A stalking-horse bid is an initial bid on a bankrupt company’s assets from an interested buyer chosen by the bankrupt company to participate in a section 363 sale or a sale conducted under a plan of reorganization. The stalking horse bidder often executes a contract wherein it commits to purchasing a defined set of assets for a specific price, unless a higher and better offer is received by the bankruptcy estate. Through a stalking horse bid, an estate establishes both a floor price and a model asset purchase agreement with terms to which the estate would agree. Thus a stalking horse bidder can be key to the estate’s capture of value from its assets. For a look at other ways a stalking horse bid can play out, see “Stalking Horse Bidder in Section 363 Sales: Benefactor or Predator?” (May, 2015).
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