Utilities want deposits to continue Furniture Brands service
Heath E. Combs -- Furniture Today, September 24, 2013
ST. LOUIS — A group of power utilities argued on Monday that Furniture Brands International needs to provide better assurance of payment for service while the company is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Earlier this month, a bankruptcy court granted an interim utility order from FBI allowing it to deposit $852,000 into a newly created bank account containing two weeks of its monthly utility charges.
But the utilities are requesting deposits totaling about $950,000 for periods that range from 45 days to two months to continue service. The largest Duke Energy Carolinas for $663,740 and Piedmont Natural Gas Company for $219,466.
The others include Duke Energy Progress, $7,746; Duke Energy Florida, $7,215; Georgia Power Company, $17,730; Virginia Electric and Power Company, $24,943; Connecticut Light and Power Company, $6,875; and Yankee Gas Services Company, $1,490.
In a court motion this week, the utilities argued they had no chance to respond to FBI's earlier utility motion - which bankruptcy code allows them to do.
Among other objections, the utilities also argue the account will be undercapitalized and that even while it lists utility services as critical in other court documents, it doesn't seek to pay them as a "critical vendor."
They also say that Furniture Brands didn't set limits on what can be obtained from the bank account and that it could be depleted by other utilities; that FBI doesn't propose access procedures or limits; and that the account is underfunded and isn't required to replenished.