BANGOR, Maine — Multiple parties have made initial bids for the assets of the bankrupt Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway ahead of next week’s auction.
The deadline for bids on the railroad’s assets was the end of the day Friday. Robert Keach, the railroad company’s trustee in its bankruptcy proceedings, told the Bangor Daily News after the close of business on Friday that “multiple bids” were made, though he would not reveal additional details about the exact number or value of the bids.
“We’re in the process of reading them now, analyzing them and seeing how they fit together,” Keach said. “As I said before, we’ll have something to say next week.”
Keach previously told the BDN that no details about bids or the bidding parties would be released ahead of the sale hearing, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Jan. 23, in Bangor.
The auction itself is scheduled to be held Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Keach’s office in Portland. It is expected to be a live auction, “although there is a right to convert at any time to sealed bids, and all bidders must be present,” Keach said. The auction is not open to the public or media.
The bidding will begin at $14.5 million, which is the “stalking horse” bid submitted in mid-December by Railroad Acquisition Holdings LLC, an affiliate of New York-based Fortress Investment Group. In a bankruptcy auction, the stalking horse is a company that promises to buy the bankrupt company’s assets for a certain price unless a better and higher bid is obtained during the auction process.
Keach said last month that roughly 20 potential buyers, including Railroad Acquisition Holdings, emerged in the process to secure a stalking horse, some of whom visited the railroad company’s operations to peruse the assets.
MMA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Bangor on Aug. 7, a month after one of its trains rolled driverless down a hill before derailing in the middle of the town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, and causing an explosion that killed 47 people.