| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Feb 14 ABN Amro Capital USA LLC has
been granted authority to issue subpoenas to the U.S. and
Ecuadorian units of cocoa trading house Transmar Group Ltd, a
court filing showed on Tuesday, as the bank searches for more
than $300 million in assets.
The bank has widened its search on behalf of the company's
lenders for assets that they say disappeared from Transmar
Commodity Group Ltd before it filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 31,
2016, a court document showed. The lenders say the assets could
have helped cover Transmar's debt.
Transmar Commodity Group is a U.S. unit of Transmar Group,
which is based in Morristown, New Jersey.
ABN Amro Capital USA LLC, a unit of ABN Amro Group NV
and agent for lenders to Transmar Commodity Group, was
authorized to issue subpoenas to several companies, including
Transmar Commodity Group, Transmar Holdings LLC, Transmar
Ecuador S.A. and several directors, for documents and
examination of witnesses, the court filing showed.
ABN Amro was already authorized to issue subpoenas to ITC
Cocoa House, Ltd, Itochu Corporation and Euromar Commodities
GmbH, a Jan. 31 court document showed.
Transmar Commodity Group sells cocoa products to major
chocolate makers including Hershey Co and Nestle
. Transmar Group's European operations, Euromar
Commodities GmbH in Germany, declared insolvency, citing
"unfavorable" cocoa contracts and British pound fluctuations.
Japanese trading house Itochu Corp, which bought a
stake in a new joint venture with Transmar in early 2016, said
earlier this month that it would exit the venture.
In February 2016, ABN Amro entered into a $400 million
credit facility with a group of lenders and Transmar Commodities
Group, a Jan. 17 court document showed.
ABN Amro is the most significant creditor in the Chapter 11
case, with total claims around $360 million in principal and
$4.7 million in interest against Transmar, the bank's attorneys
stated in a Jan. 23 court document.
(Editing by Simon Webb and Leslie Adler)