Historic chapter 15 recognition of ENNIA’s restructuring proceedings in Curaçao
Davis Polk advised the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (“CBCS”) and the foreign representative of ENNIA Caribe Holding N.V. and certain of its subsidiaries (“ENNIA”) in obtaining recognition under Chapter 15 of the United States Bankruptcy Code of ENNIA’s restructuring proceedings in Curaçao. ENNIA, the largest insurer in Curaçao, had its license revoked by the CBCS due to solvency concerns. In July, the CBCS initiated emergency regulations under applicable insurance law in the Court of First Instance of Curaçao and assumed operational control of ENNIA.
On September 25, 2018, the foreign representative filed petitions for recognition before Judge Martin Glenn in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Parman International B.V., the ultimate shareholder of ENNIA, contested Chapter 15 recognition, and on December 12, 2018, Judge Glenn heard oral argument on the petitions. On December 20, 2018, Judge Glenn issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting recognition of the foreign proceeding, allowing the foreign representative to avail himself of the powers of United States courts. The Bankruptcy Court’s decision represents the first time that a Curaçao insolvency proceeding has been recognized under Chapter 15 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Parman has filed a notice of appeal of the Recognition Order to the district court of the Southern District of New York.
Based in Willemstad, Curaçao, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands located off of the Venezuelan coast, ENNIA is an insurance company that offers a wide variety of products, including life insurance, casualty insurance, health insurance and pensions. ENNIA is regarded as a systemically important insurer in Curaçao and St. Maarten because of its scale relative to the size of those economies and the degree to which the people of Curaçao and St. Maarten rely on ENNIA pension products to supplement the limited government pension schemes.
The Davis Polk restructuring team includes partner Timothy Graulich and associates Adam L. Shpeen, Aryeh Ethan Falk, Dylan A. Consla and Mary A. Prager. The litigation team includes partner James I. McClammy and associates Cindy S. McNair, Andrew J. Pearlman, Deborah S. Mazer and James Paulson. All members of the Davis Polk team are based in the New York office.