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Bankruptcy Trustee To Examine Renwood Group Finances

Sacramento CPA David D. Flemmer has been approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California as U.S. Trustee to oversee Renwood Group’s bankruptcy reorganization. In addition, Judge Robert S. Bardwil has also approved Flemmer’s request for a Rule 2005 examination.

Renwood Group (Group) owns 96 percent of Amador County-based Renwood Winery (Winery) and 100 percent of Renwood Vineyard Properties, Ltd. (Vineyard) which has also filed for Chapter 11.

Winery has not declared bankruptcy.

TRUSTEE REQUESTED BY LENDER

Judge Bardwil approved the Trustee appointment July 28 at the request of TLA Holdings (a subsidiary of MetLife) which holds the trust deeds of the vineyards and other real estate owned by Vineyard and against the objections of Group.

Bardwil did, however, give Group a partial victory by denying TLA’s request for joint administration of the Group and Vineyard bankruptcies. Closely related bankruptcies are often — but not always — combined into a single case for administrative efficiency and related reasons.

For an example of a consolidated wine industry Chapter 11, please see WII’s coverage of the now-concluded Charles B. Mitchell Winery Chapter 11.

Bardwill has ordered the appointment of a trustee in the Vineyard bankruptcy, but one has not yet been selected.

Renwood Group Chairman and CEO Robert I. Smerling told Wine Industry Insight that he “is pleased by the appointment of David Flemmer as Group Trustee and plans to cooperate with him fully to clear up any misunderstanding concerning the trademarks.”

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TRUSTEE TO EXAMINE 8 KEY FINANCIAL, MANAGEMENT AREAS

On July 30, Judge Bardwill approved Flemmer’s request for a Rule 2004 examination that will focus on eight key financial and management areas.

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