New Nello Operating Co., Inc. v. CompressAirAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court for CompressAir and thus rejected CompressAir's claim that a certain transfer was fraudulent and remanded with instructions to enter judgment for New Nello Operating Company, holding that continuity of ownership between two companies is necessary for an exception to the general rule that, in a typical asset purchase, the buyer acquires the seller's assets but not its liabilities.
This case turned on two exceptions to the rule that with an asset purchase the buyer typically does not take on the seller's liabilities - the first of which arises when the acquisition of assets amounts to a de facto merger and the second of which arises when the buyer is a mere continuation for all of the seller's liabilities. At issue was whether New Nello Operating Company was liable for Nello Corporation's debt to CompressAir. The trial court concluded that the strict foreclosure between Old Nello and New Nello was fraudulent, amounted to a de facto merger, and that New Nello was a mere continuation of Old Nello. The court then entered judgment against New Nello. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that continuity of ownership is necessary for the de-facto-merger and mere-continuation exceptions to apply.