On The Block

Ecosphere Technologies Inc.’s (OTCBB: ESPH) majority owned energy-services subsidiary jas hired Simmons & Co. International to evaluate strategic alternatives. Some of the options include partnerships, joint ventures, divestitures and an outright sale fo the company. Ecosphere Technologies is a water engineering and environmental services company that serves the natural gas industry. The Stuart, Fla.-based company’s Ecosphere Energy Services LLC unit hired Aaron Horn as its president and promoted Robert Cathey to the posts of senior vice president and chief operating officer about a week before it engaged the Houston-based investment bank as an adviser.

Planet Organic Health Corp. is seeking a forbearance agreement with its lenders because the Edmonton, Canada-based company defaulted on its credit facilities. The supermarket chain’s board is also continuing to review strategic alternatives as it seeks to reduce the company’s debt of about C$39.3 million ($36.2 million). Planet Organic might pursue the sale of some non-core assets to achieve its goal and it hired an undisclosed investment bank to help with the process. According to a Planet Organic statement: “It may be necessary for the corporation to consider substantial divestitures of its current operations to satisfy its debt obligations and continue operating as a going concern.”

Whitney Information Network Inc. has asked Houlihan Lokey to help with the Cape Coral, Fla.-based company’s exploration and evaluation of strategic alternatives. Whitney Information provides educational training seminars, conferences and services. Its courses are designed to educate students about real estate investing, personal finance and entrepreneurship, among other topics. Whitney Information’s shares change hands on the OTC Bulletin Board under the ticker RUSS. For the second quarter ended June 30, 2009, the company’s losses widened to $7.4 million from $1.9 million a year earlier. Revenue fell to $29.1 million from $42.6 million. The company attributed its lower sales to the discontinuation of several brands.

ASAT Holdings Ltd., provider of semiconductor packaging, testing and other services, might put itself on the block. The Hong Kong-based company is also considering the sale of one or more of its subsidiaries, having hired Macquarie Capital to assist with its review of strategic alternatives. ASAT Holdings has U.S. offices in Milpitas, Calif. The company decided its best move was to explore strategic alternatives after it determined the restructuring plan it is pursuing combined with industry challenges would continue to pressure its capital requirements. It previously planned to restructure certain notes through an arrangement in the Cayman Islands courts.