New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - LBI Media Inc.

LBI Media Inc.

November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!! LBI Media Inc. and several affiliates FINALLY filed for bankruptcy today in the District of Delaware after years of questions about its financial health. The company is a privately held minority-owned Spanish-language broadcaster that owns or licenses 27 Spanish-language television and radio stations in the largest US markets; it services the largest media markets in the nation, including Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Miami, Houston and Dallas. It is also a victim of disruption.

The company notes that it has “faced the market pressures that have broadly affected U.S. television and radio broadcasters, including the 2008 recession and the diversion of advertising spend by companies to digital media.” Insert Facebook Inc. ($FB) here. That’s not all, though, of course: the company is also hampered by “a substantial debt load and corresponding interest expense obligations” which has stunted LBI’s financial performance, ability to invest and grow, and liquidity.

To address this situation, the company obtained an investment from its now-DIP lender, HPS Investment Partners, in April 2018 for a new first lien credit facility. This provided the company with much needed liquidity and, in turn, briefly extended the company’s runway out of bankruptcy court. The “make-whole” provision attached to the facility, however, became the subject of much controversy and an ad hoc group of second lien noteholders sued in New York state court for an injunction to hinder the transaction. Ultimately, the state court denied the noteholders.

But…but…the noteholders persisted. And this, apparently, left a bitter taste in the mouth’s of company management (and its counsel). Junior Noteholders, meet bus. 🚌🚌 The company notes:

Following the closing of the transaction, LBI sought to continue its growth efforts. However, such efforts were weakened by the Junior Noteholder Group, which continued to litigate against the Company, its founder and CEO, and HPS, the Company’s sole senior lender. The Junior Noteholder Group commenced multiple lawsuits, and threatened several more, distracting management from operations. These actions and threats not only hindered the Debtors’ efforts to improve their operations, but certain actions, including seeking to enjoin the first lien financing, risked pushing LBI into a precipitous freefall bankruptcy.

When coupled with the Debtors’ tightening liquidity (which was exacerbated by the expense of the Junior Noteholder Group litigation), the Junior Noteholder Group’s actions made it substantially more difficult for LBI to achieve the growth it had hoped for, and the Company determined that a comprehensive reorganization may be necessary.

Thereafter, settlement talks with the Junior Noteholders proved unsuccessful and, now, therefore, the company marches into bankruptcy court with a Restructuring Support Agreement (“RSA”) in hand with HPS whereby, subject to a “fiduciary out,” HPS will serve as (prearranged but hardly set in stone) Plan sponsor and swap its $233mm first lien senior secured notes for a majority equity interest in the company. The Plan — which at the time of this writing isn’t on the docket yet — reportedly provides for recoveries for other “supporting” constituencies. What’s that we hear? IT’S A (DEATH) TRAP!?!

(PETITION NOTE: for the uninitiated, a “death trap plan” is an inartful term for when the Debtor proposes and the senior lenders allows a recovery to trickle down the “priority waterfall” to junior lenders but only on account of said junior lenders’ support of, or vote for, the proposed Plan. In essence, its consideration for dispensing with “holdup value.” A “fiduciary out” gives the Debtor flexibility to, despite the RSA, agree to an alternative transaction that bests the HPS transaction without penalty or the need to pay a “break-up fee.”).

The plan provides the company with 75-day period to run a marketing process. While the company will market the company to potential strategic and financial investors, it is also making overtures to the Junior Noteholders to take out HPS’ claim(s) (without needing to satisfy the make-whole) and become the Plan sponsor such that it could walk away with 100% equity in the company.

All of which is to say: don’t let the terms “RSA” and “Plan” fool you. This is far from a consensual case being presented to the Bankruptcy Court Judge wrapped up in a shiny bow. The Junior Noteholders have been fighting the company and HPS for months: there is no reason to suspect that that will stop now merely because the company is a chapter 11 debtor.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Lane)

  • Capital Structure: $233mm 10% ‘23 senior secured notes, $262mm 11.5/13.5 ‘20 PIK toggle second priority secured notes, $27.95mm 11% ‘22 PIK unsecured Intermediate senior Holdco notes (TMI Trust Company), $8.46mm 11% ‘17 unsecured Holdco notes (U.S. Bank NA)    

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Ray Schrock, Garrett Fail, David J. Cohen) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Daniel DeFranceschi)

    • Board of Directors: Jose Liberman, Lenard Liberman, Winter Horton, Rockard Delgadillo, Peter Connoy, Neal Goldman

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC

    • Investment Banker: Guggenheim Securities LLC

    • Claims Agent: Epiq Corporate Restructuring LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition First Lien & DIP Lender: HPS Investment Partners LLC ($38mm)

      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Paul Basta, Jeffrey Safferstein, Sarah Harnett) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Pauline Morgan, M. Blake Cleary)

    • First Lien Trustee: Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB

      • Legal: Morrison & Foerster (Jonathan Levine) & (local) Ashby & Geddes PA (William Bowden)

    • Collateral Trustee for First Lien Notes: Credit Suisse AG

      • Legal: Locke Lorde LLP (Juliane Dziobak)

    • Ad Hoc Group of (Junior) Second Lien Noteholders

      • Legal: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Rachel Strickland)

    • Ad Hoc Group of Holdco Noteholders

      • Legal: Landis Rath & Cobb LLP (Matthew McGuire)

Updated 11/21/18 at 8:27 CT

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Rentech WP U.S. Inc.

Rentech WP U.S. Inc.

  • 12/19/17 Recap: Publicly-traded ($RNTK) Colorado-based wood fibre processing company that services large pulp, paper and packaging manufacturers with three core businesses: (i) contract wood handling and chipping services; (ii) the manufacture and sale of wood pellets for the U.S. heating market; and (iii) the manufacture, aggregation, and sale of wood pellets for the utility and industrial power generation market, has filed for bankruptcy to effectuate a sale to FFI Acquisition Inc. as buyer (Scott Davis Chip Company Inc. is the affiliate guarantor of the buyer). The company's wood fibre is used in the manufacturing of boxboard, containerboard, paper, and medium density fiberboard for building products. The company blames a strategic pivot from the development and commercialization of certain alternative energy tech to the the wood fibre processing business for its ultimate downfall. The company incurred debt to complete various acquisitions and cost overruns in connection with the development of various facilities combined to limit the company's liquidity. Now, the company intends, under cover of the use of cash collateral, to use pursue a plan pursuant to a plan of reorganization. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Sontchi)
  • Capital Structure: $19.5mm Term Loan (GSO/Credit Suisse AG), $20mm L/C (Bank of Montreal)
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (Peter Gilhuly, Kimberly Posin, Adam Malatesta) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Michael Nestor, Matthew Lunn)
    • Financial Advisor: RPA Advisors LLC
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Prepetition Term Lenders (GSO Special Situations Master Fund LP, GSO Palmetto Opportunistic Investment Partners LP, GSO Credit-A Partners LP, Steamboat Credit Opportunities Master Fund LP, GSO Coastline Credit Partners LP, GSO Cactus Credit Opportunities Fund LP, and GSO Aiguille des Grands Montets Fund II LP)
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Ira Dizengoff, Daniel Fisher, Kevin Eide) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Paul Heath, Joseph Barsalona)

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Walter Investment Management Corp.

Walter Investment Management Corp. 

  • 11/30/17 Recap: Mortgage banking firm focused primarily on the servicing and origination of loans, including forward and reverse loans, has filed a much-anticipated prepackaged bankruptcy with the intention of shedding nearly $800mm of debt from its balance sheet. The company originates "conventional conforming loans eligible for securitization by government-sponsored enterprises, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or eligible for guarantees by government agencies, such as Ginnie Mae MBSs." If that was painful reading, imagine how the lawyers felt drafting that. Even more painful is understanding that this bankruptcy is directly attributable to decisions the company made in the aftermath of the financial crisis. From 2010 through 2015, the company went on a debt-ridden acquisition spree (including once bankrupt Residential Capital LLC) which just goes to show that, while one's crisis is another's opportunity, one's crisis could be one's crisis. With this deleveraging transaction, the company hopes to be more competitive in the market going forward.

  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York (Judge Garrity)

  • Capital Structure: $100mm '18 RCF, $1.4b '20 TL (Credit Suisse AG), $540mm 7.875% '21 senior unsecured notes (Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB), $242mm '19 senior subordinated convertible notes (Wells Fargo Bank NA)(public equity: $WAC)

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Ray Schrock, Matthew Barr, Sunny Singh)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC (David Coles)

    • Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Reid Snellenbarger, Jeffrey Levine, Jeffrey Lewis, James Page, Daniel Martin, Derek Kuns)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Administrative Agent: Credit Suisse AG

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Brian Resnick, Michelle McGreal)

    • Consenting Term Lenders (Carlson Capital LP, TAO Fund LLC, Credit Suisse Asset Management LLC, Marathon Asset Management LP, Nuveen, Symphony Asset Management LLC, Eaton Vance Management)

      • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Patrick Nash, Gregory Pesce)

      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc.

    • Consenting Senior Noteholders (Canyon Capital Advisors LLC, CQS UK LLP, Deer Park Road Management Company LP, Lion Point Capital LP, Oaktree Capital Management LP, Omega Advisors Inc.)

      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Dennis Dunne, Gregory Bray, Haig Maghakian, Rachel Franzoia)

      • Financial Advisor: Moelis & Co.

    • Prepetition Indenture Trustee: Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB

      • Legal: Pryor Cashman LLP (Patrick Sibley, Seth Lieverman, Matthew Silverman)

    • Prepetition Convertible Notes Indenture Trustee: Wells Fargo Bank NA

      • Legal: Thompson Hine LLP (Curtis Tuggle)

    • Administrative Agent for DIP Warehouse Facilities: Credit Suisse First Boston Mortgage Capital LLC

      • Legal: Alston & Bird LLP (Gerard Catalanello, Karen Gelernt, James Vincequerra)

    • Fannie Mae

      • Legal: O'Melveny & Myers LLP (Darren Patrick, Steve Warren, Jennifer Taylor)

    • Freddie Mac

      • Legal: McKool Smith (Paul Moak, Kyle Lonergan)

First Day Declaration

First Day Declaration

Updated 11/30/17 10:05 CT

New Chapter 11 Filing - The Gymboree Corporation

The Gymboree Corporation

  • 6/12/17 Recap: Yawn...another private equity owned retailer in bankruptcy. Why? Standard fare for everyone following the retail story at this point: a substantial brick-and-mortar presence (1300 stores) in need of rightsizing, higher expenses than web-based competitors, an underdeveloped wholesale operation, an underdeveloped web presence, insufficient "omnichannel" capabilities (the go-to buzzword for retailers these days), and more debt than competitors like Children's Place and the Gap. In other words, private equity, that's why (here, Bain Capital Private Equity LP). Notably, "[a]pproximately 35% of their domestic real estate space is concentrated with Simon Property Group, Inc. and GGP Inc. (previously General Growth Properties, Inc.)" ($SPG, $GGP) and, in the first instance, the company is seeking to close 450 stores. Hmmm. The Company will operate under a $105mm DIP term loan credit facility ($35mm new money) and a $273.5mm DIP revolving credit facility; it will also seek to avail itself of $80mm in new equity capital by way of a fully-backstopped rights offering. The upshot of all of this financial mumbo-jumbo is that the term lenders will own the majority of the company. 
  • Jurisdiction: E.D. of Virginia
  • Capital Structure: $81mm '17 ABL RCF (Bank of America NA), $47.5mm '17 ABL Term Loan (Pathlight Capital LLC), 788.8mm '18 TL (Credit Suisse), $171mm '18 unsecured notes (Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas)    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Anup Sathy, Joshua Sussberg, Steven Serajeddini, Matthew Fagen, Laura Elizabeth Krucks, Timothy Bow, Gabor Balassa, Ben Tyson) & (local) Kutak Rock LLP (Michael Condyles, Peter Barrett, Jeremy Williams)
    • Legal (Special Committee): Munger Tolles & Olson LLP (Thomas Wolper, Seth Goldman, Kevin Allred)
    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLC (James Mesterharm, Liyan Woo)
    • Investment Banker: Lazard Freres & Co. LLC (David Kurtz, Christian Tempke)
    • Real Estate Consultant: A&G Realty Partners LLC (Andrew Graiser)
    • Liquidators: Tiger Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Consenting Term Loan Lenders & DIP Term Loan Agent: Credit Suisse AG, Cayman Islands Branch
      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Dennis Dunne, Evan Fleck) & (local) McGuireWoods LLP (Dion Hayes, Sarah Boehm, K. Elizabteh Sieg)
      • Financial Advisor: Rothschild & Co.
    • DIP ABL Administrative Agent
      • Legal: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP (Julia Frost-Davies, Robert A.J. Barry, Amelia Clark Joiner) & (local) Hunton & Williams LLP (Tyler Brown, Justin Paget)
    • DIP ABL Term Agent
      • Legal: Choate Hall & Stewart LLP (Kevin Simard, Jennifer Fenn) & (local) Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP (Christopher Jones)
    • Sponsor: Bain Capital Private Equity LP 
      • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Matthew Barr, Robert Lemons) & (local) Wolcott Rivers Gates (Cullen Speckhart)
    • Ad Hoc Group of Senior Unsecured Noteholders
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Daniel Golden, Jason Rubin)
    • Pathlight Capital
      • Legal: Choate Hall & Stewart LLP (Kevin Simard, Jonathan Marshall) & (local) Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP (Christopher Jones)
    • Indenture Trustee: Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas
      • Legal: Moses & Singer LLP (Alan Gamza, Kent Kolbig, Jessica Boneque) & (local) Hirschler Fleischer PC (Robert Westermann, Rachel Greenleaf)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Hahn & Hessen LLP (Mark Power, Mark Indelicato, Janine Figueiredo, Alison Ladd) & (local) Tavenner & Beran PC (Lynn Tavenner, Paula Beran, David Tabakin)

Updated 7/11/17 at 7:25 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 - Answers Holdings Inc.

Answers Holdings Inc.

  •  3/3/17 Recap: Apax Partners' backed website operator has filed for bankruptcy because it never evolved from Internet 1.0, has too much debt, its main site, Answers.com, is the red-headed step-child of Quora, and, quite frankly, not a single person receiving the PETITION newsletter has visited the site(s) since 2006. Yahoo, FacebookAmazon (AWS), Amex and Silicon Valley Bank are among the top 10 creditors. The debtors solicited a prepackaged plan and so all of the above will be unimpaired - somewhat ironic given that algorithmic changes by Google and Facebook - in addition to a mountain of debt - are the real root causes of the company's decline.
  • Jurisdiction: SD of New York
  • Capital Structure: $40mm revolver, $325mm '21 first lien TL, $180mm '22 second lien TL.   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Jonathan Henes, Christopher Greco, Melissa Koss, John Weber, Anthony Grossi)
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (Justin Schmaltz, Erin McKeighan)
    • Investment Banker: Rothschild (Steven Antinelli)
    • Claims Agent: Rust Bankruptcy/Omni Consulting (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of Consenting First Lien Lenders
      • Legal: Jones Day LLP (Scott Greenberg, Michael Cohen, Bryan Kotliar)
      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey
    • First Lien Agent: Credit Suisse AG
      • Legal: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP (David Feldman, J. Eric Wise)
    • Ad Hoc Group of Consenting Second Lien Lenders (Deerpath Capital Management LP, North Haven Credit Partners LP, Summit Partners Credit Advisors LP)
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Haur & Feld LLP (David Botter, David Simonds)
        • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc.
    • Second Lien Agent: Wilmington Trust NA
      • Legal: Alston & Bird LLP (Jason Solomon, David Wender)
    • Sponsor Entities: Apax Partners LP, Clarity Holdco LP, Clarity GP LLC
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Edward Linden)
    • Proposed Board of Directors of the Reorganized Entity: William Ruckelshaus, Eric Ball, Peter Daffern, Eugene Davis, John Federman, Lonne Jaffe, Brian Mulligan.

Updated 4/2/17