Ethernet equipment

Riverstone's Bankruptcy Begins

Investors starving for a detailed peek at Riverstone Networks Inc. (OTC: RSTN.PK) financials are being thrown a few crumbs, as the company has filed its petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, unveiling some balance-sheet details in the process.

Filed on Feb. 7 in Delaware, the petition is part of a plan, announced that same day, for Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) to acquire the company. Once Riverstone has settled with its creditors, the company's assets will be auctioned off, with Lucent already putting in a $170 million bid. (See Riverstone Posts Info and Lucent Gets Riverstoned.)

Most analysts consider the price high -- Riverstone's market capitalization is around $138 million -- so it doesn't appear likely that Lucent's bid will be thwarted. After the asset sale, Riverstone plans to distribute cash to shareholders.

All this could take a while -- Riverstone's Website notes that the hearing on the asset sale is set for March 23. Riverstone's plan of liquidation would be filed in April.

Stuck on a treadmill of earnings restatements, Riverstone hasn't filed an up-to-date quarterly report in more than two years. (See Riverstone Misses SEC Deadlines.) The Chapter 11 filing offers a glimpse of the books, though. It lists Riverstone's assets at $98,341,134 -- not including long-term investments, property, and goodwill -- and its liabilities at $130,071,947.

Nearly all of Lucent's debt is owed to U.S. Bank, which holds $65.9 million in notes that Riverstone issued in 2001; those notes were coming due late this year. (See Riverstone Offers Notes.)

Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) is owed roughly $136,000 and HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) roughly $53,000, according to the bankruptcy filing.

Things ramp down steeply from there, as no other creditor is owed more than $20,000. In fact, the 20th largest creditor, according to the filing, is Le Boulanger, claiming an unpaid bill of $152.23. Unpaid sandwiches aren't exactly scandal material. (See Strip-Club Scandal CEO Quits.)

The creditor list has no big surprises, but there's one amusing entry: Light Reading makes the list, with a claim of $3,200.

The recent Light Reading poll on the acquisition shows 61 percent of readers (441 respondents) saying Lucent is doing the right thing. And 38 percent say they're sad to see Riverstone go.

As for the real winner in all this, 36 percent said Lucent, and another 28 percent voted for Riverstone's shareholders. But 21 percent think the winner is "someone else." To those who voted that way: Feel free to use this story's message board to enlighten us.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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optiplayer 12/5/2012 | 4:06:01 AM
re: Riverstone's Bankruptcy Begins Go back to the original PR from LU/RSTN. They clearly stated that there are suffucient assets to cover their "real" liabilities and that any excess assets would be returned to shareholders in the form of cash above and beyond the $170M purchase price. How mush excess cash is a guessing game. Here is the quote:

"As a condition of the asset purchase agreement, Riverstone has agreed to conduct the sale of its business under the provisions of Chapter 11, section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Following this sale, Riverstone intends to satisfy its remaining non-operating liabilities including payment of its convertible subordinated notes in the amount of $65,875,000; provide for any contingent liabilities and costs of liquidation; and distribute its remaining cash to Riverstone's shareholders as part of a plan of liquidation. Riverstone's shareholders should consult with their tax advisors as to the income tax ramifications of the liquidating cash distributions."
lucifer 12/5/2012 | 4:06:01 AM
re: Riverstone's Bankruptcy Begins Any word on Oscar Rodriguez? Will he be moving to Lucent or moving on?

optiplayer 12/5/2012 | 4:06:01 AM
re: Riverstone's Bankruptcy Begins "John, you know what that is for LUcy will use
that to offset her income with "goodwill" losses
Thought this was the way one milks uncle SAM
these days.
Imagine getting a tax break when you buy

I've got news for you fiberous, Lucent has a lifetime worth of NOLs already on the books thanks to the $Bs of losses over the years, they don't need any more...
inetizen 12/5/2012 | 4:05:55 AM
re: Riverstone's Bankruptcy Begins They also started an India Dev Center. Dunno what will happen to it.
Balet 12/5/2012 | 4:05:39 AM
re: Riverstone's Bankruptcy Begins That was a mini-splash.

Tom Williams, interim-CEO, "the screwing Tom" screwed up most of the ex-employees by paying huge $$ to the lawyers and nothing to poor folks, who staid with the company till the end.

Any other know screwers??
Please be ware of Tom...
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