The benefits of bankruptcy?

September 28, 2006

alum.jpegEarlier today, Kaiser Aluminum (KALU) announced that it had filed a secondary stock offering. The company emerged from bankruptcy in July and investors have been on a bit of a bumpy ride. But a quick skim of the S-1 filed earlier today shows just how lucrative bankruptcy has been for former chief restructuring officer Edward Houff.

Buried deep in the filing are a couple of interesting footnotes, including the two that explain the $1.48 million in "all other compensation" that Houff received last year. As the footnotes explain, although Houff’s employment ended in August 2005, he continued to serve as chief restructuring officer up until July 6, when Kaiser emerged from bankruptcy. That odd arrangement allowed him to collect $1.2 million in severance, while continuing to collect another $275K in consulting fees. Keep in mind that this is the same company that in 2004 successfully sought court permission to terminate its retiree benefit programs, not to mention the fact that Kaiser’s investors weren’t exactly big winners either.

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