EIT bankruptcy hearing opens to all bidders

By Kelly McCarthy

August 20, 2013 Updated Aug 20, 2013 at 11:56 PM EDT

Utica, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The bankruptcy sale of Endicott Interconnect will now be an open bidding process after the company that submitted the initial offer bowed out of sole contention to make one of Broome County's largest employers solvent.

Attorneys for Integrian Holdings -- which is owned by James T. Matthews, who is a minority shareholder of EIT, according to court records -- told a federal judge Tuesday it will withdraw its position as a "stalking horse bidder." That position entitled Integrian the lead in the bankruptcy sale and an advantage over outside bidders.

Attorneys said Tuesday Integrian generated a lot of "heat" for those actions, although they did not explain further. They also told the court there are now many other interested buyers.

As a result, the bidding process will now reopen, and a final decision could be handed down by the end of September.

The struggling company filed for bankruptcy protection in the middle of last month. At that time, Integrian set itself up as a prime bidder. They entered a purchase agreement with EI for $250,000.

Creditors with Integrian say they are still interested, but didn't feel their position as lead bidder was worth the conflict.

The bidding and selling process came under fire from creditors, but most of those objections were cleared up Tuesday in court with Integrian taking a step back.

There were representatives from more than a dozen creditors at the federal courthouse building with objections to dispute.

One creditor summed his situation up by telling U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Diane Davis: "This case is a mess. .. but it's a business worth saving."

EIT holds nearly 600 jobs in the Binghamton area.

The bid deadline is set for Sept. 19, and the auction is scheduled for Sept. 24. There will be a sale hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 26 at the federal courthouse.

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