**this article was updated on June 21 to reflect a new hearing date**
A motion filed Monday evening in the ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based One Aviation requests court approval on procedures for the direct sale of the company's assets either to debtor-in-possession (DIP) Citiking International or a higher bidder.
The June 17 filing establishes Citiking as the "stalking horse" bidder—selected to establish a minimum price for the company and dissuade lower bids—for One Aviation's assets in a proposed Section 363 sale. This development comes one week after the U.S. Trustee in the Chapter 11 case moved to dismiss the company's prepackaged reorganization plan, which could have ultimately forced One Aviation, manufacturer of the Eclipse 500/550 light jet, into Chapter 7 liquidation.
A 363 sale would stave off outright liquidation, and also allows for higher bids than Citiking's to be submitted for consideration in an auction for the company's assets. The court filing establishes an initial price of $17 million, an amount equal to Citiking’s DIP obligations to date, for that entity to purchase One Aviation’s assets. Other bidders would be required to offer at least $18.1 million, with an additional $50,000 “wind-down” fee paid to Citiking by the winner.
However, the latest motion also details One Aviation’s lack of prior success in finding other potential suitors. According to the filing, the company retained Duff & Phelps Securities, LLC in late December 2018 to explore various restructuring options. That firm contacted "161 strategic and 315 potential investors" in the solicitation process and received requests for more information from 41 parties, but the process ultimately "resulted in no viable bids for the Debtors’ business or assets," nor did a subsequent request for proposals.
The proposed 363 sale has also encountered headwinds. On June 18, DW Partners, LP—representing DWC Pine Investments, a previous investor and current lienholder in One Aviation—filed a motion of discovery for all documents related to the 363 proposal and Citiking’s reorganization plan and called for depositions from several Citiking and One Aviation personnel on June 24. The hearing on the 363 sale is currently scheduled for July 1, the date previously set for consideration of the U.S. Trustee's motion to dismiss Chapter 11 proceedings. On June 21 that date was moved to July 11.