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American West Development - Las Vegas-area homebuilder

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2012-03-01

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stories: vegasinc.com

We won't rehash the content from the link above that hits all the major points of the bankruptcy... here are the highlights:

Canarelli's firm, American West Development Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Las Vegas. Under Chapter 11, companies continue to operate while they reorganize.

The filing said American West has $55.4 million in assets against liabilities of $207.7 million.

...

VEGAS INC research shows that in 2010, American West was the eighth-largest builder in the Las Vegas market, with sales of 237 homes.

Bankruptcy records show the company generated revenue of $61.5 million in 2009, growing to $63.7 million in 2010. But in 2011, revenue tumbled to just $12.2 million, the filing said.

...

American West said the bankruptcy was filed as part of a prepackaged reorganization. In such cases, lenders realize some losses, though the magnitude of the losses in the American West case wasn't immediately disclosed.

And unlike the Rhodes bankruptcy, American West expects to keep all of its operations.

“The American West Development reorganization is a consensual agreement with the lenders. The company will not be selling any of its assets; rather, additional funds will be invested into the company as it continues to build homes and neighborhoods in Southern Nevada. Day-to-day operations will continue as normal, and there will be no reduction in workforce or services,” said Robert Evans, president of American West Development.

It looks like the banks have realized it is better for them to just take the hit on this one, possibly indicative of the current trend. The numbers above imply an approximately 26 cents on the dollar recovery for American West's creditors, which in the case of Wells Fargo would imply a $32.5 million loss on $44.4 million, and in the case of Bank of America, a $17.95 loss on $24.5 million.

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Important: This company is on our list of builder operations that have "imploded" (see also ailing lenders). This is a somewhat subjective call, and does not necessarily mean total shutdown or bankruptcy. It can also mean steep and rapid declines in enterprise value; or abnormal "bail-out" by corporate parents or peers in order to continue to operate. The builders may be residential or commercial.