Back in the big league

Insurance company Conseco has been dragged out of bankruptcy by a restructuring plan converting debt into equity. The plan leaves former bondholders as the new owners, but how do they make the company competitive again, asks Robin Lancaster


It was the third largest bankruptcy in US history. In December 2002, with debts of almost $7 billion, Conseco, the insurance and finance company based in Carmel, Indiana, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But on September 9, after a 10-month period of reorganization, a new Conseco quietly emerged from the ashes of the old.

The news is nothing short of remarkable for several reasons, not least the sheer scale of the turnaround. Despite expectations that bondholders would lose their

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