New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc.

December 12, 2018

On November 11 and then, in a more fulsome manner in November 18’s “😬Biopharma is in Pain😬,” we noted that Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. ($SGYP) “appears to be on the brink of bankruptcy.” Looks like we were right on. This morning (12/12/18) at 4:37am (PETITION Note: remember that if you think that being a biglaw attorney is glamorous), the company and an affiliate filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York.

Synergy is a biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes gastrointestinal therapies; its primary speciality revolves around uroguanylin, “a naturally occurring and ednogenous human GI peptide, for the treatment of GI diseases and disorders” Geez…bankers and lawyers have nothing on scientists when it comes to the vernacular. The company has one commercial product (TRULANCE) and one product in development. The company owns 33 patents.

We previously noted:

The company has a $200mm 9.5% ‘25 secured term loan with CRG (~$100mm funded plus PIK interest) that has been amended a bazillion times to account for the fact that its revenues suck, its market cap sucks, and that its on the verge of tripping, or has tripped, numerous covenants including, a “minimum market capitalization” covenant and a “minimum revenue covenant.” In its most recent 10-Q, the company noted:

To date the Company has been unable to further amend the agreement with respect to the financial and revenue covenants. The Company is continuing discussions with CRG and has received a temporary waiver on the minimum market cap covenant through November 12, 2018. The Company is currently pursuing alternatives that better align with its business, but there is no assurance that Synergy can secure CRG’s consent or otherwise achieve a transaction to refinance or otherwise repay CRG on commercially reasonable terms, in which case we could default under the term loan agreement. If CRG does not grant a further waiver beyond November 12, 2018 the Company will likely be in default of the minimum market cap covenant.

In its bankruptcy filing, however, the company takes a decidedly less aggressive posture vis-a-vis CRG (which makes sense…CRG is, after all, its proposed DIP lender) when explaining the factors leading to the commencement of its chapter 11 cases. While the company does highlight lack of access to capital markets (which, at least as far as we read it, is an implicit jab at CRG), the company primarily blames TRULANCE’s slow sales growth, market access, competitive landscape and a smaller-than-anticipated total addressable market for its travails.

For its part, Centerview Partners has been engaged in a less than ideal sellside process here. According to the company’s papers, Centerview has been trying to sell the company since 2015. Now, unless there is some crazy element to this engagement, most bankers are compensated on the basis of success fees. They want to a large purchase price and a short marketing process to get the best of both worlds: a huge payday without huge utilization. That does not appear to be the case here. 3 years!

Still, they located a buyer. Bausch Health Companies (“BHC”) has agreed to be the stalking horse purchaser of the company’s assets. BHC would get substantially all of the company’s assets — including its IP, certain customer and vendor contracts, A/R, and goodwill. In exchange, they would pay approximately $185mm in cash (minus certain deductions and adjustments) and $15mm in severance obligations.

CRG is the company’s proposed DIP lender with a $155mm facility, of which $45mm represents new money.

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

  • Capital Structure: $110mm 9.5% ‘25 secured term loan, $19mm 7.5% ‘19 senior convertible notes (Wells Fargo NA)

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Ron Meisler, Lisa Laukitis, Christopher Dressel, Jennifer Madden, Christine Okike) & (special counsel) Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

    • Legal Conflicts Counsel: Togut Segal & Segal LLP (Albert Togut, Neil Berger, Kyle Ortiz)

    • Board of Directors

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

    • Independent Director: Joseph Farnan

      • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP

    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Michael Katzenstein, Sean Gumbs, Heath Gray, Om Dhavalikar, Tom Sledjeski, John Hayes, Andrew Kopfensteiner)

    • Investment Banker: Centerview Partners Holdings LP (Samuel Greene, Josh Thornton, Ercument Tokat)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition Agent & DIP Lender: CRG Servicing LLC

      • Legal: Venable LLP (Jeffrey Sabin, Lawrence Cooke)

    • Stalking Horse Bidder: Bausch Health Companies Inc.

      • Legal: Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz (Richard Mason, Michael Benn)

    • Ad Hoc Committee of Equity Holders

      • Legal: Cole Schotz PC (Ryan Jareck, Irving Walker, Norman Pernick, Mark Tsukerman)

    • Official Committee of Equity Security Holders

      • Legal: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP (David Feldman, Matthew Kelsey, Alan Moskowitz, J. Eric Wise)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital, Inc. (Christopher Di Mauro, Geoffrey Coutts)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (Highbridge Capital Management, 1992 MSF International Ltd., 1992 Tactical Credit Master Fund LP)

      • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (Richard Levy, Jeffrey Mispagel, Matthew Warren, Blake Denton, Christopher Harris)

      • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLP (Mark Greenberg, Richard Newman, Jason Ivy, Martin McGahan, Allison Hoeinghaus, Seth Waschitz, Sean Skinner, Michael Sullivan)

      • Investment Bank: Jefferies LLC (Leon Szlezinger, Jeffrey Finger)

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Walter Investment Management Corp.

Walter Investment Management Corp. 

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

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

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

  • Company Professionals:

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

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

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

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Administrative Agent: Credit Suisse AG

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

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

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

      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc.

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

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

      • Financial Advisor: Moelis & Co.

    • Prepetition Indenture Trustee: Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB

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

    • Prepetition Convertible Notes Indenture Trustee: Wells Fargo Bank NA

      • Legal: Thompson Hine LLP (Curtis Tuggle)

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

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

    • Fannie Mae

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

    • Freddie Mac

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

First Day Declaration

First Day Declaration

Updated 11/30/17 10:05 CT

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

Odebrecht Oleo E Gas S.A.

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

New Chapter 11 Filing - Cocoa Services LLC

Cocoa Services LLC

  • 7/14/17 Recap: The company is a (i) part of a vertically-integrated group of companies that supported supply chain for cocoa products and (ii) wholly-owned subsidiary of Transmar Commodity Group Ltd. ("TCG"), which previously filed for bankruptcy and is in the process of being sold and wound down. TCG was the company's largest customer so...well, the bankruptcy of one has effectively dominoed into the bankruptcy of another. The company intends to sell itself to an entity known as JB Cocoa Inc. And since there's nothing else particularly interesting about this case, we're going to pour ourselves some bowls of cocoa puffs. Just because. 
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York (Judge Garrity) 
  • Capital Structure: $5.3mm debt (Bank of the West), $2mm unsecured note (assumed from Transmar).      
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP (Joseph Schwartz, Tara Schellhorn, Rachel Gillen) & (local) Klestadt Winters Jureller Southard & Stevens LLP (Tracy Klestadt, Joseph Corneau)
    • Financial Advisor/CRO: Deloitte CRG (Robert Frezza)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)

Updated 8/8/17