⛽️New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Jones Energy Inc.⛽️

Jones Energy Inc.

April 14, 2019

Austin-based independent oil and natural gas E&P company, Jones Energy Inc., filed a prepackaged chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure its $1.009b of debt ($450mm senior secured first lien notes and $559mm unsecured notes across two tranches). In case you didn’t realize, oil and gas exploration and production is a capital intensive business.

The company operates primarily in the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma and Texas. Its territory is the aggregation of acreage accumulated over the years, including the 2009 purchase of Crusader Energy Group Inc. out of bankruptcy for $240.5mm in cash.

We’re not going to belabor the point as to why this company is in bankruptcy: the narrative is no different than most other oil and gas companies that have found their way into bankruptcy court over the last several years. Indeed, this chart about sums things up nicely:

Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 2.29.01 PM.png

It’s really just a miracle that it didn’t file sooner. Why hadn’t it? Per the company:

…the Debtors consummated a series of liquidity enhancing transactions, including equity raises, debt repurchases, strategic acquisitions, non-core asset sales, and modifications of their operations to reduce their workforce and drilling activities. This included a Company-wide headcount reduction in 2016 resulting in the termination of approximately 30% of the Debtors’ total workforce, as well as halting drilling activity spanning several months during the worst of the historic commodity downturn.

But…well…the debt. As in, there’s too much of it.

Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 2.56.24 PM.png

And debt service costs were too damn high. In turn, the company’s securities traded too damn low:

Source: Disclosure Statement

Source: Disclosure Statement

What’s more interesting here is the process that unfolded. In February 2018, the company issued $450mm of 9.25% ‘23 senior secured first lien notes. The proceeds were used to repay the company’s senior secured reserve-based facility and eliminate the restrictive covenants contained therein. The company also hoped to use the proceeds to repurchase some of its senior unsecured notes at a meaningful discount to par. In a rare — yet increasingly common — show of unity, however, the company’s unsecured lenders thwarted these efforts by binding together pursuant to a “cooperation agreement” and telling the company to take its pathetic offer and pound sand. (PETITION Note: its amazing what lenders can achieve if they can solve for a collective action problem). This initiated a process that ultimately led to the transaction commemorated in the company’s announces restructuring support agreement.

So what now? The senior secured lenders will equitize their debt and come out with 96% of the common stock in the reorganized entity. Holders of unsecured debt will get 4% equity and warrants (exercisable for up to a 15% ownership stake in the reorganized company), both subject to dilution by equity issued to management under a “Management Incentive Plan.” The company has a commitment for $20mm of exit financing lined up (with the option for replacement financing of up to $150mm).

Hopefully the company will have better luck without the albatross of so much debt hanging over it.

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

  • Capital Structure: $450mm 9.25% ‘23 senior secured first lien notes (UMB Bank NA), $559mm 6.75% ‘22 and 9.25% ‘23 unsecured notes (Wells Fargo Bank NA)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Christopher Marcus, Brian Schartz, Anthony Grossi, Ana Rotman, Rebecca Blake Chaikin, Mark McKane, Brett Newman, Kevin Chang) & (local) Jackson Walker LLP (Matthew Cavenaugh, Jennifer Wertz)

    • Independent Directors: Tara Lewis, L. Spencer Wells

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (Ryan Omohundro)

    • Investment Banker: Evercore Group LLC (Daniel Aronson)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Noteholders

      • Legal: Milbank LLP (Dennis Dunne, Evan Fleck, Michael Price) & (local) Porter Hedges LLP (John Higgins, Eric English, Genevieve Graham)

      • Financial Advisor: Lazard Freres & Co. LLC

    • Ad Hoc Group of Crossover Holders

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Brian Resnick, Benjamin Schak) & (local) Haynes and Boone LLP (Charlie Beckham, Kelli Norfleet)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc.

    • Metalmark Capital LLC

      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (Andrew Geppert, David Meyer, Jessica Peet, Michael Garza)

Updated 4/15/19 2:05 CT

⛽️New Chapter 11 Filing - Southcross Energy Partners LP⛽️

Southcross Energy Partners LP

April 1, 2019

We’ve been noting — in “⛽️Is Oil & Gas Distress Back?⛽️“ (March 6) and “Oil and Gas Continues to Crack (Long Houston-Based Hotels)“ (March 24) that oil and gas was about to rear its ugly head right back into bankruptcy court. Almost on cue, Vanguard Natural Resources Inc. filed for bankruptcy in Texas on the last day of Q1 and, here, Southcross Energy Partners LP kicked off Q2.

Dallas-based Southcross Energy Partners LP is a publicly-traded company ($SXEE) that provides midstream services to nat gas producers/customers, including nat gas gathering, processing, treatment and compression and access to natural gas liquid (“NGL”) fractionation and transportation services; it also purchases and sells nat gas and NGL; its primary assets and operations are located in the Eagle Ford shale region of South Texas, though it also operates in Mississippi (sourcing power plants via its pipelines) and Alabama. It and its debtor affiliates generated $154.8mm in revenues in the three months ended 09/30/18, an 11% YOY decrease.

Why are the debtors in bankruptcy? Because natural gas prices collapsed in 2015 and have yet to really meaningfully recover — though they are up from the $1.49 low of March 4, 2016. As we write this, nat gas prices at $2.70. These prices, combined with too much leverage (particularly in comparison to competitors that flushed their debt through bankruptcy) and facility shutdowns, created strong headwinds the company simply couldn’t surmount. It now seeks to use the bankruptcy process to gain access to much needed capital and sell to a buyer to maximize value. The company does not appear to have a stalking horse bidder lined up.

The debtors have a commitment for $137.5mm of new-money post-petition financing to fund its cases. Use of proceeds? With the agreement of its secured parties, the debtors seek to pay all trade creditors in the ordinary course of business. If approved by the court, this would mean that the debtors will likely avoid having to contend with an official committee of unsecured creditors and that only the secured creditors and holders of unsecured sponsor notes would have lingering pre-petition claims — a strong power move by the debtors.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Walrath)

  • Capital Structure: $81.1mm funded ‘19 RCF (Wells Fargo Bank NA), $430.875mm ‘21 TL (Wilmington Trust NA), $17.4mm unsecured sponsor notes (Wells Fargo NA)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Marshall Heubner, Darren Klein, Steven Szanzer, Benjamin Schak) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Robert Dehney, Andrew Remming, Joseph Barsalona II, Eric Moats)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC

    • Investment Banker: Evercore Group LLC

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition RCF & Unsecured Agent: Wells Fargo Bank NA

      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (William Wallander, Brad Foxman, Matt Pyeatt) & (local) Womble Bond Dickinson US LLP (Ericka Johnson)

    • Prepetition TL & DIP Agent ($255mm): Wilmington Trust NA

      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Seth Kleinman, Alan Glantz)

    • Post-Petition Lenders and Ad Hoc Group

      • Legal: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Joseph Minias, Paul Shalhoub, Leonard Klingbaum, Debra McElligott) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Edmon Morton, Matthew Lunn)

    • Southcross Holdings LP

      • Legal: Debevoise & Plimpton LLP (Natasha Labovitz)

    • Stalking Horse Bidder:

Updated 9:39 CT

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Windstream Holdings Inc.

Windstream Holdings Inc.

February 25, 2019

See here for our write-up on Winstream Holdings Inc.

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

  • Capital Structure: see below.

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Stephen Hessler, Ross Kwasteniet, Marc Kieselstein, Brad Weiland, Cristine Pirro Schwarzman, John Luze, Neda Davanipour)

    • Legal (Board of Directors): Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (Louis Strubeck Jr., James Copeland, Kristian Gluck)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC

    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • DIP Lender ($500mm TL, $500mm RCF): Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

    • Prepetition 10.5% and 9% Notes Indenture Trustee: Wilmington Trust NA

      • Legal: Reed Smith LLP (Jason Angelo)

    • Prepetition TL and RCF Agent: JPMorgan Chase Bank NA

      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Sandeep Qusba, Nicholas Baker, Jamie Fell)

    • Ad Hoc Group of Second Lien Noteholders

      • Legal: Milbank LLP

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital

    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Term Lenders

      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Brian Hermann, Andrew Rosenberg, Samuel Lovett, Michael Rudnick)

      • Financial Advisor: Evercore

    • Midwest Noteholders

      • Legal: Shearman & Sterling LLP

    • Uniti Group Inc.

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Marshall Huebner, Eli Vonnegut, James Millerman)

      • Financial Advisor: Rothschild & Co.

    • Large Unsecured Creditor: AT&T Corp.

      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Brian Lohan, Ginger Clements, Peta Gordon) & AT&T (James Grudus)

    • Large Unsecured Creditor: Verizon Communications Inc.

      • Legal: Stinson Leonard Street LLP (Darrell Clark, Tracey Ohm)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (AT&T Services Inc., Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO CLC, VeloCloud Networks Inc., Crown Castle Fiber, LEC Services Inc., UMB Bank)

      • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Lorenzo Marinuzzi, Brett Miller, Todd Goren, Jennifer Marines, Erica Richards)

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 9.04.55 PM.png

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Pernix Therapeutics/Pernix Sleep Inc.

Pernix Therapeutics/Pernix Sleep Inc.

February 18, 2019

In our January 30th Members’-only briefing entitled “😢Who Will Remember Things Remembered?😢 ,” we included a segment subtitled “Pharma Continues to Show Distress (Long Opioid-Related BK)” in which we discussed how Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc. ($PTX) looked like an imminent bankruptcy candidate. We noted how the company had previously staved off bankruptcy thanks to a refinancing transaction with Highbridge Capital Management. That refinancing now looks like a perfectly-executed loan-to-own strategy: Phoenix Top Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Highbridge, will serve as the stalking horse bidder of the company’s assets in exchange for $75.6mm plus the assumption of certain liabilities. Highbridge will also, after a competitive process pitted against other debtholders like Deerfield Management Company LP, provide the Debtors with a $34.1mm DIP facility — of which $15mm is new money, $5mm is an accordian facility, and the rest is a roll-up of the pre-petition ABL.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge [ ])

  • Capital Structure: see link above.

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Marshall Huebner, Eli Vonnegut, Christopher Robertson) & (local) Landis Rath & Cobb LLP (Adam Landis, Kerri Mumford, Jennifer Cree, Nicolas Jenner)

    • Financial Advisor: Guggenheim Partners LLC (Stuart Erickson)

    • Investment Banker: Ernst & Young LLP

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Stalking Horse Purchaser: Phoenix Top Holdings LLC (a Highbridge Capital Management affiliate)

    • Large debtholder: Deerfield Management Company LP

      • Legal: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

    • DIP Agent: Cantor Fitzgerald Securities

      • Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Sarah Ward)

Updated: 2/19/19 at 8:51 CT

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - FULLBEAUTY Brands Holdings Corp.

FULLBEAUTY Brands Holdings Corp.

February 3, 2019

We’re going to regurgitate our report about FULLBEAUTY Brands Holdings Corp. from January 6th after the company publicly posted its proposed plan of reorganization and disclosure statement and issued a press release about its proposed restructuring. What follows is what we wrote then:


FULLBEAUTY Brands Inc., an Apax Partners’ disaster…uh, “investment”…will, despite earlier reports of an out-of-court resolution to the contrary, be filing for bankruptcy after all in what appears to be either a late January or an early February filing after the company completes its prepackaged solicitation of creditors. Back in May in “Plus-Size Beauty is a Plus-Size Sh*tfest (Short Apax Partners’ Fashion Sense),” we wrote:

Here’s some free advice to our friends at Apax Partners: hire some millennials. And some women. When you have 23 partners worldwide and only 1 of them is a woman (in Tel Aviv, of all places), it’s no wonder that certain women’s apparel investments are going sideways. Fresh off of the bankruptcies of Answers.com and rue21, another recent leveraged buyout by the private equity firm is looking a bit bloated: NY-based FullBeauty Brands, a plus-size direct-to-consumer e-commerce and catalogue play with a portfolio of six brands (Woman Within, Roamans, Jessica London, Brylane Home, BC Outlet, Swimsuits for All, and Eilos).

Wait. Hold up. Direct-to-consumer? Check. E-commerce? Check. Isn’t that, like, all the rage right now? Yes, unless you’re levered to the hilt and have a relatively scant social media presence. Check and check.

Per a press release on Thursday, the company has an agreement with nearly all of its first-lien-last out lenders, first lien lenders, second lien lenders and equity sponsors on a deleveraging transaction that will shed $900mm of debt from the company’s balance sheet. It also has a commitment for $30mm in new liquidity in the form of a new money term loan with existing lenders. Per Bloomberg:

About 87.5 percent of the common reorganized equity would go to first-lien lenders, 10 percent to second liens, and 2.5 percent to the sponsor, according to people with knowledge of the plan who weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Which, in English, means that Oaktree Capital Group LLCGoldman Sachs Group Inc., and Voya Financial Inc. will end up owning this retailer. Your plus-sized clothing, powered by hedge funds. Apax and Charlesbank Capital, the other PE sponsor, stand to maintain 2.5% of the equity which, from our vantage point, appears rather generous (PETITION Note: there must be a decent amount of cross-holdings between the first lien and second lien debt for that to be the case). Here is the difference in capital structure:

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 7.06.26 PM.png

What’s the story here? Simply put, it’s just another retail with far too much leverage in this retail environment.

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 7.06.56 PM.png

Of course, there’s the obligatory product strategy, inventory control, and e-commerce excuses as well. Not to mention…wait for it…Amazon Inc ($AMZN)!

“In addition to these operational hurdles, FullBeauty has also faced competition from online retail giant Amazon, Inc. and retail chains, including Walmart Inc. and Kohl’s Corporation, that have recently entered the plus-size clothing space.”

Kirkland & Ellis LLPPJT Partners ($PJT) and AlixPartners represent the company.


We give bankruptcy professionals grief all of the time for what often appears to be fee extraction in various cases. In our view, there have been some pretty egregious examples of inefficiency in the system and, considering a number of our readers are management teams of distressed companies, we feel it’s imperative that we cure for a blatant information dislocation and help educate the masses. This, though, appears to be an extraordinary case. In the other direction.

The company’s professionals here propose to confirm the company’s plan of reorganization at the first day hearing of the case. As Bloomberg noted on Monday, this would “set a new record for emerging from court protection in under 24 hours.” Bloomberg reports:

The previous record for the fastest Chapter 11 process is held by Blue Bird Body Co., which exited bankruptcy in 2006 in less than two days. Fullbeauty and its advisers aim to beat that mark.

“We structured this deal as if bankruptcy never happened for our trade creditors, vendors and employees to avoid further disruption to the company,” attorney Jon Henes at Kirkland & Ellis, the company’s legal counsel, said in an interview. “In this situation, every day in court is another day of costs without any corresponding benefit.”

In fact, this case would be so quick that, as you read this (on Wednesday), Judge Drain may have already given the plan his blessing. This makes Roust Corporation Inc. (6 days) and Southcross Holdings (13 days) look like child’s play. For that reason — and that reason alone — we’ll forgive the company’s professionals for their blatant victory lap: it’s curious that Bloomberg had a completed interview ready to go at 9:26am on the morning of the company’s bankruptcy filing. Clearly Kirkland & Ellis LLP, PJT Partners LP ($PJT) and Houlihan Lokey Capital ($HL) want to milk this extraordinary result for all it’s worth. We can’t really blame them, truthfully. That is, unless and/or until the company violates the “Two Year Rule” a la Charlotte Russe.

Anyway, why so quick? Well, because they can: the entire capital structure is on board with the proposed plan and trade will ride through unimpaired and paid. All contracts will be assumed. There are no brick-and-mortar stores to deal with: this is a web and catalogue-based business. Like we said, this case is extraordinary. Per the Company:

It is in the best interest of the estates that the Debtors remain in bankruptcy for as short a time-period as possible. If FullBeauty is forced to remain in chapter 11 longer than necessary, it may be required to seek debtor in possession financing, which would cost the Debtors unnecessary bank fees and professional expenses. In addition, although January has been relatively smooth in terms of vendor outreach, FullBeauty expects that trade could contract very quickly if the company remains in chapter 11 longer than necessary—particularly because many vendors are in foreign jurisdictions and they do not understand the nuances of prepackaged cases versus longer prearranged or traditional chapter 11 cases. Every day that FullBeauty remains in chapter 11 results in cash spent that could go to developing the business.

Indeed, for once, it appears that the best interests of the debtor company were, indeed, heeded.*

*Which is not to say that we believe the out-of-court bills will be light.

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

  • Capital Structure: $mm debt     

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Jonathan Henes, Emily Geier, George Klidonas, Rebecca Blake Chaikin, Nicole Greenblatt)

    • Independent Director: Mohsin Meghji

    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLC

    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP (Jamie Baird)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Financial Sponsor (69.6%): Apax Partners LLP

      • Legal: Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Nicholas Baker)

    • Financial Sponsor (26.4%): Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC

      • Legal: Goodwin Proctor LLP (William Weintraub, Joseph Bernardi Jr.)

    • ABL Agent & FILO Agent: JPMorgan Chase Bank NA

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Darren Klein, Aryeh Falk)

    • First Lien Agent & Second Lien Agent: Wilmington Trust NA

      • Legal: Shipman & Goodman LLP (Nathan Plotkin, Eric Goldstein, Marie Pollio)

    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Term Loan Lenders

      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Dennis Dunne, Gerard Uzzi, Nelly Almeida)

      • Financial Advisor: Ducera Partners

    • Ad Hoc Group of Second Lien Term Loan Lenders

      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Paul Basta, Elizabeth McColm, Christopher Hopkins)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Saul Burian)

Updated 2/4/19 at 7:03 CT

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - FR Dixie Holdings Corp.

FR Dixie Holdings Corp.

November 2, 2018

Oilfield services company, Dixie Electric LLC, and its parent, FR Dixie Holdings Corp., have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the District of Delaware with a prepackaged plan of reorganization that eliminates $300mm of funded debt via a debt for equity swap. The privately-held (First Reserve) Houston-based provider of electrical infrastructure materials and services to the energy industry (primarily in the Permian and Bakken basins) has a commitment in hand for $17.5mm of DIP financing to fund the business in BK and $30mm in exit term loans to fund the business upon its emergence from BK.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2018, the unaudited and consolidated financial statements of the Company reflected revenue of $95.0 million and a net loss of $24.5 million. Given approximately $300mm in debt, these numbers presented the company with some serious challenges. The company also blames its bankruptcy filing on “decreased drilling and well completion activity, tightness in the skilled labor market and unprofitable lumpsum contracts.

The company’s bankruptcy papers include a commentary about the state of the post-downturn oil and gas market reflecting, not-so-surprisingly, (i) some discipline by oil and gas drillers and (ii) macro concerns about the labor market. The company notes:

Operators have become increasingly focused on service costs and have pushed for rate cuts and reduced overtime and fixed-priced work. The Company was also increasingly bidding against other firms for work, further putting pressure on margins. As the oil and gas market has recovered, operators have remained focused on costs and, while the Company has been pushing for rate increases, there is still less overtime work and more fixed-price work than existed prior to the downturn. In addition, the Company is experiencing higher labor rates and has not been able to fully offset those labor rate increases with the additional pricing increases.

Accordingly, the company has shut down business lines and stream-lined operations. The hope is that with a near-full deleveraging, it will be better positioned for the future. Given the support of its secured lenders and other parties in interest, the company appears headed in the right direction. The company seeks confirmation of its plan on December 13.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware

  • Capital Structure: $19.6mm revolver, $267.4mm TL (Wilmington Trust NA), $8mm unsecured loans    

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Kathrine McLendon, Edward Linden, David Baruch) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Edmon Morton, Sean Beach, Elizabeth Justison, Tara Pakrouh)

    • Financial Advisor: BDO USA LLP

    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP (Peter Laurinaitis, Joseph Fallon)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc Group of Prepetition Secured Lenders

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP

      • Financial Advisor: Ankura Consulting Group

Updated 11/2 7:45am CT

💥New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Sears Holdings Corporation💥

Sears Holdings Corporation

October 15, 2018

Finally.

Early this morning, Illinois-based Sears Holdings Corporation ($SHLD) and approximately 49 affiliated entities (including KMart) finally filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company lists a staggering $11.339 billion of total debts and $6.937 billion of assets.

The well-known company has 866 full-line and specialty stores as of August 4, 2018. In its chapter 11 petition, it boasts of its legacy as an “integrated retailer with significant physical and tangible assets, as well as virtual capabilities enabled through technology.” Yes, you read that correctly: they actually say “virtual capabilities enabled through technology.” That right there may help inform EVERYONE why this storied retailer has found its way into bankruptcy court. To the last, Sears stands out for its ability to appear out of touch.

The company appears to have a commitment for a $1.875 billion debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) asset-backed credit facility, including an increase of $300mm from its existing facility as well as an agreement over the use of the company’s lenders’ cash collateral. According to a company press release, the company is also negotiating an additional $300mm commitment from ESL Investments Inc. (“ESL”), the company’s largest shareholder and the investment vehicle of Eddie Lampert. The company intends to reorganize around a smaller store platform of “EBITDA-positive stores.” To this end, the company will close 142 stores near the end of the year adding to the previously announced 46 stores set to close in November 2018 — potentially further perpetuating the hurt put on U.S.-based malls over the last several years. Meanwhile, the company continues to negotiate an asset purchase agreement with ESL for “a large portion of the Company’s store base.” This would, obviously, keep the enterprise from liquidating and potentially help maintain thousands of jobs: Sears currently employs approximately 90k people.

While Eddie Lampert will remain Chairman of the Board, he has resigned as CEO of the company. Godspeed, Eddie.

The company’s top listed creditors at the time of filing include The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and various trustees under five different tranches of unsecured notes totaling over $3 billion in principal amount (BNY Midwest Trust Company, Computershare Trust Company NA, The Chase Manhattan Bank NA). Trade creditors include Whirlpool Corporation ($23.4mm), Frigidaire Company ($18.6mm), and Winia Daewoo Electronics America ($15.2mm).

We will update this post on Wednesday in our next briefing; we are particularly excited to see how the company spins the “factors” that led to its appearance in bankruptcy court. Here’s one explanation:

And here’s another — seemingly more-on-point — one:

Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 6.33.14 AM.png
  • Jurisdiction: S.D.N.Y. (Judge Drain)

  • Capital Structure: $11.339b debt     

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (Ray Schrock, Garrett Fail, Jacqueline Marcus, Sunny Singh)

    • CRO/Financial Advisor: M-III Partners, LP (Mohsin Meghji, Colin Adams, Brian Griffith, Christopher Good, Mary Korycki, Kevin Tanaka, Enrique Acevedo, Wesley Sima, Noah Zatzkin, Joseph Frantz, Nicholas Weber, Ravi Ramnani )

    • Investment Banker: Lazard Freres & Company

    • Restructuring Committee’s Independent Directors: William Transier, Alan Carr, Paul DePodesta, Ann Reese

    • Restructuring Sub-Committee (RSC): Alan Carr and William Transier

    • Legal to RSC: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Paul Basta, Kelley Cornish, Lewis Clayton, Susanna Buergel, Robert Britton, Jonathan Hurwitz, Emma Carlson, Teresa Lii)

    • Financial Advisors to RSC: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC (Dennis Stogsdill, Nick Grossi, Brian Corio, Jonah Galaz, Andrew Gasbarra, Jonathan Bain, Jordan Kravette)

    • Investment Banker to RSC: Evercore Group LLC (Daniel Aronson, Jeremy Matican, Guy McCumber, Siddhesh Patkar, Jonathan Kamel, Ajith Sukumar)

    • Conflicts Counsel: Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Pauline Morgan, Rolin Bissell, Ryan Bartley, Travis Buchanan)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Large Shareholders: ESL Investments. Legal: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (James Bromley, Sean O’Neal, Andrew Weaver)

    • Prepetition RCF, Term Loans, FILO & DIP ABL Agent: Bank of America NA. Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Paul Leake, Shana Elberg, George Howard)

    • Citibank NA. Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Marshall Huebner, Eli Vonnegut)

    • Large Shareholder: Fairholme Capital Management LLC. Legal: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (Andrew Dietderich, Brian Glueckstein, David Zylberberg)

    • PBGC. Legal: Locke Lord LLP (David Wirt)

    • Debtors’ IP/Ground Lease Term Loan Lender: SHLD Lendco LLC. Legal: Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP (Joel Levitin, Richard Stieglitz Jr.)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Ira Dizengoff, Philip Dublin, Abid Quereshi, SARA Brauner)

      • Legal (Conflicts): Herrick Feinstein LLP (Sean O’Donnell, Stephen Selbst, Steven Smith)

      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Matt Diaz, Conor Tully, Michael Berkin, Marshal Eisler, Kenny O’Trakoun, Morgan McCaskey, Samuel Star)

      • Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey (Saul Burian, Eric Siegert, Brad Geer, Surbhi Gupta, Greg Rinsky, Tom Hedus, Ross Rosenstein, Ryan Conroy, John Hartigan, Ahmed Mumtaz, Jack Foster, James Lai, Natalie Weelborg, Andrew Felman, Matthew Stadtmauer)

    • Cyrus Capital Partners LP

      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Eric Reimer, Thomas Kreller, Craig Price)

    • Indenture Trustee to Medium Term Notes: The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A.

      • Legal: Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP (James Gadsden, Leonardo Trivigno)

Updated 11/30/18


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New Chapter 11 Filing - Enduro Natural Resources LLC

Enduro Natural Resources LLC

5/15/18

Enduro Natural Resources LLC, an oil and natural gas producer with properties in North Dakota, Wyoming, Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico, has filed for bankruptcy to effectuate a three-package asset sale to three separate stalking horse bidders.  The company notes in an endearingly self-aware way, 

"Like many other upstream energy companies, the Debtors did not anticipate in the early part of this decade that they would eventually succumb to the demands of repaying the capital they borrowed to invest in their exploration and production activities. But the prices of crude oil and natural gas declined dramatically beginning mid-year 2014, as a result of robust nonOrganization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' ("OPEC") supply growth led by unconventional production in the United States, weakening demand in emerging markets, and OPEC's decision to continue to produce at high levels." 

While the company took a variety of measures to combat the effects of these externalities -- including operational fixes and a prior out-of-court restructuring transaction -- its leverage remained too high in relation to asset value. Indeed, in the aggregate, the combined offers for the three packages of assets equates to $77.5 million which doesn't even clear the first lien debt. 

Finally, the beauty of a huge wave of same-industry chapter 11 filings is that you start seeing the same players over and over again. Among its top creditors are some other oil and gas companies with plenty of experience in bankruptcy court, i.e., Exco Operating Company and Basic Energy Services and, soon, Pioneer Natural Resources. The good times continue to roll in the upstream exploration and production space. 

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $208.7mm first lien RCF (Bank of America NA), $141mm second lien debt (Wilmington Trust NA)   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (George Davis, Caroline Reckler, Matthew Warren, Jason Gott, Lindsay Henrikson) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Michael Nestor, Kara Hammond Coyle)
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC
    • Investment Banker: Evercore LLC
    • Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Sponsor & Major Second Lien Lender: Riverstone Holdings LLC
    • First Lien Agent: Bank of American NA
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian S. Schaible, Aryeh Ethan Falk) & (local) Morris, Nichols, Arsht, & Tunnell LLP
      • Financial Advisor: RPA Advisors

New Chapter 11 Filing - Nine West Holdings Inc.

Nine West Holdings Inc.

April 6, 2018

Nine West Holdings Inc., the well-known footwear retailer, has finally filed for bankruptcy. The company will sell its Nine West and Bandolino brands to Authentic Brands Group and reorganize around its One Jeanswear Group, The Jewelry Group, the Kasper Group, and Anne Klein business segments. The company has a restructuring support agreement in hand to support this dual-process. 

More on the situation here

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

  • Capital Structure: See below.

Source: First Day Declaration

Source: First Day Declaration

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, James Stempel, Joseph Graham, Angela Snell, Anna Rotman, Jamie Aycock, Justin Alphonse Mercurio, Alyssa Russell)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC (Ralph Schipani III, Julie Hertzberg, Holden Bixler, Amy Lee, Richard Niemerg, Theodore Langer, Stuart Loop, Thomas Koch, Michael Dvorak)

      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Dennis Dunne, Andrew Leblanc, Alexander Lees)

    • Investment Banker: Lazard Freres & Co. LLC (David Kurtz, Ari Lefkovits, David Hales, Mike Weitz, Nikhil Angelo, Okan Kender, Abigail Gay, Drew Deaton) & Consensus Advisory Services LLC

    • Authorized Officers: Stefan Kaluzny, Peter Morrow, Harvey Tepner, Alan Miller

    • Legal to the Authorized Officers: Munger Tolles & Olson LLP (Seth Goldman, Kevin Allred, Thomas Walper)

    • Financial Advisor to the Authorized Officers: Berkeley Research Group LLC (Jay Borow)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Stalking Horse Bidder/Buyer: Authentic Brands Group

      • Legal: DLA Piper LLP (Richard Chesley, Ann Lawrence, Rachel Ehrlich Albanese)

    • Prepetition ABL and FILO Agent: Wells Fargo NA

      • Legal: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP (Matthew Ziegler, Julia Frost-Davies, Amelia Joiner)

    • Administrative Agent for the prepetition secured and unsecured Term Loan Facilities: Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc.

    • Indenture Trustee for 3 series of Unsecured Notes: US Bank NA

      • Legal: White & Case LLP (J. Christopher Shore, Philip Abelson) & Seward & Kissel LLP (John Ashmead, Arlene Alves)

    • Ad Hoc Group of Secured Lenders (Farmstead Capital Management LLC, KKR Credit Advisors (US) LLC)

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Marshall Huebner, Darren Klein, Adam Shpeen)

      • Financial Advisor: Ducera Partners LLC

    • Ad Hoc Group of Crossover Lenders (Alden Global Capital LLC, Carlson Capital LP, CVC Credit Partners LLC, Silvermine Capital Management LLC, Trimaran Advisors)

      • Legal: King & Spalding LLP (Michael Rupe, Jeffrey Pawlitz, Michael Handler, Bradley Giordano)

      • Financial Advisor: Guggenheim Securities LLC

    • Brigade Capital Management, LP

      • Legal: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP (Douglas Mannel, Rachael Ringer)

      • Financial Advisor: Moelis & Company

    • Ad Hoc Group of 2019 Unsecured Noteholders (Whitebox Advisors LLC, Scoggin Management LP, Old Bellows Partners LP, Wazee Street Opportunities Fund IV)

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

    • Ad Hoc Group of 2034 Unsecured Noteholders

      • Legal: Jones Day

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey

    • Administrative Agent for $247.5mm DIP ABL Facility

    • Administrative Agent for $50mm DIP TL Facility

    • Sponsor: Sycamore Partners LP

      • Legal: Proskauer Rose LLP (Mark Thomas, Peter Young, Michael Mervis, Jared Zajac, Chantel Febus, Alyse Stach)

    • KKR Asset Management

      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Dennis Dunne, Andrew Leblanc)

    • Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc.

      • Legal: Ropes & Gray LLP (Gregg Galardi, Gregg Weiner)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (Aurelius Capital Master Ltd., GLAS Trust Company LLC, PBGC, Simon Property Group, Stella International Trading (Macao Commercial Offshore) Ltd., Surefield Limited, U.S. Bank NA)

      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Daniel Golden, David Zensky, Deborah Newman, Arik Preis, Jason Rubin, Anthony Loring, Michael Byun, Patrick Chen)

      • Legal Conflicts Counsel: Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP (David Rosner, Howard Schub)

      • Financial Advisor: Protiviti Inc. (Guy Davis, Suzanne Roski, Heather Williams, John Eldred, Justin Koehler, Brian Taylor, Russell Brooks, Matthew Smith, Blake Parker, Lee Slobodien, Omkar Vale, Lok Lam, Sean Sterling) & Province Inc. (Michael Atkinson, Jason Crockett, Eunice Min, Byron Groth)

      • Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Saul Burian, Surbhi Gupta, Chris Khoury, Tejas Kullarwar, Matt Ender, Brendan Wu)

Updated 11/3/18 at 6:42 am CT

New Chapter 11 Filing - Harvey Gulf International Marine

Harvey Gulf International Marine

3/7/18

Texas-based offshore supply vessel operator qualified under the Jones Act has filed a prearranged bankruptcy with a deal in place with its lenders. The deal would give 97% of the reorganized equity and $350mm in take-back paper to the company's lenders, with management receiving the remaining 3% with warrants. 

What precipitated the bankruptcy? The company notes,

Beginning in 2014, as a result of severely depressed oil prices, exploration and production companies drastically cut the number of offshore exploration and drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico, causing substantial drops in both vessel utilization and day rates. These cuts impacted the offshore supply boat and service sector by, among other things, contributing to a considerable vessel oversupply in the marketplace. Industry-wide oversupply granted substantial pricing power to exploration and production companies and deeply impacted all offshore supply boat and service market participants—including Harvey Gulf.

The only thing surprising out of this filing is that it took this long. 

  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas
  • Capital Structure: $270mm RCF, $225mm '18 TLA, $875mm '20 TLB
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (Harry Perrin, Garrick Smith, David Meyer, Jessica Peet, Lauren Kanzer)
    • Restructuring Advisors: Postlethwaite & Netterville (Philip Gunn, Tuan Pham)
    • Investment Banker: Stephens Inc. (Lance Gurley, Joel Brown, Blake Woodall, Brad Neuneubel)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Private Equity Sponsor: The Jordan Company
    • Ad Hoc Group of Term Loan Lenders (ex-Black Diamond Capital Management)
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian S. Schaible, Angela M. Libby, Benjamin M. Schak) & (local) Haynes and Boone LLP (Charles A. Beckham, Jr., Kelli S. Norfleet, Kelsey Zottnick)
      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners Inc. 

Updated 3/30/18

New Chapter 11 Filing - Ascent Resources Marcellus Holdings, LLC

Ascent Resources Marcellus Holdings, LLC

  • 2/6/18 Recap: Oklahoman producer of oil and natural gas in the Marcellus Shale basis filed for bankruptcy to effectuate a prepackaged bankruptcy in agreement with its major creditors. We've seen this movie before. Business is capital intensive...yada yada yada...natural gas prices rolled over...yada yada yada...production volume dropped...yada yada yada...over-levered balance sheet....zzzzz. Basically, you know the drill. The prepackaged plan envisions the term lenders equitizing their debt so that the company can be leaner and meaner; it also leaves open the option for a sale, but no such sale was suitable prior to filing. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $750mm first lien credit facility (Cortland Capital Market Services LLC), $450mm second lien secured term loan facility (Cortland)  
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (Andrew G. Dietderich, Brian D. Glueckstein, Alexa J. Kranzley) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Pauline K. Morgan, Joel A. Waite, Kara Hammond Coyle)
    • Financial Advisor: D.R. Payne & Associates, Inc.
    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners (Steven Zelin)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
    • Independent Co-Manager: Alan Carr
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • First Lien Credit Agent: Cortland Capital Market Services LLC
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
      • Financial Advisor: Moelis & Co. 
    • Second Lien Credit Agent: Cortland Capital Market Services LLC
  • Members of the New Board: Jeffrey A. Fisher, Jeffrey A. Ball, Steven J. Pully, Eugene I. Davis, Barry McMahan

Updated: Effective 3/30/18 (no UCC)

New Chapter 11 Filing - Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC

Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC

  • 1/21/18 Recap: Operator of refining complex with combined distilling capacity of 335,000 barrels/day of crude oil - representing roughly 28% of the east coast's refining capacity - and located roughly 2.5 miles from downtown Philadelphia filed a prepackaged bankruptcy in Delaware for the purposes of effectuating a sale. The company blames (i) regulatory compliance costs that specifically penalize independent merchant refiners (related, specifically, to the Clean Air Act), (ii) adverse macroeconomic trends in energy, and (iii) adverse government policy decisions for its chapter 11 filing. The goal of the prepackaged filing is to allow for an infusion of $260mm in new capital, a $35mm reduction of interest expense, and to kick maturities out to 2022. We're a little late to the game here with our summary so we'll say something that we haven't seen anyone else say about this just yet: that is, that this never would be able to file in Delaware if Elizabeth Warren has her way and the new bankruptcy reform bill is passed. Just sayin. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware 
  • Capital Structure: See chart below.
  • Company Professionals: 
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Edward Sassower, Matthew Fagen, Patrick Venter, Allyson Smith, Michael Slade, Richard Howell, Ciara Foster, Whitney Becker, Steven Serajeddini) & (local ) Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Laura Davis Jones, Timothy Cairns, Peter Keane)
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC 
    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP
    • Claims Agent: Rust Consulting/Omni Bankruptcy (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • DIP Commitment Parties
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Aryeh Ethan Falk, Jonah Peppiatt) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Robert Dehney, Andrew Remming)
    • PNC National Association
      • Legal: Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP (Joel Levitin, Richard Stieglitz Jr.) & (local) Reed Smith LLP (Kurt Gwynne, Emily Devan)
    • Sponsors
      • Carlyle Group & Sunoco Inc. (a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners LP)
Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 12.21.38 PM.png

New Chapter 11 Filing - Expro Holdings US Inc.

Expro Holdings US Inc.

  • 12/18/17 Recap: Servicer to offshore, deepwater and other "technically challenging environments" filed a prepackaged bankruptcy to eliminate its entire $1.4b of debt (and attendant interest expense) via equity conversion in a balance sheet deleveraging transaction. Why did it file for bankruptcy? Private equity, of course. In 2008, the company turned down an acquisition offer from Halliburton in favor of a competing bid from a private equity group for $3.2b in cash, the largest LBO in the UK in 2008. Ok, so we're only half serious. Naturally, the oil and gas downturn led to a marked decline in demand for Expro's services. Psst: the PE-infused debt. The senior lenders will get the equity in the reorganized company while mezz loan holders and equity holders will get warrants. The company has lined up a $145mm DIP credit facility.
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas
  • Capital Structure: $125mm RCF (HSBC Bank USA), $1.261b TL, $18mm Mezz Loan.      
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Brian Hermann, Alice Eaton, Sarah Harnett, Alexander Woolverton) & Jackson Walker LLP (Patricia Tomasco, Matthew Cavenaugh, Jennifer Wertz)
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (Julie Hertzberg, Jay Herriman)
    • Investment Banker: Lazard Freres & Co. 
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Mezzanine Facility Agreement Agent: Bank of New York Mellon
    • Credit Agreement Admin Agent: HSBC Bank USA
    • RCF Lenders
      • Legal: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Lenders
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, James McClammy, Christopher Robertson) & (local) Haynes and Boone LLP (Charles Beckham Jr., Kelli Norfleet, Kelsey Zottnick)
      • Financial Advisor: Rothschild Inc.
    • Ad Hoc Group of Shareholders (Goldman Sachs, HPS Investment Partners LLC, KKR, Candover/Arle, Park Square)
      • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP
      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Inc.

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Orchard Acquisition Company LLC (The J.G. Wentworth Company)

The J.G. Wentworth Company

  • 12/12/17 Recap: What's the statute of limitations for getting tagged with the "Chapter 22" label? While this may be out of bounds thanks to the passage of time, this is not the company's first foray in bankruptcy court, having previously filed during the financial crisis in 2009. It subsequently emerged under new private equity ownership and then IPO'd in 2013. This time around, the specialty-finance company in the business of providing financing solutions ((e.g., mortgage lending (as an approved issuer with Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae), structured settlement, annuity and lottery payment purchasing, prepaid cards, and personal loans)) filed a prepackaged bankruptcy pursuant to which its lenders will be swapping debt for at least 95.5% of the new equity and some cash. Holders of partnership interests and tax-related claims will get the remaining equity (subject to dilution by the 8% of equity set aside for management allocations). The company will eliminate its $449.5mm of debt and have a $65-70mm revolving credit facility to utilize going forward. The company blames regulatory requirements and a highly competitive market that pressured rates, service levels, products, and fees for its downfall. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Gross)
  • Capital Structure: $449.5mm '19 first lien TL (Jefferies Finance LLC)     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Kathrine McLendon, Edward Linden, Randi Lynn Veenstra, Haley Garrett, Nicholas Baker, Bryce Friedman) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Edmon Morton, Sean Beach)
    • FInancial Advisor: Ankura Consulting
    • Investment Banker: Evercore 
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Jefferies Finance LLC
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Natasha Tsiouris, Erik Jerrard) & (local) Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP (Jeremy Ryan, R. Stephen McNeill, D. Ryan Slaugh)
      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (formerly CDG Group LLC)
    • New RCF Commitment Party (HPS Investment Partners LLC)
      • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Matthew Barr, Kelly DiBlasi, Damian Ridealgh) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Curtis Miller, Matthew Talmo)

Updated 12/13/17

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 - ExGen Texas Power LLC

ExGen Texas Power LLC

  • 11/7/17 Recap: The last 12 months haven't been friendly to companies in the power space. The following have filed for bankruptcy: Panda Temple Power LLC, Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, GenOn Energy Inc., Illinois Power Generating Co., and La Paloma Generating Company LLC. Here, the owner of five natural-gas-fired power generation projects in the great state of Texas filed for bankruptcy in the face of significant headwinds. Literally. In its bankruptcy papers, the company primarily blames decreased demand and, in turn, decreased revenue, on an increase in wind production. And mild weather. Indeed, unlike retailers who incessantly blame weather for poor performance, this is actually believable. The company notes, "public policy initiatives and incentives continue to promote the development of additional wind capacity, placing downward pressure on wholesale power prices. Such additional capacity, coupled with low natural gas prices and mild and windy weather, have exacerbated the Debtors' financial struggles. By way of example, the cost per megawatt hour in 2008 was more than $70; in 2016, it was less than $25, and just prior to the Petition Date, it was approximately $25. These factors have persisted, as additional wind and other capacity is being added to the grid, which has driven down prices in light of relatively flat demand, thereby further constricting the Debtors' revenues and cash flow." In light of these issues, the company hired a banker to market the assets and only non-Debtor Exelon Generation Company LLC bit on one of the five debtor projects to the tune of $60mm (plus various forms of other consideration). The debt in the other four projects will be equitized and the term lenders will now be owners of power generation projects, subject to approval of a plan of reorganization. Interestingly, this all comes in the same week that a proposed tax overhaul bill by the House Republicans seeks to significantly curtail wind energy production tax credits
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Shannon)
  • Capital Structure: $660mm first lien TL (funded, ex-interest)(Bank of America NA)     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Richards Layton & Finger PA (Daniel DeFranceschi, Paul Heath, Zachary Shapiro, Joseph Barsalona)
    • Financial Advisor/CRO: FTI Consulting (David Rush)
    • Investment Banker: Scotia Capital (USA) Inc.
    • Independent Board of Director: Alan Carr
    • Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest: 
    • Asset Purchaser: Exelon Generation Company LLC
      • Legal: DLA Piper (US) LLP (Richard Chesley, Daniel Simon)
    • TL Agent: Bank of America NA
      • Legal: Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (Louis Strubeck, Greg Wilkes) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Derek Abbott)
    • Commodity Hedge Counterparty: Merrill Lynch Commodities Inc.
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Marshall Heubner, Angela Libby) & (local) Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP (Jeremy Ryan, R. Stephen McNeill, D. Ryan Slaugh)

Updated: 11/8/17 at 1:00pm CT (No UCC)

New Chapter 15 Filing - Odebrecht Oleo E Gas S.A.

Odebrecht Oleo E Gas S.A.

  • 11/3/17 Recap: The disruption to the oil and gas energy that shot through the United States in 2015-2016 also captured some international victims. In this instance, the Brazilian operator of offshore drilling rigs filed for Extrajudicial Reorganization in Brazil back in May, 2017. In October, the Brazilian Court entered an order approving a reorganization plan approved by the necessary percentages of interested parties. To further bind said parties, the company filed for Chapter 15 to help effectuate the plan approved by the Brazilian court. 
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York (Judge Garrity)
  • Capital Structure: $1.09b 6.35% '21 notes, $1.9b 6.75% '22 notes, $1.68b 6.625% notes.      
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Eli Vonnegut)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders
      • Legal: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (Richard Cooper, Luke Barefoot)

New CBCA Proceeding - Concordia International Group

Concordia International Group

  • 10/20/17 Recap: Canadian-based pharmaceutical company filed for a stay under the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) to effectuate a plan to de-lever its balance sheet. The company has a portfolio of 200+ "off-patient" skus with sales all across the world. The company blamed the need for the filing on (i) the proliferation of competitive generic products, (ii) the introduction of new products that treat the same ailments Concordia addresses, (iii) drug pricing pressures (including regulatory pressures in the UK), and its highly-levered balance sheet. The company intends to deploy its "DELIVER" strategy - not to be confused with what should be an obvious DELEVER strategy, but we digress. This acronym stands for a bunch of trite stuff like "Drive growth, "Expand," "Level-set the U.S. Business," "Increase the Product Pipeline," blah blah boring blah blah. In other words, effectively operate a pharma business - the EOPB strategy. Fine, not quite the same ring to it. 
  • Jurisdiction: Superior Court of Ontario
  • Capital Structure: $1.068b secured term loan, £485.63mm secured term loan. $350mm 9% '22 senior secured first lien notes, $135mm 9.5% '22 extended unsecured bridge loan ($100.83 funded ex-interest), $45mm 9.5% '17 equity unsecured bridge loan ($33.61mm ex-interest), $735mm 7% '23 unsecured notes (ex-interest), and $790mm 9.5% '22 unsecured notes (ex-interest)(US Bank NA). Public equity ($CXR).     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom LLP (Paul Leake, Shana Elberg) & (Canadian) Goodmans LLP (Robert Chadwick, Brendan O'Neil, Caroline Descours, Ryan Baulke)
    • Financial Advisor: Perella Weinberg Partners LP
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Secured Term Loan Agent: Goldman Sachs Bank USA
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible)
    • Secured Debtholders Committee
      • Legal: White & Case LLP & (Canadian) Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (Marc Wasserman, Martino Calvaruso)
    • Trustee for Secured and Unsecured Notes: US Bank NA
    • Unsecured Debtholders Committee
      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP & (Canadian) Bennett Jones LLP (Kevin Zych, Sean Zweig)

Updated 10/26/17

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy & CCAA - Toys "R" Us Inc.

Toys "R" Us Inc.

  • 9/19/17 Recap: So. Much. To. Unpack. Here. We've previously discussed the run-up to this massive chapter 11 bankruptcy filing here and here. Still, suffice it to say that, unlike many of the other retailers that have predictably filed for bankruptcy thus far in 2017, this one was different. This one seemingly came out of nowhere - particularly given the proximity to the holiday shopping season. Before we note what this case is, lets briefly cover what it isn't and clear the noise that is pervasive on the likes of Twitter: this is NOT "RIP" Toys "R" Us. We don't get overly sentimental usually but the papers filed with the bankruptcy court were well-written and touching: this is a store, a brand, that means a lot to a lot of people. And it's not going anywhere (the company will have its challenges to assure people that this is the case). This is a financial restructuring not a liquidation: the company simply hasn't been able to evolve while paying $400mm in annual interest expense on over $5b of private equity infused debt. Plain and simple. Yes, there are other challenges (blah blah blah, Amazon), but with that debt overhang, it appears the company hasn't been able to confront them (PETITION side note: an ill-conceived deal with Amazon 18 years ago is mind-blowing when viewed from the perspective of Amazon's long game). With this filing, the company is signaling that the time for short term band-aids to address its capital structure is over. Now, "[t]he time for change, and reinvestment in operations, has come." Decisive. Management isn't messing around anymore. With a reduction in debt, the company will be unshackled and able to focus on "general upkeep and the condition of...stores, [its] inability to provide expedited shipping options, and [its] lack of a subscription-based delivery service." Indeed, the company intends to use a $3.1b debtor-in-possession credit facility to begin investing in modernization immediately.
  • Interesting Facts:
    • Toy Manufacturers: Mattel ($MAT)(approx $136mm), Hasbro ($HAB) (approx $59mm) & Lego (approx $31.5mm) are among the top general unsecured creditors of the company. Mattel and Hasbro's stock traded down quite a bit yesterday on the rampant news of this filing. Query whether any of the $325mm of requested critical vendor money will apply to these companies.
    • The Power of the Media (read: NOT "fake news"): This CNBC piece helped push the company into bankruptcy. Bankruptcy professionals were retained in July (or earlier in the case of Lazard) to pursue capital structure solutions. In August the company engaged with some of its lenders. But then "...a news story published on September 6, 2017, reporting that the Debtors were considering a chapter 11 filing, started a dangerous game of dominos: within a week of its publication, nearly 40 percent of the Company’s domestic and international product vendors refused to ship product without cash on delivery, cash in advance, or, in some cases, payment of all outstanding obligations. Further, many of the credit insurers and factoring parties that support critical Toys “R” Us vendors withdrew support. Given the Company’s historic average of 60-day trade terms, payment of cash on delivery would require the Debtors to immediately obtain a significant amount—over $1.0 billion—of new liquidity." 
    • Revenue. The company generates 40% of its annual revenue during the holiday season.
    • Footprint. The company has approximately 1,697 stores and 257 licensed stores in 38 countries, plus additional e-commerce sites in various countries. The company has been shedding burdensome above-market leases and combining its Babies and Toys shops under one roof; it intends to continue its review of its real estate portfolio. Read: there WILL be store closures.
    • Eff the Competition. Toys has some choice words for its competition embedded in its bankruptcy papers; it accuses Walmart ($WMT) and Target ($TGT)(the "big box retailers") of slashing prices on toys and using toys as a loss leader to get bodies in doors; it further notes that "retailers such as Amazon are not concerned with making a profit at this juncture, rendering their pricing model impossible to compete with..." ($AMZN). Yikes. 
    • Experiential Retail. The company intends to invest in the "shopping experience" which will include (i) interactive spaces with rooms to use for parties, (ii) live product demonstrations put on by trained employees, and (iii) the freedom for employees to remove product from boxes to let kids play with the latest toys. And...wait for it...AUGMENTED REALITY. Boom. Toysrus.ar and Toysrus.ai here we come. 
  • Jurisdiction: E.D. of Virginia (Judge Phillips)
  • Capital Structure: see below     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Jamie Sprayragen, Anup Sathy, Edward Sassower, Chad Husnick, Joshua Sussberg, Robert Britton, Emily Geier) & (local) Kutak Rock LLP (Michael A. Condyles, 
      Peter J. Barrett, Jeremy S. Williams) & (Canadian counsel) Goodmans LLP
    • Legal to the Independent Board of Directors: Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC (Jeffrey Stegenga, Jonathan Goulding, Tom Behnke, Cari Turner, Jim Grover, Arjun Lal, Doug Lewandowski, Bobby Hoernschemeyer, Scott Safron, Kara Harmon, Nick Cherry, Adam Fialkowski)
    • Investment Banker: Lazard Freres & Co., LLC (David Kurtz)
    • Real Estate Consultant: A&G Realty Partners LLC (Andrew Graiser)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
    • Communications Consultant: Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
  • Other Parties in Interest:
  • ABL/FILO DIP Admin Agent: JPMorgan Chase Bank NA
    • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Marshall Heubner, Brian Resnick, Eli Vonnegut, Veerle Roovers) & (local) Hunton & Williams LLP (Tyler Brown, Henry (Toby) Long III, Justin Paget)
  • DIP Admin Agent (Toys DE Inc). NexBank SSB & Ad Hoc Group of B-4 Lenders (Angelo Gordon & Co LP; Franklin Mutual Advisors LLC, HPS Investment Partners LLC, Marathon Asset Management LP, Redwood Capital Management LLC, Roystone Capital Management LP, and Solus Alternative Asset Management LP)
    • Legal: Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz (Joshua Feltman, Emil Kleinhaus, Neil Chatani) & (local) McGuireWoods LLP (Dion Hayes, Sarah Bohm, Douglas Foley)
  • Ad Hoc Group of Taj Noteholders.
    • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Brian Hermann, Samuel Lovett, Kellie Cairns) & (local) Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP (Christopher Jones, Jennifer Wuebker)
  • Steering Committee of B-2 and B-3 Lenders (American Money Management, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Ellington Management Group LLC, First Trust Advisors L.P., MJX Asset Management LLC, Pacific Coast Bankers Bank, Par-Four Investment Management LLC, Sound Point Capital Management, Taconic Capital Advisors LP).
    • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Michael Messersmith, D. Tyler Nurnberg, Sarah Gryll, Rosa Evergreen)
  • 12% ’21 Senior Secured Notes Indenture Trustee: Wilmington Trust, National Association.
    • Legal: Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP (Todd Meyers, David Posner, Gianfranco Finizio) & (local) ThompsonMcMullan PC (David Ruby, William Prince IV)
  • Bank of America NA
      • Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Paul Leake, Shana Elberg, George Howard) & (local) Troutman Sanders LLP (Jonathan Hauser)
    • Private Equity Sponsors: Bain Capital Private Equity LP, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. ($KKR), and Vornado Realty Trust ($VNO)
  • Large Creditor: Mattel Inc.
    • Legal: Jones Day (Richard Wynne, Erin Brady, Aaron Gober-Sims) & (local) Michael Wilson PLC (Michael Wilson)
  • Large Creditor: LEGO Systems Inc.
    • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Matthew Barr, Kelly DiBlasi) & (local) Walcott Rivers Gates (Cullen Speckhart)
  • Large Creditor: American Greetings Corporation.
    • Legal: Baker & Hosteler LLP (Benjamin Irwin, Eric Goodman)
  • Creditor: River Birch Capital
    • Legal: Andrews Kurth & Kenyon LLP (Paul Silverstein)
  • Creditor: Owl Creek Asset Management
    • Legal: Stroock Stroock & Lavan LLP (Samantha Martin)
  • TRU Trust 2016-TOYS, Commercial Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2016-TOYS acting through Wells Fargo Bank NA
    • Legal: Dechert LLP (Allan Brilliant, Brian Greer, Stephen Wolpert, Humzah Soofi) & (local) Troutman Sanders LLP (Jonathan Hauser)
  • Trustee: Tru Taj DIP Notes (Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB)
    • Legal: Porter Hedges LLP (Eric English) & (local) Spotts Fain PC (James Donaldson)
  • Committee of Unsecured Creditors (Mattel Inc., Evenflo Company Inc., Simon Property Group, Euler Hermes North America Insurance Co., Veritiv Operating Company, Huffy Corporation, KIMCO Realty, The Bank of New York Mellon, LEGO Systems Inc.)
First Day Declaration

First Day Declaration

First Day Declaration

First Day Declaration

Updated 10/5/17 11:40 am

New Chapter 11 Filing - TerraVia Holdings Inc.

TerraVia Holdings Inc.

  • 8/1/17 Recap: TerraVia, a publicly-traded (Nasdaq: $TVIA) "next-generation" algae-based food company based out of San Francisco filed for bankruptcy. The company has a stalking horse bidder lined up to buy it for $20mm plus certain assumed liabilities and seeks to jam this case through bankruptcy in about 6 weeks lest it run out liquidity in the process (even with a proposed $10mm DIP); it claims that more time is unnecessary given that it ran a robust marketing process pre-filing that included outreach to over 100 parties. We'll let the company economics do the rest of the talking (see below).
  • Jurisdiction: (Judge Sontchi)
  • Capital Structure: $144.2mm 5% '19 convertible senior subordinated notes (GLAS Trust Company LLC) & $33.475mm 6% '18 convertible senior subordinated notes (Wilmington Trust)   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Steven Szanzer, Adam Shpeen, Benjamin Kaminetzky) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger P.A. (Mark Collins, Amanda Steele)
    • Financial Advisor: 
    • Investment Banker: Rothschild & Co. (Tero Janne)
    • Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • DIP Agent: Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB & Ad Hoc Consortium of Holders of Convertible Senior Subordinated Debt (Gilead Capital LP, Higher Ground SICAV PLC Core Wealth Fund, Lazard Asset Management LLC, Passport Capital LLC, Wolverine Asset Management LLC, Zazove Associates LLC)
      • Legal: Brown Rudnick LLP (Robert Stark, Steven Levine, Brian Rice, Kellie Fisher) & (local) Ashby & Geddes P.A. (William Bowden, Gregory Taylor, Katharina Earle)
      • Financial Advisor: GLC Advisors & Co. LLC
    • Passport Capital
      • Legal: Shearman & Sterling LLP (Joel Moss) & (local) Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (Patrick Jackson)
    • 6% Notes Successor Trustee: Wilmington Trust NA
      • Legal: Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP (Craig Barbarosh, Karen Dine, Jerry Hall) & (local) Morris James LLP (Eric Monzo)
    • JV Partner: Bunge Global Innovation LLC
      • Legal: Jones Day (Joshua Morse)
    • Silicon Valley Bank
      • Legal: Troutman Sanders LLP (Harris Winsberg, Stephen Roach) & (local) Chipman Brown Cicero & Cole LLP (William Chipman Jr., Mark Olivere)
    • Corbion NV
      • Legal: Baker & McKenzie LLP (Debra Dandeneau, Frank Grese) & (local) Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLC (L. Katherine Good, Aaron Stulman)

Updated 8/26/17

First Day Declaration.

First Day Declaration.