By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Funny business: When Buzz spoke with Richard Allen, CEO of The Allen Group, Tuesday, Buzz was reminded why Buzz is not rich. Buzz really does not get business.
Allen, the main enchilada in the huge Southern Dallas "Inland Port" shipping and warehousing development, was positively upbeat about the fact that he had just declared bankruptcy.
"It gives us time to restructure the debt and work with our creditors," he said, "and we have protection while that process is ongoing. Then we will emerge with a new debt structure, and at that point we go forward and execute on the business plan."
So, that means Allen doesn't have to follow the Buzz plan for creditor problems? Change his name and move to Ohio at midnight?
Not at all, Allen said. He insisted that all of the banks and communities and other major players in his project are solid in their support.
"I have talked to the major political leadership, and everybody continues to be supportive. The capital and infrastructure support that we have received in the past is going to continue.
"I mean, hey, everybody understands that it's a good project. It's just a timing issue."
He was talking about the timing of a bad economy. But Buzz wanted to know about the timing of the bankruptcy.
"Usually from what I understand it's six months, give or take. And that's when you work with your creditors. Then once you've restructured, there's a period of time to execute on that.
"Whether that's three years, four years, five years, that's really up to the court. It's a substantial amount of time to orderly proceed with business."
Mainly, Allen wanted Buzz to hear that word, "orderly."
"It's not a fire sale situation," he said. "It's business as usual."
Buzz doesn't get it. Business as usual? Buzz wanted to give him some tips on good places to hide his ride at night, but apparently he isn't worried about the repo man.
"I'm not going anywhere," he said. "I'm not going off to hide under a rock. We'll be here, working away."
See, that's the part that Buzz doesn't get. Buzz tries to imagine going to a judge and saying, "Look, your honor, I need you to get with Rent-A-Center, Dwaine's Auto and this dude who calls himself Blade and tell them to get off my back for a while until I can solve this cash-flow problem." Buzz imagines the judge slapping down his gavel and telling the bailiff, "Check this man for unpaid parking tickets."
Buzz guesses that's just the difference. —Jim Schutze