"The best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft agley," the poet Robert Burns warned.
That means they get fouled up a lot.Even $32 million schemes.
Triad America's scheme to get $32 million from Adnan and Essam Khashoggi has gone agley. Not seriously agley, lawyers say. But agley, nonetheless.
Attorneys for Triad America failed to meet the Oct. 1 deadline for telling the Khashoggis which Triad America creditors - if any - would not sign releases freeing the Khashoggis from future liability for debts not covered by the $32 million payment.
At this point, that failure does not jeopardize Triad's chances for getting the $32 million.
The payment is conditional upon releases from 18 specified creditors. The list of creditors includes several Utah companies who may get between 40 cents and 70 cents on the dollar for loans they made to Triad America if the $32 million comes in.
A team of lawyers for the bankrupt Triad America has been struggling for weeks to get the releases from the creditors.
However, Oct. 1 came and went with most of the releases unsigned. So R. Todd Neilson, the court-designated recipient of the $32 million, has asked the Khashoggis for an extension of the deadline.
Dan Berman, a local attorney representing the Khashoggis, said that extension will probably be granted.
Berman is confident the delay won't jeopardize the deal, though "at some point it would become a problem," he said. Khashoggi must have those releases, or the deal is off.
"Nobody's taking a confrontational attitude," he said. "We're trying to work things out reasonably."
The delay has not changed the deadline for the payment. The Saudi brothers are still expected to wire $32 million to Key Bank in Salt Lake City by Oct. 31, Berman said.
The delay in getting the releases was caused, in part, by Judge John H. Allen's unexpected decision Friday to take a motion for substantive consolidation under advisement. A hearing on the motion has been held in U.S. Bankruptcy Court intermittently over the past two weeks. Lawyers for both sides had expected Allen to rule promptly. Instead, the judge has delayed his ruling indefinitely while he considers the matter.
The delay prompted several creditors to balk over sign ing the releases, said Danny Kelly, attorney for Neilson. Seven creditors in particular have tentativearrangements with Neilson for partial payment on debts incurred by Triad Americaor their subsidiaries. However, those arrangements depend on Allen's approval ofthe motion to consolidate the bankruptcy cases of several Triad America subsidiaries into one case and treat all creditors equally _ the motion Allen has taken under advisement.
If the cases are not consolidated, the creditors have no assurance that their arrangements will be honored. Hence, they are reluctant to sign releases saying they won't sue the Khashoggis or their specified companies.
The delay is one of several glitches in the tenuous deal. Neilson has likened the effort to achieve harmony among the angry creditors to the constant vigilance required to keep harmony in a large family.
Euro Commercial is the latest difficult child. The bank, based in the Cayman Islands, tried to block substantive consolidation last week because it learned that it may not get all of the $5.9 million it loaned Triad America. Under Neilson's arrangement with the Khashoggis, the bank would receive back only the money that actually was spent to benefit Triad America. That may be as little as $1.8 million, Kelly said.
Allen will not allow Euro Commercial to argue against substantive consolidation, because they tried to enter their arguments too late.
An attorney for Euro Commercial said in open court last week that the bank has loaned approximately $50 million to Adnan Khashoggi. Local attorneys are worried that such a loan gives the bank substantial influence over the Saudi businessman.