New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing -- FTD Companies Inc.

FTD Companies Inc.

June 3, 2019

After the issuance of Illinois-based FTD Companies Inc’s ($FTD) most recent 10-K, everyone and their mother — well, other than maybe United Parcel Service Inc. ($UPS)* — knew that FTD was headed towards a bankruptcy court near you. It arrived.

The company is a floral and gifting company operating primarily within the United States and Canada; it (and its affiliated debtors) specializes in providing floral, specialty foods, gift and related products to consumers (direct-to-consumer), retail florists and other retail locations. The company basks in the glory of its “iconic” “Mercury Man” logo, which it alleges is “one of the most recognized logos in the world.” Seriously? Hyperbole much?🙄

Maybe…not? This, for any sort of history nerd, is actually pretty interesting:

Originally called "Florists' Telegraph Delivery Association," FTD was the world's first flowers-by-wire service and has been a leader in the floral and gifting industry for over a century. The Debtors' story began in 1910 when thirteen American retail florists agreed to exchange orders for out-of-town deliveries by telegraph, thereby eliminating prohibitively lengthy transit times that made sending flowers to friends and relatives in distant locations almost impossible. The idea revolutionized the industry, and soon independent florists all over America were telegraphing and telephoning orders to each other using the FTD network. In 1914, FTD adopted the Roman messenger god as its logo and, in 1929, copyrighted the Mercury Man® logo as the official trademark for FTD.

This company is only slightly younger than Sears (1893). And so this bankruptcy filing is a bigger deal than meets the eye. This company revolutionized flower delivery, regularly innovating and expanding its reach over its decades in business. In 1923, FTD expanded to Britain. In 1946, FTD, FTD Britain and a European clearinghouse established what is now known as Interflora to sell flowers-by-wire around the world. In 1979, the company launched an electronic system to link florists together; and in 1994, it launched its first e-commerce site. In other words, this company always tackled the “innovator’s dilemma” head on, pivoting regularly over time to seize opportunities whenever and wherever they emerged. For quite some time, this was, at least for some time, an impressive operation — seemingly always one step ahead of disruption. WE ALL LIKELY TAKE FOR GRANTED JUST HOW EASY IT IS TO DELIVER FLOWERS THESE DAYS. These guys helped make it all possible. If ever a debtor was in need of a hype man, this company is it. A read of the bankruptcy papers barely gives you a sense for the history and legacy of this company.

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Interestingly, for much of its history, the company was actually a not-for-profit. That’s right: a not-for-profit. Per the company:

For the majority of its existence, FTD operated as a not-for-profit organization run by its member florists. With the florists as its core, the Debtors' legacy business provided a powerful mix of a "local," authentic, and bespoke product, broad geographic range, and a commitment to exacting standards of quality and service. Moreover, the Debtors historically were devoted to creating an optimal product for their florist network, including through investment in innovation and technology and marketing the FTD brand and the floral industry overall. As a result, florists sought out FTD membership, and the FTD brand had (and still has) significant caché in the industry.

Amazing!

So what the hell happened? Well, the blood-sucking capitalists arrived knocking. Now-defunct Perry Capital acquired FTD in 1994 (the same year that the company established its web presence) and converted the company into a for-profit corporation. In 2000, the company IPO’d and in 2008, United Online (now owned by B.Riley Financial $RILY), merged with the company in a $800mm transaction consummated just prior to the financial crisis. Then, in 2013, FTD spun off from United Online, once again becoming a publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ exchange.

Throughout the company’s evolution, it pursued a strategy of dominating the floral market via strategic acquisitions (and, in the process, drew antitrust scrutiny a handful of times). In 2006, it acquired Interflora and in 2014, it acquired Provide Commerce LLC (ProFlowers) in a $430mm cash and equity transaction. The purchase was predicated upon uniting FTD’s B2B “Florist” business (read: FTD-to-retail-florists) and B2C (read: FTD-direct-to-consumer) businesses with Provide Commerce’s B2C model in such a way that would (i) offer customers greater choice, (ii) provide the company with expanded geographic and demographic reach, and (iii) promote cross-selling possibilities. Per the company:

…FTD anticipated that the Provide Acquisition would generate significant cost synergies through efficiencies in combined operations.

Ah, synergies. Is there anything more romantic than the thought of ever-elusive synergies?

The company incurred $120-200mm of debt to finance the transaction.** You know where this is headed. If not, well, please allow the company to spell it out for you:

Though the Provide Business Units have increased the Debtors' revenue (the Provide Business Units currently contribute more than 50% of the Debtors' total revenue) … certain shifts in the market, technological changes, and improvident strategic outcomes in connection with the implementation of the Provide Acquisition combined to (a) frustrate expectations regarding the earnings of the combined entity and (b) impair the Debtors' ability to refinance near-term maturities, which has driven the Debtors' need to commence these chapter 11 cases.

That sure escalated quickly. 😬

Let’s take a moment here, however, to appreciate what the company attempted to do. In the spirit of its long-time legacy of getting out ahead of disruption, the company identified a competitor that was quickly disrupting the floral business. Per the company:

ProFlowers had entered the floral industry as a disruptor by reimagining floral delivery to consumers. Unlike the Debtors' "asset-light" B2B business model, ProFlowers took ownership of the floral inventory and fulfilled orders directly through a company-operated supply chain. By sourcing finished bouquets directly from farms, limiting product selection, pricing strategically into the consumer demand curve, and leveraging analytically-driven direct response marketing to generate large volumes at peak periods (i.e., Valentine's Day and Mother's Day), ProFlowers appealed to a broad market of consumers who wanted an efficient order process coupled with lower cost purchases.

There’s more:

In addition to these potential opportunities, FTD also viewed the Provide Acquisition as the means to strategically position itself for success within a changing industry. At the time of the Provide Acquisition, the disruptive impact of ProFlowers was perceived as a threat to traditional business models within the floral industry (and to the Florist Member Network specifically). FTD was concerned that, if it failed to adapt and embrace shifting industry paradigms, competitors would take advantage and acquire ProFlowers to FTD's detriment. Accordingly, FTD effected the Provide Acquisition.

We clown on companies all of the time for failing to heed the signs of disruption. But, that’s not actually the case here. This company was, seemingly, on its game. Where it failed, however, was with the post-acquisition integration. It’s awfully hard to realize synergies when businesses effectively run as independent entities. Per the company:

In particular, a number of key post-acquisition targets, such as (a) floral brand alignment, (b) necessary technological investments in the combined business (e.g., the consolidation of technology/ecommerce platforms), and (c) the integration of marketing and business teams, have lagged. As a result, both the Provide Commerce and the Debtors' legacy brands suffered from internal friction and suboptimal structures within the Debtors' enterprise.

And while the company failed to integrate Provide Commerce, the industry never stopped evolving. Competitors didn’t just take the acquisition as a sign that they ought to fold up their tents and relinquish the flower industry to FTD. F*ck no. To the contrary, this is where…wait for it…AMAZON INC. ($AMZN) ENTERS THE PICTURE:***

While the Debtors struggled to unify their businesses and implement the Provide Acquisition, the floral industry – and consumer expectations – continued to evolve. Following the example set by ProFlowers, other companies began to deliver farm-sourced fresh bouquets directly to customers, increasing competition in the B2C space. In addition, the expanding influence of e-commerce platforms like Amazon transformed customer expectations, particularly with respect to ease of experience and the fast, free delivery of goods. Given the perishable and delicate nature of the product, delivery and service fees were standard in the floral industry. As e-commerce companies trained consumers to expect free or nominal cost delivery, floral service fees became anathema to many customers.

Well, Amazon AND venture capital-backed floral startups (i.e., The Bouqs Company - $43mm of VC funding) that could absorb losses in the name of customer acquisition.

The company also blames a significant number of trends that we’ve covered here in PETITION for its demise. Like, for instance, increased shipping and online marketing costs (long Facebook Inc. ($FB)), low barriers to entry for other DTC businesses (long Shopify Inc. ($SHOP)), and “the growing presence of grocers and mass merchants providing low-cost floral products and chocolate-dipped strawberries during peak holidays” (long Target Inc., ($T)Walmart Inc. ($WMT)Trader Joe’s, etc.).

Collectively, market pressures contributed to declining sales and decreased order volumes, impairing the B2C businesses' ability to leverage and capitalize on scale.

In other words, (a) chocolate-dipped strawberries have no f*cking moat whatsoever and (b) as with all other things retail, this is a perfect storm story that is best explained by factors beyond just the f*cking “Amazon Effect” (the most obvious one being: a ton of debt).

Consequently, the company has been mired in a year-plus-long process of triage; it tried to cap-ex its way out of problems, but that didn’t work; it brought in new leadership but…well…you see how that turned out; it attempted to “reinvent” its user experience to combat its techie VC-backed upstart competitors with no results; and, it sought to optimize efficiencies. None of this could stem the tide of underperformance, bolster liquidity, and, ultimately, prevent debt covenant issues. The company currently has $149.4mm of secured indebtedness on its balance sheet (comprised of a $57.4mm term loan and $92mm under a revolving credit facility). The company reports approximately $72.4mm of unsecured debt owed to providers of goods and services.

In a strange fit of irony, it was the most romantic holiday of the calendar year that spelled doom for FTD. The company’s Valentine’s Day 2018 was pathetic: aggregate consumer order volume declined 5% and, even when people did use FTD, the average order size fell by 3%.

Valentine’s Day 2019 was no better. The company materially underperformed projections again. In addition to constraining liquidity further, this had the added effect of cooling any interest prospective buyers might have in the company pre-bankruptcy.

So, where are we now?

The crown jewel of the company is the company’s B2B retail business. This segment generated $150.3mm in revenue and $42.7mm in operating income in 2018. Operating margin is approximately 30%. The B2C business (including FTD.com), on the other hand, lost $4.6mm in ‘18 (on $727.9mm of revenue) and had -1% operating margin in 2018. (PETITION Note: while these numbers are in many respects abysmal, its fun to think that if they belonged, sans debt, to one of those VC-backed upstarts, they’s probably be WAY GOOD ENOUGH for the company to IPO in today’s environment…flowers-as-a-service anyone?). Clearly, there is nothing “iconic” about this brand outside of the floral network/community.

Anywho, the company is selling the company for parts. On Mary 31, the company effectuated a sale of Interflora for $59.5mm. On June 2, the company entered into an asset purchase agreement with Nexus Capital Management LP for the purchase of certain FTD assets and the ProFlowers business for $95mm. It also entered into non-binding letters of intent to sell other assets, including Shari’s Berries to Farids & Co. LLC (which is owned by the founder of Edible Arrangements LLC, the gnarliest company we’ve ever encountered when it comes to gifts.).

All of which is to say, R.I.P. FTD. We’ll be sure to send flowers. From Bouqs.

*Why are we picking on UPS? It is listed as the largest unsecured creditor to the tune of $23.2mm. Surely they’ll be clamoring for “critical vendor” status given the core function they provide to FTD’s business.

**At one point the papers say, $120mm, at another $200mm.

***We didn’t actually realize this but, yes, of course you can buy fresh flowers on Amazon.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Silverstein)

  • Capital Structure:

    • Secured Indebtedness:

      • $92mm Revolver

      • $57.4mm Term Loan

    • Unsecured Indebtedness

      • $72.4mm of Various Trade Claims

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Jones Day (Heather Lennox, Brad Erens, Thomas Wilson, Caitlin Cahow) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Daniel DeFranceshi, Paul Heath, Brett Haywood, Megan Kinney)

    • Financial Advisor/CRO: AlixPartners LLP (Alan Holtz, Scott Tandberg, Jason Muscovich, Job Chan, Bassaam Fawad, J.C. Chang)

    • Investment Banker: Moelis & Company & Piper Jaffray Companies

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:


New Chapter 11 Filing - Sungard Availability Services Capital Inc.

Sungard Availability Services Capital Inc.

May 1, 2019

Pennsylvania-based Sungard Availability Services Capital Inc., a provider of “critical production and recovery services to global enterprise companies,” with $977mm of net revenue and $203mm of EBITDA in fiscal 2018 filed a prepackaged chapter 11 plan in the Southern District of New York on Wednesday and, if you blinked, you may have missed its residency in bankruptcy. Indeed, some lost their minds because Kirkland & Ellis LLP was able to shepherd the case in and out of bankruptcy in less than 24 hours — breaking the previous record only recently set in FullBeauty. Yes, people care about these things.*

The upshot of this expeditious bankruptcy case is that (a) the company shed nearly $900mm of debt from its balance sheet (reducing debt down to approximately $400-450mm) and (b) transferred 89% ownership to a variety of debt-for-equity swapping funds such as GSO Capital Partners, Angelo Gordon & Co., and Carlyle Group (who will also receive $300mm in senior secured term loan paper). Major equity holders — Bain Capital Integral Investors LLC, Blackstone Capital Partners IV LP, Blackstone GT Communications Partners LP, KKR Millennium Fund LP, Providence Equity Partners V LP, Silver Lake Partners II LP, TPG Partners IV LP — had their equity wiped out. We had previously highlighted KKR’s investment here in “A Hot-Potato Plan of Reorganization. Short BDC Retail Exposure,” discussing the broader context of BDC lending. This is what the capital structure looks like and will look like:

Source: Disclosure Statement

Source: Disclosure Statement

That balance sheet is the driver behind the bankruptcy filing. Per the company:

This legacy capital structure was created based upon the Company’s historical operating model and performance and is unsustainable under current market conditions. When the capital structure was put in place, the Company benefited from a larger revenue base with substantially higher free cash flow. As business conditions evolved and the Company’s revenue declined, cash flow available to service debt and invest in products and services substantially declined. Consolidated net revenue declined by approximately 18% from approximately $1.2 billion in 2016 to approximately $977 million in 20188 while adjusted EBITDA margins remained within a range of approximately 20% to 22%. Negative net cash flow from 2016 to 2018 was approximately $80 million.

In other words, this is as clear-cut a balance sheet restructuring that you can get. Indeed, general unsecured claims are — as you might expect from a prepackaged plan of reorganization — riding through unimpaired. This consensual restructuring is clearly the right result. Getting it in and out of court so quickly is a bonus.

Yet, lest anyone get too high on their own supply, it’s important to note that, while this is a good result under the circumstances, there is a significant amount of value destruction illustrated by this filing. The term lenders are getting merely an estimated 50-73% recovery while the noteholders are getting 7-14%**. Now, it IS reasonable to expect that the “par guys” blew out of this situation long ago. And it is also reasonable to assume that the current holders of loans and notes got in at a significant discount so “value destruction” really is a matter of timing/pricing. For the avoidance of doubt, however, there’s no question that certain lenders experienced some pain on the path to this filing. Here is the chart representing the company’s notes:

Screen Shot 2019-05-03 at 11.12.24 AM.png

So, while some are surely celebrating, others are surely licking their wounds.

*We don’t really want to be too flip about this. As critics of the bankruptcy process, we’re all for seeing more efficient uses of the bankruptcy court — even if that does mean that fees were run up pre-petition without any oversight whatsoever.

**You always have to take these recovery amounts with a grain of salt. In case the rampant Chapter 22s haven’t already taught you that.

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

  • Capital Structure:

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Jonathan Henes, Emily Geier, Ryan Blaine Bennett, Laura Krucks

    • Board of Directors: Darren Abrahamson, Patrick J. Bartels Jr., Randy Hendricks, John Park, David Treadwell

    • Financial Advisor/CRO: AlixPartners LLP (Eric Koza)

    • Investment Banker: Centerview Partners (Samuel Greene)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • DIP Agent: JPMorgan Chase Bank NA

    • Secured Lender Group

      • Jones Day (Scott Greenberg, Michael Cohen, Nicholas Morin)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc.

    • Crossover Group

      • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Philip Dublin, Naomi Moss)

      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners LP

    • Large Equityholders: Bain Capital Integral Investors LLC, Blackstone Capital Partners IV LP, Blackstone GT Communications Partners LP, KKR Millennium Fund LP, Providence Equity Partners V LP, Silver Lake Partners II LP, TPG Partners IV LP

      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Brian Hermann, Jacob Adlerstein)

New Chapter 11 Filing - Hexion Holdings LLC

Hexion Holdings LLC

April 1, 2019

What we appreciate that and, we hope thanks to PETITION, others will eventually come to appreciate, is that there is a lot to learn from the special corporate law, investment banking, advisory, and investing niche labeled “restructuring” and “distressed investing.” Here, Ohio-based Hexion Holdings LLC is a company that probably touches our lives in ways that most people have no knowledge of: it produces resins that “are key ingredients in a wide variety of industrial and consumer goods, where they are often employed as adhesives, as coatings and sealants, and as intermediates for other chemical applications.” These adhesives are used in wind turbines and particle board; their coatings prevent corrosion on bridges and buildings. You can imagine a scenario where, if Washington D.C. can ever get its act together and get an infrastructure bill done, Hexion will have a significant influx of revenue.

Not that revenue is an issue now. It generated $3.8b in 2018, churning out $440mm of EBITDA. And operational performance is on the upswing, having improved 21% YOY. So what’s the problem? In short, the balance sheet is a hot mess.* Per the company:

“…the Debtors face financial difficulties. Prior to the anticipated restructuring, the Debtors are over nine times levered relative to their 2018 adjusted EBITDA and face annual debt service in excess of $300 million. In addition, over $2 billion of the Debtors’ prepetition funded debt obligations mature in 2020. The resulting liquidity and refinancing pressures have created an unsustainable drag on the Debtors and, by extension, their Non-Debtor Affiliates, requiring a comprehensive solution.”

This is what that capital structure looks like:

Screen Shot 2019-04-01 at 12.28.48 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-04-01 at 12.29.02 PM.png

(PETITION Note: if you’re wondering what the eff is a 1.5 lien note, well, welcome to the party pal. These notes are a construct of a frothy high-yield market and constructive readings of credit docs. They were issued in 2017 to discharge maturing notes. The holders thereof enjoy higher priority on collateral than the second lien notes and other junior creditors below, but slot in beneath the first lien notes).

Anyway, to remedy this issue, the company has entered into a support agreement “that enjoys the support of creditors holding a majority of the debt to be restructured, including majorities within every tier of the capital structure.” The agreement would reduce total funded debt by $2b by: (a) giving the first lien noteholders $1.45b in cash (less adequate protection payments reflecting interest on their loans), and 72.5% of new common stock and rights to participate in the rights offering at a significant discount to a total enterprise value of $3.1b; and (b) the 1.5 lien noteholders, the second lien noteholders and the unsecured noteholders 27.5% of the new common stock and rights to participate in the rights offering. The case will be funded by a $700mm DIP credit facility.

*Interestingly, Hexion is a derivative victim of the oil and gas downturn. In 2014, the company was selling resin coated sand to oil and gas businesses to the tune of 8% of sales and 28% of segment EBITDA. By 2016, segment EBITDA dropped by approximately $150mm, a sizable loss that couldn’t be offset by other business units.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Gross)

  • Capital Structure: See above.

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (George Davis, Andrew Parlan, Hugh Murtagh, Caroline Reckler, Jason Gott, Lisa Lansio, Blake Denton, Andrew Sorkin, Christopher Harris) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Mark Collins, Michael Merchant, Amanda Steele, Brendan Schlauch)

    • Managers: Samuel Feinstein, William Joyce, Robert Kaslow-Ramos, George F. Knight III, Geoffrey Manna, Craig Rogerson, Marvin Schlanger, Lee Stewart

    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLP

    • Investment Banker: Moelis & Company LLC (Zul Jamal)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Noteholders (Angelo Gordon & Co. LP, Aristeia Capital LLC, Barclays Bank PLC, Beach Point Capital Management LP, Capital Research and Management Company, Citadel Advisors LLC, Contrarian Capital Management LLC, Credit Suisse Securities USA LLC, Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, DoubleLine Capital LP, Eaton Vance Management, Federated Investment Counseling, GoldenTree Asset Management LP, Graham Capital Management LP, GSO Capital Partners LP, Heyman Enterprise LLC, Hotchkis and Wiley Capital Management LLC, OSK VII LLC, Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, Silver Rock Financial LP, Sound Point Capital Management LP, Tor Asia Credit Master Fund LP, UBS Securities LLC, Whitebox Advisors LLC)

      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Ira Dizengoff, Philip Dublin, Daniel Fisher, Naomi Moss, Abid Qureshi)

      • Financial Advisor: Evercore Group LLC

    • Ad Hoc Group of Crossover Noteholders (Aegon USA Investment Management LLC, Aurelius Capital Master Ltd., Avenue Capital Management II LP, Avenue Europe International Management, Benefit Street Partners LLC, Cyrus Capital Partners LP, KLS Diversified Asset Management LLC, Loomis Sayles & Company LP, Monarch Alternative Capital LP, New Generation Advisors LLC, P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP)

      • Legal: Milbank LLP (Samuel Khalil, Matthew Brod)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc.

    • Ad Hoc Group of 1.5 Lien Noteholders

      • Legal: Jones Day (Sidney Levinson, Jeremy Evans)

    • Pre-petition RCF Agent & Post-petition DIP Agent ($350mm): JPMorgan Chase Bank NA

      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

    • Trustee under the First Lien Notes: U.S. Bank NA

      • Legal: Kelley Drye & Warren LLP (James Carr, Kristin Elliott) & (local) Dorsey & Whitney LLP (Eric Lopez Schnabel, Alessandra Glorioso)

    • Trustee of 1.5 Lien Notes: Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB

      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

    • Trustee of Borden Indentures: The Bank of New York Mellon

    • Sponsor: Apollo

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; Agrium US, Inc.; The Bank of New York Mellon; Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America; PVS Chloralkali, Inc.; Southern Chemical Corporation; Wilmington Trust; Wilmington Savings Fund Society; and Blue Cube Operations LLC

      • Legal: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP (Kenneth Eckstein, Douglas Mannal, Rachael Ringer) & (local) Bayard PA (Scott Cousins, Erin Fay, Gregory Flasser)

      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Samuel Star)

Updated:

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 Filing - Westmoreland Coal Company🔥

Westmoreland Coal Company

October 9, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tack on a hefty chunk of debt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Capital Structure: See above.

  • Company Professionals:

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

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

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

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

    • Investment Banker: Centerview Partners LLC (Marc Puntus)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • WMLP Ad Hoc Group

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

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital, Inc.

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

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

    • WMB Ad Hoc Group of Term Lenders

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

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

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

    • United States Trustee

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

🚗New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - ATD Corporation🚗

ATD Corporation

10/4/18

Recap: Please see here.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Carey)

  • Capital Structure: See below.

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Anup Sathy, Chad Husnick, Spencer Winters, Joshua Greenblatt, Jacob Johnston, Mark McKane, Jaimie Fedell, Andre Guiulfo) & (local) Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Laura Jones, Timothy Cairns, Joseph Mulvihill)

    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLP (James Mesterharm)

    • Investment Banker: Moelis & Co. (Adam Keil)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Term Lender Committee

      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Brian Hermann, Aidan Synnott, Jacob Adlerstein, Michael Turkel, David Giller, Oksana Lashko, Eugene Park, Jacqueline Rubin) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Pauline Morgan, Joel Waite, Andrew Magaziner)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey

    • DIP Agent and Pre-Petition ABL Agent (Bank of America)

      • Legal: Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs LLP (C. Edward Dobbs, Eric W. Anderson, James S. Rankin Jr., Jack C. Basham) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (John Knight, Amanda Steele, Brendan Schlauch)

    • DIP FILO Lenders & Consenting Noteholders

      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Ira Dizengoff, Philip Dublin, Naomi Moss) & (local) Pepper Hamilton LLP (Evelyn Meltzer, Kenneth Listwak)

      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners

    • Indenture Trustee: Ankura Trust Company LLC

      • Legal: King & Spalding LLP (Jeffrey Pawlitz, David Zubricki, Jared Zajec) & (local) Chipman Brown Cicero & Cole, LLP (William E. Chipman, Jr., Mark D. Olivere)

    • Michelin North America Inc.

      • Legal: Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP (George B. Cauthen, Jody A. Bedenbaugh, Shane Ramsey) & (local) Bayard PA (Justin Alberto, Evan Miller)

    • Cooper Tire & Rubber Company

      • Legal: Jones Day (Timothy Hoffmann) & (local) Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP (Jeremy Ryan, D. Ryan Slaugh)

    • Sponsor: Ares Management

      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Paul Aronzon, Thomas Kreller, Adam Moses)

    • Sponsor: TPG Capital

      • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Ryan Dahl, Natasha Hwangpo)

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 5.21.43 PM.png

New Chapter 11 Filing - R.E. Gas Development LLC (a/k/a Rex Energy)

R.E. Gas Development LLC

5/18/18

Pennsylvania-based R.E. Gas Development LLC and its affiliates are independent publicly-traded ($REXX) oil and gas companies operating in the Appalachian Basin with a focus on drilling and exploration activity in the Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale and Upper Devonian Shale, mostly throughout Western Pennsylvania. Like most other exploration and production companies that have found their way in bankruptcy court over the last several years, the sudden steep decline in crude oil and nat gas prices that began in 2014 significantly affected the company's liquidity and ability to manage its balance sheet. After all, this company isn't operating in the Permian. Revenues for 2017 were $205.3 million. 

After months and months of foreplay, the company enters bankruptcy court with a restructuring support agreement ("RSA") in tow: it provides for a dual path pursuant to which the company will, in agreement with its secured lenders, pursue a sale of substantially all assets or, in the absence of qualified bids, pursue a plan process pursuant to which the first lien lenders (i.e., Angelo Gordon) will swap (DIP) debt for equity in the reorganized company. The RSA purportedly has the support of 100% of the first lien lenders and 71.8% of the outstanding second lien notes.

To fund the company throughout the dual process, the company seeks a $411 million DIP credit facility, the proceeds of which will be used to (i) roll up $261 million of prepetition loans and (ii) settle the "makewhole provision" under the first lien credit agreement to the tune of $50 million. The makewhole was put into place at the time of the issuance of the first lien loan just short of a year ago.  For the uninitiated, the makewhole entitles the lender to certain economics in the event the lenders are "repaid in whole or in part prior to the maturity date or the outstanding indebtedness under the facility is accelerated for any reason." The economics are calculated "based on the sum of remaining interest payments and certain fees due on all loans for the remainder of the make whole period, which terminates on October 28, 2019." In other words, Angelo Gordon structured this to give themselves the utmost economics in the (highly likely) case of an event of default and eventual bankruptcy. Solid planning on their part -- assuming, in particular, that the assets fetch a purchase price that will clear the first lien debt and makewhole amount. Respect. 

So, lo and behold, there was an event of default called in February for failure to deliver quarterly financial statements (which led to other defaults as well). In April, the lenders, after a short forbearance period, issued a notice of acceleration. Cha ching! Makewhole!!

The DIP credit agreement imposes fairly expedited -- but not wholly unreasonable (relative to other recent cases) -- timing on the company, including closing of any sale or confirmation of a plan 170 days after the filing date. 

  • Jurisdiction: W.D. of Pennsylvania (Judge Deller)
  • Capital Structure: see below.
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Jones Day (Scott Greenberg, Tom Howley, Michael Cohen, Anna Kordas, Rachel Biblo Block) & (local) Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney PC (James Newell, Timothy Palmer, Tyler Dischinger)
    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Albert Conly)
    • Investment Banker: Perella Weinberg Partners (Alexander Tracy)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Prepetition First Lien Admin Agent: Angelo Gordon Energy Servicer
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Michael Torkin) & (local) Duane Morris LLP
      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners
    • Informal Group of 1%/8% Senior Secured Second Lien Notes due 2020 of Rex Energy Corporation
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Michael Stamer, Meredith Lahaie, Stephen Kuhn, Kevin Zuzolo) and (local) Reed Smith LLP (Eric Schaffer, Maura McIntyre)
      • Financial Advisor: Stephens Inc.
    • Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB
      • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Jonathan Levine, Daniel Harris) & (local) Reed Smith LLP (Eric Schaffer, Maura McIntyre)
    • BOKF, National Association
      • Legal: Arent Fox LLP (Andrew Silfen, George Angelich, Jordana Renert) & (local) Federic Dorwart, Lawyers PLLC (Samuel Ory)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Brown Rudnick LLP (Robert Stark, Chelsea Mullarney, Sigmund Wissner-Gross, Brian Rice, Steven Pohl, Andrew Carty, Bennett Silverberg, Chelsea Mullarney, Emily Koruda, Justin Cunningham) & (local) Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl LLC (Patrick Carothers, David Lampl, John Steiner)
      • Financial Advisor: Conway MacKenzie Inc. (John Young Jr.)
Source: First Day Declaration

Source: First Day Declaration

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 - iHeartMedia Inc.

iHeartMedia Inc.

3/14/18

iHeartMedia Inc., a leading global media company specializing in radio, outdoor, mobile, social, live media, on-demand entertainment and more, has filed for bankruptcy -- finally succumbing to its $20 billion of debt ($16 billion funded) and $1.4 billion of cash interest in 2017. WOWSERS. The company purports to have "an agreement in principle with the majority of [its] creditors and [its] financial sponsors that reflects widespread support across the capital structure for a comprehensive plan to restructure...$10 billion..." of debt.

The company notes $3.6 billion of revenue and unparalleled monthly reach ((we'll have more to say about this in this Sunday's Members-only newsletter (3/18/18) - this claim deserves an asterisk)). 

Still, as it also notes, the company faces significant headwinds. It states in its First Day Declaration,

"Among other factors, the global economic downturn that began in 2008 resulted in a decline in advertising and marketing spending by the Debtors’ customers, which resulted in a corresponding decline in advertising revenues across the Debtors’ business. Then, as the economy recovered, the Debtors’ industry faced new and intense competition from the rapidly-growing internet and digital advertising industry and the entry of on-demand streaming services, both of which siphoned off the share of advertiser revenues allocated by agencies and brands to broadcast radio. The Debtors have taken various operational steps to stem the negative effect of these trends; among other initiatives, the Debtors have successfully developed emerging platforms including its industry-leading iHeartRadio digital platform and nationally-recognized iHeartRadio-branded live events that are audio and video streamed and televised nationwide."

The company ought to expect these trends to continue.

Large creditors include Cumulus Media Inc. (~$5.6 million...yikes) and Spotify (~$2 million).  

  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas
  • Capital Structure:    
Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 2.28.26 PM.png

 

  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Anup Sathy, Brian Wolfe, William Guerrieri, Christopher Marcus, Stephen Hackney, Richard U.S. Howell, Benjamin Rhode, AnnElyse Gibbons) & Jackson Walker LLP (Patricia Tomasco, Matthew Cavenaugh, Jennifer Wertz)
    • Financial Advisor to the Company: Moelis & Co. 
      • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (Caroline Reckler, Matthew Warren)
    • Restructuring Advisor to the Company: Alvarez & Marsal LLC
    • Legal for the Independent Directors: Munger Tolles & Olson LLP (Kevin Allred, Seth Goldman, Thomas Walper, John Spiegel)
    • Financial Advisor to the Independent Directors: Perella Weinberg Partners LP
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Large Equity Holders: Bain Capital & Thomas H. Lee Partners
      • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Matthew Barr, Christopher Lopez, Gabriel Morgan)
    • Potential Buyer: Liberty Media Corporation & Sirius XM Holdings Inc.
      • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Stephen Karotkin, Ray Schrock, Alfredo Perez)
    • Successor Trustee for the 6.875% '18 Senior Notes and 7.25% '27 Senior Notes: Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB
      • Legal: White & Case LLP (Thomas Lauria, Jason Zakia, Erin Rosenberg, J. Christopher Shore, Harrison Denman, Michele Meises, Mark Franke, Michael Garza) & Pryor Cashman LLP (Seth Lieberman, Patrick Sibley, Matthew Silverman) & (local) Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP (Robin Russell, Timothy A. Davidson II, Ashley Harper)
    • Successor Trustee for the 11.25% '21 Priority Guaranty Notes
      • Legal: Kelley Drye & Warren LLP (Eric Wilson, Benjamin Feder, Kristin Elliott)
    • Successor Trustee for the 14.00% Senior Notes due 2021
      • Legal: Norton Rose Fulbright (US) LLP (Jason Boland, Christy Rivera, Marian Baldwin Fuerst)
    • Term Loan/PGN Group
      • Legal: Jones Day (Thomas Howley, Bruce Bennett, Joshua Mester)
    • Ad Hoc Group of Term Loan Lenders
      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Michael Messersmith, Tyler Nurnberg, Sarah Gryll, Christopher Odell, Hannah Sibiski) 
    • TPG Specialty Lending Inc.
      • Legal: Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP (Adam Harris, David Hillman, James Bentley) & (local) Jones Walker LLP (Joseph Bain, Laura Ashley) 
    • Special Committees of the Board of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc.
      • Legal: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Matthew Feldman, Paul Shalhoub, Christopher Koenig, Jennifer Jay Hardy)
    • Ad Hoc Committee of 14% Senior Noteholders of iHeart Communications
      • Legal: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP (Robert Klyman, Matt Williams, Keith Martorana, Matthew Porcelli) & (local) Porter Hedges LLP (John Higgins, Aaron Power, Samuel Spiers)
    • 9.00% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2019 Trustee: Wilmington Trust NA
      • Legal: Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP (Jayme Goldstein, Daniel Fliman, Brian Wells) & (local) Haynes and Boone, LLP (Charles Beckham Jr., Martha Wyrick, Kelsey Zottnick)
    • Citibank N.A.
      • Legal: Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP (Joel Levitin, Richard Stieglitz Jr.) & (local) Locke Lord LLP (Berry Spears)
    • Delaware Trust Company
      • Legal: Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP (Benjamin Finestone, K. John Shaffer, Monica Tarazi, Victor Noskov)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Ira Dizengoff, Philip Dublin, Naomi Moss, Charles Gibbs, Marty Brimmage)

Updated 3/30/18

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

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

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

Updated 4/10/18

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Bestwall LLC

Bestwall LLC

  • 11/2/17 Recap: Nothing like a big juicy asbestos case. Here, the company filed for bankruptcy to establish an asbestos trust to deal with current and future asbestos claimants on a permanent and equitable basis. It has been dealing with litigation for nearly 40 years - over the course of hundreds of thousands of cases - and because it thinks it will be the target of continued litigation "through at least 2050," it thought it best to file and take advantage of the Bankruptcy Code's scheme for dealing with asbestos-related claims. 
  • Jurisdiction: W.D. of North Carolina (Judge Beyer) 
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Jones Day (Gregory Gordon, Daniel Prieto, Jeffrey Ellman, Amanda Rush, Brad Erens) & (local) Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA (Garland Cassada, David Schilli, Andrew Tarr)
    • Claims Agent: Donlin Recano & Co. Inc. (*click on company name above for free docket access)
    • Other Parties in Interest:
      • Creditor: Georgia-Pacific LLC
        • Legal: Debevoise & Plimpton (Natasha Labovitz, Mark Goodman)

Updated 11/8/17

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Armstrong Energy Inc.

Armstrong Energy Inc.

  • 11/1/17 Recap: What a week or so for coal. #MAGA! While oil and gas post-reorg equities have, despite some recent upward movement, had middling results, coal has fared well. Last week Peabody Energy Inc. ($BTU) reported solid numbers and saw its stock pop above $30/share and Arch Coal Inc. ($ARCH) has also enjoyed a nice run. It's up nearly 4% today. While Contura Energy (f/k/a Alpha Natural Resources Inc.) remains in limbo with a pulled-IPO, Armstrong Energy now joins the aforementioned companies as a bankruptcy filer, with the hopes of effectuating a restructuring support agreement-based debt-for-equity transaction that will effectively turn the keys over to a joint venture comprised of the holders of the company's first lien senior secured notes and Knight Hawk Holdings LLC. More to come once the filing is complete.
  • Jurisdiction: E.D. of Missouri (Judge Surratt-States)
  • Capital Structure: $200mm 11.75% '19 first lien senior secured notes (Wells Fargo Bank NA)
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Jonathan Henes, Ross Kwasteniet, William Guerrieri, Travis Bayer, Timothy Bow) & (local) Armstrong Teasdale LLP (Richard Engel Jr., Erin Edelman, John Willard)
    • Financial Advisor: MAEVA Group LLC (Harry J. Wilson)
    • Restructuring Advisor/CRO: FTI Consulting Inc. (Alan Boyko, Brian Martin, Christopher Marshall)
    • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc.
    • Claims Agent: Donlin Recano & Co. Inc. (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Indenture Trustee: Wells Fargo Bank NA
      • Legal: Loeb & Loeb LLP (Walter Curchack, Vadim Rubinstein) & (local) Spencer Fane LLP (Eric Peterson, Ryan Hardy)
    • Ad Hoc Group of Senior Secured Noteholders (BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, Caspian Capital LP, GoldenTree Asset Management LP, Marathon Asset Management LP, Panning Master Fund LP, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America)
      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Brian Hermann, Elizabeth McColm, Diane Meyers, Adam Denhoff, Daniel Youngblut) & (local) Carmody MacDonald PC (Christopher Lawhorn, Thomas Riske)
    • Large Creditors: Thoroughbred Holdings GP LLC, Thoroughbred Resources, L.P., Western Mineral Development, LLC, and Ceralvo Holdings, LLC
      • Legal: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Matthew Feldman, Debra McElligott) & (local) Husch Blackwell LLP (Marshall Turner)
    • Creditor: Kenergy Corp.
      • Legal: Jones Day (Scott Greenberg, Kyle Patrick Lane)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Lorenzo Marinuzzi, Jennifer Marines, Daniel Harris, Rahman Connelly) & (local) Affinity Law Group LLC (J. Talbot Sant Jr.)

Updated 11/17/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - M&G USA Corporation

M&G USA Corporation

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

Updated 11/19/17

Source: First Day Declaration

Source: First Day Declaration

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Appvion Inc.

Appvion Inc.

  • 10/2/17 Recap: The 100+-year old Appleton Wisconsin-based manufacturer of specialty coated paper has filed for bankruptcy. The company operates in two segments, the thermal paper segment and the carbonless paper segment. The thermal paper segment, on the surface, seems like it would be the most susceptible segment to technological disruption. It is used in four principal end markets: 1) point-of-sale for retail receipts and coupons (PETITION Note: you could understand why this would seemingly be in decline with Square and other P.O.S. stations now emailing receipts - not to mention more and more retail being done online); 2) label products for shipping, warehousing, medical and clean-room supplies (PETITION Query: perhaps the shipping labels offsets the paper receipts?); 3) tags and tickets for airline/baggage applications, events and transportation tickets, lottery and gaming applications (PETITION Note: one of us bought a baseball a scannable paperless ticket the other day from Stubhub...hmmm); and 4) printer, calculator and chart paper for engineering, industrial and medical diagnostic charts. The thermal paper segment is 60% of the company's net sales and has enjoyed annual average growth rates between 1-3%. Somewhat shockingly. PETITION Note: We would have liked to have seen those four sub-segments separated out. Meanwhile, the carbonless paper segment accounts for the other 40% of net sales; it produces coated paper products for design and print applications. The paper is used in a variety of end markets including government, retail, financial, insurance and manufacturing. This segment has been in structural decline since 1994, down approximately 7-11% annually due to the rise of new technologies in digital laser, inkjet and thermal printers. Oh, and electronic communications: the company just throws that in their bankruptcy papers like it's an afterthought. In other words, government and corporations are relying more on email than on the printed page which, duh, obviously impacts this segment. The company owns there manufacturing plants and leases three warehouses; it also has 915 union employees - owed $112.6mm in obligations - who probably ought to get ready to get bent (they are represented by the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (the “USW”). The company blames the chapter 11 filing on negative industry trends, an unsustainable degree of balance sheet leverage, inability to adequately address near-term maturities and rapidly deteriorating liquidity. Liquidity became even more of an issue after the company issued a "going concern" warning and received an S&P credit downgrade - two things that obviously made suppliers skittish and resulted in demands for disadvantageous trade terms. Recognizing decreased liquidity, the company appears to have taken as much cost out of the business as it can which, from the looks of the company's papers, may be artificially inflating the numbers on the thermal side in the face of technological innovation. PETITION Note: the assumptions the bankers concoct for this side of the business ought to be watched very carefully. Somewhat surprisingly, despite a full slate of advisors and months of lead-up to the filing, this is a classic free-fall into bankruptcy: there doesn't appear to be any restructuring support agreement with the lenders whatsoever. There is, however, a proposed $325.2mm DIP credit facility which would include $85mm of new money and a $240.2mm rollup of pre-petition money (in other words, the full amount of pre-petition TL & RCF monies outstanding, ex-interest). Nothing like being senior in the cap stack. Final PETITION Note: anyone think this will be the last paper-related bankruptcy in, say, the next 12 months? This is starting to look like 2007 all over again...
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $335mm first lien TL & $100 RCF ($240.8mm outstanding included accrued/unpaid interest), $250mm '20 9% second lien senior notes, $24mm A/R securitization, $6mm Industrial Development Bonds, $500k TL with the State of Ohio
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: DLA Piper (US) LLP (Richard Chesley, Stuart Brown, Jamila Willis, Kaitlin Edelman)
    • Financial Advisor/CRO: AlixPartners LLP (Alan Holtz, Pilar Tarry, Nathan Kramer)
    • Investment Banker: Guggenheim Securities LLC (Ronen Bojmel)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
    • Strategic Communications Consultant: Finsbury LLC
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • DIP Admin Agent: Wilmington Trust, NA
      • Legal: Covington & Burling LLP (Ronald Hewitt) & (local) Pepper Hamilton LLP (David Fournier)
    • DIP Lenders
      • Legal: O'Melveny & Myers LLP (George Davis, Daniel Shamah, Matthew Kremer, Jennifer Taylor) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger P.A. (Mark Collins, Michael Merchant, Brett Haywood)
    • Prepetition Credit Agreement Admin Agent: Jefferies Finance LLC
      • Legal: Jones Day (Scott Greenberg, Brad Erens) & (local) Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Laura Davis Jones, Timothy Cairns)
    • Key Bank National Association
      • Legal: Reed Smith LLP (Peter Clark II, Jennifer Knox, Emily Devan)
    • Fifth Third Bank
      • Legal: Vedder Price PC (Michael Eidelman, Michael Edelman) & (local) Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP (Jeremy Ryan, R. Stephen McNeill, D. Ryan Slaugh)
    • Ad Hoc Committee of Holders of the 9% '20 Second Lien Senior Secured Notes (ADK Capital LLC, ALJ Capital Management LLC, Archer Capital Management LP, Armory Advisors LLC, Barings LLC, Mackenzie Investments, MAK Capital One LLC, Nomura Corporate Research and Assset Management, Riva Ridge Master Fund Ltd., Rotation Capital Management LP, Scott's Cove Management LLC)
      • Legal: Stroock Stroock & Lavan LLP (Jayme Goldstein, Samantha Martin) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Edmon Morton, Matthew Lunn)
    • Second Lien Senior Secured Notes Indenture Trustee: US Bank NA
      • Legal: Foley & Lardner LLP (Richard Bernard, Derek Wright, Mark Prager)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Lowenstein Sandler LLP (Kenneth Rosen, Jeffrey Prol, Wojciech Jung) & (local) Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP (Michael Yurkewicz, Morton Branzburg, Sally Veghte)

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.

New Chapter 11 Filing - Takata Corporation

Takata Corporation

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

Updated 7/11/17 6 pm (CT)

New Chapter 11 Filing - rue21 Inc.

rue21 Inc.

  • 5/15/17 Recap: Pennsylvania-based specialty fashion retailer (owned by private equity shop Apax Partners LP) with 1184 brick-and-mortar locations (pre recent closing initiative) in various strip centers, regional malls and outlet centers filed for bankruptcy to (i) further revamp its e-commerce strategy, (ii) improve the in-store experience, (iii) right-size the store footprint and lease portfolio, (iv) de-lever its capital structure, and (v) effectuate a long-term business plan under its relatively new management. The numbers here are interesting: the company had a negative EBITDA swing of approximately $51mm from 2015 to 2016 - despite rising sales. The company's girls' division got decimated due to "an evolution of customer tastes." Wow! Who knew that teenage girls have fickle fashion tastes? These merchandising issues combined with (a) supply chain issues (heightened - in a self-fulfilling kind of way - by all of the rumors surrounding the company's bankruptcy), (b) "the shift away from brick-and-mortar retail sales to online channels," AND (c) a "not as robust" e-commerce presence relative to competitors, to put the company in a tough spot. A digression: we have previously noted David Simon's comments on the Simon Properties Group (SPG) earnings call from 4/27/17 that SPG is NOT experiencing a decline in traffic - though he offered absolutely ZERO data to back that up. According to SPG's own website, there are currently 90 rue21 locations in SPG properties (which translates to nearly 8%): we're curious to see whether any of these 90 locations will be featured in store closing motions coming soon to a bankruptcy court near you; indeed, in the first instance, it appears that some already are). The company is proposing a deal whereby the Term Lenders will effectively own the majority of the company post-bankruptcy after rolling-up a $100 DIP credit facility (applied in addition to $50mm of new money to be rolled into an exit facility). They've been so kind so as to give general unsecured creditors (read: the little guys) a 4% equity kiss - but only if they vote to accept the plan. Otherwise, the "death trap" door opens and general unsecured creditors end up with nada. We're sure a creditors' committee will have something to say about that. 
  • Jurisdiction: W.D. of Pennsylvania
  • Capital Structure: $150mm RCF ($78mm funded)(Bank of America), $521mm '20 TLB (Wilmington Savings Fund Society as successor to JPMorgan Chase Bank NA), $239mm '21 9% unsecured bonds (Wells Fargo Bank NA).    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Jonathan Henes, Nicole Greenblatt, Robert Britton, George Klidonas) & (local counsel) Reed Smith LLP (Eric Schaffer, Jared Roach)
    • Financial Advisor: Berkeley Research Group LLC (Stephen Coulombe, Kyle Richter, Patrick Farley)
    • Investment Banker: Rothschild Inc. (Neil Augustine, Jonathan Brownstein)
    • Real Estate Advisor: A&G Realty Partners LLC
    • Liquidator: Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC
      • Legal: Greenberg Traurig LLP (Nancy Peterman)
    • Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name for access to the free docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • ABL Agent and DIP ABL Agent: Bank of America
      • Legal: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP (Matthew Furlong, Marc Ledue, Julia Frost-Davis) & (local) Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC (James Newell, Timothy Palmer, Kelly Neal)
    • TL Agent and DIP TL Agent: Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB and Term Lender Group (Bayside Capital LLC, Benefit Street Partners LLC, Bennett Management Corporation, Citadel Advisors LLC, Eaton Vance Management, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, Octagon Credit Investors LLC, Southpaw Credit Opportunity Master Fund LP, Stonehill Capital Management LLC, Voya Investment Management)
      • Legal: Jones Day LLP (Scott Greenberg, Michael J. Cohen, Jeffrey Bresch, Genna Ghaul)
      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners
    • Indenture Trustee: Wells Fargo Bank NA
      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Gerard Uzzi, Robert Nussbaum, Eric Stodola)
    • Sponsor: Apax Partners LP
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Nicholas Baker, Jonathan Endean) & Duane Morris LLP (Joel Walker, Kenneth Argentieri)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Cooley LLP (Jay Indyke, Cathy Hershcopf, Seth Van Aalten, Michael Klein, Lauren Reichardt) & Fox Rothschild LLP (John Gotaskie Jr.)
      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Samuel Star)

Updated 7/12/17

New Filing - Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico & Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation ("COFINA")

  • 5/3/17 Recap: The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico filed a petition for relief under Title III of the the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act ("PROMESA"). Much has been written on this situation and so we're going to keep this brief. We're also going to shed the snark. Why? Well, because this is truly a sad story. GNP in Puerto Rico has declined over 14% in the last decade. The unemployment rate is 12.1% as of 10/16. The labor participation rate plummeted to 40%. The population has declined by 10% over the last decade. 46.1% of PR's residents live below the federal poverty level: the national average is 14.7% and Detroit's poverty level at the time of filing for Chapter 9 was 36%. Brutal. All in, the Commonwealth has $74 billion of bond debt and $48 billion of unfunded pension liabilities. A total dumpster fire.
  • Jurisdiction: United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
  • Capital Structure:

 

  • Professionals:
    • Counsel to the Oversight Board: Proskauer Rose LLP (Martin Bienenstock, Scott Rutsky, Philip Abelson, Ehud Barak, Maja Zerjal, Timothy Mungovan, Steven Ratner, Paul Possinger) & O'Neill & Borges LLC (Hermann Bauer)
    • Strategic Consultant to the Oversight Board: McKinsey & Co.
    • Municipal Investment Banker to the Oversight Board: Citigroup Global Markets
    • Financial Advisor to the Oversight Board: Ernst & Young LLP
    • Counsel to the Puerto Rico Tax Agency and Financial Advisory Authority: O'Melveny & Myers LLP (John Rapisardi, Suzzanne Uhland, Peter Friedman)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Retiree Committee
      • Legal: Bennazar Garcia & Milian CSP (A.J. Bennazar-Zequeira) & Clark Hill PLC (Robert Gordon, Shannon Deeby, Jennifer Green)
    • National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation
      • Legal: Weil (Marcia Goldstein, Kelly DiBlasi, Gabriel Morgan)
    • Ambac Assurance Corporation
      • Legal: Milbank Tweed & McCloy LLP (Dennis Dunne, Andrew Leblanc, Atara Miller)
    • UBS Family of Funds
      • Legal: White & Case LLP (John Cunningham)
    • Oppenheimer Funds
      • Legal: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP (Thomas Mayer, Amy Caton, Douglas Buckley, David Blabey Jr., Phillip Bentley)
    • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
      • Legal: Saul Ewing LLP (Dipesh Patel, Sharon Levine)
    • The Employees Retirement System of the Government of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
      • Legal: DLA Piper LLP (Richard Chesley, Rachel Albanese)
    • Goldman Sachs Asset Management LP
      • Legal: McDermott Will & Emery LLP (James Kapp, Megan Thibert-Ind, William Smith)
    • Trustee: Bank of New York Mellon 
      • Legal: Reed Smith LLP (Luke Sizemore, Eric Schaffer, Kurt Gwynne)

Updated 5/11/17

From the Commonwealth's petition.

From the Commonwealth's petition.

New Chapter 11 Filing - Ameriforge Group Inc.

Ameriforge Group Inc. (d/b/a AFGlobal Corporation)

  • 5/1/17 Recap: Houston-based manufacturer of products for a variety of markets (oil and gas, power, aerospace and industrial) filed a prepackaged bankruptcy case to delever its balance sheet by approximately $680mm. The company's first lien lenders will get nearly all of the equity in the reorganized entity. Second lien lenders will get some option value in the form of an equity kiss and warrants/options. The company has secured $70mm in new money and seeks to be out of bankruptcy in roughly three weeks: some of these cases are getting VERY speedy.
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas
  • Capital Structure: $89.5mm '17 first lien funded RCF and $519mm '19 first lien senior secured TL-B (Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas), $143.3mm '20 second lien secured TL (Delaware Trust Company).   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Edward Sassower, William Guerrieri, Christopher Hayes, Bradley Giordano, Chad Husnick) & (local) Jackson Walker LLP (Patricia Tomasco, Matthew Cavenaugh, Jennifer Wertz)
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (James Grady)
    • Investment Banker: Lazard Middle Markets LLC (Brandon Aebersold, Parry Sorenson)
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Lenders (Carlyle Strategic Partners, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, Eaton Vance Management, Stellex Capital Management)
      • Legal: Jones Day LLP (Scott Greenberg, Michael Cohen, Bryan Kotliar, Paul Green)
      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Adam Dunayer)
    • Ad Hoc Group of Second Lien Lenders
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Ira Dizengoff, Philip Dublin, Jason Rubin, Charles Gibbs)
      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners LP (Jon Walters, Paul Sheaffer)
    • Sponsor: First Reserve Heavy Metal LP
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Sandy Qusba, Elisha Graff)
  • Prepetition 1L Agent & DIP Agent: Deutsche Bank Trust Company
    • Legal: White & Case LLP (Scott Greissman, Adam Zatz)
  • Prepetition 2L Agent: Delaware Trust Company
    • Legal: Bryan Cave LLP (Jeremy Finkelstein, Stephanie Wickouski, Keith Miles Aurzada)

Updated 7/13/17