By Tiffany Kary and David McLaughlin – Oct 31, 2011
MF Global Holdings Ltd., the holding company for the broker-dealer run by former New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. co-chairman Jon Corzine, filed for bankruptcy after making bets on European sovereign debt.
The New York-based firm listed total debt of $39.7 billion and assets of $41 billion in Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Affiliate MF Global Finance USA Inc. also filed, with debt of as much $50 million and assets of as much as $500 million. The largest unsecured creditors include JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, as trustee for holders of $1.2 billion in debt, and Deutsche Bank Trust Co., as trustee for holders of $690 million in debt.
MF Global’s board had met through the weekend in New York to consider options including a sale to avert failure, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. Following a record loss, MF Global was suspended today from doing new business with the New York Federal Reserve, according to a statement on the regulator’s website. Trading in MF Global’s stock was also halted.
MF Global declined 67 percent last week and its bonds started trading at distressed levels amid its disclosures of bets on European sovereign-debt. MF Global was in discussions with five potential buyers for all or parts of the company, including banks, private-equity firms and brokers, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks were private.
MF Global reported a $191.6 million quarterly loss on Oct. 25 and Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings cut its credit rankings to junk.
The case is MF Global Holdings Ltd., 11-bk-15059, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).