Attorney: Value of equipment may save Scarborough construction company in Chapter 11

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SCARBOROUGH — A bankruptcy lawyer representing Maietta Construction expressed confidence this week that the company will come out of bankruptcy court reorganized, but intact.

“These types of businesses have substantial value and fixed assets,” said attorney Robert Keach of Portland’s Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, who represents the Scarborough construction company.

Keach estimated that the company has more than $15 million in construction equipment alone, which could provide collateral to refinance debts.

Maietta, which is known for its work throughout southern Maine, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 21 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland.

According to Keach, the company owes a total of approximately $5.5 million to three secured creditors: Blackstone, Caterpillar Financial Services and V&E Enterprises. The company also reportedly owes the Internal Revenue Service between $600,000 and $800,000.

The top 20 unsecured creditors, which include Sabra Property Care of Cumberland, Skillings Shaw & Associates of Lewiston and Pike Industries of Lewiston, are owed more than $570,000, according to court documents.

The company last week said it got into financial trouble when the faltering economy stalled much of the commercial construction work in the area.

Keach explained that because most construction work right now is for municipalities, state or federal projects, and Maietta is not able to attain the bonding necessary to do that kind of work, the company is functioning under an affiliate called Maietta Enterprises.

Keach said a reorganization would likely reunite the affiliates that are created under Chapter 11 when the company comes out of bankruptcy.

“We have financial advisers looking at the company and they’re saying the worst is behind them,” Keach said.

Under Chapter 11, Maietta is freed from the threat of creditor lawsuits while it reorganizes its finances. The reorganization must be accepted by a majority of creditors and unless the court rules otherwise, the company remains in control of the business and its assets.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net

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