By the end of May, Laidlaw Inc. expected to emerge from a bankruptcy that had lasted nearly two years.
Following several attempts at reorganization, a plan was approved in February by courts in the U.S. and Canada. “It’s a complicated process,” said Laidlaw CEO Kevin Benson. “When you are $4 billion in debt, everyone needs to have a say.”
Laidlaw operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection after a diversification program did not do as well as intended. At no time did any of Laidlaw’s operating companies (Greyhound, American Medical Response) file for Chapter 11.
Along with the reorganization of the company also comes a new name (Laidlaw International Inc.) and new corporate headquarters (in Naperville, Ill., a suburb of Chicago).
With the majority of Laidlaw’s assets, including Greyhound, in the U.S., it made sense for the company to move from Burlington, Ontario, to Chicago, said Benson. “Growing the company here makes absolute sense,” he said. “The majority of creditors are also U.S.-based companies.”