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Ruling exposes Ahern Rentals to takeover by outsider

Ahern Rentals Inc. is again vulnerable to a takeover by an outsider.

U.S. District Court Judge Larry Hicks rejected a company appeal on Monday that tried to extend the exclusivity period, a legal shield that allows only a company in Chapter 11 bankruptcy to draft a reorganization plan. Last month, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Bruce Beesley terminated exclusivity after several extensions.

In his six-page ruling, Hicks said Ahern had not disputed the application of a law or secured Beesley’s permission to proceed with an appeal, so the appeal did not pass legal muster.

In doing so, Hicks dissolved the prohibition on anybody taking action while he considered the case.

Ahern and its creditors have been battling for more than a year with little movement toward a settlement. Don Ahern wanted to keep his 97 percent ownership stake in the 60-year-old company, but creditors have said they will push to take a large position as part of a reorganization since their loans will not be repaid in full.

Contact reporter Tim O’Reiley at
toreiley@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290.

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