The attorney general of Massachusetts gave Purdue Pharma LP a preview of the opposition it’s facing in bankruptcy court as the embattled maker of the OxyContin painkiller seeks approval of a roughly $10 billion settlement stemming from the opioid crisis it helped start, Bloomberg News reported. Maura Healey, who sued Purdue and its board members last year, said yesterday that she’ll soon file an objection in bankruptcy court challenging the proposed settlement with 24 states, five U.S. territories and law firms representing more than 1,000 counties, cities and Native American tribes. Several other states, including New York and California, also slammed the deal. At a press conference Monday in Boston, Healey said that the proposal fails to make Purdue’s billionaire owners, the Sackler family, turn over opioid profits that she says they transferred overseas after “sucking the life out of Purdue.” She also criticized the way Purdue plans to pay for the accord. “This settlement is to be funded by continued and future sales of OxyContin here and abroad — I reject that,” she said. “Every day people in this country are dying as a result of opioids.” Healey has also argued that a proper settlement would include making public millions of pages of documents — including emails, business plans and board minutes — that she says Purdue and the Sacklers have fought for years to keep secret. The current settlement lacks that transparency, she said.
Citing a probe into alleged sexual misconduct by priests, a major credit rating agency is warning it soon may downgrade debt issued by the Archdiocese of Chicago, Crain's Chicago Business reported. Moody’s Investors Service revised to negative its outlook on more than $137 million in unsecured notes issued by the Roman Catholic archdiocese. The firm left intact its core rating of A1 on the debt, but a change in the outlook is a sign of concern and often leads to an actual downgrade later. Moody’s said that the archdiocese, headed by Cardinal Blase Cupich, already has paid out $60 million in misconduct complaints in just the past two years. The archdiocese still has adequate liquidity with $1.05 billion in cash and investments. The Illinois attorney general's office is investigating all six Catholic dioceses in the state and how they have handled complaints of misconduct.
Thomas Cook Group Plc has filed for chapter 15 protection in the U.S. as part of a broader debt restructuring for the U.K. travel agent, Bloomberg News reported. The company’s chapter 15 petition was filed in the Southern District of New York, court papers dated Sept. 16 show. Law firm Latham & Watkins is representing the company, according to the documents. The travel agent’s creditors are set to vote on Sept. 27 on a proposed scheme of arrangement, a U.K. court procedure that will allow Chinese investor Fosun Tourism Group to lead a planned rescue of the company. Thomas Cook proposed to swap 1.67 billion pounds ($2.07 billion) of bank debt and bonds for 15% of the equity and at least 81 million pounds of new subordinated notes, which will pay interest with more debt, according to the documents. After the injection of at least 900 million pounds of new money, Fosun will hold 75 percent of the shares of the tour operator arm and up to 25 percent of the airline.