A.H. Robins Co., which has proposed a $1.75 billion trust for Dalkon Shield victims, wants its bankrupt estate to pay "millions of dollars" to reimburse Rorer Group Inc. for "reasonable" fees and expenses if Rorer's plan for a merger with Robins fails.

Today, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond will hear argument on the reimbursement motion, which was filed by Robins' special bankruptcy counsel. The plan is opposed by the committee representing women who say they were injured by the intrauterine contraceptive device.

The reimbursement would "provide a tangible benefit to the debtor's {Robins'} estate," Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom said in court papers. "Without it, Rorer will withdraw from the {merger} negotiations, thereby foreclosing an avenue of relief that treats fairly all constituents in this reorganization case."

In addition, a denial of the motion will subject Rorer "to the unreasonable risk of having its efforts used by others to make competing proposals," Dennis J. Drebsky of Skadden, Arps wrote.

The Dalkon Shield Claimants' Committee opposes the pending merger proposal in part because it would give Robins' stockholders about $200 million more than under a previous Rorer offer. But no additional money would be put in trust for shield victims than Robins offers under its Robins' "stand-alone" plan for financial reorganization.

Of the $200 million, about $84 million would go to Chairman E. Claiborne Robins, President E. Claiborne Robins Jr., and members of their family.

The remaining $116 million would go to the outside stockholders. The owners of a bankrupt company are not the shareholders, but the creditors -- in this case, primarily the thousands of women injured by the millions of Dalkon Shields that Robins sold around the world in the early 1970s.

"Why Robins or, in reality, the Dalkon Shield claimants, should insure Rorer against the possible loss of its overhead for a transaction it covets dearly is not readily apparent," Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft argued for the committee. "Rorer is in business, and this is a business deal. The risk goes with it."

Robins' contention that the merger must be encouraged because it is in the best interests of the estate is "without merit," Murray Drabkin wrote for Cadwalader. "The merger is subject to a number of serious contingencies," chiefly that "such a plan manifestly could not be confirmed. It is unlikely in the extreme that it will ever become effective."

The court will also hear arguments on a plea by the claimants' committee to end the so-called "exclusivity period" in which Robins monopolizes the right to file a reorganization plan.

"This case has now witnessed virtually every abuse of exclusivity which Congress intended to eliminate when enacting" the Bankruptcy Code, Drabkin charged in a court paper.

For the committee representing the outside stockholders, however, Berlack, Israels & Liberman called the charge "outrageous."

This "large, complex case" is precisely the kind Congress had in mind when it made it possible for a debtor like Robins to gain delays so that it can come up with a plan that would "satisfy all parties," the firm's Robert M. Miller argued.

Robins has been in Chapter 11 since Aug. 21, 1985. For four months after that, under the Bankruptcy Code, Robins had the exclusive right to file a plan for paying off the creditors, mainly women injured by the millions of shields sold around the world in the early 1970s.

Robins, after persuading U.S. District Judge Robert R. Mehrige Jr. to grant repeated extensions of the 120-day "exclusivity period," finally filed its stand-alone plan last April 16.

A hearing on the plan had been set for last Tuesday. On July 3, however, Robins and Rorer signed a letter of intent to merge. Mehrige has now set the hearing for Nov. 5.

The judge also set Aug. 21 -- the anniversary date -- for Robins to incorporate the Rorer proposal into an amended disclosure statement about the reorganization plan.

For the unsecured trade creditors, Harold S. Novikoff urged Mehrige and Bankruptcy Judge Blackwell N. Shelley, who presides with him, not to terminate the exclusivity period, partly on the ground that "chaos could result from the filing of competing plans."

By contrast, Stanley K. Joynes III, counsel for the committee of future shield claimants, said that opening the door to competition would "likely result in a more expeditious resolution of this case than currently seems likely."