December 2, 2023


Voyager Customers Say No to Employee ‘Retention’ Bonus Bid

Crypto lender Voyager Digital’s lenders do not accept as true with the organisation wishes to pay employees “retention awards,” in line with a new felony submitting shared past due Friday.

Voyager, that’s currently undergoing financial disaster court cases in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, requested a federal decide to approve $1.Nine million of its funds for a “Key Employee Retention Plan” (KERP), meaning bonuses to 38 employees that the organization claimed have been crucial to its persevered operation and restructuring. On Friday, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors – a set of Voyager customers – objected, pronouncing Voyager’s personnel are “already well-compensated,” and arguing that the company has otherwise accomplished little to reduce charges.

“The Debtors have not provided any proof to justify the retention awards past conclusory statements that those personnel are needed. Importantly, the Debtors offer no proof that the 38 Participants are vulnerable to resigning. And that is due to the fact no such proof exists – since the Petition Date, handiest 12 of the Debtors’ about 350 personnel have voluntarily resigned,” the filing stated.

The personnel perform “essential accounting, cash and digital asset control, IT infrastructure, legal, and different crucial capabilities for the Debtors,” Voyager’s August 2 filing said.

“The KERP allows the Debtors to preserve certain essential non-insider employees and is consistent with retention applications in similar bankruptcy 11 cases. The KERP provides for price of cash retention awards to 38 of the Debtors’ non-insider employees,” the filing stated.

Normally, personnel have a “big equity issue” in their total compensation, however the fee of this equity “has cratered,” meaning personnel are now being paid underneath market value. Moreover, Voyager’s present day restructuring idea might cancel equity pursuits, the company said at the time. Losing those employees could harm the organization’s restructuring efforts, among different troubles.

These personnel were described as being “non-insider,” apparently that means non-executive personnel.

The lenders contend that even if those employees left for greener pastures, a spate of layoffs throughout the enterprise means they must be without difficulty replaceable.

As an brought wrinkle, Voyager CEO Steven Ehrlich asked the court to allow his company to redact the names, titles, salaries, supervisors’ names and proposed bonuses for the 38 personnel, pronouncing that is “non-public, private and/or sensitive information.”

The U.S. Trustee’s Office, which in advance this week filed to appoint an impartial examiner to research the financials of Celsius Network (every other crypto lender going through bankruptcy lawsuits), filed in competition to Ehrlich’s request on Friday as nicely.

“The Debtors are trying to find an order under Bankruptcy Code phase 107(b) authorizing the sealing or redaction of virtually all of the pertinent information regarding the names, task titles, manager records, income, and proposed bonus amount of each of the 38 KERP Participants,” the Trustee’s filing stated. “This is important records that creditors and different fascinated events will want so that you can compare the Bonus Motion.”

Voyager has claimed that the personnel are not insiders, but different events with an interest inside the complaints might argue otherwise, and ought to accept the danger to do so, the Trustee’s workplace stated.

In a footnote, the Trustee’s submitting goes to date as to say that, “based at the United States Trustee’s review of the unredacted facts, one or more of the KERP Participants can be categorised as an insider.”

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