Bingham, Latham and Weil handed Gate Gourmet roles

A host of US firms have bagged work on the restructuring of troubled airline catering company Gate Gourmet as negotiations over the future of hundreds of workers continue.

Bingham McCutchen, Latham & Watkins and Weil Gotshal & Manges have all won roles on the restructuring, with partners from the firms’ London and New York offices involved.

Weil partners Chris Mallon in London and Steve Karotkin in the US are advising Gate Gourmet. Reading employment firm Clarks is advising the company on employment issues, with managing partner Michael Sippitt leading the team.

Latham London restructuring partner John Houghton, together with corporate partners Ian Clark and Charles Fuller, employment partner Stephen Brown and New York restructuring partner Mitchell Seider, are advising the mezzanine creditors.

The senior creditors are being advised by Bingham partner Barry Russell.

Discussions, aimed at reaching a consensual restructuring, between the creditors, the company and major shareholder the Texas Pacific Group, which has a prior relationship with Weil, are ongoing. However, Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings are still a possibility if an agreement cannot be reached.

Meanwhile, negotiations over redundancy payments and work practices for Gate Gourmet staff at Heathrow continue. Last week it was reported that 700 workers had accepted voluntary redundancy, including several hundred who were sacked for having taken part in unballoted strike action last month. The company admitted then that it had not made a profit since 2000 and that restructuring was essential in order to avoid losing a further £25m this year.