VER Technologies, a Los Angeles-based provider of for-rent production equipment and engineering support for live and taped television, cinema, live events and broadcast media has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the District of Delaware. We hadn't heard of these guys before and we're guessing that, unless you live in Los Feliz or Silverlake, you haven't either. Suffice it to say that they're they guys behind the guy, so to speak. Recent broadcast work included the 2018 Super Bowl broadcast (eat it Brady); they also serve over 350 live music customers per year including the Biebs and the band-formerly-known-as-Coldplay-now-called-the-Chainsmokers.
In some respects, this is a story about attempted avoidance of disruption leading to disruption. The company initially specialized in rentals with no equipment customization but, with time, opted to expand its product and service offerings to include customization. This endeavor, however, proved capital intensive to the point where the company exceeded $270 million on its prepetition asset-backed lending facility. This triggered cash sweeps to the company's bank which proved to further constrain liquidity. This sparked a need for an operational and balance sheet restructuring to maximize cash and get the company to the point of a potential transaction.
In other respects, this is another leveraged buy-out that saddled the target company with a wee bit too much debt. Moreover, the company seems to have undertaken a number of ill-advised or ill-executed operational initiatives that, ultimately, undercut revenue. It happens.
Now the company -- supported by a restructuring support agreement with its lenders (including funds managed by GSO Capital Partners) -- hopes to facilitate a pre-negotiated merger with an entity controlled by Production Resource Group LLCl ("PRG"). PRG is a Jordan Company-owned provider of entertainment and event technology solutions. Naturally, the term lenders will also own a portion of the reorganized company. Per the term sheet, PRG will get 72% preferred and 80% common; the term lenders will get the delta. The reorganized company will still have a meaningful amount of debt on its balance sheet with a proposed new (unquantified) first lien term loan and a $435 million new second lien term loan.
The company has secured a proposed $364.7 million DIP credit facility ($300mm ABL, $64.7mm Term Loan, of which $50mm is new money) to support its time in bankruptcy. The company seeks to be in and out of bankruptcy court in approximately 115 days.
- Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Gross)
- Capital Structure: $296.3mm ABL Facility (Bank of America NA), $424.2mm term loan (GSO Capital Partners LP/Wilmington Trust NA), $14mm FILO loan, $18.75mm New FTF Inc. Note, $7.5mm Catterton Notes.
- Company Professionals:
- Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Joshua Sussberg, Ryan Blaine Bennett, Christine Pirro, Jamie Netznik) & (local) Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP (Domenic Pacitti, Morton Branzburg)
- Financial Advisor/CRO: AlixPartners LLC (Lawrence Young, Stephen Spitzer, Bradley Hunter, Christopher Blacker, James Guyton, Brad Hall)
- Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP (Nick Leone)
- Strategic Communications: Joele Frank
- Independent Director: Eugene Davis
- Legal: Kramer Levin Naftalis Frankel LLP (Philip Bentley)
- Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
- Other Parties in Interest:
- Prepetition ABL Agent and DIP ABL Agent:
- Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Shana Elberg, Christopher Dressel, Anthony Clark, Robert Weber, Cameron Fee)
- Financial Advisor: Perella Weinberg Partners
- DIP Term Loan Agent: Wilmington Trust NA
- Legal: Alston & Bird LLP (Jason Solomon)
- Supporting Term Loan Lenders: GSO Capital Partners, ABR Reinsurance Ltd., Consumer Program Administrators Inc., Irving LLC
- Legal: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP (Frederick Eisenbeigler, Andrew Gallo, Christopher Carter) & Richards Layton & Finger PA (Mark Collins, Amanda Steele, Joseph Barsalona)
- 12% Subordinated Noteholder:
- Legal: King & Spalding LLP (Jeffrey Pawlitz, Michael Handler)
- Indenture Trustee FTF Note:
- Legal: Robins Kaplan LLP (Howard Weg, Michael Delaney)
- Production Resource Group LLC
- Legal: Greenberg Traurig LLP (Todd Bowen) & Morrison Cohen LLP (Joseph Moldovan, Robert Dakis)
- Wells Fargo NA
- Legal: Otterbourg PC (Andrew Kramer)
- Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
- Legal: SulmeyerKupetz PC (Alan Tippie, Mark Horoupian, Victor Sahn, David Kupetz) & (local) Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLC (Christopher Samis, L. Katherine Good, Aaron Stulman, Kevin Hroblak)
- Financial Advisor: Province Inc. (Carol Cabello)