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Competing Plans Filed In Herbert Hunt Bankruptcy Case

August 19, 1989

DALLAS (AP) _ William Herbert Hunt, one of two former billionaire sons of wildcat oilman H.L. Hunt who is under protection from creditors, has filed a reorganization plan in bankruptcy court that would pay less than half of the $300 million in back taxes the government claims he owes.

Meanwhile a Peruvian mining company filed a plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas saying it would settle for $90 million of the $132 million it lost on Hunt’s failed silver speculation.

The filings were on Thursday.

The Internal Revenue Service, Hunt’s largest creditor, previously has said it would settle for about $150 million, but Hunt’s most recent plan would pay the IRS $120 million - half from the proceeds of a liquidating trust and half from earnings after he emerges from bankruptcy.

All competing plans in the bankruptcy case envision selling off Hunt’s assets, estimated at between $80 million and $125 million. The differences come in how the pie is split.

Hunt’s plan would give unsecured creditors 37 percent, or roughly $30 million, of the liquidating trust.

″This plan gives the unsecured creditors the biggest pot,″ Hunt attorney Stephen McCartin told The Dallas Morning News. ″The only issue is whether the IRS will agree to the plan.″

Minpeco SA, which won a $132 million judgment against Hunt and two of his brothers because of their silver dealings, filed its own plan Thursday, saying it would settle for $75 million to be paid over six years, plus an additional $15 million from Hunt’s share of the proceeds from the trust.

Minpeco also would pay Hunt a 3 percent management fee for acting as an adviser in the liquidation of his assets.

The filing is the latest result of a split in what had once been an informal creditors committee of Minpeco, the IRS and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co.

The IRS and Manufacturers Hanover, however, dispute Minpeco’s preferential claim on the assets of Herbert or Nelson Bunker Hunt, who also has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Because Minpeco already has been paid about $80 million by other silver defendants, the IRS and the bank claim the other damages Minpeco is owed are largely punitive damages, interest and attorneys fees and are subordinate to the claims of unsecured creditors.

Bunker Hunt, meanwhile, has until Aug. 31 to file a reorganization plan acceptable to creditors. After than, the creditors may be allowed to file their own plan.

The Hunts filed for personal bankruptcy last year after Minpeco won a lawsuit claiming it had lost money because of the brothers’ attempt to corner the silver market.

At the time of the filing, Herbert and his wife, Nancy, said they had assets of about $196.38 million and debts of $887 million, including the $300 million IRS claim.

Bunker and his wife, Caroline, said they had assets of $258.83 million to cover $1.2 billion in debts, including $600 million to the IRS.

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