Bankruptcy judge removes Morton Bouchard as CEO of company
The action comes as the company attempts to restructure to cover expenses
(HOUSTON) — A judge ordered Bouchard Transportation CEO Morton S. Bouchard III to be immediately removed from his position at a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Bouchard Transportation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September with debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing that would allow the company to continue to operate. The company has faced financial difficulties following civil lawsuits and federal compliance action after an explosion killed two crewmembers aboard the barge B. No. 255 in October 2017 off Port Aransas, Texas.
On Feb. 24, Bouchard Transportation told the bankruptcy court that it was in discussion with its DIP lender about access to new emergency loans to cover operating expenses and payroll. With the installments still uncertain during a subsequent court conference, Judge David R. Jones stopped the discussion and ruled that the CEO should be removed. The order was issued on Feb. 26.
In conjunction with that action, Matthew Ray of Portage Point Partners LLC was appointed chief restructuring officer for the company.
In March 2020, Bouchard announced that it had obtained financing to settle multiple claims from dockage companies and employees that they had not been paid, as well as claims for accidents involving company barges.
The filing estimated the company’s assets at $500 million to $1 billion, and liabilities at $100 million to $500 million. The largest unsecured debt was $17.4 million owed to VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss.