Greensill Capital files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York

Greensill Capital filed for administration in the UK earlier in March.
Greensill Capital filed for administration in the UK earlier in March.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Greensill Capital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its US unit in New York on Thursday, as another part of founder Lex Greensill's trade finance empire seeks safety from its creditors.

The firm filed for administration in the UK earlier in March, capping a stunning collapse for the speciality finance firm after key backers walked away over concerns about the valuation of its assets. Greensill's Australian holding company also entered bankruptcy protection earlier this month, while Greensill Bank in Germany had its operations frozen in early March by German financial watchdog BaFin over potential balance sheet manipulation.

Greensill Capital listed assets of as much as US$50 million (S$67.4 million) and liabilities of up to US$100 million in its US petition on Thursday.

A spokesman for Greensill declined to comment further.

The scandal has entangled a host of the world's biggest financial firms, from its largest investor SoftBank Group to key partner Credit Suisse Group. The company's inner workings have been in the spotlight after it collapsed this month, raising questions about how it went from start-up to tech unicorn with an estimated US$7 billion valuation.

The firm collapsed after insurance contracts that underpinned many of the loans Greensill made were not renewed on March 1, forcing Credit Suisse to freeze a US$10 billion family of funds that bought them. The decision came on the same day as a court in Australia shot down a last-ditch effort by Greensill to force the insurer to provide more coverage. That set off a chain reaction of events that has resulted in the collapse of the lender.