SCO has just filed a rather clever motion [PDF], asking for more time to exclusively file a reorganization plan. Normally, they have a deadline to exclusively file their reorganization plan by January 12. After that, any creditor can file one. Like, for instance, Novell or IBM. SCO would like to extend their exclusivity until July. Here's why: they remind the court that Novell and SCO can't get to trial in Utah and finish up there until maybe February. Then the judge may take a few weeks to write up his decision, quantifying Novell's damages. So now you are in mid-March. So far, one can follow, and it makes sense. How do you hop to July, though? SCO apparently wants to appeal first and then reorganize:
Accordingly, the Debtors estimate that it will not have a ruling on Novell's damages, nor an ability to appeal the August 10 summary judgment ruling, until mid-March 2008. The Debtors, therefore, request a period of 60 days after that anticipated event, corresponding with a date 120 days after the current exclusivity bar date, to maintain its exclusivity under section 1121.
I know. Breath-taking. They want their creditors to wait and not get paid anything until July, so SCO can sue some more. Well, why not? They're living and suing on what most of us view as Novell's money already.
Here's what the "exclusivity" part means:
Who Can File a Plan
The debtor (unless a "small business debtor") has a 120-day period during which it has an exclusive right to file a plan. 11 U.S.C. § 1121(b). This exclusivity period may be extended or reduced by the court. But, in no event, may the exclusivity period, including all extensions, be longer than 18 months. 11 U.S.C. § 1121(d). After the exclusivity period has expired, a creditor or the case trustee may file a competing plan. The U.S. trustee may not file a plan. 11 U.S.C. § 307.
A chapter 11 case may continue for many years unless the court, the U.S. trustee, the committee, or another party in interest acts to ensure the case's timely resolution. The creditors' right to file a competing plan provides incentive for the debtor to file a plan within the exclusivity period and acts as a check on excessive delay in the case.
I think Novell's reorganization plan for SCOwould be more likely a strong suggestion that SCO needs to go into Chapter 7, and SCO would rather not. Here are the filings:
Filed & Entered: 01/02/2008
Motion to Extend/Limit Exclusivity Period (B)
Docket Text: Motion to Extend Exclusivity Period for Filing a Chapter 11 Plan and Disclosure Statement Filed by The SCO Group, Inc.. Hearing scheduled for 2/5/2008 at 10:00 AM at US Bankruptcy Court, 824 Market St., 6th Fl., Courtroom #3, Wilmington, Delaware. Objections due by 1/29/2008. (Attachments: # (1) Notice # (2) Proposed Form of Order # (3) Certificate of Service and Service List) (Werkheiser, Rachel)
Filed & Entered: 01/02/2008
Certificate of No Objection
Docket Text: Certificate of No Objection Regarding Debtors' Motion to (I) Amend Certain Amounts of Payments Authorized Pursuant to the Employee Wage Order and (II) Authorize the Payment of the Amended Amounts to Certain Employees (related document(s) ) Filed by The SCO Group, Inc.. (Attachments: # (1) Exhibit A - Proposed Order# (2) Certificate of Service and Service List) (Werkheiser, Rachel)