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Originally published Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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WaMu's bankrupt parent company may pay turnaround expert $695 an hour

Washington Mutual Inc., now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, wants to hire a half-dozen restructuring experts at up to $695 an hour.

A half-dozen well-paid turnaround executives may be installed to oversee the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Washington Mutual Inc., whose banking operations were taken over by federal regulators last month.

The Seattle company asked a bankruptcy judge's permission Friday to designate William C. Kosturos as the company's chief restructuring officer and hire six other members of his firm, Alvarez & Marsal North America, as advisers.

Kosturos would be paid $695 an hour, while the others would bill their services at $335 to $600 an hour. The filing says their job is to devise strategies to maximize the value of Washington Mutual Inc.'s remaining assets and to communicate with creditors, among other things.

A hearing on hiring Alvarez & Marsal and three other professional firms is scheduled for Oct. 30.

Kosturos, who has advised bankrupt and troubled companies for 19 years, most recently served as the chief restructuring officer of Movie Gallery, and previously he ran The Spiegel Group, parent of Eddie Bauer, while it was in bankruptcy.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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