⛽️New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Shale Support Global Holdings LLC⛽️

Shale Support Global Holdings LLC

July 11, 2019

When privately-owned companies that most people have never heard of file for bankruptcy, it naturally raises the following logical question: with oil and gas once again imploding, how many off-the-run companies are going to wind their way into bankruptcy court? 🤔 We reckon quite a number.

Shale Support Global Holdings LLC, a private Louisiana-based proppant supplier to oilfield servicing companies that, in turn, service E&P companies, filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of Texas. The company and 7 affiliated debtors (the “Debtors”) have little by way of assets ($3.15mm) and much more by way of debt ($127.8mm). MOR Bison LLC and BBC Holding LLC own 69.24% and 29.67% of the company, respectively.

The company started in 2014 to solve the problem of expensive logistics costs emanating out of the transport of sand to frac sites. The company sought to vertically integrate the ownership of sand mines with, among other things, a drying facility and a transload facility; its mines are in Mississippi. Given what has occurred in oil and gas country since 2014, it seems abundantly clear that the timing here was just a bit off. “How off,” you ask? Per the Debtors:

Demand for frac sand is significantly influenced by the level of well completions by E&P and OFS companies, which depends largely on the current and anticipated profitability of developing oil and natural gas reserves. As such, Shale Support’s business is highly correlated with well completions, which is, in-turn, is dependent on both commodity prices and producers’ ability to deliver oil to the market. Over the past five years, commodity prices have been highly volatile resulting in an unpredictable demand curve and a significant amount of OFS and E&P bankruptcies. Compounding these demand issues, Shale Support operates in a highly-competitive industry that has seen a dramatic increase in supply. This new supply has come from basin-specific regional producers (that have dramatically lower logistic costs) as well as larger, often better-capitalized, competitors. Regional suppliers and Shale Support’s larger competitors are both in a position to exert significant, downward pressure on pricing for proppants.

Said another way, as off as humanly possible. With a supply/demand imbalance in 2H ‘18, the company saw revenue fall over 40% in 2018. 😬 This was in large part due to the fact that, despite falling proppants prices, the Debtors are locked in to fixed cost contracts with railcar transport providers. With this mix plus over $127mm in outstanding debt obligations, liquidity became an issue.

For over a year now, the Debtors have been in a state of perpetual marketing. Piper Jaffrey & Co., the Debtors’ banker, could not, however, locate a buyer. In the midst of discussions with potential strategic and financial buyers, the price of frac sand continued to fall. Per the Debtors:

Unsurprisingly, no party submitted an indicative expression of interest, a non-binding offer or a valuation of Shale Support. The stated justification from these parties centered around market conditions, location of the reserves, quality of sand, availability of buyer cash, and consistent underperformance of business relative to forecasts.

Efforts to refinance the debt were equally unsuccessful given the declining asset value upon which a new loan would be based. Ultimately, the Debtors defaulted under their prepetition term loan agreement and, over the course of multiple months of waivers, negotiated with their lenders with the hope of “building consensus around a de-leveraging transaction.” Spoiler alert: there’s no prepackaged plan on file here nor is there a bid procedures motion accompanied by a stalking horse asset purchase agreement so suffice it to say that whatever consensus there might be is limited to the commitment of a $16.6mm DIP credit facility. And that forces the issue: under the DIP milestones, the Debtors must confirm a plan of reorganization within 98 days. Will the lenders equitize? Given the astounding job the first day papers do of making the assets seem attractive, is there a chance in hell a buyer emerges? Stay tuned.

  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas (Judge Jones)

  • Capital Structure: $116mm ‘21 10% cash/12% PIK Term Loan (including interest, etc.), $11.6mm ‘21 ABL (Siena)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Greenberg Traurig LLP (Shari Heyen, Karl Burrer, David Eastlake, Eric Howe)

    • Financial Advisor/CRO: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (Gary Barton)

    • Investment Banker: Piper Jaffray & Co. (Richard Shinder)

    • Claims Agent: Donlin Recano & Company Inc. (*click on the link above for free docket access)

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition Term Loan & DIP Agent ($16.6mm): BSP Agency LLC (DIP Lenders: Providence Debt Fund III LP, Benefit Street Debt Fund IV LP, and Benefit Street Partners SMA LM LP).

      • Legal: Baker Botts LLP (Emanuel Grillo)

    • Prepetition Revolving Lender: Siena Lending Group LLC

      • Legal: Thompson Coburn LLP (David Warfield, Victor A. Des Laurier)

🚁New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Bristow Group Inc.🚁

Bristow Group Inc.

May 11, 2019

Nothing like being late to the party. Following in the footsteps of fellow helicopter transportation companies Erickson Inc., CHC Group, Waypoint Leasing* and PHI Inc., Bristow Group Inc. ($BRS) and its eight affiliated debtors are the latest in the space to find their way into bankruptcy court. The company enters bankruptcy with a restructuring support agreement and a $75mm DIP financing commitment with and from its senior secured noteholders.

While each of the aforementioned companies is in the helicopter transportation space, they don’t all do exactly the same business. PHI, for instance, has a fairly large — and some might say, attractive — medical services business. Bristow, on the other hand, provides industrial aviation and charter services primarily to offshore energy companies in Europe, Africa, the Americas and the Asian Pacific; it also provides search and rescue services for governmental agencies, in addition to the oil and gas industry. Like the other companies, though: it is not immune to (a) the oil and gas downturn and (b) an over-levered balance sheet.

At the time of this writing, the debtors’ chapter 11 filing wasn’t complete and so details are scant. What we do know, however, is that the company does have a restructuring support agreement executed with “the overwhelming majority” of senior secured noteholders and a $75mm DIP commitment.

*Waypoint Leasing is listed as the 14th largest creditor, owed nearly $104k. Sheesh. These businesses can’t catch a break.

  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas (Judge Jones)

  • Capital Structure:

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Baker Botts LLP (James Prince, Omar Alaniz, Ian Roberts, Kevin Chiu, Emanuel Grillo, Chris Newcomb)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC

    • Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc.

    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on the link above for free docket access)

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • ABL Facility Agent: Barclays Bank PLC

    • 2019 Term Loan Agent: Ankura Trust Company LLC

    • Indenture Trustee for the 8.75% ‘23 Senior Secured Notes: U.S. Bank NA

    • Indenture Trustee for the 6.25% ‘22 Senior Notes and 4.5% ‘23 Convertible Senior Notes: Wilmington Trust NA

    • Ad Hoc Group of Secured Notes and Term Lenders (Blackrock Financial Management Inc., DW Partners LP, Highbridge Capital Management LLC, Oak Hill Advisors LP, Whitebox Advisors LLC)

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Natasha Tsiouris) & (local) Haynes and Boone LLP (Charles Beckham, Kelli Norfleet, Martha Wyrick)

    • Ad Hoc Group fo Unsecured Noteholders

      • Legal: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

New Chapter 11 Filing - GenOn Energy Inc.

GenOn Energy, Inc.

  • 6/14/17 Recap: NRG Energy Inc. ("$NRG") owned deregulated wholesale power generation corporation and operator of 32 power plants in 8 states (Mid-Atlantic & California) filed a bankruptcy case with a restructuring support agreement agreed to by NRG and holders of 90% of the funded debt. The plan for the restructuring is to delever the company by $1b with the holders of the unsecured senior notes obtaining equity in the reorganized entity from NRG (and the right to participation in rights offering for $900mm in exit financing). This is another in a line of recent power cases including Panda Temple Power, Homer City Generation LP, Illinois Power Generating Co., La Paloma Generating Company LLC. And it probably won't be the last. The company cited the following causes - in addition to its over-levered capital structure - for the bankruptcy filing: (i) flat demand for power over the past five years, (ii) excess capacity (in part due to insufficient power plant retirements), (iii) lower cost structure for competitors, and (iv) significantly depressed natural gas prices. "This combination has caused energy and capacity prices to fall. So has the Debtors' profitability as a result." In the mid-Atlantic, electricity cleared $100 per megawatt hour in early 2014 and now the price hovers around $30 per megawatt hour. And nat gas isn't predicted to recover to industry price highs at least until 2030. So, looks like the merger that created this combined mid-Atlantic/California entity and levered this sucker up to the sky was a bit ill-timed, hey? 
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas (Judge Jones)
  • Capital Structure: $ '18 RCF (NRG Energy Inc. & U.S. Bank NA), $691mm '17 7.875% Senior Notes & $649mm '18 9.50% Senior Notes & $490mm '20 9.875% Senior Notes (Wilmington Trust Company NA), $366mm '21 8.50% Senior Notes & $329mm '31 9.125% Senior Notes (Wilmington Savings Fund Socieity FSB)    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, David Seligman, Steven Serajeddini, W. Benjamin Winger, Christopher Hayes, AnnElyse Scarlett Gibbons) & (local) Zack A. Clement PLLC (Zach Clement)
    • Financial Advisor: McKinsey Recovery & Transformation Services U.S., LLC (Kevin Carmody, Tanner MacDiarmid, Sam Jacobs)
    • Investment Banker: Rothschild & Co. (Todd Snyder)
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Committee of GenOn Note and GAG Notes
      • Legal: Ropes & Gray LLP (Keith Woffard, Stephen Moeller-Sally, Marc Roitman, Meredith Parkinson) & (local) Porter Hedges LLP (John Higgins, Joshua Wolfshohl, Rachel Thompson)
    • Ad Hoc Steering Committee of GAG Notes
      • Legal: Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP (David Gerger, Emily Smith, Benjamin Firestone, Daniel Holzman)
    • NRG Energy Inc.
      • Legal: Baker Botts LLP (Emanuel Grillo, Ian Roberts, Christopher Newcomb)
    • Wilmington Trust Company
      • Legal: Covington & Burling LLP (Ronald Hewitt, Dianne Coffino)
    • Issuing Bank: Citibank NA
      • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (Richard Levy, David Hammerman)

Updated 7/11/17 6:47 pm CT

New Chapter 11 Filing - Searchmetrics Inc.

Searchmetrics Inc.

  • 5/8/17 Recap: This is a story about possible theft and patent litigation among search engine optimization players - the other being BrightEdge Technologies Inc. This sums it up nicely.
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Sontchi)
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Chipman Brown Cicero & Cole LLP (William Chipman, Mark Olivere, Adam Cole)
    • Financial Advisor/CRO: EisnerAmper LLP (Wayne Weitz) 
    • Financial Advisor/Valuation Expert: SSG Advisors LLC (J. Scott Victor)
    • Claims Agent: JND Legal Administration (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Searchmetrics GmbH
      • Legal: DLA Piper LLP (US) (Stuart Brown, Maris Kandestin)
    • BrightEdge Technologies Inc.
      • Legal: Baker Botts LLP (Omar Alaniz, Emanuel Grillo, G. Hopkins Guy III, Jon Swenson)

Updated 7/12/17