David Bennett Quoted in The Deal Pipeline on Life Partners

“Judge will decide whether Vida should be the servicer, financier for Life Partners ”

Vida Capital Inc. is either the “centerpiece” of the Life Partners Holdings Inc. reorganization plan or it’s a small, insignificant part that should be jettisoned.

That’s the crux of the issue before Judge Russell Nelms of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Worth, Texas.

The contentious debate, which has played out during the last five weeks, now is coming to a close. The judge said during the final day of the confirmation hearing Friday, Sept. 30, that he would make a decision at the end of this week.

During Friday’s hearing, the trustee’s attorney, David Bennett of the Thompson & Knight LLP law firm of Dallas, said that Vida is a “centerpiece” of the trustee and committee’s joint plan.

“The plan with Vida is vastly superior to one without Vida,” Bennett asserted.

He noted that two investor members of the committee, who are slated to sit on the estate’s future trust governing board, couldn’t have testified more effectively for the plan. Despite efforts by opposing attorneys to shake their testimony, Robert “Skip” Trimble and Bert Scalzo, steadfastly supported the plan with Vida in it. Nelms had concluded: “You’re not laying a glove on these committee members” and if anything, it showed how much they had familiarized themselves with the case.

Bennett said the third investor committee member proposed for the board is Mark Redus, who is “cut from exactly the same cloth.”

In contrast, Bennett said the Transparency plan was “monumentally worse” and would cost $40 million to $60 million more.

But in an effort to make its plan even more palatable, the trustee and committee reached agreement with Vida to reduce its fees. The compromise, announced Sept. 26, calls for Vida to charge 11% interest on $55 million in exit financing and a $25 million credit facility instead of 13% interest for the loans.