1.64 billion
      of credit default swaps maturing by March 2014, which
      account for more than 90% of the portfolio.

   -- The portfolio's credit quality is the same (the weighted-
      average rating of the portfolio continues to be 'BBB-').

   -- The available credit enhancement is higher.

   -- There are EUR151.90 million cash proceeds available in this

   -- The issuer would use this amount to redeem the notes (in
      order of priority) on the two remaining payment dates.  The
      available credit enhancement is higher.

   -- The rated balance of the class combination notes has
      further decreased.

S&P performed a credit and cash flow analysis of the transaction
and applied its corporate collateralized debt obligations (CDOs)

Natixis S.A. (A/Negative/A-1) provides currency hedges on the
funded collateral.  S&P has applied its current counterparty
criteria and, in its view, its long-term rating on Natixis, and
its replacement covenants, are appropriate to support liabilities
rated 'A+' and below.  Therefore, for any ratings above 'A+', S&P
conducted its analysis assuming nonperformance of the currency
hedging counterparty.

Taking the above factors into account, S&P considers that the
available credit enhancement for all classes of notes is
commensurate with higher ratings than S&P previously assigned.
S&P has therefore raised its ratings on all classes of notes.

Jazz III CDO (Ireland) is a hybrid cash/synthetic arbitrage CDO
of corporate entities and sovereigns, managed by AXA Investment
Managers Paris S.A.  The asset structure combines elements of
cash CDOs (i.e., purchasing bonds and loans with the proceeds of
the note issuance) and synthetic CDOs (i.e., selling protection
through a portfolio of credit-default swaps and total-return
swaps).  The liability structure combines both a funded and an
unfunded element. The transaction closed in August 2006.


Class     Rating        Rating
          To            From

Jazz III CDO (Ireland) PLC
US$388.875 Million Fixed- And Floating-Rate Notes

Ratings Raised

A-1       AA+ (sf)      BBB- (sf)
B-1       AA- (sf)      BB (sf)
B-2       AA- (sf)      BB (sf)
C-1       A (sf)        B (sf)
D-1       BBB- (sf)     CCC- (sf)
E-1       B- (sf)       CCC-(sf)
Q Combo   BBB (sf)      BB+ (sf)
S         AAA (sf)      A+ (sf)

* IRELAND: Business Failures Down 19% in 2013 to 1,365
The latest insolvency statistics published by, show business failures for 2013 have
totaled 1,365.  This is a 19% reduction on totals of 1,684 for
2012 and a 17% decrease on the 1,638 total for 2011, notes.

Geographically Leinster accounted for 64% of all insolvencies,
with Munster accounting for 23%, Connaught 9% and Ulster just 4%, discloses.

Looking at the industry breakdown, construction was yet again the
hardest hit sector, accounting for 25% of total insolvencies, notes.  There was, however, a year on year
decrease of 16% with 347 construction insolvencies in 2013
compared to 415 for 2012, states.

The retail sector accounted for 14% of all insolvencies for 2013
totaling 190, showing a decrease of 14% compared to 2012,
InsolvencyJournal.i discloses.

Insolvencies in the hospitality industry also decreased from 171
in 2012 to 163 in 2013, a 5% drop, says.

There has been a decrease in insolvencies across all industries
during 2013 apart from the motor sector who have recorded a 43%
increase from 30 in 2012 to 43 in 2013,

Receivership totals for 2013 reached 363 a 9% drop on totals for
2012 (399), according to  These
receivership totals do not include personal asset receiverships, notes.

Examinerships for 2013 are at 21, which is a 22% drop on totals
for 2012 (27), relates.  Liquidations,
including both Court Liquidations and Creditor Voluntary
Liquidations totaled 981 for 2013, a 22% decline on 2012 totals
of 1,258, discloses.

According to, David Van Dessel commenting on
the outlook for 2014 said: "Although I anticipate the incidence
of corporate insolvency will continue to fall, I do not
anticipate the drop will be significant in 2014, as I am of the
view that the pillar banks, who are probably the main bankers to
our SME sector, have been forbearing of struggling companies
during the recession and to date have been reluctant to appoint
receivers. This position is not tenable in the long term and I
anticipate that we are approaching a point in time when banks
will have to take action against companies that are in
significant long term arrears.  This is likely to lead to an
increase in corporate receivership activity in 2014, as well as
an increase in examinership applications particularly under the
new examinership legislation which is specifically tailored to
our SME sector.  I would also anticipate a drop in liquidation
activity, brought about by a move by Directors of SME companies
to avail of the new examinership legislation in an attempt to
avoid liquidation".


ALPINE BAU: Receiver Rejects DARS's EUR13.5-Million Claims
STA reports that the receiver of the Slovenian subsidiary of
Alpine Bau has admitted EUR2.2 million in claims and rejected
EUR28 million, including EUR13.5 million worth of claims by
Slovenian motorway company DARS stemming from the yet unfinished
construction of a tunnel between the coastal towns of Koper and

Alpine Bau GmbH is Austria's second biggest construction group.
Alpine Bau, owned by Spain's Fomento de Construcciones y
Contratas SA, filed for insolvency on June 19, 2013, with
liabilities of EUR2.56 billion (US$3.4 billion).

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

BARRATTS: Administrator Confirms Firm Sold
Michelle Russell at reports that Duff & Phelps,
the administrator for troubled UK footwear chain Barratts, has
confirmed the company's brand and its e-commerce business have
been acquired.

In a creditor report released by the firm's administrators, a
company named W Barratt & Co, connected via common directors and
management, offered GBP360,000 (US$591,435) for the company,
according to  The report relates that it is
understood the company was set up by footwear entrepreneur Harvey
Jacobson and former Barratts buying and merchandising director
Simon Robson.

The initial sales consideration of GBP300,000 was paid in full on
completion, with the balance payable within six months, just- notes.

Administrators Duff & Phelps said that of the offers it had
received for Barratts, this one represented "the best return to
creditors," the report discloses.

The company operated from 75 stores and 23 concessions, employing
around 1,035 people across the UK and Ireland.  However, last
month, it closed around a quarter of its stores after collapsing
into administration for the third time in November, the report

All remaining Barratts stores have now ceased to trade.

Rival shoe retailer Pavers, however, made a rescue offer for
parts of the chain last month, scooping up 14 stores in a deal
worth GBP247,773, the report notes.

As part of this latest sale agreement, W Barratt & Co has granted
Pavers a license to trade the stores under the Barratts trading
name for a period of six months, the report discloses.

Reports surfaced in early October that the Bradford-based firm
was in trouble and was seeking a GBP3 million (US$4.8 million)
loan to help pay for stock in the lead-up to the Christmas
shopping period, the report relays.

When it slipped into administration last month, Duff & Phelps
said "difficult trading conditions" in the sector led the
directors to "explore potential refinancing options and
additional equity for the business," the report says.

The report recalls that in December 2011, the Barratts Priceless
Group -- owner of the Barratts and Priceless Shoes footwear
Shops -- collapsed into administration after a downturn in
trading.  Prior to this, previous owner Stylo called in
administrators in January 2009, with Ziff rescuing 160 stores as
well as 165 concession outlets, the report adds.

CO-OPERATIVE BANK: BoE, FCA to Launch Probe Into Near-Collapse
Harry Wilson at The Telegraph reports that The Bank of England
and the Financial Conduct Authority have confirmed they will
launch investigations into the near collapse of the Co-op Bank.

Former senior managers of the Co-op Bank are to be investigated
by Britain's two financial regulators over their role in the near
failure of the troubled lender that last year discovered a GBP1.5
billion capital shortfall, The Telegraph discloses.

According to The Telegraph, the Prudential Regulation Authority,
the Bank of England-run bank supervisor, and the Financial
Conduct Authority have confirmed they have begun an "enforcement
investigation" into the Co-op Bank that will look at the actions
of the lender's "former senior managers".

The launch of the investigation follows a two-month-long joint
inquiry by the PRA and the FCA into the circumstances that led to
the Co-op Bank's troubles that will see the lender's parent, the
Co-op Group, give up control of the business to its bondholders,
The Telegraph relays.

The investigation could lead to former manager being fined,
suspended and possibly banned from working in the financial
services industry, The Telegraph says.  The investigation could
also lead to criminal action should the officials find any
evidence of wrongdoing by individuals, though this would require
a separate police investigation, The Telegraph notes.

No timetable has been set for the work, but one source with
knowledge of the process said it would likely take "several
months", The Telegraph states.

                     About Co-operative Bank

Co-op Bank -- part of the mutually owned food-to-funerals
conglomerate Co-operative Group -- traces its history back to
1872.  The bank gained prominence for specializing in ethical
investment.  It refuses to lend to companies that test their
products on animals, and its headquarters in Manchester is
powered by rapeseed oil grown on Co-operative Group farms.

Founded in 1863, the Co-op Group has more than six million
members, employs more than 100,000 people, and has turnover of
more than GBP13 billion.

                           *     *     *

The Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Nov. 14 and 18, 2013 has
reported that Moody's Investors Service has affirmed The
Co-operative Bank's Caa1 senior unsecured debt and deposit
ratings, and changed the outlook on the rating to negative from
developing, and Fitch Ratings has downgraded the company's Issuer
Default Rating to 'B' from 'BB-' and placed it on Rating Watch

E-NET COMPUTERS: Posts GBP1-Mil. Loss; To Halt Trading Activities
Scott Reid at The Scotsman reports that E-Net Computers, the
Edinburgh company owned by entrepreneur and online Dragons' Den
star Shaf Rasul, has racked up another GBP1 million loss as it
undertakes a major restructuring that will see it cease to have
any trading activities.

Newly-filed accounts reveal that the firm made a loss before tax
of just under GBP990,000 in the year to March 31, compared with a
deficit of GBP960,000 a year earlier, The Scotsman relates.
Turnover fell to just GBP5.1 million from almost GBP13 million in
2011/12, The Scotsman discloses.

Mr. Rasul has always been clear that E-Net, which grew
spectacularly after it was established in 1999, would decline as
the price of its core product, blank CDs and DVDs, fell in the UK
and Europe, The Scotsman relays.  At its peak in 2004-5, sales
reached GBP67.2 million while Mr. Rasul's wealth was estimated to
be in the region of GBP82 million, The Scotsman notes.

According to The Scotsman, writing in the accounts, the directors
note that in order to "address the current economic climate the
group has undertaken significant restructuring and resizing of
its operations".

The directors note: "In addition, the company intends to transfer
its investment property to a related party and work is currently
in progress to facilitate this.  As a result . . . the company
will cease to have any trading activities.

"It will, however, continue to retain full interest in its
related party property portfolios."

The latest Companies House documents also show E-Net Computers'
headcount falling from 81 to 27, The Scotsman relays.

HEARTS OF MIDLOTHIAN: Bid to Lift Transfer Embargo Fails
Stuart Bathgate and Darren Johnston at The Scotsman report that
the Hearts of Midlothian Football Club's administrators on Monday
revealed they have failed in a bid to have the club's transfer
embargo lifted.

The struggling Tynecastle club were hit with an automatic 15-
point penalty and a player registration ban when they suffered an
insolvency event in June last year, and 21 games into the
Premiership season still sit on minus two points anchored in
bottom spot as they battle to cope with an already threadbare
squad, The Scotsman relates.

A Company Voluntary Arrangement has been accepted but the club's
exit from administration cannot be completed until the Foundation
of Hearts, the prospective owners, secures a deal with the people
in charge of Lithuanian majority shareholder UBIG, The Scotsman

Despite that, 24 hours after the Jan. 2 derby defeat to Hibernian
at Easter Road, Hearts assistant manager Billy Brown called for
the sanctions to be lifted as he warned manager Gary Locke might
have to field schoolboys in the first team, The Scotsman relays.

But joint-administrator Bryan Jackson was given little
encouragement from the Scottish Professional Football League when
he made inquiries as to whether any relaxation of the sanctions
was possible, The Scotsman states.

According to The Scotsman, Mr. Jackson told BBC Scotland "We've
put all the arguments forward and, not surprisingly, they've all
been rejected.

"Nothing is going to change with regard to the sanctions and I
feel really sorry for Gary in that we can't do anything to help

"Those restrictions are there, we've tried and there's nothing we
can do about it."

Unrest has grown among a section of the club's support, with an
increasing number advocating that Locke be removed, The Scotsman
relates.  But Mr. Jackson, whose firm BDO took over as
administrators last June, insisted that the manager was the right
man to head the club during one of the most difficult periods in
its history, The Scotsman discloses.

According to The Scotsman, the Foundation of Hearts, preferred
bidders for the club, are still waiting to learn when a
Lithuanian court will deliver a judgment on the 50% shareholding
in Hearts owned by former parent company Ubig.  Until Ubig are
allowed to sell their shares to the Foundation, the Company
Voluntary Arrangement made at the end of November cannot be
finalized, The Scotsman states.

Only when the CVA is finalized can the club come out of
administration, The Scotsman notes.  That process is unlikely to
be completed before March, meaning the club cannot bring in any
new players, The Scotsman says.

                    About Hearts of Midlothian

Hearts of Midlothian Football Club, more commonly known as
Hearts, is a Scottish professional football club based in Gorgie,
in the west of Edinburgh.

Hearts went into administration after the Scottish FA opened
disciplinary proceedings against the club.  BDO was appointed
administrators on June 19.

MCKECHNIE BRASS: In Administration, Cuts 60 Jobs
Birmingham Mail reports that dozens of workers lost their jobs
after one of the country's oldest brass mills, Aldridge-based
McKechnie Brass, collapsed.

All but 15 workers at McKechnie Brass - believed to be the UK's
sole remaining brass bar producer - were made redundant after
administrators were called in on December 30, according to
Birmingham Mai.  The report relates that the company, which has a
history that stretches than 140 years, said the collapse followed
a period of heavy financial losses as the fluctuating prices of
scrap brass put margins under pressure.

Administrators made 60 of the 75-strong workforce redundant, and
are in talks with several parties about selling the business, the
report notes.

McKechnie Brass, bought out of administration with the backing of
West Midlands-based industrial conglomerate Grove Industries in
September 2011, has a history stretching back to 1871, when it
was founded by Duncan McKechnie in St Helens, the report says.
It moved to Birmingham in 1894, but has struggled in recent
years, including suffering a production breakdown in November,
the report says.

The report notes that a McKechnie Brass spokesman said directors
had tried to keep the firm afloat but market conditions made it
impossible in the end.

"The appointment of administrators follows a sustained period of
heavy financial losses, which resulted from a serious
deterioration in trading conditions throughout the last year,
particularly relating to the price of scrap brass material. . . .
While the appointment of an administrator at McKechnie Brass is a
matter of great regret, every effort was made to seek to support
and develop this business, despite exceptionally difficult
trading conditions," the report quoted the spokesman as saying.

SOUTHAMPTON FRUIT: Enters Administration After Asset Sale
Insider Media Limited reports that Southampton Fruit Handling
(SFH), a business which pledged to create 60 jobs in Southampton
after signing a deal to import up to 500,000 tons of fruit and
vegetables from southern Spain each year, has gone into

But the assets of Southampton Fruit have been sold to a rival
operator, safeguarding a further 60 potential job losses,
according to Insider Media Limited.

The report notes that Peter Hall from insolvency firm Peter Hall
was appointed administrator of the Port of Southampton business
in December 2013.  The report relates that prior to his
appointment; the assets were sold to Solent Stevedores for an
undisclosed sum.

The report relates that in a statement to Insider, Hall said:
"The company had to cease trading. Prior to the appointment of
myself, the business and assets were sold to another operator by
the company's management . . . .  The employees were transferred
to the purchaser and therefore the hardship for employees was

The report notes that Solent Stevedores Chairman Stuart Cullen
said the deal to buy SFH's assets was "great news" for the Port
of Southampton.

"This expansion of our operations at the port will enable us to
continue SFH's good work, build on and exploit the full potential
of fresh produce shipping from the Canaries and southern Spain
and to further cement our excellent relationship with Associated
British Ports," the report quoted Mr. Cullen as saying.

Mr. Cullen added: "As our business has grown, we have said we
will look for low-risk, high-value opportunities to expand in
which we can use our decades of experience to improve margins and
drive efficiencies.  Acquiring SFH's assets is a perfect example
of this strategy," the report relays.

SFH operated in the port for the past 19 years.  Its major
customer was The Federation of Tomato Growers and Exporters of
Las Palmas, which exports fruit from the Canary Islands.


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

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  Go to 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., Washington, D.C., USA.
Valerie U. Pascual, Marites O. Claro, Rousel Elaine T. Fernandez,
Joy A. Agravante, Ivy B. Magdadaro, and Peter A. Chapman,

Copyright 2014.  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$775 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 215-945-7000 or Nina Novak at

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