Judge OKs auction for MTR Western

In its continuing coverage of the tribulations of Frederick Darren Berg and MTR Western, Seattle Times staff writers report that a bankruptcy auction for MTR Western, the luxury motor-coach company, has been scheduled for January 12.

Judge Karen Overstreet ordered the auction after hearing from the court-appointed trustee’s attorney that the procedure could accommodate bidders who are interested in the vehicles but not the company.

Attorney George Treperinas, representing trustee Diana Carey, said at a court hearing Wednesday that in addition to the already-announced offer from Seattle-based GTO, he had received two other “expressions of interest” in acquiring MTR Western as a going concern. Carey has said MTR is the biggest asset in the bankruptcy estate of Berg, who’s been charged by federal prosecutors with running a Ponzi scheme that cost investors more than $100 million.

Selling the company as a whole could preserve about 200 jobs, Carey has said.

GTO, owned by local hospitality entrepreneur Howard S. Wright III, on Wednesday filed a revised bid offering the bankruptcy estate $5.5 million, up from the previously proposed $4.25 million with potential performance-based payments of $1 million.

The Seattle Time noted that “stalking horse” offer will be the starting point for bids in the January auction.