Builder John Laing files for Chapter 11
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20 February 2009

LOS ANGELES (Business from bizjournals) - The company that does business as John Laing Homes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in Delaware on Thursday, claiming between $500 million and $1 billion in debts.

Irvine-based WL Homes LLC, which builds under the John Laing brand primarily in California, Colorado, Arizona and Texas, has an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 creditors, according to its bankruptcy filings.

The company said in a recent statement that it was “reviewing all potential options to meet capital requirements.”

According to Bradley Sharp, the company’s chief restructuring officer who filed a declaration in the case, unaudited financial statements for WL Homes fiscal year ending Nov. 30 show that the company had assets with a book value of approximately $1.3 billion and debts totaling $977 million at the time. Sharp said revenue fell from $948 million in 2007 to $248 million last year.

A list of secured creditors had not been filed as of Thursday. According to Sharp’s affidavit, the company has revolving credit facilities with Bank of America, Wachovia Bank, RFC Construction Funding LLC and Guaranty Bank, and other secured debt totaling $350 million. Among its largest unsecured creditors are employees who are owed wages.