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US bankruptcies hit 9-year high as coronavirus-era filings continue to grow

The number of corporate bankruptcies in the U.S. rose by 18 in the last two weeks, pushing the year-to-date total to a 9-year high amid the coronavirus crisis, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.

As of Nov. 29, the year-to-date total outpaced the 579 filings in all of 2019 and exceeded the number of filings in any year since 2012. November, however, has recorded the lowest number of bankruptcies this year so far with 39 filings.

Market Intelligence's analysis is limited to public companies or private companies with public debt where either assets or liabilities at the time of the bankruptcy filing are at least $2 million. Private companies without public debt must report at least $10 million in either assets or liabilities at the time of filing.

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Companies that went bankrupt between Nov. 16 and Nov. 29 include music product retailer Guitar Center Inc., North Carolina-based Northwest Hardwoods Inc., and healthcare company Open Medicine Institute Inc. Guitar Center was the only company that claimed more than $1 billion in both assets and liabilities during the period.

California-based Guitar Center filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 on Nov. 21. Northwest Hardwoods, which manufactures and supplies hardwood lumber and decking products for furniture, cabinet, and millwork industries globally, filed a Chapter 11 petition on Nov. 23.

Open Medicine Institute, which offers healthcare services through targeted use of information and biotechnology, filed a petition for liquidation under Chapter 7 on Nov. 23.

Editor's note: This Data Dispatch is updated on a bi-weekly basis and the last edition was published Nov. 17. Market Intelligence may remove companies from this list if it discovers that their total assets and liabilities do not meet the threshold requirement for inclusion. Click here to download the charts.

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