⛽️New Chapter 11 Filing - Legacy Reserves Inc.⛽️

Even at 95 years old, you can’t get one past Charlie Munger. #Legend.

The Permian Basin in West Texas is where it’s at in the world of oil and gas exploration and production. Per Wikipedia:

As of 2018, the Permian Basin has produced more than 33 billion barrels of oil, along with 118 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This production accounts for 20% of US crude oil production and 7% of US dry natural gas production. While the production was thought to have peaked in the early 1970s, new technologies for oil extraction, such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased production dramatically. Estimates from the Energy Information Administration have predicted that proven reserves in the Permian Basin still hold 5 billion barrels of oil and approximately 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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And it may be even more prolific than originally thought. Norwegian research firm Rystad Energy recently issued a report indicating that Permian projected output was already above 4.5mm barrels a day in May with volumes exceeding 5mm barrels in June. This staggering level of production is pushing total U.S. oil production to approximately 12.5mm barrels per day in May. That means the Permian now accounts for 36% of US crude oil production — a significant increase over 2018. Normalized across 365 days, that would be a 1.64 billion barrel run rate. This is despite (a) rigs coming offline in the Permian and (b) natural gas flaring and venting reaching all-time highs in Q1 ‘19 due to a lack of pipelines. Come again? That’s right. The Permian is producing in quantities larger than pipelines can accommodate. Per Reuters:

Producers burned or vented 661 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in the Permian Basin of West Texas and eastern New Mexico, the field that has driven the U.S. to record oil production, according to a new report from Rystad Energy.

The Permian’s first-quarter flaring and venting level more than doubles the production of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico’s most productive gas facility, Royal Dutch Shell’s Mars-Ursa complex, which produces about 260 to 270 mmcfd of gas.

The Permian isn’t alone in this, however. The Bakken shale field in North Dakota is also flaring at a high level. More from Reuters:

Together, the two oil fields on a yearly basis are burning and venting more than the gas demand in countries that include Hungary, Israel, Azerbaijan, Colombia and Romania, according to the report.

All of which brings us to Legacy Reserves Inc. ($LGCY). Despite the midstream challenges, one could be forgiven for thinking that any operators engaged in E&P in the Permian might be insulated from commodity price declines and other macro headwinds. That position, however, would be wrong.

Legacy is a publicly-traded energy company engaged in the acquisition, development, production of oil and nat gas properties; its primary operations are in the Permian Basin (its largest operating region, historically), East Texas, and in the Rocky Mountain and Mid-Continent regions. While some of these basins may produce gobs of oil and gas, acquisition and production is nevertheless a HIGHLY capital intensive endeavor. And, here, like with many other E&P companies that have recently made their way into the bankruptcy bin, “significant capital” translates to “significant debt.”

Per the Company:

Like similar companies in this industry, the Company’s oil and natural gas operations, including their exploration, drilling, and production operations, are capital-intensive activities that require access to significant amounts of capital.  An oil price environment that has not recovered from the downturn seen in mid-2014 and the Company’s limited access to new capital have adversely affected the Company’s business. The Company further had liquidity constraints through borrowing base redeterminations under the Prepetition RBL Credit Agreement, as well as an inability to refinance or extend the maturity of the Prepetition RBL Credit Agreement beyond May 31, 2019.

This is the company’s capital structure:

Legacy Cap Stack.png

The company made two acquisitions in mid-2015 costing over $540mm. These acquisitions proved to be ill-timed given the longer-than-expected downturn in oil and gas. Per the Company:

In hindsight, despite the GP Board’s and management’s favorable view of the potential future opportunities afforded by these acquisitions and the high-caliber employees hired by the Company in connection therewith, these two acquisitions consumed disproportionately large amounts of the Company’s liquidity during a difficult industry period.

WHOOPS. It’s a good thing there were no public investors in this thing who were in it for the high yield and favorable tax treatment.*

Yet, the company was able to avoid a prior bankruptcy when various other E&P companies were falling like flies. Why was that? Insert the “drillco” structure here: the company entered into a development agreement with private equity firm TPG Special Situations Partners to drill, baby, drill (as opposed to acquire). What’s a drillco structure? Quite simply, the PE firm provided capital in return for a wellbore interest in the wells that it capitalized. Once TPG clears a specified IRR in relation to any specific well, any remaining proceeds revert to the operator. This structure — along with efforts to delever through out of court exchanges of debt — provided the company with much-needed runway during a rough macro patch.

It didn’t last, however. Liquidity continued to be a pervasive problem and it became abundantly clear that the company required a holistic solution to its balance sheet. That’s what this filing will achieve: this chapter 11 case is a financial restructuring backed by a Restructuring Support Agreement agreed to by nearly the entirety of the capital structure — down through the unsecured notes. Per the Company:

The Global RSA contemplates $256.3 million in backstopped equity commitments, $500.0 million in committed exit financing from the existing RBL Lenders, the equitization of approximately $815.8 million of prepetition debt, and payment in full of the Debtors’ general unsecured creditors.

Said another way, the Permian holds far too much promise for parties in interest to walk away from it without maintaining optionality for the future.

*Investors got burned multiple times along the way here. How did management do? Here is one view (view thread: it’s precious):

😬

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

  • Capital Structure: See above.

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Sidley Austin LLP (Duston McFaul, Charles Persons, Michael Fishel, Maegan Quejada, James Conlan, Bojan Guzina, Andrew O’Neill, Allison Ross Stromberg)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (Seth Bullock, Mark Rajcevich)

    • Investment Banker: Perella Weinberg Partners (Kevin Cofsky)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (Wilmington Trust NA, Dalton Investments LLC, Paul Drueke, John Dinkel, Nicholas Mumford)

    • GSO Capital Partners LP

      • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (George Davis, Adam Goldberg, Christopher Harris, Zachary Proulx, Brett Neve, Julian Bulaon) & (local) Porter Hedges LLP (John Higgins, Eric English, M. Shane Johnson)

    • DIP Lender: Wells Fargo Bank NA

      • Legal: Orrick LLP (Raniero D’Aversa, Laura Metzger)

    • Prepetition Term Agent: Cortland Capital Market Services LLC

      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Gerardo Mijares-Shafai, Seth Kleinman)

    • Indenture Trustee: Wilmington Trust NA

      • Legal: Pryor Cashman (Seth Lieberman, Patrick Sibley, Andrew Richmond)

    • Ad Hoc Group of Senior Noteholders (Canyon Capital Advisors LLC, DoubleLine Income Solutions Fund, J.H. Lane Partners Master Fund LP, JCG 2016 Holdings LP, The John C. Goff 2010 Family Trust, John C. Goff SEP-IRA, Cuerno Largo Partners LP, MGA insurance Company Inc., Pingora Partners LLC)

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Brian Resnick, Stephen Piraino, Michael Pera) & (local) Rapp & Krock PC (Henry Flores)

Updated 7/7/19 #188

🌑New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Cambrian Holding Company Inc.🌑

Cambrian Holding Company Inc.

June 16, 2019

Pour one out for the fine folks of eastern Kentucky and western Virginia. They can’t seem to catch a break.

Earlier this week, Cambrian Holding Company Inc. (and its affiliate debtors) joined a long line of coal producers/processors (e.g., Cloud Peak Energy, Westmoreland Coal, Mission Coal) who have recently filed for bankruptcy. The company employees approximately 660 people, none of whom are members of a labor union (in contrast to bigger, more controversial, coal filings, i.e., Westmoreland) and most of whom must be fretting over their futures. They must really be getting tired of all of the post-election “winning” that’s going on in coal country.

The company’s problems appear to start in 2015, at the time the company acquired TECO Coal LLC and assumed $40mm of workers’ compensation and black lung liabilities that TECO had previously self-insured. The company sought to leverage its broader scale to increase production but it failed to raise the working capital it needed to live up to its obligations and sustain production at levels necessary to service the company’s balance sheet. Post-acquisition, the company doubled revenues, but it couldn’t sustain that progress and nevertheless recorded net losses from 2015 through 2018. In turn, the company triggered financial covenant and other defaults under its ABL Revolver and Term Loan.

In other words, the company has been in a state of emergency ever since the acquisition. Almost immediately, the company “undertook various efforts to return to a positive cashflow,” which, as you might expect, meant idling or closing certain mining operations, stretching the usable life of equipment, and laying off employees.* Its efforts proved fruitless. Per the company:

Notwithstanding these efforts, the Debtors have been unable to overcome the pressures placed on their profit margins from steadily declining coal prices (along with burdensome regulations and the accompanying decline in demand for coal), all of which have contributed to the Debtors’ substantial negative cashflow and inability to consummate a value-enhancing transaction.

So, what now? The company, with assistance from Jefferies LLC, will attempt to find a buyer willing to catch a falling knife: the plan is to “commence an expeditious sale and marketing process” of the company’s assets (call us crazy, but shouldn’t it be the other way around?). To fund this process, the company has a DIP commitment from affiliates of pre-petition lenders for $15mm.**

*Interestingly, it was in March 2016 when Hilary Clinton infamously stated, “Because we're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” At the time, Cambrian was already struggling, laying off people in an attempt to generate positive cashflow. That message really must’ve struck a chord down in coal country. WHOOPS.

**The Term Lenders swiftly objected to the terms of the DIP and the use of cash collateral.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Kentucky (Judge Schaaf)

  • Capital Structure: $48mm ABL Revolver (Deutsche Bank AG New York Branch), $78mm Term Loan (Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Frost Brown Todd LLC (Ronald Gold, Douglas Lutz, Patrica Burgess)

    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Bertrand Troiano)

    • Investment Banker: Jefferies LLC (Leon Szlezinger)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Term Lenders: Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, Tennenbaum Opportunities Partners V, LP and Tennenbaum Opportunities Fund VI, LLC

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Brian Resnick, Christopher Robertson, Elliot Moskowitz) & (local) Bingham Greenbaum Doll LLP (Christopher Madden)

    • DIP & Bridge Lender: Richmond Hill Capital Partners, LP

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing -- Fusion Connect Inc.

June 3, 2019

We previously wrote about Fusion Connect Inc. ($FSNN), providers of “Unified Communications-as-a-Service” and “Infrastructure-as-a-Service” in “⛈A Dark "Cloud" on the Horizon⛈.” Therein we marveled at how special Fusion must be…to fail SO SPECTACULARLY in today’s cloud here, cloud there, cloud everywhere, everyone’s gaga for cloud environment. Cloud is SO captivating that it wasn’t until the company filed a piss poor 8-K back in April that a B. Riley FBR ($RILY) analyst FINALLY had an epiphany and declared that the company’s stock ought to be downgraded from “buy” to “neutral” (huh?!?) with a price target of $0.75 — down from $9.75/share. This is despite the fact that the stock hadn’t traded anywhere in the vicinity of $9.75/share in ages — nowhere even close, actually — but whatevs. Clearly, his head was in the cloud(s). This, ladies and gentlemen, demonstrates, in a nutshell, the utter worthlessness of equity analyst reports.🖕

But this isn’t a story about shoddy analyst research. That would be wholly unoriginal. This is a story about synergies and burdensome debt. Because, like, that’s so super original that you won’t read of it again until…well…you scroll below to the next bit of content about FTD!! 🙄

Boiled down to its simplest form, this company is the product of an acquisition strategy (and reverse merger) gone wrong. Like, in a majormajor way. Per the company:

The Company pursued the Birch Merger with a vision of leveraging its existing processes and structures to create synergies between Fusion’s and Birch’s joined customer bases, combine network infrastructure assets to improve operational efficiencies, and ultimately drive material growth in Fusion’s and Birch’s combined annual revenue. In connection with the Birch Merger and MegaPath Merger, the Company incurred $680 million in secured debt(emphasis added)

That reverse merger closed at the end of Q2, 2018. Yet…

Unfortunately, due to underperformance compared to business projections, the Company found itself with limited liquidity and at risk of default under its debt documents by early 2019.

Wait, what? Limited liquidity and risk of default by “early 2019”?!? Who the f*ck diligenced and underwrote this transaction?!? This sitch is so bad, that the company literally didn’t have enough liquidity to make a recent $6.7mm amort payment under the first lien credit agreement and a $300k interest payment on its unsecured debt. This is the company’s pre-petition capital structure:

  • $20mm super senior L+10% June 2019 debt

  • $43.3mm Tranche A Term Loans L+6.0% May 2022 debt

  • $490.9mm Tranche B Term Loans L+8.5% May 2023 debt

  • $39mm Revolving Loans L+6.0% May 2022 debt

  • $85mm Second Lien L+10.5% November 2023 debt

  • $13.3mm Unsecured Debt

Back in April we summed up the situation as follows:

The company’s recent SEC reports constitute a perfect storm of bad news. On April 2, the company filed a Form 8-K indicating that (i) a recently-acquired company had material accounting deficiencies that will affect its financials and, therefore, certain of the company’s prior filings “can no longer be relied upon,” (ii) it won’t be able to file its 10-K, (iii) it failed to make a $7mm interest payment on its Tranche A and Tranche B term loan borrowings due on April 1, 2019, and (iv) due to the accounting errors, the company has tripped various covenants under the first lien credit agreement — including its fixed charge coverage ratio and its total net leverage ratio.

Again, who diligenced the reverse merger?!? 😡

So here we are. In bankruptcy. To what end?

The company is seeking a dual-path restructuring that is all the rage these days: everyone loves to promote optionality that will potentially result in greater value to the estate. In the first instance, the company proposes, as a form of “stalking horse,” a “reorganization transaction” backed by a restructuring support agreement with certain of its lenders. This transaction would slash $300mm of the company’s $665mm of debt and result in the company’s first lien lenders owning the company. That is, unless a buyer emerges out of the woodwork with a compelling purchase price. To promote this possibility, the company is filing a bid procedures motion with the bankruptcy court with the hope of an eventual auction taking place. If a buyer surfaces with mucho dinero, the company will toggle over to a sale pursuant to a plan of reorganization. This would obviously be the optimal scenario. Absent that (and maybe even with that), we’ve got a jaw-dropping example of value destruction. “Fail fast,” many in tech say. These cloud bros listened!! Nothing like deep-sixing yourself with a misguided poorly-diligenced acquisition. Bravo!!

The company has secured a commitment for a fully-backstopped $59.5mm DIP that subsumes the $20mm in super senior pre-petition bridge financing recently provided by the first lien lenders. Is this DIP commitment good for general unsecured creditors? Is any of this generally good for unsecured creditors? Probably not.

Major creditors include a who’s who of telecommunications companies, including AT&T Inc. ($T) (first Donald Trump and now THIS…rough week for AT&T), Verizon Communications Inc. ($VZ)XO Communications (owned by VZ), Frontier Communications Corp. ($FTR)(which has its own issues to contend with as it sells assets to sure up its own balance sheet), CenturyLink Inc. ($CTL)Level 3 Communications ($LVLT)Time Warner Inc. ($TWX), and….wait for it…bankrupt Windstream Communications ($WINMQ). Because the hits just keep on coming for Windstream….

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Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York (Judge Bernstein)

  • Capital Structure: see above.

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Gary Holtzer, Sunny Singh, Natasha Hwangpo)

    • Board of Directors: Matthew Rosen, Holcombe Green Jr., Marvin Rosen, Holcombe Green III, Michael Del Guidice, Lewis Dickey Jr., Rafe de la Gueronniere, Neil Goldman)

    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Mark Katzenstein)

    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners (Brent Herlihy, John Singh)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc First Lien Lender Group

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Adam Shpeen)

      • Financial Advisor: Greenhill & Co. Inc.

    • DIP Lender: Credit Suisse Loan Funding LLC

    • DIP Agent, Prepetition Super Senior Agent & Prepetition First Lien Agent: Wilmington Trust NA

      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (Michael Messersmith, Sarah Grylll, Alan Glantz)

    • Prepetition Second Lien Successor Agent: GLAS America LLC & GLAS USA LLC

    • Ad Hoc Group of Tranche A Term Loan/Revolving Lenders

      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Sandeep Qusba, Soogy Lee, Edward Linden)

    • Second Lien Lenders

      • Legal: Proskauer Rose LLP (Charles Dale, Jon English)

    • Large Unsecured Creditor: AT&T

      • Legal: Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (David Rosenzweig, Francisco Vazquez)

Updated 6/4/19 at 5:42am


⚡️New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Empire Generating Co LLC⚡️

Empire Generating Co LLC

May 19, 2019

We love when companies that have been circling around the bankruptcy bowl finally get flushed into bankruptcy court. Empire Generating Company is a name that has been kicking around distressed circles for some time now: The Wall Street Journal wrote about it a year ago, back in May 2018. Alas, it now sits within the Southern District of New York. It is the latest in a line of power producers to file for bankruptcy in recent years.

The company owns and operates a (now) dual-fuel power plant in Rensselaer New York; as a merchant power plant, it sells electricity in the wholesale market that ultimately helps power New York’s electrical grid. Very soon, it will likewise be able to generate revenue in New England. In fiscal year 2017, the company generated $91.8mm of revenue and $16.77 of EBITDA. EBITDA decreased to $11.05mm in 2018. The company also has a meaningful amount of debt. As of the petition date, its outstanding owed amounts under its credit facility total $353.4mm. Its $20mm revolver matured in March 2019.

The company cites some interesting causes for its filing. First, it gives an economics 101 lesson, saying that coal and nuclear facilities in New York haven’t been retired quickly enough to limit electricity supply and put upward pressure on prices. Second, it blames progressives (Cuomo!!): New York’s Clean Energy Standard requires that 50% of NY’s electricity come from renewables by 2030, creating yet another supply/demand imbalance that has placed “downward pressure on the price for energy generated by other sources.” Third, unlike retailers who blame bad weather for under performance all of the time, this company actually has a viable excuse: the abnormally cold winter of 2017/2018 increased natural gas prices, compressing the company’s margins. At the time, the company wasn’t yet “dual-fuel” and, therefore, relied exclusively on natural gas whereas competitors could toggle to more economical fuel oil instead. This confluence of factors ultimately led the company to default under its loan docs.

The company has since been in a state of perpetual forbearance with an ad hoc group of pre-petition lenders. It was on the verge of a prepackaged solution to its balance sheet but time ticked away and the company’s pesky lenders traded out of their respective positions. Per the company:

Once the debt trades settled, approximately 55% of the Credit Facility was held by the Consenting Lenders (Black Diamond and MJX), and approximately 34% of the Credit Facility was held by funds managed by Ares Capital (“Ares”).

For the uninitiated, debtors need 2/3 of the amount of a particular tranche of debt to approve a deal for a plan of reorganization to be confirmed by the bankruptcy court. As you can see from the percentages above, Ares Capital and the “Consenting Lenders” (Black Diamond Capital Management LLC & MJX Asset Management LLC) had “blocking positions,” eliminating the possibility of surpassing the required threshold. Months of negotiations ensued and, apparently, Ares and Black Diamond simply couldn’t get along. Uh, yeah, bros: Black Diamond is kinda known for not getting along. Just sayin.

In lieu of an agreement with those parties, the company has secured, pursuant to a restructuring support agreement, a commitment by Black Diamond Capital Management LLC & MJX Asset Management LLC to credit bid — subject to higher and better offers — their debt in exchange for a 100% interest in the reorganized company. The company has, in turn, rejected a proposal from Ares Capital that would confer $37.8mm in cash and 89.75% equity of an acquisition vehicle as consideration for the company’s assets (which it values at a total of $369mm). Why? It concluded that the offer was neither higher nor better than the credit bid; it also had concerns about valuation, approval and feasibility (feasibility!!!!!). Otherwise, the company be like, “PEACE, B*TCHES, WE DON’T WANT NO PART OF THIS INTERCREDITOR DISPUTE.”

And an intercreditor dispute there is! Ares objected right away to the company’s proposed cash collateral, among other things, saying that Black Diamond is steering the company like a meek little sheep. The objection is too lengthy to recant here but, suffice it to say, it looks like we can expect an old school private equity battle over the course of the case. Judge Drain more or less shot down Ares at the hearing, questioning, even, whether they had standing to object; he then went on to amend the proposed cash collateral order.

Absent a settlement between the funds, this will not be the last fight in the case. Pop the popcorn.

  • Jurisdiction: (Judge Drain)

  • Capital Structure: $20mm RCF, $430mm Term B loan, $30mm Term C loan

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Steinhilber Swanson LLP (Michael Richman) & Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP (Peter Partee Sr., Robert Rich, Michael Legge)

    • Financial Advisor: RPA Advisors (Chip Cummins)

    • Investment Banker:

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Secured Lenders: Black Diamond Capital Management LLC & MJX Asset Management LLC

      • Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Christine Okike, Albert Hogan III, Carl Tullson)

    • Secured Lender: Ares Capital LP

      • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Brian Schartz, Anup Sathy, Stephen Hackney, Alexandra Schwarzman)

    • Secured Lender: Starwood

      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (Steven Abramowitz)

    • Ad Hoc Group

      • Legal: Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

    • Agent: Ankura Trust Company

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

⛽️New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Edgemarc Energy Holdings LLC⛽️

Edgemarc Energy Holdings LLC

May 15, 2019

Pennsylvania-based Edgemarc Energy Holdings LLC and its eight affiliated debtor affiliates are the latest in a string of oil and gas related bankruptcy filings. Don’t let $73/barrel brent crude and $63/barrel West Texas Intermediate prices full you: this is one of many oil and gas filings on the near term horizon.

Edgemarc is a natural gas E&P company focused on the Appalachian Basin in Ohio and Pennsylvania; it and its affiliates control approximately 45k net acres and have drilled and developed 60 producing wells. Now, everyone knows that, right now, the Permian Basin in West Texas is the shizz and, therefore, hearing about the Appalachian Basin may put some of you on edge. But, here, there was an extraordinary externality that really helped push the company into bankruptcy, other more macro factors notwithstanding.

In September 2018, a pipeline and gathering system under construction by a third-party (ETC Northeast Pipeline LLC) exploded. This pipeline was meant to be the gathering and processing avenue for the debtors’ natural gas. Imagine spending a ton of time milking a farm full of cows only to have the production facility designed for processing and transporting the milk explode right as you were about to bring your product to market. Kinda hard to make money in that scenario, right? The same applies to drilling for natural gas: its hard to generate revenue when you can’t process, transport and sell it. And, unfortunately, repair hasn’t been easy: what was supposed to be a “within weeks” project now looks poised to push well into 2020.

According to the debtors, a subsequent dispute with ETC prevented the debtors from flowing their gas through alternative pipelines. Consequently, the debtors “had no other means of selling gas from the affected wells” and opted to “shut in” their Pennsylvania wells and pause all remaining Pennsylvania operations — a hit to 33% of the company’s production activity. Compounding matters, the debtors and ETC are now embroiled in litigation. 😬

Suffice it to say that any company that suddenly loses the ability to sell 33% of its product will struggle. Per the company:

The Debtors’ inability to sell gas from their Pennsylvania properties had a substantial negative impact on their liquidity and ability to satisfy their funded debt, contractual and other payment obligations.

Ya think?!?!? The debtors have approximately $77mm of funded debt; they also has fixed transportation services agreements pursuant to which they agreed to fixed amounts of transportation capacity with various counterparties that exposes the debtors to financial liability regardless of whether they actually transport nat gas. This is so critical, in fact, that the debtors have already filed motions seeking to reject transportation services agreements with Rover Pipeline LLC, Rockies Express Pipeline LLC, and Texas Gas Transmission LLC. Combined, those three entities constitute 3 of the top 4 creditors of the estate, to the tune of over $6mm. These obligations — along with a downward redetermination of the borrowing base under the debtors’ revolving credit facility — severely constrained the debtors’ ability to operate. The debtors have, therefore, filed for chapter 11 with the hope of finding a buyer; they do not have a stalking horse purchaser lined up (though they do have a commitment for a $107.79mm DIP from their prepetition lenders, of which $30mm is new money). The company generated consolidated net revenue of $116.9mm in fiscal 2018.

Significantly, the company is seeking to reject a “marketing service agreement” and “operational agency agreement” with BP Energy Company ($BP), pursuant to which BP agreed to purchase and receive 100% of the debtors’ nat gas capacity. We gather (see what we did there?) that it’s hard to perform under those agreements when you can’t transport your product: accordingly, BP is listed as the debtors’ largest unsecured creditor at ~$41mm. BP’s rights to setoff and/or recoupment (PETITION Note: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP just happened to write about these two remedies this week here) will be a major facet of this case: if BP is able to exercise remedies, the debtors ability to operate post-restructuring will be threatened. Per the company:

Docket #17, Rejection Motion.

Docket #17, Rejection Motion.

The privately-held company is owned primarily by affiliates of Goldman Sachs and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension. Absent “holdup value,” we can’t imagine they’ll get any return on their investment given the circumstances.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Shannon)

  • Capital Structure:

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Darren Klein, Lara Samet Buchwald, Aryeh Falk, Jonah Peppiatt) & (local) Landis Rath & Cobb (Adam Landis, Kerri Mumford, Kimberly Brown, Holly Smith)

    • Directors: Patrick J. Bartels Jr., Scott Lebovitz, Sebastien Gagnon, Baird Whitehead, Zvi Orvitz, Romeo Leemrijse, Verlyn Holt, Jack Golden, George Dotson, Callum Streeter, Alan Shepard

    • Financial Advisor: Opportune LLC and Dacarba LLC

    • Investment Banker: Evercore Partners

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition & DIP Agent: Keybank NA

      • Legal: Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP (Timothy Davidson, Joseph Rovira) & (local) Connolly Gallagher LLP (Jeffrey Wisler)

    • Equityholders: Goldman Sachs & Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board

      • Legal: Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz (Richard Mason, Emil Kleinhaus, Michael Cassel) & (local) Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (Steven Kortanek, Patrick Jackson, Joseph Argentina Jr.)

    • ETC

      • Legal: Akerman LLP (John MItchell, David Parham, Yelena Archiyan) & (local) Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Laura Davis Jones, TImothy Cairns)

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

Bristow Group Inc.

May 11, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

  • Capital Structure:

  • Professionals:

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

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC

    • Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc.

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • ABL Facility Agent: Barclays Bank PLC

    • 2019 Term Loan Agent: Ankura Trust Company LLC

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

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

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

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

    • Ad Hoc Group fo Unsecured Noteholders

      • Legal: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

🌑New Chapter 11 Filing - Cloud Peak Energy Inc.🌑

In what ought to come as a surprise to absolutely no one, Cloud Peak Energy Inc. ($CLD) and a slate of affiliates FINALLY filed for bankruptcy.

Let’s take a moment of silence for coal country, shall we? If this is what MAGA looks like, we’d hate to see what happens when a global downturn eventually hits. There’s gonna be blood in the water.

Sounds like hyperbole? Note that since 2016, there have been a slate of coal-related bankruptcies, i.e., Westmoreland Coal CompanyMission Coal Company LLC, and now Cloud Peak Energy Inc. Blackhawk Mining LLC appears to be waiting in the wings. We suppose it could be worse: we could be talking about oil and gas country (and we will be, we certainly will be…and SOON.).

Cloud Peak is an impressive company. Since its formation in 2008, it has become one of the largest (subbituminous thermal coal) coal producers in the US — supplying enough coal to satisfy approximately 2% of the US’ electricity demand. Its three surface mines are located in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana; it sold approximately 50mm tons of coal in 2018 to 46 domestic and foreign end users.*

In the scheme of things, Cloud Peak’s balance sheet isn’t overly complicated. We’re not talking about billions of dollars of debt here like we saw with Walter EnergyPeabody Energy, Arch Coal, Patriot Coal or Alpha Natural Resources. So, not all coal companies and coal company bankruptcies are created equal. Nevertheless, the company does have $290.4mm of ‘21 12% secured notes (Wilmington Trust NA) and $56.4mm of ‘24 6.375% unsecured notes (Wilmington Trust NA as successor trustee to Wells Fargo Bank NA) to contend with for a total of $346.8mm in funded debt liability. The company is also party to a securitization facility. And, finally, the company also has reclamation obligations related to their mines and therefore has $395mm in third-party surety bonds outstanding with various insurance companies, backed by $25.7mm in letters of credit. Coal mining is a messy business, homies.

So why bankruptcy? Why now? Per the company:

The Company’s chapter 11 filing, however, was precipitated by (i) general distress affecting the domestic U.S. thermal coal industry that produced a sustained low price environment that could not support profit margins to allow the Company to satisfy its funded debt obligations; (ii) export market price volatility that caused decreased demand from the Company’s customers in Asia; (iii) particularly challenging weather conditions in the second quarter of 2018 that caused spoil failure and significant delays in coal production through the remainder of 2018 and into 2019, which reduced cash inflows from coal sales and limited credit availability; and (iv) recent flooding in the Midwestern United States that has significantly disrupted rail service, further reducing coal sales.

To summarize, price compression caused by natural gas. Too much regulation (which, in turn, favors natural gas over coal). Too much debt. And, dare we say, global warming?!? Challenging weather and flooding must be really perplexing in coal country where global warming isn’t exactly embraced with open arms.

Now, we may be hopping to conclusions here but, these bits are telling — and are we say, mildly ironic in a tragic sort of way:

In addition to headwinds facing thermal coal producers and export market volatility, the Company’s mines suffered from unusually heavy rains affecting Wyoming and Montana in the second quarter of 2018. For perspective, the 10-year average combined rainfall for May, June, and July at the Company’s Antelope Mine is 6.79 inches. In 2018, it rained 10.2 inches during that period. While certain operational procedures put in place following heavy flooding in 2014 functioned effectively to mitigate equipment damage, the 2018 rains interrupted the Company’s mining operations considerably.

It gets worse.

The problem with rain is that the moisture therefrom causes “spoil.” Per the company:

Spoil is the term used for overburden and other waste rock removed during coal mining. The instability in the dragline pits caused wet spoil to slide into the pits that had to be removed by dragline and/or truck-shovel methods before the coal could be mined. This caused significant delays and diverted truck-shovel capacity from preliminary stripping work, which caused additional production delays at the Antelope Mine. The delays resulting from the spoil failure at the Antelope Mine caused the Company to have reduced shipments, increased costs, and delayed truck-shovel stripping in 2018. Consequently, the reduced cash inflows from coal sales limited the Company’s credit availability under the financial covenants in the Amended Credit Agreement prior to its termination, and limited access to any new forms of capital.

But, wait. There’s more:

Additionally, the severe weather affecting the Midwest region of the United States in mid-March 2019 caused, among other things, extensive flooding that damaged rail lines. One of Cloud Peak’s primary suppliers of rail transportation services – BNSF – was negatively impacted by the flooding and has been unable to provide sufficient rail transportation services to satisfy the Company’s targeted coal shipments. As of the Petition Date, BNSF’s trains have resumed operations, but are operating on a less frequent schedule because of repairs being made to rail lines damaged by the extensive flooding. As a result, the Company’s coal shipments have been materially impacted, with cash flows significantly reduced through mid-June 2019.

Riiiiiiiight. But:

More about Moore here: the tweet, as you might expect, doesn’t tell the full story.

Anywho.

The company has been burning a bit over $7mm of liquidity a month since September 2018. Accordingly, it sought strategic alternatives but was unable to find anything viable that would clear its cap stack. We gather there isn’t a whole lot of bullishness around coal mines these days.

To buy itself some time, therefore, the company engaged in a series of exchange transactions dating back to 2016. This enabled it to extinguish certain debt maturing in 2019. And thank G-d for the public markets: were it not for a February 2017 equity offering where some idiot public investors hopped in to effectively transfer their money straight into noteholder pockets, this thing probably would have filed for bankruptcy sooner. That equity offering — coupled with a preceding exchange offer — bought the company some runway to continue to explore strategic alternatives. The company engaged J.P. Morgan Securities LLC to find a partner but nothing was actionable. Ah….coal.

Thereafter, the company hired a slate of restructuring professionals to help prepare it for the inevitable. Centerview Partners took over for J.P. Morgan Securities LLC but, to date, has had no additional luck. The company filed for bankruptcy without any prospective buyers lined up.

Alas, the company filed for bankruptcy with a “sale and plan support agreement” or “SAPSA.” While this may sound like a venereal disease, what it really means is that the company has an agreement with a significant percentage of both its secured and unsecured noteholders to dual track a sale and plan process. If they can sell the debtors’ assets via a string of 363 sales, great. If they have to do a more fulsome transaction by way of a plan, sure, that also works. These consenting noteholders also settled some other disputes and support the proposed $35mm DIP financing

*Foreign customers purchased approximately 9% of ‘18 coal production.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Gross)

  • Capital Structure: $290mm 12% ‘21 secured debt (Wilmington Trust NA), $56.4mm unsecured debt (BOKF NA)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (Paul Heath, David Meyer, Jessica Peet, Lauren Kanzer, Matthew Moran, Steven Zundell, Andrew Geppert, Matthew Pyeatt, Matthew Struble, Jeremy Reichman) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Daniel DeFranceschi, John Knight)

    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Alan Boyko)

    • Investment Banker: Centerview Partners (Marc Puntus, Ryan Kielty, Johannes Preis)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Major shareholders: Renaissance Technologies LLC, The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Dimensional Fund Advisors LP, Kopernik Global Advisors, Blackrock Inc.

    • DIP Agent: Ankura Trust Company LLC

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Aryeh Ethan Falk, Christopher Robertson) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Robert Dehney, Curtis Miller, Paige Topper)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey

    • Prepetition Secured Noteholder Group (Allianz Global Investors US LLC, Arena Capital Advisors LLC, Grace Brothers LP, Nomura Corporate Research and Asset Management Inc. Nuveen Alternatives Advisors LLC, Wexford Capital LP, Wolverine Asset Management LLC)

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Aryeh Ethan Falk, Christopher Robertson) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Robert Dehney, Curtis Miller, Paige Topper)

    • Indenture Trustee: BOKF NA

      • Legal: Arent Fox LLP (Andrew Silfen, Jordana Renert) & (local) Womble Bond Dickinson US LLP (Matthew Ward)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (BOKF NA, Nelson Brothers Mining Services LLC, Wyoming Machinery Company, Cummins Inc., ESCO Group LLC, Tractor & Equipment Co., Kennebec Global)

      • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Lorenzo Marinuzzi, Jennifer Marines, Todd Goren, Daniel Harris, Mark Lightner) & Morris James LLP (Carl Kunz III, Brya Keilson, Eric Monzo)

      • Investment Banker: Jefferies LLC (Leon Szlezinger)

Update: 7/7/19 #379

⛽️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 - Catalina Marketing Corporation

Catalina Marketing Corporation

12/12/18

On September 16 in “🤖Tech Wants to Axe Lawyers🤖,” we wrote about Crossmark Holdings Inc.Acosta Inc., and Catalina Marketing (a unit of Checkout Holding Corp.) and noted that “[a]ll three are in trouble.” Catalina Marketing was the first domino to fall as it filed for bankruptcy in the District of Delaware.

In connection with our review of the three companies, we previously wrote:

Finally, Catalina Marketing finds itself paying restructuring fees these days too. The St. Petersburg Florida company is owned by Berkshire Partners and Hellman & FriedmanCrescent Capital is also a large equity holder. The company’s capital structure includes approximately:

$29mm April ‘19 L+3.5% Revolving Credit Facility

$1.05b April ‘21 L+3.5% Term Loan (~48.4 bid)

$460mm April ‘22 L+6.75% Second Lien Term Loan (~11.6 bid)

$230mm PIK Toggle unsecured notes

Carry the one, add the two, that’s over $5b of debt across all three companies. Gotta love private equity.

So, yes, yet another private equity-backed company is in bankruptcy court. Here, the company appears to have an agreement with 90% of its first lien lenders (Abry Advanced Securities Fund II and III, Alcentra Limited, Bain Capital Credit LP, Carlyle Investment Management LLC, Invesco Senior Secured Management Inc., and OppenheimerFunds Inc.), and 75% of its second lien lenders, the effect of which is purported to be a $1.6b — yes, $1.6 BILLION — debt reduction. An ad hoc group of first lien lenders has agreed to provide $275mm DIP credit facility (of which $125mm is new money) and committed to provide $40mm in exit financing.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Gross)

  • Capital Structure: see above.

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Gary Holtzer, Ronit Berkovich, Jessica Liou, Kevin Bostel, Alexander Condon, Elizabeth Carens, Michael Godbe, Lisa Lansio, Leonard Yoo, Patrick Steel, David Zubkis, Theodore Tsekerides, Peter Isakoff) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Mark Collins, Jason Madron)

    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Robert Del Genio, Thomas Ackerman)

    • Investment Banker: Centerview Partners

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • DIP Lenders and the Ad Hoc First Lien Lenders

      • Legal: Jones Day (Scott Greenberg, Michael J. Cohen, David Torborg, Stacey Corr-Irvine, Jeremy Evans, C. Lee Wilson) and (local) Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP represent the DIP Lenders and the Ad Hoc First Lien Lenders. 

    • Ad Hoc Group of Second Lien Lenders

      • Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Harrison (Brian Hermann, Robert Britton, Daniel Youngblut, Miriam Levi) and (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Pauline Morgan, Andrew Magaziner)

    • Admin Agent of the First Lien Credit Agrement

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Brian Resnick, David Schiff) and Landis Rath & Cobb LLP (Adam Landis, Kerri Mumford)

    • Admin agent under the Second Lien Credit Agreement

      • Legal: Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr (Andrew Goldman, Benjamin Loveland)

    • Ad Hoc Group of the PIK Toggle notes

      • Legal: Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

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:

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  • 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)
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