💩New Chapter 11 Filing - uBiome Inc.💩

uBiome Inc.

September 4, 2019

1.gif

Back in our July 4th weekend edition, we wrote the following:

#BustedTech. One year you’re on the Forbes’ 2018 Next Billion-Dollar Startups list and the next year you’re getting raided by the FBI. This is the story of uBiome, a SF-based microbiome startup. Per Forbes:

The new interim CEO of troubled microbiome startup uBiome, Curtis Solsvig, is a longtime turnaround and restructuring expert at financial advisory firm Goldin Associates and the former chief restructuring officer of failed drone startup Lily Robotics.

One man’s billion-dollar valuation is another man’s clean-up job. 

And, now, another man’s bankruptcy.

Annnd another man’s sacrifice:

The Debtor filed this Chapter 11 Case to provide an innovative business with a fresh start under new management, and to preserve approximately 100 jobs through a court-supervised sale process that is intended to maximize the value of the Debtor’s assets for the benefit of all stakeholders.

…certain business practices formulated and implemented by the Debtor’s original founders have resulted in cessation of certain aspects of the Debtor’s business, investigations by certain federal and state investigatory bodies (the “Investigations”), loss of revenue and significant potential contingent liabilities.

Godspeed founders. You just got napalmed. AGAIN.

And as they should. The debtor has been in triage for some time now.

The company empowers consumers to access analysis of their DNA/microbiomes via the use of at-home kits. Said another way, people poop in an $89.99 “explorer kit” and the company analyzes the sample through (a) a proprietary gene sequencing process and (b) a cloud-based database of microbiomes to determine what’s what in the customer’s GI system — a much less invasive discovery methodology than the gut-wrenching (pun intended) colonoscopy. The consumer receives results that provide suggestions for diet, weight control, gut inflammation, sleep disorders and non-dietary supplements. Frankly, this all sounds rather bada$$.

The company also had a clinical business. Doctors could prescribe the tests and bill the customers’ insurance. Similarly, the company launched a clinical product geared towards the analysis of vaginal swabs (i.e., STDs, HPV, gyno disorders). Together these clinical products were called “SmartX.”

Suffice it to say, this idea was big. The company’s founders leveraged the open-source results from the Human Microbiome Project (launched by the National Institutes of Health) and built something that could really make a lot of people’s lives easier. The venture capitalists saw the opportunity, and the tech media celebrated the company’s rapid capital raises and increasing valuation: $1.5mm seed in ‘14, $4.5mm in August ‘14 (led by a16z)$15.5mm Series B in October ‘16, and $83mm Series C in September ‘18(PETITION Note: the company now says it raised $17mm in ‘16 and $59mm in ‘18, exclusive of $36.4mm of mostly-now-converted convertible notes, which means that the media appears to have been fed, or reported, wrong numbers).* Valuation? Approx $600mm.

Armed with gobs of money, the company established some valuable IP (including over 45 patents and your poop data, no joke) and commercial assets (its certified labs). On the other side of the ledger, there is $5.83mm of outstanding secured debt and $3.5mm of unsecured debt, ex-contingent liabilities including…wait for it…”[p]otential fines for civil and criminal penalties resulting from the Investigation….” Ruh roh.

The Founders implemented certain business strategies with respect to the SmartX products that were highly problematic, contained significant operational (but not scientific) flaws and, in some instances, were of questionable legality. These issues included improper insurance provider billing practices, improper use of a telemedicine physician network (known as the External Clinical Care Network), overly aggressive and potentially misleading marketing tactics, manipulation of customer upgrade testing, and improper use of customer inducements. Moreover, certain information presented to potential investors during the three rounds of capital raise my have been incorrect and/or misleading. Although uBiome believes the science and technology behind uBiome’s business model in this developing area is sound, these issues – among others – have resulted in significant legal exposure for the Debtor.

Score one for VC due diligence! The USA for the ND of California, the FBI, the DOJ and the SEC are all up in the company poop now. This investigation, much like the opioid crisis, also calls into question the ethical practices of doctors. Because we really ought not trust anybody these days.

Anyway, the company has since taken measures to right the ship. The board suspended and then sh*tcanned the founders and recruited new independents. They’ve verified that the company suffered from bad business practices rather than bad science or lab practices (Elizabeth Holmes, holla at us!!). And they’ve hired bankers to market the company’s assets (no stalking horse bidder at filing, though). The company received a commitment from early investor 8VC for a $13.83mm DIP of which $8mm in new money; it will take slightly more than 60 days to see if a buyer emerges. One selling point according to the company: it plans for its Explorer Kits to be in CVS Health Corp. ($CVS)! That’d be great if CVS planned for that too. Womp womp.

Anyway, the way bankruptcy is going these days chapter 11 probably ought to be renamed chapter 363.

*There are many reasons why d-bag startup founders hype their own raises. First, it promotes an aura of success which can help acquire new customers. Second, they love the adulation (see Elizabeth Holmes). Third, it helps with recruiting. And, fourth, the VCs must like it and use it for subsequent fundraising (given that they never correct the record).

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Silverstein)

  • Capital Structure: $5.83mm credit facility (Silicon Valley Bank)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Michael Nestor, Joseph Barry, Andrew Magaziner, Joseph Mulvihill, Jordan Sazant)

    • Board of Directors: Kimberly Scotti, L. Spencer Wells, D.J. (Jan) Baker

    • Financial Advisor/CRO: Goldin Associates LLC (Curtis

    • Investment Banker: GLC Advisors & Co LLC

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • DIP Agent: Silicon Valley Bank

      • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Alexander Rheaume, Todd Goren, Benjamin Butterfield) & Ashby & Geddes PA (Gregory Taylor, Katharina Earle)

    • DIP Participants: 8VC Fund I LP, 8VC Entrepreneurs Fund I LP

      • Legal: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP (Matthew Williams, Eric Wise, Jason Zachary Goldstein) & Cole Schotz PC (Norman Pernick, Patrick Reilley)

⛽️New Chapter 22 Filing - Hilltop Energy LLC⛽️

Hilltop Energy LLC

May 16, 2019

Hilltop Energy LLC, a Dallas-based E&P company with assets in Texas, has filed for bankruptcy in the District of Delaware, its second bankruptcy in four years. The company also filed its wholly-owned subsidiary, Hilltop Asset LLC (together, the “Debtors”).

The company’s predecessor, Cubic Energy Inc., filed for bankruptcy in late 2015, confirmed a prepackaged plan of reorganization in February 2016 and never emerged from bankruptcy (due to an ongoing adversary proceeding involving the chapter 11 debtors’ CEO and prior operator). Nevertheless, pursuant to the confirmed plan, secured noteholders swapped their notes for membership interests in the reorganized Cubic Energy and 14% first priority senior secured takeback paper due 2021. This is how these chapter 22 Debtors came to be owned by Anchorage Capital Group LLC and Corbin Opportunity Fund LP. General unsecured creditors and equity otherwise got wiped out.

This is the company’s capital structure:

  • $5mm Superpriority Notes + $30mm 14% First Priority Senior Secured Notes

  • $$18.5mm Superpriority PIK Notes + First Priority PIK Notes

Why is the company in bankruptcy? Let’s break this down into its component parts:

The Company has been cash flow negative every year since its formation following the chapter 11 cases of Cubic and its affiliates, as the revenue generated by producing wells is not sufficient to cover operating expenses and "workover" expenses, which is maintenance capex to keep the wells flowing.

Ugh. Here we go again. Flashback to the finding in this Delaware order from February 2016:

“The valuation analysis contained in the Disclosure Statement (x) is reasonable, persuasive, credible, and accurate as of the date such analysis or evidence was prepared, presented, or proffered, (y) utilizes reasonable and appropriate methodologies and assumptions and (z) has not been controverted by other evidence.”

Source: Cubic Energy Disclosure Statement

Source: Cubic Energy Disclosure Statement

Ok, sure. The court finding may have been right — “as of the date.” But the assumptions proved to be dramatically askew. Take, for instance, the workover expense line-item. The company indicates an aggregate $600k hit there. What does the company have to say about this now?

Although production declines are expected in the oil and gas industry, the Debtors have faced several unanticipated challenges since emerging from the Cubic Chapter 11 Cases. Since emergence, over 20% of the Debtors’ producing gas wells have stopped producing due to downhole operational and/or technical issues. During this same time period, the Debtors also invested in production uplift projects—including an estimated $4 million on workover and/or recompletion projects for three wells—but the efforts to increase production from those wells were unsuccessful. The effects of these production problems on the Debtors’ revenue have been compounded by the weak natural gas market over the past few years.

That’s quite a miss. But it’s not the only one. Significantly, the company also notes:

The Debtors’ gross production has declined from approximately 10.5 million cubic feet per day ("mmcfd"), in March 2016 to roughly 5.0 mmcfd as of the date hereof. (emphasis added)

That is what it is but it begs the question: out of whose a$$ did the company pull the assumptions behind the company’s chapter 11 projections? Per the Disclosure Statement:

Daily Production of natural gas is forecast based upon anticipated January 2016 daily production of 15,500 mcf per day and calculated on a 1% month-over-month decline curve on existing drilled and producing wells.

So, uh, we’re not math experts, but a 1% decline month-over-month doesn’t get you to 10.5 mcf per day A MERE TWO MONTHS LATER. Which begs the question: were the projections actually accurate and credible “as of the date”? This certainly seems to indicate otherwise.

Consequently, the Debtors saw an impending maturity and were like, “oh sh*t”:

Although the Debtors have been able to service their debt obligations (primarily by paying interest in the form of additional notes), over time, the yield of the Debtors' producing oil and gas wells has been and may continue to be in constant decline.

This is top notch spin. Yeah, sure, we suppose issuing PIK debt is a form of debt “service” but c’mon. Really??

Consequently, the Debtors anticipate that they will generate less revenue and cash flow and, ultimately, be unable to satisfy their debt obligations before or at maturity.

Which is in 2021. So, here we are again: cue up the CHAPTER 22!!

The prepackaged plan will give 100% of the membership interests in the reorganized debtors and $1.47mm of cash to its senior secured noteholder, eliminating the $53mm of debt. The Debtors’ prepetition operator, Rivershore, will get 55% of the equity in the Hilltop Asset.

And we’re all left to wonder whether this is just a chapter 33 waiting in the wings. According to the new projections, that’s entirely up to Rivershore’s willingness to make an equity contribution in 2021:

Source: Chapter 22 Disclosure Statement

Source: Chapter 22 Disclosure Statement

  • Jurisdiction: D of Delaware (Judge Sontchi)

  • Capital Structure: $5mm superpriority senior secured notes, $30mm first priority senior secured notes, PIK notes (Wilmington Trust Company NA).

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Cole Schotz PC (Norman Pernick, J. Kate Stickles, Katherine Monica Devanney)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Senior Secured Noteholder: J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Lender: Chase Lincoln First Commercial Corporation

      • Legal: Landis Rath & Cobb LLP (Adam Landis, Richard Cobb, Holly Smith)

    • Company Operator: Rivershore Operating LLC

      • Legal: Gray Reed & McGraw LLP (Jason Brookner, Ryan Sears)


New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Novum Pharma LLC

Novum Pharma LLC

February 3, 2019

Another day, another pharma company that has filed for bankruptcy. Curious, too: we don’t recall seeing any restructuring professionals predicting that pharma would be the hot restructuring industry of choice. But we digress.

Here, Chicago-based Novum Pharma LLC, a special pharmaceutical company which owns and manufactures a portfolio of topical dermatology products, filed for bankruptcy in the District of Delaware. The company’s bankruptcy papers are interesting in that they provide a solid overview of the distribution channel for pharma products from the manufacturer to the end user. Disgruntled with all of the players taking a piece of revenues along the way, Novum Pharma attempted to disrupt the status quo by deployment of an alternative business model. Clearly it didn’t achieve the result it had hoped for.

Per the company, here’s how the “traditional” distribution channel typically works:

Source: PETITION LLC

Source: PETITION LLC

As you can see, the PBMs have a significant amount of leverage on account of their ability to determine which pharmaceuticals will be covered by insurance and which won’t. As a result, the company attempted its alternative. This model was predicated upon the concepts of “enhanced patient access” and “hassle free” access. It doesn’t appear that the company achieved that. Here’s how it would work:

Once the healthcare professional writes a script, the patient could get their prescription through one of three ways:

  1. Via a nationwide network of specialty pharmacies like Cardinal Health 105 Inc., a specialty pharmacy division of Cardinal Health Inc., that the company sells its products to and that have agreed to comply with the company’s guidelines;

  2. If 105 Inc. or the other specialty pharmacies cannot fill the prescription because a PBM denied coverage or otherwise, the pharmacy could transfer the prescription to a “consignment hub,” which is a specialty pharmacy that stocks the Debtor’s products on a consignment or bailment basis and will fill a prescription for a nominal fee (paid by the Debtor); or

  3. If a patient seeks to fill the prescription at a pharmacy that doesn’t participate in the company’s network and the PBM denies coverage, the patient will receive the drug for free.

As you might imagine, prescribing physicians are encouraged to provide patients with a hotline number where, no doubt, patients, are encouraged to go route #1. Why? Because the company earns revenue from the specialty pharmacies (read: from Cardinal Health). But, per the company:

In contrast, when a prescription is filled by a pharmacy, the Debtor expends funds to facilitate the transaction. In particular, when a healthcare plan covers some or all of the cost of a Dermatology Product prescription, the Debtor, through its Co-Pay Vendors, pays the amount that is not covered by the healthcare plan. Alternatively, when a healthcare plan rejects a Dermatology Product prescription, the Debtor facilitates the transfer of that prescription to one of its consignment hubs so that the prescription can be filled and mailed to the patient, at no cost to the patient.

Anyone else see the problem with all of this?!? Don’t know about you, but the added friction of calling a hotline and finding some random specialty pharmacy rather than going to the neighborhood CVS is far from “hassle free.”

All of these gymnastics created a company with $19.4mm in assets, the lion’s share of which is its intellectual property. In addition, there are some consulting and sales support contracts and A/R. On the liability side of the balance sheet, the company has $15.2mm due and owing on a secured basis to lender RGP Pharmacap LLC (at a prime plus 9.75% or 14% interest rate, payable in monthly principal installments), and $2.8mm in lease obligations that are secured, in part, by a $500k letter of credit issued by The Huntington National Bank.

Per the company, among the factors that precipitated the company’s bankruptcy were…

…among other things, (i) manufacturing hurdles leading to production delays and product “stock-outs”; (ii) a dispute with Cardinal and CVS regarding the price at which the Dermatology Products can be returned to the Debtor; (iii) managed care actions leading to increased prescription rejection rates for the Dermatology Products; and (iv) market dilution and decreased total prescriptions due to unauthorized generic alternatives being introduced into the market.

In response, the company implemented cost-cutting measures like outsourcing its “back office” function, downsizing its sales force and entering into a more cost-effective lease. But these measures didn’t address the fundamental business challenges confronting the company. The company continued:

The Debtor’s historically low prescription approval rates, compounded by (i) the Debtor’s persistent manufacturing issues which directly damaged the Debtor’s business because the Debtor’s sales force was unable to distribute sample products during a critical product growth period and HCPs were forced to prescribe alternative medications, (ii) the Debtor’s working capital shortages stemming in part from the Cardinal/CVS product return dispute and (iii) generic drug competition (which the Debtor believes is unlawful), led the Debtor to the inevitable conclusion that its business was no longer sustainable and that a restructuring and refinancing of the business would be necessary.

The chapter 11 filing is meant to preserve the company’s assets and provide it with a forum through which to conduct a bankruptcy sale process of the dermatology products to maximize value for the company’s creditors. Based on the various disputes the company has with Cardinal/CVS, there may be some litigation here for an as-of-yet-unformed Creditors’ Committee to pursue as well.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Carey)

  • Capital Structure: $15.2mm of secured debt, $2.8mm in lease obligations

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Cole Schotz PA (David Hurst, Patrick Reilley, Jacob Frumkin)

    • Independent Director: Thomas J. Allison

    • Financial Advisor: CR3 Partners LLC (Thomas O’Donoghue, Layne Deutscher, Cynthia Chan)

    • Investment Banker: Teneo Capital (Chris Boguslaski)

    • Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name above for free docket access)

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

      • Legal: Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. (Andrew Sherman, Boris Mankovetskiy) & (local) Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP (Morton Branzburg, Richard Beck, Sally Veghte)

      • Financial Advisors: Goldin Associates LLC (Gary Polkowitz)

Updated 3/9/19

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Maremont Corporation

Maremont Corporation

January 22, 2019

Michigan-based Maremont Corporation, a subsidiary of publicly-traded non-debtor automobile component manufacturer Meritor Inc. ($MTOR), has filed for bankruptcy along with three affiliates in the District of Delaware. The company was a manufacturer, distributor and seller of aftermarket auto products — many of which contained asbestos; currently, it has no ongoing operations and its only assets are an intercompany receivable, a rent-producing commercial property with Dollar General as a tenant, a few bank accounts, and some insurance assets. In contrast, the company has significant liabilities — notably asbestos-related liabilities including defense and other costs associated with defending 13k pending personal injury and wrongful death claims.

The company, in consultation with its parent and committees of Future Claimants and current Asbestos Claimants, arrived at a prepackaged plan under section 524(g) of the Bankruptcy Code. The plan envisions a personal injury trust to be funded, in large part, by Meritor (via the repayment of a remaining receivable, a contribution of intercompany payables and a $28mm settlement payment) and a channeling injunction that protects the company (and Meritor) from future suit and liability arising out of the company’s asbestos legacy. Instead, any and all asbestos-related personal injury claims may only be pursued against, and paid from, the personal injury trust.

Meritor, like most of the stock market, got beaten up yesterday. There’s no telling whether the multi-million dollar payout here had anything to do with that.

Source: Yahoo!

Source: Yahoo!


For the uninitiated, this (horrifically boring) bankruptcy filing presents us with a good opportunity to highlight a potential structure (and its limitations) for any imminent Pacific Gas & Electric Company (“PG&E”) chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. PG&E’s issues — as have, by this point, been extensively documented — largely emanate out of (i) some oppressive California state liability laws (inverse-condemnation — definitely), (ii) man-made global warming and resultant mudslides and wildfires (probably), and (iii) at least a glint of negligence (probably). While the company has $18.4b of (mostly unsecured) debt, the catalyst to bankruptcy may be its multi-billion dollar liability from the aforementioned CA-state laws and years of environmental disaster.

Similar to Maremont, PG&E is likely to end up with some kind of plan of reorganization that features a litigation trust (for affected claimants) and a channeling injunction. Except, as John Rapisardi and Daniel Shamah of O’Melveny & Myers point out, there are limitations to that structure. They write:

There is one significant obstacle to any PG&E bankruptcy: the likely inability to discharge liabilities associated with wildfires that have not yet occurred. There have been numerous mass tort bankruptcies in the past that have been resolved through the formation of a litigation trust and channeling injunction, forcing litigants into a single forum where claims are satisfied through trust assets. See, e.g., 11 U.S.C. §524(g) (channeling injunction for asbestos debtors); In re TK Holdings, Doc. No. 2120, Case No. 17-11375 (Bankr D. Del.) (confirmation order with channeling injunction for debtor that manufactured airbags with defective components). But that structure only works for claims based on prior conduct or acts. PG&E, in contrast, faces perennial liability associated with wildfires and inverse condemnation. It may be challenging to discharge the inverse-condemnation liabilities associated with a post-petition wildfire. See 28 U.S.C. §959(a) (debtors-in-possession may be sued “with respect to any of their acts or transactions in carrying on business connected with such property.”).

Prior conduct or acts, huh? A discontinued product that happened to contain asbestos fits that bill. Likewise, a remedied airbag (the TK Holdings referenced above refers to Takata Airbags). Sadly — especially for Californians, there is nothing prior about environmental issues. Those are very much a present and future thing.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Carey)

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Sidley Austin LLP (James Conlan, Andrew O’Neill, Alison Ross Stromberg, Blair Warner, Alex Rovira) & (local) Cole Schotz PC (Norman Pernick, J. Kate Stickles)

    • Claims Estimation Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal Disputes and Investigations LLC

    • Claims Agent: Donlin Recano (*click on company name above for free docket access)

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Future Claimants Representative: James L. Patton Jr.

      • Legal: Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP

      • Claims Estimation Advisor: Ankura Consulting Group LLC

🔥New Chapter 11 Filing - Westmoreland Coal Company🔥

Westmoreland Coal Company

October 9, 2018

In our April piece entitled "🌑Trouble Brews in Coal Country🌑," we noted how Westmoreland Coal Company ($WLB) was headed towards a bankruptcy filing. Subsequently, in May, the company obtained a small round of financing ($90mm) to bridge itself to a chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Alas, we're upon that filing — a “Chapter 33,” of sorts, for good measure.

And it’s an…interesting…one. The company’s First Day Declaration leads with “What is Coal” and then goes on to mansplain what coal is. It’s beautiful. It’s educational. It’s…odd. Per the Declaration:

Coal is a fossil fuel that forms from the remains of vegetation as long as 400 million years ago. The plants from eons ago captured energy through photosynthesis to create compounds (carbon) in plant tissue. When those plants and trees died, they ultimately sank to the bottom of swamps and formed a dense material called peat, which progressively carbonized under the earth’s pressure and changing temperatures and eventually became a combustible sedimentary and metamorphic rock, which is referred to as coal.

There are at least four ranks of coal, depending on the carbon content: lignite; subbituminous; bituminous; and anthracite. Some estimate that 90 percent of the coal in America is bituminous (i.e., soft) coal, which is primarily used to make electricity through combustion in boilers to make steam that is used to generate power (called steam or thermal coal) and coke for the steel industry (metallurgical or coking coal). The Debtors mine lignite, subbituminous, and bituminous coal.

We are thankful for the explanation. After all, there haven’t been many opportunities over the last decade to explore the intersection of coal and bankruptcy. Oh…wait. Hang on. Right. Ok, sure, there was Peabody Energy. Ah, yeah, and Alpha Natural Resources. And Edison Mission Energy, Patriot Coal (x2), Walter Energy, Arch Coal, Xinergy, Armstrong Energy and James River Coal. To name a few. But we digress.

Anyway, THIS bankruptcy implicates Westmoreland (with affiliates, “WLB”), a thermal coal producer that sells coal to “investment grade power plants under long-term cost-protected contracts, as well as to industrial customers and barbeque charcoal manufacturers.” The company’s mines are located in Montana, North Dakota, Texas, Ohio and New Mexico, of which only 4 of a total of 23 are active. The company’s strategy generally revolves around focusing on coal markets where the company can leverage geographic proximity to power plants, some of which were specifically designed to use the company’s coal. Close proximity also permits the company to avoid onerous transportation costs, which, in turn, provides the company with flexibility to be a low(er) cost provider. There is a bit of an export business as well.

The problem is that “[t]he American coal industry is intensely competitive.” The company adds:

In addition to competition from other coal producers, the Debtors compete with producers of alternative fuels used for electrical power generation, such as nuclear energy, natural gas, hydropower, petroleum, solar, and wind. Costs and other factors such as safety, environmental, and regulatory considerations related to alternative fuels affect the overall demand for coal as a fuel. Political dynamics in the United States and Canada have additionally resulted in a reduction of the market demand for coal-based energy solutions.

Tack on a hefty chunk of debt:

And then mix in that the company is (i) subject to 7 collective bargaining agreements and, (ii) in addition to a multi-employer pension plan, that it also provides defined benefit pension plans to qualified employees — which, naturally, are underfunded by approximately $29mm and carry a termination liability of approximately $77.3mm. But wait, there’s more. The company also has, among other things, approximately (i) $1.3mm in retiree medical obligations, (ii) $18.2mm in federal regulatory Black Lung Act obligations, (iii) $334mm of “other post-employment benefit” obligations and (iv) asset retirement obligations of approximately $474.5mm. Why anyone would want to get into the coal business is beyond us. That all sounds outright depressing.

The company blames the following for its bankruptcy filing: (a) a challenging macro environment (⬇️ production and ⬇️demand); (b) a capital intensive business model; (c) the rise of natural gas as a lower cost alternative to coal (score one for the frackers!); and (d) regulation which, as you can see from the panoply of liabilities noted above, helps create a quite a heavy hitter lineup of economic obligations. Per the company:

When coupled with the external pricing pressure, increased regulation, political opposition to coal in the United States and Canada, and other costs associated with WLB’s businesses, these liabilities have hindered WLB’s ability to operate competitively in the current market environment.

And so the company has filed its chapter 11 bankruptcy with the consent of 76% of its term lenders, 57.9% of its senior secured noteholders and 79.1% of its bridge lenders to pursue a dual-track sale of its core assets to an entity to be formed on behalf of the senior secured noteholders and term lenders, subject to highest or best offers for the core assets at an auction. The sale will be consummated through a plan to, among other things, preserve tax benefits. The company will also continue to market its non-core assets. Likewise, the master limited partnership 94% owned by the company (“WMLP”) is for sale. Notably, with no prospect of a restructuring on the horizon, there is no deal in place with the unions and retirees and WLB may have to proceed on a non-consensual basis.

The company marched in to court with a commitment for a $110mm DIP. It will roll-up the bridge loan and fund the cases while the sale processes progress.

Update: In “Grocery Workers, Miners, and Who Ain’t Getting Paid (Short #MAGA),” we noted how coal miners employed by Westmoreland Coal Company were, due to a recent decision by Judge Jones in the Southern District of Texas, in for a world of hurt. Now the company has officially filed its motion seeking to reject certain collective bargaining agreements and modify certain retiree benefits pursuant to sections 1113 and 1114 of the Bankruptcy Code. #MAGA!!

Update: On January 21, 2019, the company filed a “Notice of Cancellation of Auction and Designation of Successful Bidder” after the company didn’t receive any qualified bids for its core assets other than the original stalking horse bid. The company’s Buckingham Mine, a non-core asset, did, in contrast, receive some interest and the company, therefore, will seek to sell that mine in due time.

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

  • Capital Structure: See above.

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Edward Sassower, Stephen Hessler, Michael Slade, Greg Pesce, Anna Rotman, Christopher Koenig, Gerardo Mijares-Shafai, Timothy Bow) & (local) Jackson Walker LLP (Patricia Tomasco, Matthew Cavenaugh)

    • Legal Conflicts Counsel to Westmoreland Resource Partners LP and the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of Westmoreland Resources GP LLC: Jones Day (Heather Lennox, Timothy Hoffman, Oliver Zeltner)

    • Financial Advisor to Westmoreland Resource Partners LP and the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of Westmoreland Resources GP LLC: Lazard Freres & Co. LLC (Tyler Cowan)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC (Robert Campagna)

    • Investment Banker: Centerview Partners LLC (Marc Puntus)

    • Claims Agent: Donlin Recano & Co. (*click on company name above for free docket access)

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • WMLP Ad Hoc Group

      • Legal: Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP (David Hillman, Kristine Manoukian, Lucy Kweskin, Kelly Knight) & (local) Jones Walker LLP (Joseph Bain, Mark Mintz)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital, Inc.

    • Administrative Agent under Bridge Loan & DIP Agreements: Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB

      • Legal: Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (Andrew Goldman, Benjamin Loveland) & (local) Okin Adams LLP (Matthew Okin, David Curry Jr.)

    • WMB Ad Hoc Group of Term Lenders

      • Legal: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP (Thomas Mayer, Stephen Zide)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

      • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Lorenzo Marinuzzi, Todd Goren, Jennifer Marines, Dimitra Doufekias) & (local) Cole Schotz PC (Michael Warner, Felice Yudkin, Nicholas Brannick, Benjamin Wallen)

    • United States Trustee

      • Legal: Debevoise & Plimpton LLP (M. Natasha Labovitz, Erica Weisgerber) & (local) Zach Clement PLLC

New Chapter 11 Filing - Videology Inc.

Videology Inc. 

5/10/18

In what could amount to a solid case study in #BustedTech and the up/down nature of entrepreneurship, Videology Inc., a Baltimore based software ad-tech company that generated $143.2 million in revenue in fiscal 2017 has filed for bankruptcy.

The company has two principal business lines: (i) legacy media sales, a demand side (advertisers) platform that Videology would leverage to procure ad inventory to sell to advertising agencies (the supply side); and (ii) its long-tail "core use case," which included "long term planning, management, and execution of a company's entire portfolio of advertising campaigns or advertising inventory with complex, overlapping targets, objections...across multiple delivery channels." We're going to pretend we understand what that means; we think it has something to do with assisting ad agencies target ads effectively. What we do understand is that revenue generation for the more lucrative "core use case" segment involved a long sales pipeline that didn't support timely enough revenues to offset the liquidity draining legacy segment. Ruh roh.

But let's take a step back. This company was founded in February 2007. It raised its $15.1 million Series A round of funding in July 2008, securing Valhalla Partners II as a lead investor. It then secured its $16.4 million Series B round in Q4 2009. Comcast Ventures LP was the lead investor. Thereafter it nailed down its $30.4 million Series C round in May 2011 with New Enterprise Associates 12. Finally, in June of 2013, the company closed its $68.2 million Series D round with Catalyst Investors QP III as lead. Lots of funding. No down rounds. Everything seems to be on the right track.

Except it wasn't. The legacy segment was bleeding cash as early as 2012. The company had to tap the venture debt market in July 2017 to refi-out its bank line of credit. It obtained a $40-45 million 8.5% asset-backed credit facility (secured against virtually everything, including IP) with Fast Pay Partners LLC as agent and Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC ("TCP"), as documentation agent and investment manager. It also obtained a second $20 million 10% asset-backed "UK" credit facility with FPP Sandbox LLC and TCP, which was secured by the same collateral. Both loans came with exit fees, charge 3% default interest and the larger facility has a 3% end-of-term premium attached to it.

At the same time the company took out the venture debt, it issued $17.1 million of convertible notes from board members and existing major investors (elevating them in the cap table) AND raised an additional $4.7 million in a subsequent rights offering to smaller legacy investors. What do you think will happen to that money? We'll come back to that.

In Q3 2017, the company also sought to find a strategic buyer. It didn't. It then started doing what every distressed company does: it stretched payables while it tried to formulate an out-of-court solution -- in the form of a restructuring or a refinancing. Certain vendors became skittish and withheld payments to the company. The resultant cash squeeze precipitated the prepetition lenders issuance of a notice of default. Thanks to a cash control agreement, they then seized control of the main operating accounts and paid down amounts owing with the company's cash and accounts receivable. And, yes, they applied the default interest rate. This is why they say what they say about possession. Savage. Consequently nothing is due under the larger facility; over $11.2 million remains due on the UK facility. 

The company now has a potential buyer, Amobee Inc., and has filed for bankruptcy to effectuate a sale. The company hasn't yet filed papers indicating the sale price but The Wall Street Journal reports that the purchase price may be $45 million -- or 1/3 of '17 revenues. The WSJ also reports that the company has nailed down a $25 million DIP credit facility which will be used to pay down the UK facility and fund the cases. Presumably the sale price will pay off the DIP and the $20 million that remains will be left for unsecured creditor recoveries. Back of the envelope, that will be about a 25% recovery. 

As for the equity holders? In the absence of bumping up by way of the convertible note, they'll be wiped out. That's venture capital for you. The venture debt providers, however, did well. 

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Shannon)
  • Capital Structure: $11.2mm UK Loan Facility (FPP Sandbox LLC and Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC), $17.1 million convertible promissory note.

  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Cole Schotz PC (Irving Walker, Patrick Reilley)
    • Financial Advisor: Berkeley Research Group LLC
    • Claims Agent: Omni Management Group (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Prospective Buyer: Amobee Inc.
      • Legal: Goodwin Proctor LLP (Gregory Fox, Alessandra Simons) & (local) Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP (Matthew Ward, Morgan Patterson)
    • Secured Lenders: FastPay Partners LLC & FPP Sandbox LLC
      • Legal: Buchalter (William Brody, Ariel Berrios) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (John Knight, Christopher De Lillo)
    • DIP Lender: Draper Lending LLC
      • Legal: Arent Fox LLP (Robert Hirsh, Jordana Renert) & (local) Bayard PA (Justin Alberto, Daniel Brogan)

New Chapter 11 Filing - The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

  • 2/4/18 Recap: See here
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Walrath)
    • Capital Structure: $339mm Tranche A RCF (Bank of America), $150 Tranche A-1 Term Loan, $350mm second lien notes (Wells Fargo Bank NA)     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Kelley Cornish, Elizabeth McColm, Claudia Tobler, Alexander Woolverton, Michael Colarossi, Diane Meyers, Moses Silverman) & Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Pauline Morgan, Sean Greecher, Andrew Magaziner, Elizabeth Justison)
    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLC (Holly Etlin, Carrianne Basler, Jim Guglielmo, John Creighton, Ben Chesters, Jamie Strohl, Mitch Chubinsky, Thomas Cole, Daniel Law) 
    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP (Steven Zelin, James Baird, Jon Walter, Vinit Kothary, Sartag Aujla)
    • Real Estate Advisor: A&G Realty Partners LLC
    • Intellectual Property Disposition Consultant: Hilco IP Services (David Peress)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Bank of America NA
      • Legal: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP (Julia Frost-Davies, Robert A.J. Barry, Amelia Joiner) & Richards Layton & Finger PA (Mark Collins, Joseph Barsalona)
    • Second Lien Noteholders: Alden Global, LLC; B. Riley FBR, Inc.; Bennett Management Corporation; Brigade Capital Management, LP; Riva Ridge Master Fund, Ltd.; Cetus Capital LLC; Contrarian Capital Management LLC; and Wolverine Asset Management, LLC
      • Legal: Jones Day (Bruce Bennett, Joshua Mester, Sidney Levinson, Genna Ghaul, Charles Whittman-Todd) & (local) Cole Schotz PC (Norman Pernick, J. Kate Stickles)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Jeffrey Pomerantz, Robert Feinstein, Bradford Sandler)
      • Financial Advisor: Zolfo Cooper LLC (David MacGreevey)
    • Prospective Buyer: DW Partners LP
      • Legal: DLA Piper LLP (Stuart Brown, R. Craig Martin, Jason Angelo, Richard Chesley, John Lyons, Oksana Rosaluk)

Updated 4/10/18

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - PhaseRX Inc. ($PZRX)

PhaseRX Inc.

  • 12/11/17 Recap: Seattle-based and once-VC-backed publicly-traded ($PZRX) biopharma company focused on therapeutics developed to treat enzyme deficiencies in the liver via intracellular enzyme replacement therapy (after a pivot from from focusing on the treatment of liver cancer) filed for bankruptcy. The company seeks a sale through bankruptcy. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Sontchi)
  • Capital Structure: $500k promissory note (Titan Multi-Strategy Fund Ltd.), $16.2mm 8% convertible notes, $4mm 5% term loan, $5.1mm secured loan (Hercules Capital Inc.)
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Polsinelli PC (Christopher Ward, Shanti Katona, Nicholas Griebel)
    • Investment Banker: Cowen & Company 
    • Claims Agent: Donlin Recano & Co. Inc. (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Large Equityholders/Venture Capital: (Arch Venture Fund VII LP, 5AM Ventures, Savoy Therapeutics Corp., Versant Venture Capital III LP)
    • Hercules Capital Inc. 
      • Legal: Cole Schotz PC (Patrick Reilley, Stuart Komrower)

Updated 12/12/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - M&G USA Corporation

M&G USA Corporation

  • 10/24/17 Recap: Disruption via cliche and foreign competition. Here, the plastics maker and indirect subsidiary of petrochemical giant Mossi Ghisolfi Group filed for bankruptcy. The company had begun construction on a vertically-integrated plant in Corpus Christi Texas back in 2013 but then they ran headfirst into the single-most common construction cliche out there: delays and cost overruns. And that was before Hurricane Harvey compounded matters. The plant remains incomplete and, consequently, the company has "severe liquidity constraints" that it intends to address in bankruptcy - specifically, through a significant deleveraging. The company highlighted several other causes for its state of affairs: (i) higher raw material costs due to supply shortages, (ii) a recent wave of competing low-priced imports that flooded the US market (note: the company has outstanding petitions with the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission alleging that imports of polyethylene terephthalate resin from Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan are being "dumped" in the US market), and (iii) price-compression due to a competitors GOB sale. The company seeks approval of a $100mm DIP credit facility to fund its cases. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Shannon)
  • Capital Structure: $1.7b outstanding principal amount of debt (see below)   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Jones Day (Scott Greenberg, Carl Black, Stacey Corr-Irvine, Michael Cohen, Nicholas Morin, Peter Saba, James Sottile IV, Daniel Merrett, Oliver Zeltner) & (local) Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Laura Davis Jones, James O'Neill, Joseph Mulvihill)
    • Financial Advisor/CRO: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC (Dennis Stogstill)
    • Investment Banker: Rothschild Inc. (Neil Augustine)
    • Board of Directors: Alan Carr, Frederick Brace
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on link above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • DAK Americas LLC 
      • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Alfredo Perez, Christopher Lopez) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Curtis Miller)
    • Equity Holders: Magnate S.a r.l.
      • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP
    • DIP Lender: Banco Inbursa S.A., Institucion De Banca Multiple, Grupo Financiero Inbursa
      • Legal: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
    • Large Unsecured Creditor: Indorama Ventures Montreal LP
      • Legal: Lowenstein Sandler LLP (Paul Kizel, Nicole Fulfree)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors:
      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Dennis Dunne, Abhilash Raval, Lauren Doyle) & (local) Cole Schotz P.C. (J. Kate Stickles, David Hurst)

Updated 11/19/17

Source: First Day Declaration

Source: First Day Declaration

New Chapter 11 Filing - Seadrill Ltd.

Seadrill Ltd.

  • 9/12/17 Recap: Cash rich offshore oil and gas extraction company with global reach filed a prearranged bankruptcy to effectuate a balance sheet restructuring because...well...it was over-levered AF. The company purports to have a deal with its major creditors with secured creditors kicking the can down the road, and $2.3b worth of unsecured bondholders and other unsecured claims converting into approximately 15% of the post-reorg equity (with participation rights in the new secured notes and equity noted below). The company will get $1.06b of new capital by combination of new secured notes ($860mm) and equity ($200mm). Holders of $NADL stock will get a big fat donut.  
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas (Judge David Jones)
  • Capital Structure: A. Lot. Of. Debt. Like $5.7mm of bank debt and $2.3mm of unsecured bonds.
First Day Declaration.

First Day Declaration.

 

  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Jayme Sprayragen, Anup Sathy, Ross Kwasteniet, Adam Paul, Brian Schartz, Anna Rotman, Jeffrey Zeiger, Anthony Grossi, Spencer Winters) & (local) Jackson Walker LLP (Patricia Tomasco, Matthew Cavenaugh, Rachel Biblo Block)
    • Restructuring Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (Jeffrey Stegenga, Ed Mosley)
    • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey (David Hilty, Gavin Kagan, Dimitar Voukadinov, Drew Talarico, David Wang, Brian Keenan, Varun Desai, Daniel McManus) & Morgan Stanley
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Conflicts Committee of Board of Directors of North Atlantic Drilling Limited and to the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of Sevan Drilling Limited
      • Legal: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Jennifer Hardy, Andrew Mordkoff, Derek Osei-Bonsu)
      • Financial Advisor: Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP (Susan Seabury)
    • Conflicts Committee of Seadrill Partners LLC
      • Legal: Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (Katherine Treistman, Raniero D'Aversa, Laura Metzger, Debra Felder)
    • New Money: Hemen Holding Ltd., Centerbridge Partners LP
      • Legal: Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP (Greg Petrick, Yushan Ng, Nicholas Vislocky) & Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP (Brad Scheler, Jennifer Rodburg, Andrew Minear) & (local) Dykema Cox Smith (Deborah Williamson, Patrick Huffstickler, Aaron Kaufman)
    • Consenting Lender Group
      • Legal: White & Case LLP (Scott Greissman, Philip Abelson, Andrew Katz) & (local) Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP (Robin Russell, Timothy A. Davidson II, Joseph Rovira)
    • Aristeia Capital L.L.C., GLG Partners LP, Saba Capital Management LP and Whitebox Advisors LLC
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Philip Dublin, Ira Dizengoff, David Staber, Abid Qureshi, Sara Brauner)
    • ARCM Master Fund III, Ltd.
      • Legal: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP (Elizabeth McColm, Andrew Rosenberg, Catherine Goodall)
    • Indenture Trustee: Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas
      • Legal: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (Chad Steward, Glenn Siegel, Crystal Axelrod, Rachel Jaffe Mauceri)
    • Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering
      • Legal: Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Shirley Cho, Bradford Sandler, Steven Golden)
    • Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.,
      • Legal: Hogan Lovells US LLP (Robin E. Keller, Ronald J. Silverman, Christopher R. Bryant, Michael Shane Johnson) & (local) 
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (Nordic Trustee AS, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, Computershare Trust Company NA, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., Pentagon Freight Services Inc., Louisiana Machinery Co. LLC)
      • Legal: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP (Thomas Moers Mayer, Douglas Mannal, Jennifer Sharret) & (local) Cole Schotz PC (Michael Warner, Benjamin Wallen)

Updated 10/5/17 12:03 pm CT

New Chapter 11 Filing - Takata Corporation

Takata Corporation

  • 6/25/17 Recap: The long-awaited chapter 11 (and Japanese Civil Rehabilitation Act) filing of the publicly-traded ($TKJP) airbag manufacturer is finally upon us after the Company endured a massive airbag recall (affecting 124mm automobiles that were deployed with non-desiccated PSAN Inflators, worldwide) and corresponding liability. The Company intends to consummate an agreement in principle with privately-held Key Safety Systems out of Sterling Heights Michigan for a sale of substantially all of the Company's assets for $1.588b. Use of proceeds include satisfying the requirements of a plea agreement with the US Department of Justice, paying administrative costs and expenses of the restructuring (cha-ching Weil, PwC, Lazard & Prime Clerk), and funding unsecured creditor recoveries. The Company has secured a $227mm revolving credit facility from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation to fund the cases; per its press release, it has also negotiated with its Japanese original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") for valuable accommodations and liquidity enhancements and continues to negotiate with OEMs elsewhere. Every car manufacturer under the sun is listed as an "undetermined" general unsecured creditor including the likes of Toyota, FordTesla, Fisker, Ferrari, and, of course, the majors. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Marcia Goldstein, Ronit Berkovich, Matthew Goren, Jessica Diab, Lauren Tauro) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Mark Collins, Michael Merchant, Amanda Steele, Brett Haywood)
    • Financial Advisor: PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (Bill Fasel, Stephen Hammond)
    • Investment Banker: Lazard Freres & Co. LLC
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Daimler Trucks North America LLC 
      • Legal: White & Case LLP (Thomas Lauria, Michael Shepard, Richard Graham)
    • General Motors Holdings LLC
      • Legal: O'Melveny & Meyers LLP (George Davis, Daniel Shamah, Andrew Sorkin, Gary Svirsky)
    • General Motors LLC
      • Legal: Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP (Joseph Sgroi, Chauncey C. Mayfield II, Scott Kitai)
    • Key Safety Systems Inc.
      • Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Ron Meisler, Felicia Gerber Perlman, Christopher Dressel, Christine Okike, Esther Adzhiashvili)
    • Honda North America Inc.
      • Legal: Sidley Austin LLP (Michael Andolina, Jessica Knowles Boelter) & (local) Cole Schotz PC (Norman Pernick, J. Kate Stickles)
    • FCA US LLC
      • Legal: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (Brian Glueckstein, Andrew Dietderich, Alexa Kranzley)
    • Ford Motor Company
      • Legal: McGuireWoods LLP (Mark Freedlander, Frank Guadagnino, John Thompson) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Derek Abbott)
    • Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC
      • Legal: Mayer Brown LLP (Richard Ziegler)
    • Subaru of America Inc.
      • Legal: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP (Adam Rogoff, Anupama Yerramalli, Philip Bentley, David Braun)
    • Toyota Motor Corporation
      • Legal: Frost Brown Todd LLC (Robert Sartin, Patrica Kirkwood Burgess, Ronald Gold) & (local) Landis Rath & Cobb LLP (Adam Landis, Kimberly Brown, Travis Ferguson)
    • BMW Manufacturing Co LLC
      • Legal: Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (David Rosenzweig, Michael Parker) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Derek Abbott)
    • Nissan Motor Corporation
      • Legal: Jones Day (Pedro Jimenez)
    • Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc.
      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Daniel Youngblut, Kevin O'Neill)
    • Tesla Inc.
      • Legal: Irell & Manella LLP (Jeffrey Reisner, Michael Strub, Kerri Lyman) & (local) Reed Smith LLP (Kurt Gwynne, Emily Devan)
    • Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Timothy Graulich, Elliott Moskowitz, Darren Klein)
    • Volvo Group North America LLC
      • Legal: Baker Hostetler LLP (Eric Goodman) & (local) Morris Nichols
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Dennis Dunne, Tyson Lomazow, Abhilash Raval, Bradley Scott Friedman) & (local) Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP (Christopher Samis, L. Katherine Good, Kevin Shaw)
    • Committee of Unsecured Tort Claimant Creditors
      • Legal: Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Laura Davis Jones, James Stang)

Updated 7/11/17 6 pm (CT)

New Chapter 11 Filing - Ignite Restaurant Group

Ignite Restaurant Group

  • 6/6/17 Recap: Publicly-traded ($IRG) Houston-based owner of 112 Joe's Crab Shack locations and 25 Brick House Tavern + Tap locations filed for bankruptcy because people can't tear their eyes off of whatever mobile device they're towing around long enough to sit at a casual dining spot. "The market for casual dining has been deteriorating for some time." No kidding, dudes. That said, someone clearly still believes in the space as the company has lined up a stalking horse bidder to purchase the company in bankruptcy for $50mm and some assumed liabilities (subject to deductions/increases). That "someone" is KRG Acquisitions Co LLC, an affiliate of Kelly Investment Group. Maybe it's the "'I'm relaxed' restaurant experience" that the buyer finds compelling...? (Serious question: is weed legal in Texas yet?). Anyway, good luck with that. 
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas
  • Capital Structure: $30mm RCF & $165mm TL (Credit Suisse AG)     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: King & Spalding LLP (Sarah Borders, Jeffrey Dutson, Edward Ripley, Elizabeth Dechant)
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (John Tibus)
    • Investment Banker: Piper Jaffray & Co. (Richard Shinder, Teri Stratton)
    • Real Estate Advisor: Hilco Real Estate LLC 
    • Claims Agent: Garden City Group LLC (*click on company name above for the free docket)
    • Other Parties in Interest:
      • Credit Suisse AG
        • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (Keith Simon, David Hammerman, Hugh Murtagh) & (local) Porter Hedges LLP (John Higgins)
      • KRG Acquisition Co LLC 
        • Legal: Goldberg Kohn Ltd. (Randall Klein, Prisca Kim) & (local) Okin Adams LLP (Matthew Okin, Ryan O'Connor)
      • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
        • Legal: Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Jeffrey Pomerantz, Bradford Sandler) & (local) Cole Schotz PC (Michael Warner)
      • Potential Buyer: Landry's Inc.
        • Legal: Haynes and Boone LLP (Patrick Hughes, Arsalan Muhammad, Jonathan Pressment, Sarah Jacobson)

Updated 7/17/17 11:23 am CT

New Chapter 11 Filing - Unilife Corporation

Unilife Corporation

  • 4/12/17 Recap: Publicly-traded ($UNIS) manufacturer and B2B supplier of injectable drug delivery systems (including wearables) to pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers filed for bankruptcy to attempt a 363 sale of the business. This is kind of like a bad episode of Shark Tank. The Company appears to manufacture pretty innovative drug delivery systems - innovative in that the devices seem to be unobtrusive and, if we understand this correctly, help patients receive treatments without the need for multiple needles. But this is one of those episodes where the Sharks start asking about the numbers and they ain't pretty: the company is post-revenue and has some patents but it is pre-FDA approvals and pre-delivery (of medicine) to end users. Its limited revenue source is through negotiated supply agreements. It has a lot of debt (see below) and an expensive facility lease. It also had - in a very Kevin O'Leary-like fashion - a royalty agreement with its senior secured lender (ROS) which entitled ROS to a 4.52% royalty on the first $50mm of net sales (with ratchets for higher sales). So sharky. Of course, this isn't really that relevant when your incurred net losses are $100.8mm like they were in '16 (but we really enjoyed playing with the analogy). Now, ROS is providing a $7.5mm DIP credit facility to fund the cases for 90 days so that the company can attempt to find a buyer (note: there is no stalking horse bidder). Reminder: this was a PUBLICLY-TRADED company so, surely, there are some angry shareholders somewhere. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $70mm secured term loan (ROS Acquisition Offshore LP), $45.7mm senior secured convertible note (Amgen Inc.), $12.1mm mortgage (First National Bank), $1.9mm financing authority loan (Keystone Redevelopment Group LLC/Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Financing Authority)     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Cozen O'Connor (Mark Felger, Keith Kleinman, Eric Scherling, Frederick Schmidt) 
    • Financial Advisor: Protiviti Inc. (Guy Davis)
    • Investment Banker: SSG Capital Advisors LLC (J. Scott Victor)
    • Claims Agent: Rust Consulting/Omni Bankruptcy (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • DIP Lender: ROS Acquisition Offshore LP
      • Legal: Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Laura Davis Jones, Jeffrey Davidson, Henry Kevane, Debra Grassgreen)
    • Senior Secured Convertible Noteholder: Amgen Inc.
      • Legal: Ropes & Gray LLP (James Wilton, Patricia Chen) & (local) Cole Schotz PC (Norman Pernick, Katharina Earle)
    • Large General Unsecured Creditor: Sanofi Winthrop Industrie
      • Legal: DLA Piper (US) LLP (Stuart Brown, Kaitlin Edelman)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Lowenstein Sandler LLP (Michael Etkin, David Banker, Barry Bazian, Gerald Bender) & (local) Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP (Richard Barkasy)

Updated 7/17/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - Angelica Corporation

Angelica Corporation

  • 4/3/17 Recap: Thanks Obama! Alpharetta Georgia based provider of linens to the healthcare industry filed for bankruptcy to effectuate a sale to KKR Credit Advisors (US) LLC for $125mm (including a $17.4mm credit bid) - exclusive of liabilities emanating out of certain collective bargaining agreements because, well, why should anyone care about low-earning laundry employees, right? Not when you've got slicked back hair and a sick new Hamptons house to party in this Summer, right, bro? The company pointedly cites ObamaCare as a major source of pricing pressure as healthcare providers "became ever more cost-conscious to mitigate lower expected reimbursements from insurance companies." Reacting to the legislation, private customers joined forces via Group Purchasing Organizations, using strength in numbers as leverage to drive discounts with companies like Angelica. This, coupled with hospital consolidation - also apparently resultant from ObamaCare - led the company to suffer from significant revenue declines. The company has secured a $65mm DIP from certain ABL lenders to fund the bankruptcy case.
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York
  • Capital Structure: $50.5mm ABL (funded, Wells Fargo Capital Finance LLC) & $85mm TL debt (Cortland Capital Market Services LLC)    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Weil (Matthew Barr, Jill Frizzley, Kevin Bostel, Joshua Apfel, Prashant Rai, Matthew Skrzynski)
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (John Makuch, Joel Rogers, Paul Kinealy, Bryan Fleming)
    • Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Bradley Jordan)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • ABL Agent: Wells Fargo Capital Finance LLC
      • Legal: Greenberg Traurig LLP (David Kurzweil, Nathan Haynes, John Dyer, Michael Leveille)
    • TL Agent: Cortland Capital Market Services LLC
      • Legal: Holland & Knight LLP (Joshua Spencer, Renee Lewis, Barbra Parlin)
    • Stalking Horse Bidder: KKR Credit Advisors (US) LLC
      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Brian Hermann, Lauren Shumejda)
    • Largest Secured Creditors: KKR Asset Management LLC, Wells Fargo Capital Finance LLC, GACP Finance Co., LLC, Regions Bank
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Cole Schotz PC (Michael Sirota, Daniel Geoghan, Ryan Jareck, Warren Usitine, Mark Tsukerman, Jacob Frumkin, Rebecca Hollander)
      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Conor Tully, Marshall Eisler, Sean Eimer, Harrison West, Marili Hellmund-Mora)

Updated 5/31/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - Sungevity Inc.

Sungevity Inc.

  • 3/13/17 Recap: Oakland California-based designer of residential and commercial solar energy systems in the US, UK and Europe filed for bankruptcy after a failed merger and an inability to service its capital structure. Large equity holders include Apollo Investment Corporation and Lowe's Corporation. The company secured a $20mm DIP facility to pursue a sale to a stalking horse bidder. 
  • 4/17/17 Update: The company received no competitive qualified bids and, therefore, sought approval of the sale to the stalking horse bidder.
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $145.6mm of funded debt (Hercules Capital Inc. - $55mm, MMA Energy Capital LLC - $10mm, MHA Trust LLC - $5mm, Wilmington Savings Fund Society - $9.5mm bridge loan, Atalaya Special Opportunities Fund VI LP - $32mm, $34.1mm convertible notes     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Jonathan Levine, Jennifer Marines, Melissa Hager, Erica Richards, Todd Goren, Rahman Connelly, Andrew Kissner, Stacy Molison) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (M. Blake Cleary, Jamie Lutonn Chapman, Kenneth Listak)
    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLC (Randall Eisenberg, Stephen Spitzer, James Guglielmo, Raju Patel, Allen Wong)
    • Investment Banker: Ducera Securities LLC (Joshua Scherer) & Greentech Capital Advisors (Michael Horwitz)
    • Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • DIP Lender & Stalking Horse Bidder: LSHC Solar Holdings LLC (JV between Northern Pacific Group and Hercules Capital Inc.)
      • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Brad Weiland, Christine Pirro) & (local) Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP (Domenic Pacitti)
    • Hercules Capital Inc.
      • Legal: Cole Schotz P.C. (Stuart Komrower, Katharina Earle)
    • Second Lien Lender: MMA Energy Capital LLC
      • Legal: Baker & McKenzie LLP (Debra Dandeneau, Jacob Kaplan) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Paul Heath, Zachary Shapiro)
    • Lowe's Corporation
      • Legal: Hunton & Williams LLP (Gregory Hesse, Nicole Collins)
    • Verengo Inc. (also in Chapter 11)
      • Legal: Bayard PA (Scott Cousins, Evan Miller)
    • Eastern Sun Capital Partners LLC 
      • Legal: Goodwin Proctor LLP (Kizzy Jarashow, David Koch) & (local) Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP (Christopher Samis, L. Katherine Good)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Brown Rudnick LLP (Steven Pohl, Sunni Beville, Christopher Floyd, Tristan Axelrod, Fouad Kurdi) & (local) Morris James LLP (Jeffrey Waxman, Eric Monzo)
      • Financial Advisor: Goldin Associates LLC (Gary Polkowitz)

Updated 5/31/17

New Chapter 22 Filing - Eastern Outfitters LLC

Eastern Outfitters LLC

  • 2/5/17 Recap: Seems like chapter 22 bankruptcies are the "it" thing now: everyone's doing it. Last year, Versa Capital Management bought the company in the Vestis Group bankruptcy and, now, Sports Direct looks to pick up the pieces in yet ANOTHER sale of the Bob's Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports retail properties. Top creditors include Under Armour and Google which says something about (a) why UA's growth numbers were considerably off last quarter and (b) the cost of Google SEO for companies in this internet age.
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware    
  • Capital Structure: $41mm RCF (PNC Bank), $42mm TL (Sportsdirect) 
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Bracewell LLP (Robert Burns, Jennifer Feldshur, David Riley, Mark Dendinger) & (local) Cole Schotz (Norman Pernick, Marion Quirk, Katharina Earle)
    • Turnaround Advisor: AlixPartners LLC (Spencer Ware, Susan Brown, Afshin Azhari)
    • Replacement Turnaround Advisor: Meru LLC (Nicholas Campbell, Timothy Meighan)
    • Financial Advisor: Lincoln Partners Advisors LLC  (Alexander Stevenson)
    • Liquidators: Hilco Merchant Resources LLC & Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC
      • Legal: Curtis Mallet-Provost Colt & Mosle LLP (Steven Reisman) & (local) Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP (Mark Desgrosseilliers)
    • Asset Disposition Advisor & Consultant: Malfitano Advisors LLC (Joseph Malfitano)
    • Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Purchaser: SportsDirect.com Retail Ltd.
      • Legal: Greenberg Traurig LLP (Nancy Mitchell, Maria DiConza)
    • First Lien Lender: PNC Bank, NA
      • Legal: Blank Rome LLP  (Regina Kelbon, Gregory Vizza)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Cooley LLP (Jay Indyke, Cathy Hershcopf, Richelle Kalnit, Sarah Carnes) & (local) Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (Steven Kortanek, Patrick Johnson, Robert Malone)
      • Financial Advisor: Province Inc. (Paul Huygens, Carol Cabello, Sanjuro Kietlinski, Jin Lai Dong)

Updated 5/31/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - Vanguard Natural Resources

Vanguard Natural Resources

  • 2/2/17 Recap: Houston-based oil and gas producer files chapter 11 pursuant to a restructuring support agreement that, if implemented, will permit the company to cut over $700mm of debt. The company has secured a $50mm DIP. 
  • Jurisdiction: SD of Texas
  • Capital Structure: $1.372b '18 L+250 RBL (Citibank N.A.), $76mm '20 7% second lien notes, $51'm '19 8.375% unsecured notes (Wilmington Trust), $382mm '20 7.875% unsecured notes (UMB Bank)    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Paul Hastings LLP (Chris Dickerson, James Grogan, Todd Schwartz, Alexander Bongartz, Brendan Gage)
    • Financial Advisor: Opportune LLP (Scott Anchin)
    • Investment Banker: Evercore Partners (Daniel Aronson, Marco Acerra)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of 2L noteholders (Fir Tree Inc., Wexford Capital LP, York Capital Management Global Advisors)
      • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Jonathan Levine, John Pintarelli, Daniel Harris) & (local) Jackson Walker LLP (Monica Blacker, Matthew Cavenaugh)
    • Ad Hoc Committee of Senior Noteholders & UMB Bank NA
      • Legal: Milbank (Dennis Dunne, Andrew LeBlanc, Samuel Khalil) & (local) Porter Hedges LLP (John Higgins, Eric English)
      • Investment Bank: PJT Partners Inc.
    • RBL Lender: Citibank NA
      • Legal: Weil (Stephen Karotkin, Joseph Smolinsky, Blaire Cahn, Christopher Lopez)
    • UMB Bank
      • Legal: Kelley Drye & Warren LLP (Eric Wilson, Benjamin Feder, T. Charlie Liu)
    • Wilmington Trust
      • Legal: Pryor Cashman LLP (Seth Lieberman, Patrick Sibley, Matthew Silverman) & (local) Cole Schotz PC (Michael Warner, Benjamin Wallen)
    • Independent Directors of the Board
      • Legal: Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP (Robin Russell, Tad Davidson, Joseph Buoni)
    • Unsecured Noteholder & Preferred Unitholder: Panning Capital Management 
      • Legal: Munger Tolles & Olson LLP (Thomas Wolper, Seth Goldman) & (local) Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (William Greendyke, Jason Boland, Bob Bruner, Louis Strubeck) 
    • Ad Hoc Equity Committee
      • Legal: Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP (John Melko, Sharon Beausoleil, Michael Riordan, Sean Wilson, Holland O'Neil)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Akin Gump (Charles Gibbs, Michael Stamer, Abid Qureshi, Meredith Lahaie, Kevin Zuzolo)
      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting

Updated 3/22/17

 

New Filing - Nasty Gal Inc.

Nasty Gal Inc.

  • 11/9/16 Recap: Sophia Amoruso's provocative female-fashion e-commerce retailer with two California brick-and-mortar locations collapses under the weight of its own growth, global currency effects, and the inability to tap capital markets given depressed valuations for retailers, generally, and e-commerce businesses, specifically, and files for bankruptcy to delever its balance sheet. There is no stalking horse bidder for the assets. 87% of its revenues are from e-commerce. The company had at least $65mm of venture capital funding (Index Ventures, Ron Johnson).
  • Jurisdiction: C.D. of California
  • Capital Structure: $15mm secured debt (Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc.), $5mm unsecured convertible bridge loan (at 3x liquidation preference)(Stamos & Johnson Fund I, LLP)   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Robins Kaplan LLP (Scott Gautier, Lorie Ball, Kevin Meek)
    • Investment Banker: Peter J. Soloman Company 
    • Claims Agent: Rust Consulting/Omni Bankruptcy (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc.
      • Legal: Cole Schotz (Stuart Komrower, Ryan Jareck) & (local) Pachulski (Jeffrey Pomerantz, Jeffrey Dulberg)
    • Boohoo F I Limited
      • Legal: Troutman Sanders LLP (Penelope Parmes, Harris Winsberg, Stephen Roach)
    • Unsecured Creditors' Committee
      • Legal: Levene Neale Bender Yoo & Brill LLP (Gary Klausner, Todd Arnold)
      • Financial Advisor: B. Riley & Co. 

Updated 12/30/16

New Filing - DirectBuy Holdings Inc.

DirectBuy Holdings Inc.

  • 11/1/16 Recap: E-commerce provider of concierge-based virtual shopping experiences files for bankruptcy to achieve a balance sheet restructuring via sale of the business to proposed stalking horse bidder, Derby SPV Inc. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $145mm 12% PIK Toggle Notes, $10mm pre-exchange holdover notes.    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Cole Schotz (Michael Sirota, Norman Pernick, Felice Yudkin, Ilana Volkov, Marion Quirk, Nicholas Brannick)
    • Investment Banker: Carl Marks Advisory Group LLC (Charles Boguslaski, C. Scott Chabina, Jonathan Ladner, Parker Condie)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Unsecured Creditors' Committee
      • Legal: Saul Ewing LLP (Sharon Levine, Lucian Murley, Aaron Applebaum, Dipesh Patel, Monique DiSabatino)
      • Financial Advisor: Emerald Capital Advisors (John Madden)
    • Equityholders: Bayside Capital & PennantPark Investment Corporation
      • Legal: Weil (Brian Rosen, Debora Hoehne) & (local) Pepper Hamilton (David Stratton)

Updated 12/30/16.