💊New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Sienna Pharmaceuticals Inc. ($SNNA)💊

Sienna Pharmaceuticals Inc.

September 16, 2019

If you’re tired of distressed retail and oil & gas companies, the good news is that the biopharma space has been mixing things up. Sienna Pharmaceuticals ($SNNA), a California-based clinical-stage biopharma and medical device company filed for bankruptcy in the District of Delaware. It develops multiple products aimed at chronic inflammatory skin diseases (e.g., psoriasis) and aesthetic conditions (e.g., unwanted hair and acne). The company is at the stage that those in the tech world would designate “pre-revenue.”

And that is precisely the problem. Much like distressed oil and gas companies, distressed biopharma companies are capital intensive (a $184.1mm accumulated deficit) and tend to succumb to the weight of their long-duration development cycle. In this case, the company “has relied on equity issuances, debt offerings, and term loans” to fund development and operations. It has also leveraged its equity as a currency, engaging in strategic acquisitions that enhance its product portfolio; it, for instance, entered into a share purchase agreement in late ‘16 with Creabilis plc. This added one more product that, at this juncture, the company cannot advance due to liquidity issues. Womp womp.

The company has, over the course of time, been indebted to its pre-petition secured lender, Silicon Valley Bank, in the range of $10-30mm. On September 15th, for instance, the company owed SVB over $30mm. In exchange, however, for the use consensual use of cash collateral, the company made a $21.3mm payment to SVB on September 16th, the day before the bankruptcy filing. That’s what you call leverage, folks. SVB’s loan is secured by a laundry list of debtor assets though it is technically not secured by the company’s extensive trove of intellectual property (~250 patents). That IP, however, is subject to what’s called a “negative pledge,” a provision that prevents the company from pledging the IP on account of the fact that SVB’s security interest includes “rights to payment and proceeds from the sale, licensing, or disposition of all or any part of the Intellectual Property.” It’s a wee bit hard to enforce a security interest in IP if someone else has a right to the payments streams emanating therefrom (not that this company has any revenue streams, but you get the idea).

Why bankruptcy? For starters, the company is subject to a “minimum cash covenant” under its SVB facility and liquidity dipped below the minimum. Due to the company’s declining stock price, the company lost access to the equity market. Finally, the company has lingering financial commitments from the Creabilis deal. For all of these reasons, the company simply doesn’t have the liquidity needed to fund the next stages of product development which, in turn, would get the company closer to revenue generation. Chicken. Meet egg.

As is the overwhelming norm these days, the company now seeks to use the bankruptcy process to pursue a sale. As of the filing, no stalking horse purchaser is teed up but the company is “confident” that its banker, Cowen & Co. ($COWN), will locate one that will enable the company to emerge from bankruptcy as a going concern. No pressure, Cowen.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge TBD)

  • Capital Structure: $10mm secured debt (SVB)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (Peter Gilhuly, Ted Dillman, Shawn Hansen) & Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Michael Nestor, Kara Hammond Coyle)

    • Financial Advisor: Force 10 Partners (Jeremy Rosenthal)

    • Investment Banker: Cowen and Company LLC (Lorie Beers)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition Lender: Silicon Valley Bank

      • Legal: Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP (Ori Katz, Michael Driscoll) and Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP (Jennifer Hoover, Kevin Capuzzi)

    • Major shareholders: ARCH Venture Partners VIII LLC, Partner Fund Management LP, FMR LLC (aka Fidelity)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (Therapeutics Inc., Johnson Matthey Inc., MedPharm Ltd.)

      • Legal: Foley & Lardner LLP (Richard Bernard, Alissa Nann) & Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP (Christopher Samis, L. Katherine Good, D. Ryan Slaugh)

Update: 10/1/19 #66

⛽️New Chapter 11 Filing - Alta Mesa Resources Inc. ($AMR)⛽️

Alta Mesa Resources Inc.

September 11, 2019

Man. We nailed this one. Once Alta Mesa Holdings LP’s borrowing base got redetermined down, it was f*cked.*

As we’ve previously covered, Alta Mesa Resources Inc. is an independent oil and nat gas exploration and production company focused on the Sooner Trend Anadarko Basin Canadian and Kingfisher County (otherwise known as the “STACK”) in Oklahoma. It has an upstream business and, through a non-debtor entity it is now suing in an adversary proceeding (Kingfisher Midstream LLC), a midstream business.

The fact that another oil and gas company is now in bankruptcy** is, frankly, fairly uninteresting: the debtors blame the usual factors for their demise. Depressed oil prices ✅. Over-leverage (here, a $368mm RBL and $509mm in unsecured notes)✅. Liquidity constraints✅. We’ve now seen these story — and those factors — several dozen times this year alone. Like many of its oil and gas predecessors, these debtors, too, will explore a “value-maximizing sale of all or substantially all of the [d]ebtors’ assets” while also looking at a restructuring along with non-debtor affiliates. Par for the course.

What’s most interesting to us on this one — and relatively rare in bankruptcy — is the fact that the company emanated out of a “special purpose acquisition company or “SPAC” for short (these are also known as “blank check” companies). For the uninitiated, SPACs are generally shady-as-sh*t investment vehicles with pseudo-private-equity-like characteristics (including the enrichment of the sponsors) that are offered via IPO to idiot public equity investors who are enamored with putting money behind allegedly successful founders/investors. They have a long and sordid history but, as you might imagine in frothy AF markets like the one we’re currently experiencing, they tend to rise in popularity when people have lots of money to put to work and limited avenues for yield baby yield. According to this “SPAC 101” presentation by the law firm Winston & Strawn LLP, “[i]n 2017, there were 32 SPAC IPOs raising a total of $8.7 billion, the highest total since 2007.” That number rose above $10b in 2018. Some recent prominent examples of SPACs include: (a) the proposed-but-called-off combination of SPAC Leo Holdings Corp. ($LHC) with Chuck E. Cheese, (b) Chamath Palihapitiya’s investment in Richard Branson’s Virgin Galacticspace initiative via his $600mm spac, Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp ($IPOA), and (c) something closer to home for distressed players, Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corporation ($MUDS.U), founded by Jason Mudrick. The latter, despite being 18 month post-close, has yet to deploy its capital (which is notable because, typically, SPACs have a two-year life span before capital must be returned to investors).

In late 2016, Riverstone Investment Group LLC formed its SPAC and commenced an IPO in Q1 ‘17. The IPO generated proceeds of over $1b. These proceeds were placed in a trust account — standard for SPACs — and ultimately used to partially fund the “business combination” that started the sh*tshow that we all now know as Alta Mesa. That transaction closed in February 2018. Public shareholders were now in the mix.

So, how did that work out for them? Well, here we are:

So, yeah. Add this one to the list of failed SPACs. The lawyers sure have: AMR, certain of its current and former directors, Riverstone Investment Group LLC and Riverstone Holdings LLC were named defendants in securities class action lawsuits in both United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Southern District of Texas that allege that the defendants “disseminated proxy materials containing materially false or misleading statements in connection with the Business Combination….” The debtors are obviously calling these claims “meritless.”

So, there you have it folks. An inauspicious start has brought us to a suspect penultimate chapter. There is no purchaser in tow, no clear direction for the bankruptcy proceeding, and an adversary proceeding that faces some recent unfavorable precedent (albeit in a different, less favorable, jurisdiction).

We can’t wait to see where this flaming hot mess goes from here.


*We wrote:

PETITION Note: Ruh roh. Just like that, the lenders have put the squeeze on AMH. AMH meet world of hurt. World of hurt, meet AMH.

“As provided under the Alta Mesa RBL, AMH will elect to repay the excess utilization in 5 equal monthly installments of $32.5 million, the first of which will be due in September 2019. As of July 31, 2019, AMH had cash on hand of approximately $79.7 million.”

PETITION Note: HAHAHAHAHA, yeah, sure it will. And we have a bridge to sell you.

Re-engage the bankruptcy countdown. Maybe…MAYBE…some crazy macroeconomic shock will occur and oil prices will shoot up to $1900/barrel. Like, maybe a meteor strikes Earth and annihilates Saudi Arabia, completely wiping it off the map. In that scenario, yeah, sure, AMH is copacetic. 

Interestingly, as we write this, Yemeni Houthi rebels are taking credit for a drone attack that has shut down half of Saudi Arabia’s oil output. Per the WSJ:

The production shutdown amounts to a loss of about five million barrels a day, the people said, roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude oil. The kingdom produces 9.8 million barrels a day.

Meteors. Drones. Let’s not split hairs.

**10% of the top 30 creditors features energy companies with prior BK experience including greatest hits like Chaparral Energy LLC, Weatherford US LP (another recent Latham client), and Basic Energy Services LP.


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

  • Capital Structure: $368mm RBL (Wells Fargo Bank NA), $509mm 7.785% unsecured notes (US Bank NA)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (George Davis, Caroline Reckler, Annemarie Reilly, Brett Neve, Andrew Sorkin) & Porter Hedges LLP (John F. Higgins IV, Eric English, Aaron Power, M. Shane Johnson)

    • Board of Directors: James Hackett (Riverstone), Pierre Lapeyre Jr. (Riverstone), David Leuschen (Riverstone), Donald Dimitrievich (HPS), William McCullen, Sylvia Kerrigan, Donald Sinclair, Jeffrey Tepper, Diana Walters, Patrick Bartels, Marc Beilinson)

    • Financial Advisor/CRO: AlixPartners LLP (Robert Albergotti)

    • Investment Banker: Perella Weinberg Partners (Kevin Cofsky)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc Noteholder Group (Bain Capital Credit LP, Firefly Value Partners LP, Leroy DH LP, PGIM Inc., PPM America Inc.)

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Angela Libby, Stephanie Massman & (local) Rapp & Krock PC (Henry Flores, Kenneth Krock)

    • Issuing Lender: Wells Fargo Bank NA

      • Legal: Bracewell LLP (William A. Wood III, Jason G. Cohen)

    • Unsecured Note Indenture Trustee: US Bank NA

      • Legal: Blank Rome LLP (Ira Herman, James Grogan)

    • Creditor: Kingfisher Midstream LLC

      • Legal: Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP (Susheel Kirpalani, Patrica Tomasco, Devin va der Hahn)

    • Equity Sponsors: Riverstone Investment Group LLC/HPS Investment Partners LLC

      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (David Meyer, Michael Garza, Harry Perrin)

    • Equity Sponsor: Bayou City Energy Management LLC

      • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Joshua Sussberg, Gregory Pesce, Anna Rotman)

    • Equity Sponsors: Orbis Investment Management Limited, High Mesa Holdings LP,

⛽️New Chapter 11 Filing - Weatherford International Plc⛽️

Weatherford International Plc

July 1, 2019

There hasn’t been a MASSIVE bankruptcy filing in a while. Windstream Holdings Inc. filed back in late February and while there’s been plenty of chapter 11 activity since, there hasn’t been anything quite as large in the last several months. There is now. Enter Weatherford International Plc.

Late on Friday, Weatherford, an Irish public limited company, filed an 8-K with the SEC with a proposed plan of reorganization and disclosure statement; it and several affiliated debtors intend to file prepackaged chapter 11 cases in the Southern District of Texas on Monday, July 1.* The timing is appropriate: nothing screams “Independence!” like a massive chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that has the effect of eliminating six billion tyrannical dollars from the balance sheet. YEE HAW. G-D BLESS AMERICA.

Here is a snapshot of Weatherford’s pre and post-bankruptcy capital structure:**

Screen Shot 2019-06-29 at 5.15.48 AM.png

And all of the action is at the pre-petition notes level of the cap stack.*** The holders of the $7.4b of pre-petition notes**** will walk away with 99% of the equity in the reorganized company (subject to various means of dilution) — a 63% recovery based on the offered valuation of the company. They will also receive up to $1.25b of new tranche b senior unsecured convertible notes and the right to participate in new tranche a senior unsecured notes. Every other class — but for existing equity (which will get wiped out) — will ride through as if this shabang ain’t even happening.

You must be wondering: how in bloody hell does a company rack up over $8b of debt? $8 BILLION!! That’s just oil and gas, darling.

Weatherford is a provider of equipment and services used in the drilling, evaluation, completion, production, and intervention of oil and natural gas wells; it operates in over 80 countries worldwide and has service and sales locations in nearly all of the oil and natural gas producing regions in the world. It operates in a highly commoditized industry and so the company dedicates millions each year to research and development in an effort to separate itself from the pack and provide value to end users that is unmatched in the market.

Which, by its own admission, it fails to do. All of that R&D notwithstanding, Weatherford nevertheless provide a commoditized product in a tough macro environment. And while all of that debt should have helped position the company to crush less-capitalized competitors, it ultimately proved to be an albatross.

To service this debt, the debtors require stability in the oil and natural gas markets at prices that catalyze E&P companies to drill, baby, drill. An oil field services company like Weatherford can only make money if there are oil operations to service. With oil and natural gas trading at low levels for years…well, you see the issue. Per the company’s 8-K:

The sustained drop in oil and gas prices has impacted companies throughout the oil and gas industry including Weatherford and the majority of its customers. As spending on exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas has decreased so has demand for Weatherford’s services and products. The decline in spending by oil and gas companies has had a significant effect on the Debtors’ financial health. To illustrate, on a consolidated basis, the Company’s cash flows from operating activities have been negative $304 million, negative $388 million, and negative $242 million in fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively.

While not quite at Uber Inc. ($UBER) levels, this company is practically lighting money on fire.

Relating to the competition:

The oilfield services and equipment industry is saturated with competition from various companies that operate in the same sector and the same regions of the world as Weatherford. The primary competitive factors include safety, performance, price, quality, and breadth of products and services. Weatherford also faces competition from regional suppliers in some of the sectors in which it operates as these suppliers offer limited equipment and services that are specifically tailored to the relevant local market. Some of the Company’s competitors have better financial and technical resources, which allows them to pursue more vigorous marketing and expansion activities. This heavily competitive market has impacted the Company’s ability to maintain its market share and defend or maintain the pricing for its products and services. Heavy competition has also impacted the Company’s ability to negotiate contract terms with its customers and suppliers, which has resulted in the Company accepting suboptimal terms.

The squeeze is on, ladies and gentlemen. As E&P companies look to cut costs in the face of increased pressure from investors to lean out, they are putting companies like Weatherford through the ringer. You bet your a$$ they’re getting “suboptimal terms.”

Compounding matters, of course, is the government:

…operations are also subject to extensive federal, international, state and local laws and regulations relating to environmental production, waste management and cleanup of hazardous materials, and other matters. Compliance with the various requirements imposed by these laws and regulations has also resulted in increased capital expenditures as companies in these sectors have had to make significant investments to ensure compliance.

Well GOSH DARN. If only Weatherford had unfettered ability to pollute the hell out of the countryside and our waters all of that debt could be paid off at par plus. Those gosh darn government hacks.

All of these factors combined to strain the debtors’ liquidity “for an extended period of time.” Accordingly, the company went into cost cutting mode.***** In Q4 ‘17, it eliminated 900 jobs to the tune of $114mm in annualized savings. In 2018, the company — with the assistance of McKinsey Restructuring & Transformation Services — continued with workforce reductions, facility consolidations, and other measures.

Yet, the squeeze continued. Per the company:

Despite implementing these efficient and strategic initiatives, the Company continued to face declining revenue and cash flow, as well as market challenges. Due to the Company’s increasingly tight liquidity, its key vendors began requiring shortened payment terms, including pay on delivery or prepayment for all supplies purchased by the Company. This contributed to additional pressure on liquidity that the Company could not sustain. Additionally, as discussed above, the highly competitive market that the Company operates in posed challenges for the Company in winning new bids, resulting in decreased revenue.

Weatherford was therefore forced to divest assets. YOU KNOW YOU’RE LEVERAGED TO THE HILT WHEN YOU SELL NEARLY $1B OF ASSETS AND IT BARELY MOVES THE NEEDLE. Sale proceeds were coming in just to go back out for debt service. The company had a leverage ratio of OVER 10X EBITDA. THIS IS AN UNMITIGATED F*CKING DISASTER. What’s actually astonishing is that the company notes that it retained Lazard Freres & Co LLC ($LZ) and Latham & Watkins LLP in December ‘18 and April ‘19, respectively. Taking them at their word (and we could have sworn Latham was in there much earlier than April), WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY WAITING FOR$600mm of annual interest payments, pending maturities, untenable leverage relative to competitors, AND squeezing vendors and the company only got its sh*t together in April? They couldn’t possibly have been THAT inept. Ah, who are we kidding? We’re talking about bankruptcy here.

Now, though, the company has a deal****** and so the upshot is that it is well-positioned for a quick trip into bankruptcy. Indeed, it seeks plan confirmation no later than September 15, 2019 — a nice not-as-speedy-as-other-recent-prepacks-but-speedy prepack. To finance the cases, the company will seek approval of up to $750mm DIP revolver and a $1b DIP term loan. And it is optimistic that it will be well-positioned for the future:

Screen Shot 2019-06-29 at 10.53.10 AM.png

We’ll see.

*The company will also push through Bermuda and Irish proceedings.

**JPMorgan Chase Bank NA ($JPM) is the agent on the prepetition term loan, the prepetition revolving credit agreement, and the A&R facility.

***Only three entities out of an organizational structure of 255 or so direct and indirect subsidiaries are on the hook for the prepetition notes, thereby limiting the number of actual debtor entities that will be subsumed by these cases.

****The pre-petition notes consist of 13 — yes, THIRTEEN — different issuances of notes with interest rates ranging from 4.5% to 9.875% and maturities ranging from 2020 through 2042.

*****Well, as it relates to certain peeps, of course. The debtors’ non-debtor affiliates still had money to make a May 2019 payout to participants in the Executive Bonus Plan.

******The ad hoc noteholder committee is represented by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Evercore Group LLC ($EVR).

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

  • Capital Structure:

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (George Davis, Keith Simon, David Hammerman, Annemarie Reilly, Lisa Lansio) & (local) Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP (Timothy Davidson, Ashley Harper)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC

    • Investment Banker: Lazard Freres & Co LLC

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc Prepetition Noteholder Committee

      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Michael Stamer, Meredith Lahaie, Kate Doorley)

      • Financial Advisor: Evercore Group LLC

    • DIP Agent: Citibank NA

      • Legal: Shearman & Sterling LLP (Frederic Sosnick, Ned Schodek, Sara Coelho, Ian Roberts)

🏠New Chapter 11 Filing - Monitronics International Inc.🏠

Monitronics International inc.

June 30, 2019

We wrote about Monitronics International Inc. in July 2018 in "😬Home Security Company Looks Vulnerable 😬,” noting that “home security is a tough business (short Ascent Capital Group).” And, by “tough” we meant uber-competitive and saturated. It doesn’t help when you’re levered like a boss. We recommend you read the link above to understand the challenges these businesses faced in a better way than that described in the bankruptcy papers.

That said, the debtors’ capital structure is an important element of this story; they carry:

  • $181.4mm ‘21 Revolving Credit Facility

  • $1.072b ‘22 Term Loan

  • $585mm ‘20 9.125% Senior Notes

Leverage + disruption = a recipe for disaster. This prepackaged bankruptcy filing is meant to address the former. Management will be on the clock to figure out the latter. A significantly deleveraged capital structure and a cash infusion will certainly help.

The debtors’ proposed prepackaged plan of reorganization will eliminate approximately $885mm of funded debt by way of equitizing the entirety of the senior notes, and reducing the revolving credit facility (by $50mm) and the amount of term loans (by $250mm). The term lenders will receive $150mm in cash (financed by a rights offering totaling $177mm) and equitize $100mm worth of their loans. The remainder of the term loan amount will be exchanged for take back paper issued by the reorganized debtors.

Source: First Day Declaration ($ in millions)

Source: First Day Declaration ($ in millions)

This is what the capital structure will look like pre and post-transaction:

Source: First Day Declaration ($ in millions)

Source: First Day Declaration ($ in millions)

The senior unsecured notes are fully exchanged for 18% of pre-diluted equity in the reorganized debtors.

The overall structure of the transaction is complex and depends upon some contingencies. This is the summary the debtors provided:

It might as well be gibberish at this point. Once we know whether Ascent toggle occurs we’ll have a better sense of who is contributing what. Moreover, once we the rights offering is consummated, the debtors’ new ownership will be more obvious.

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

  • Capital Structure: See above.

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (David Hammerman, Annemarie Reilly, Jeremy Mispagel, Liza Burton, Brian Rosen, Christopher Harris, Zachary Proulx) & King & Spalding LLP (Roger Schwartz, Sarah Primrose) & (local) Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP (Timothy Davidson, Ashley Harper)

    • Board of Directors: Jeffery Gardner, William Niles, Marc Beilinson, Sherman Edmiston III

    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc.

    • Investment Banker: Moelis & Company LLC

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc Lender Group (Term B-2 Lenders)(Anchorage Capital Group LLC, Boston Management and Research, BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, Eaton Vance Management, FS Global Advisor LLC, Invesco Advisors Inc., KKR Credit Advisors US LLC, Monarch Alternative Capital LP)

      • Legal: Jones Day (Paul Green, Scott Greenberg, Michael Schneidereit, Peter Saba)

      • Financial Advisor: Evecore LLC

    • Ad Hoc Group of Noteholders

      • Legal: Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP (Kristohper Hansen, Sayan Bhattacharyya, Jason Pierce) & (local) Haynes and Boone LLP (Kelli Norfleet, Stephen Pezanosky)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc.

    • KKR Credit Advisors US LLC

      • Legal: Proskauer Rose LLP (Chris Theodoridis)

    • Administrative Agent under Pre-Petition Credit Agreement: Bank of America NA

      • Legal: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP (Amelia Joiner) & ( Local) Winstead PC (Sean Davis)

    • Pre-Petition Agent: Cortland Capital Markets Services LLC

      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Christopher Odell, Hannah Sibiski, D. Tyler Nurnberg, Sarah Gryll)

    • Ascent Capital Group

      • Legal: Baker Botts LLP

⛽️New Chapter 11 Filing - Legacy Reserves Inc.⛽️

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

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

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

oil gushing.gif

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Per the Company:

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

This is the company’s capital structure:

Legacy Cap Stack.png

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

😬

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

  • Capital Structure: See above.

  • Professionals:

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

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

    • Investment Banker: Perella Weinberg Partners (Kevin Cofsky)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

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

    • GSO Capital Partners LP

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

    • DIP Lender: Wells Fargo Bank NA

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

    • Prepetition Term Agent: Cortland Capital Market Services LLC

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

    • Indenture Trustee: Wilmington Trust NA

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

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

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

Updated 7/7/19 #188

New Chapter 11 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 - Imerys Talc America Inc.

Imerys Talc America Inc.

February 13, 2019

Merely a week ago we wrote:

PG&E Corporation's ($PCG) recent liability-based bankruptcy filing got us thinking: what other companies are poised for a litigation-based chapter 11 bankruptcy filing? We think we have a winner. 

Imerys S.A. is a French multinational company that specializes in the production and processing of industrial minerals. Its North American operations are headquartered in Roswell, Georgia and in San Jose, California. Included among Imerys' North American operations is Imerys Talc America. The key word in all of the foregoing is "Talc." 

If only we had purchased a lottery ticket.

Within days, Imerys Talc America Inc. and two affiliated debtors indeed filed for bankruptcy in the District of Delaware. The debtors mine, process and distribute talc for use in end products used in the manufacturing of products sold by third-parties —- primarily Johnson & Johnson Inc. ($JNJ). The debtors have historically been the sole supplier of cosmetic talk to JNJ. And, in part, because of that, they’re getting sued to Kingdom Come. Approximately 14,650 individual claimants are suing the debtors alleging personal injuries caused by exposure to talc mined, processed or distributed by the debtors. The debtors note:

Although personal care/cosmetic sales make up only approximately 5% of the Debtors’ revenue, approximately 98.6% of the pending Talc Claims allege injuries based on use of cosmetic products containing talc.

Whoa. What a number!! What a disparity! Low revenues and yet high claims! What a sham! That just goes to show how absurd these claims are!!

Just kidding. That sentence means absolutely nothing: it is clearly an attempt by lawyers to ignorantly wow people with percentages that have absolutely no significance whatsoever. Who gives a sh*t whether personal care/cosmetic sales are only a small fraction of revenues? If those sales are all laced with toxic crap that are possibly causing people cancer or mesothelioma, the rest is just pixie dust. In fact, it’s possible that 100% of 1% of sales are causing cancer, is it not?

Anyway, naturally, the debtors deny those claims but defending the claims, of course, comes at a huge cost. Per the Company:

…while the Debtors have access to valuable insurance assets that they have relied on to fund their defense and appropriate settlement costs to date, the Debtors have been forced to fund certain litigation costs and settlements out of their free cash flow due to a lack of currently available coverage for certain Talc Claims, or insurers asserting defenses to coverage. The Debtors lack the financial wherewithal to litigate against the mounting Talc Claims being asserted against them in the tort system.

Well that sucks. In addition to the debtors issues obtaining insurance coverage, they’re also apparently bombarded by claimants emboldened by the recent multi-billion dollar verdict rendered against JNJ.. We previously wrote:

While certain cases are running into roadblocks, the prior verdicts call into question whether Imerys has adequate insurance coverage to address the various judgments. If not, the company is likely headed into bankruptcy court — the latest in a series of cases that will attempt to deploy bankruptcy code section 524's channeling injunction and funnel claims against a trust. 

Indeed, given issues with insurance (and JNJ refusing to indemnify the debtors as expected in certain instances), the massive verdict, AND discussions with a proposed future claims representative, the debtors concluded that a chapter 11 filing would be the best way to handle the talc-related liabilities. And indeed a channeling injunction is a core goal. Per the debtors:

The Debtors’ primary goal in filing these Chapter 11 Cases is to confirm a consensual plan of reorganization pursuant to Sections 105(a), 524(g), and 1129 of the Bankruptcy Code that channels all of the present and future Talc Claims to a trust vested with substantial assets and provides for a channeling injunction prohibiting claimants from asserting against any Debtor or non-debtor affiliate any claims arising from talc mined, produced, sold, or distributed by any of the Debtors prior to their emergence from these Chapter 11 Cases. While the Debtors dispute all liability as to the Talc Claims, the Debtors believe this approach will provide fair and equitable treatment of all stakeholders.

The comparisons to PG&E were on point.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Silverstein)

  • Capital Structure: $14.4mm inter-company payable.

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (George Davis, Keith Simon, Annemarie Reilly, Richard Levy, Jeffrey Bjork, Jeffrey Mispagel, Helena Tseregounis) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Mark Collins, Michael Merchant, Amanda Steele)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC

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

  • Other Parties in Interst:

    • Imerys SA

      • Legal: Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP (Christopher Kiplok, William Beausoleil, George Tsougarakis, Erin Diers) & (local) Bayard PA (Scott Cousins, Erin Fay)

    • Future Claims Representative: James L. Patton Jr.

      • Legal: Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP

      • Financial Advisor: Ankura Consulting Group LLC

😷New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Trident Holding Company LLC😷

Trident Holding Company LLC

February 10, 2019

It looks like all of those 2018 predictions about healthcare-related distress were off by a year. We’re merely in mid-February and already there has been a full slate of healthcare bankruptcy filings. Here, Trident Holding Company LLC, a Maryland-based provider of bedside diagnostic and other services (i.e., x-ray, ultrasound, cardiac monitoring) filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. What’s interesting about the filing is that it is particularly light on detail: it includes the standard description of the capital structure and recent efforts to restructure, but there is a dearth of information about the history of the company and its financial performance. There is, however, a restructuring support agreement with the company’s priority first lien lenders.

Here’s a quick look at the company’s capital structure which is a large factor driving the company into bankruptcy:

Source: First Day Declaration

Source: First Day Declaration

As you can see, the company has a considerable amount of debt. The above-reflected “Priority First Lien Facility” is a fairly recent development, having been put in place as recently as April 2018. That facility, provided by Silver Point, includes a $27.1mm prepayment fee triggered upon the filing of the bankruptcy case. That’s certain to be a point of interest to an Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. It also contributed to an onerous amount of debt service. Per the company:

In the midst of market and competitive challenges, Trident has significant debt service obligations. Over the course of 2018, Trident paid approximately $26,185,667.75 in cash interest on the Secured Credit Facilities. On January 31, 2019, the Company missed an interest payment of $9,187,477.07 on the Secured Credit Facilities, resulting in an Event of Default on February 8, 2019 after the cure period expired.

But, wait. There’s more. The recent uptick in distressed healthcare activity is beginning to aggregate and create a trickle-down bankruptcies-creating-bankruptcies effect:

Moreover, a number of recent customer bankruptcies – including those of Senior Care Centers, LLC, 4 West Holdings, Inc., and Promise Healthcare Group, LLC – have exacerbated the Company’s liquidity shortfall by limiting the collectability of amounts owed from these entities. A number of other customers who have not yet filed bankruptcy cases are generally not paying the Debtors within contractual terms due to their own liquidity problems. As a result of these collection difficulties and challenges with the new billing system in the Sparks Glencoe billing center, the Debtors recorded $27.8 million of extraordinary bad debt expense in 2018 and $12.7 million in 2017.

Ouch. Not to state the obvious, but if the start of 2019 is any indication, this is only going to get worse. The company estimates a net operating cash loss of $9.1mm in the first 30 days of the case.

Given the company’s struggles and burdensome capital structure, the company has been engaging its lenders for well over a year. In the end, however, it couldn’t work out an out-of-court resolution. Instead, the company filed its bankruptcy with a “restructuring support agreement” with Silver Point which, on account of its priority first lien holdings, is positioned well to drive this bus. And by “drive this bus,” we mean jam the junior creditors. Per the RSA, Silver Point will provide a $50mm DIP and drive the company hard towards a business plan and plan of reorganization. Indeed, the business plan is due within 36 days and a disclosure statement is due within a week thereafter. Meanwhile, the RSA as currently contemplated, gives Silver Point $105mm of take-back term loan paper and 100% of the equity of the company (subject to dilution). The first lien holders have a nice blank in the RSA next to their recovery amount and that recovery is predicated upon…wait for it…

…a “death trap.” That is, if they accept the plan they’ll currently get “ [●]%” but if they reject the plan they’ll get a big fat donut. Likewise, the second lien holders. General unsecured claimants would get a pro rata interest in a whopping $100k. Or the equivalent of what Skadden will bill in roughly, call it, 3 days of work??

The business plan, meanwhile, ought to be interesting. By all appearances, the company is in the midst of a massive strategic pivot. In addition to undertaking a barrage of operational fixes “…such as optimized pricing, measures to improve revenue cycle management by increasing collection rates, rationalizing certain services, reducing labor costs, better managing vendor spend, and reducing insurance costs,” the company intends to focus on its core business and exit unprofitable markets. While it retreats in certain respects, it also intends to expand in others: for instance, the company intends to “expand home health services to respond to the shifting of patients from [skilled nursing facilities] into home care.” Per the company:

Toward this end, Trident conducted successful home health care pilot programs in 2018 in two markets to optimize its Care at Home business model with radiology technicians dedicated to servicing home health patients. Trident hopes to expand this business model to an additional seven markets in 2019.

Like we said, a pivot. Which begs the question “why?” In addition to the debt, the company noted several other factors that drove it into bankruptcy. Chief among them? The rise of home health care. More from the company:

Trident has suffered ripple effects from the distress faced by skilled nursing facilities (“SNF”), which are its primary direct customers. SNF occupancy rates have declined to a multi-year low as a result of structural and reimbursement changes not yet offset by demographic trends. These structural changes include, among other things, patient migration to home health care. The decline in SNF occupancy rates has led to reduced demand for Trident’s services. At the same time, Trident has only had limited success reducing costs in response to lower volumes, as volume declines are driven by lower utilization per facility rather than a reduction in the number of facilities served.

This is a trend worth continued watching. Who else — like Trident — will be affected by this?

Large general unsecured creditors of the business include Grosvenor Capital Management, Jones Day (to the tune of $2.3mm…yikes), Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas Inc., McKesson ($MCK)(again!!…rough couple of weeks at McKesson), Quest Diagnostics Inc. ($DGX), Cardinal Health Inc. ($CAH) and others. They must be really jacked up about that pro rata $100k!!

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

  • Capital Structure: see above.

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Paul Leake, Jason Kestecher, James Mazza Jr., Justin Winerman)

    • Independent Director: Alexander D. Greene

    • Financial Advisor: Ankura Consulting (Russell Perry, Ben Jones)

    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP (Mark Buschmann, Josh Abramson, Willie Evarts, Meera Satiani, Elsa Zhang)

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

  • Other Professionals:

    • Priority First Lien Admin Agent: SPCP Group LLC/Silver Point Finance LLC

      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Alan Kornberg, Robert Britton, Lewis Clayton, Aidan Synnott, Christman Rice, Michael Turkel)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey LP

    • First Lien Agent: Cortland Capital Market Services LLC

      • Legal: White & Case LLP (Thomas Lauria, Erin Rosenberg, Jason Zakia, Harrison Denman, John Ramirez)

    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Lenders

      • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Patrick Nash)

      • Financial Advisor: Greenhill & Co. Inc.

    • Second Lien Agent: Ares Capital Corporation

    • Ad Hoc Group of Second Lien Lenders

      • Legal: Latham & Watkins (Richard Levy, James Ktsanes)

    • Large Creditor: McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc.

      • Legal: Buchalter P.C. (Jeffrey Garfinkle)

    • Large Creditor: Quest Diagnostics

      • Legal: Morris James LLP (Brett Fallon)

    • Equity Sponsor: Revelstoke Capital Partners

      • Legal: Winston & Strawn LLP (Carey Schreiber, Carrie Hardman)

    • Equity Sponsor: Welltower Inc.

      • Legal: Sidley Austin LLP (Andrew Propps, Bojan Guzina)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

      • Legal: Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP (David Posner, Gianfranco Finizio, Kelly Moynihan)

      • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLP (David MacGreevey)



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 Filing - Enduro Natural Resources LLC

Enduro Natural Resources LLC

5/15/18

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

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

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

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

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

New Chapter 11 Filing - FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.

FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. 

March 31, 2018

#MAGA!!

FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. ("FES"), the wholly-owned subsidiary of publicly-traded (non-debtor) FirstEnergy Corp. has filed a "freefall" bankruptcy in the Northern District of Ohio. FES is a provider of "unregulated"-yet-regulated energy-related products and services to retail and wholesale customers primarily in Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It owns and operates (a) fossil generating facilities (read: coal) in Ohio (three) and Philadelphia (one) through its FirstEnergy Generation subsidiary ("FG") and, (b) 3 nuclear generating facilities (two in Ohio and one in Philadelphia)through its FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation LLC ("NG") subsidiary. 

For those of you who aren't power geeks - and we confess that we are not - this filing gives a pretty solid primer on how United States' power production and distribution works. Or doesn't work - depending on your point of view, we suppose. We summarize some high points here but if you're especially nerdy and want to understand the power industry better, read docket number 55. You can find it via the case name link above. 

A big piece of this bankruptcy filing is the debtors' retail electricity business. Retail sellers of electricity are subject to state-applied "Renewable Portfolio Standards" ("RPS") that requires sellers to obtain a certain percentage or amount of its power supply from renewable energy sources. One way to comply is through the purchase of renewable energy credits ("RECs"). Historically, FES has obtained RECs to comply with the RPS via eight power purchase agreements entered into between 2003-2011 with various wind and solar power producers. But apparently things have changed considerably since then. And FES no longer wants the RECs. 

What's changed? Now FES's actual and projected sales are much lower. Per the company in more detail: 

"The main drivers to the collapse in prices include:
• Lower natural gas prices due to continued improvements in natural gas fracking;
• Excess generating capacity due in part to lower than expected load growth;
• Lower cost of construction for renewable technologies, and/or improved performance (e.g., higher capacity factors); and
• Surplus of RECs."

Also, future market prices and outlook for power and RECs are projected materially lower. RPS mandates are less demanding (#MAGA!!). And the supply of RECs is significantly greater. Said another way: energy disruption. From frackers pushing a rapid expansion in nat gas supplies which, in turn, caused plummeting electricity prices and reduced profits. From regulation and the rise of renewables. From energy efficient electronics. 

Per the company, "While the PPAs made sense to FES at the time they were entered into, a dramatic downturn in the energy market and prices of RECs now renders these contracts extremely burdensome and uneconomic to FES." They're also, according to the debtor, unnecessary: FES is phasing out its retail business and, today, expects to sell less than half of the amount of power this year that it sold in 2013. Consequently, FES seeks to reject those PPAs in bankruptcy.

Which is not the only PPA it seeks to reject. The debtor also seeks to shed its multi-party intercompany PPA pursuant to which it and several other power companies purchase power generated via fossil fuel from the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation ("OVEC"). The debtor alleges that this obligation is priced at above-market rates. And because FES sells very little wholesale power emanating out of the OVEC PPA, it stands to lose approximately $268 million from the deal. Yikes. 

The issue, though, is whether the rejection of the nine PPAs will cause disruption to the continued supply of wholesale electricity or impact the reliability of the transmission grid in the regional transmission organization that governs FES and FG. That generally means YOUR electricity - if you live in the Northeast. Naturally, the debtor argues it won't. The federal government may think otherwise. And this is precisely why the company filed an action seeking a declaratory judgment and injunction against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") to prevent the feds from hindering -- on the basis of the Federal Power Act -- the company's attempts to reject the PPAs under the federal bankruptcy code. FERC regulates the wholesale power market. It is also why the company has filed a request for assistance from Rick Perry, President Trump's Energy Secretary. This is some real dramatic sh*t folks: a conflict between federal statutes with efforts for executive branch intervention. Someone dial up Daniel Day-Lewis and bring him out of retirement: this could be the next "Lincoln." 

So, in a nutshell: the company filed for bankruptcy because it needs to leverage the bankruptcy code's debtor-friendly provisions to shed some burdensome contracts - including the PPAs. It also needs to address its cost structure, its over-levered balance sheet (in terms of interest payments and near-term maturities), and lease payments under certain sale-leaseback arrangements related to one of its power facilities. Said another way, this is a full-stop restructuring: both operational and financial in nature. There is a "Process Support Agreement" with various parties in interest which reflects a good faith commitment to cooperate on first day motions, implementation of employee retention and severance programs, and establishing a protocol for the disposition of company assets. Sounds great but it doesn't really promise any certainty given the various claims and regulatory issues. Buckle your seat belts. 

Some additional things of note:

  • "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!" (Long Don Corleone). Ironically in the week that Westinghouse Electric Corp. emerged out of its own bankruptcy proceeding, it may now find itself back in bankruptcy court for purposes of adjudicating its $2.36 million trade claim.
  • Coal (#MAGA!!). A first order of business is the debtor is seeking to reject its coal transportation agreements with BNSF Railway Company ((owned by Berkshire Hathaway ($BRK.A)) and Norfolk Southern Railway Company ($NSC). Why? It expects to order 200,000 tons of coal less than the 2.5 million tons of coal minimum requirement delineated in the contract. The debtor claims that rejection of the contract will save it $105.6 million over the next 12 months as it replaces rail with barge transportation. 
  • Commodities. The company also seeks to reject certain uranium supply contracts because (i) it already has enough uranium inventory for the rest of 2018 and 2019, (ii) the spot price for uranium has dropped precipitously since entering into the agreements (from $36 and $48 per pound, respectively, to $22 per pound), and (iii) there is "ample supply of uranium available in the market." 
  • Professional Retentions: Two law firms represent the Ad Hoc Group of Holders of the 6.85% Pass Through Certificates due 2034 because George Davis departed O'Melveny & Myers LLP for Latham & Watkins LLP. 
 
  • Jurisdiction: N.D. of Ohio (Judge Koschik)
  • Capital Structure: $3.8 billion funded debt     
    • FES

      • $700 million secured revolving credit facility, ~$332 million of '21 6.05% unsecured notes; (c) ~$363 million of '39 6.80% unsecured notes; and (d) $150 million revolving credit note with Allegheny Energy Supply Company, LLC under which $102 million is currently outstanding and is due on April 2, 2018. 

    • FG

      • ~$328 million of secured fixed-rate pollution control revenue notes ("PCNs"); ~$677 million of unsecured fixed-rate PCNs

    • NG

      • ~$285 million of secured PCNs; ~$842 million of unsecured PCNs

  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Ira Dizengoff, Lisa Beckerman, Brad Kahn, Scott Alberino, Kate Doorley, David Applebaum, Todd Brecher, Sean O'Donnell, Rachel Presa, Brian Carney, Abid Qureshi, Joseph Sorkin, David Zensky) & (local) Brouse McDowell LPA (Marc Merklin, Kate Bradley, Bridget Franklin) & (conflicts) Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
    • Financial Advisor/CRO: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC (Charles Moore)
    • Investment Banker: Lazard Ltd. 
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name for docket)
    • Special Nuclear Regulatory Counsel: Hogan Lovells US LLP
    • Industry Consultants: ICF International Inc.
    • Special Litigation Counsel: Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
    • Tax Consultant: KPMG US LLP
    • Communications Consultant: Sitrick and Company
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Board of Directors of FirstEnergy Corp. 
      • Legal: Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP (Stephen Lerner, Peter Morrison, Julia Furlong)
    • Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB
      • Legal: KIlpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP (Todd Meyers, Michael Langford) & (local) McDonald Hopkins LLC (Michael Kaczka, Scott Opincar, Maria Carr)
    • Indenture Trustee: Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A.
    • Indenture Trustee to PCNs: UMB Bank, National Association
    • Ad Hoc Group of Holders of the 6.85% Pass Through Certificates due 2034
      • Legal: O'Melveny & Myers LLP & Latham & Watkins LLP
      • Financial Advisor: Guggenheim Partners LLC
    • Ad Hoc Group of Holders of PCNs issued by FG and NG
      • Legal: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP 
      • Financial Advisor: GLC Advisors & Co.
    • Contract Counterparty: BNSF Railway Company
      • Legal: Whitmer & Eherman LLC (Mary Whitmer, James Ehrman, Robert Stefancin)
    • Non-debtor Parent: FirstEnergy Corp.
      • Legal: Jones Day (Heather Lennox, Thomas Wilson)

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

Rentech WP U.S. Inc.

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

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - REAL ALLOY (Real Industry Inc.)

REAL ALLOY - Real Industry Inc.

  • 11/17/17 Recap: This one is going to be a snorer for those of you who don't like to geek out over the technical intricacies of commodities businesses. Here, REAL ALLOY is a publicly-traded holding company ($RELY) that leverages its substantial net operating losses to improve the free cash flow position of various undervalued businesses that it acquires. The company acquired Real Industry in 2015 from Aleris Corporation (formerly bankrupt) for $554.5mm, substantially leveraging its balance sheet in the process. Post-acquisition, Real Alloy became one of the largest aluminum recyclers in North America and Europe with products and services availed to wrought alloy processers, automotive original equipment manufacturers (read: big car companies), foundries and casters. In other words, the company serves the automotive, consumer packaging, aerospace, building and construction, steel and durable goods industries by processing new scrap, old scrap, and various aluminum byproducts. All of this puts the company squarely into the aluminum recycling supply chain. The company blames the filing on weakness in the steel industry, the strong U.S. dollar creating arbitrage opportunity, operational setbacks (heightened, to some degree, by Hurricane Harvey), and a reduction in credit insurance and tightening supplier terms. The company is seeking approval of a $365mm DIP credit facility to facilitate the case wherein it hopes to preserve the value of its NOLs and pursue a transaction with a new strategic partner.  
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware 
  • Capital Structure: $96mm ABL (Bank of America, NA), $305mm '19 10% senior secured notes (Wilmington Trust, NA)  
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Gary Lee, Todd Goren, Mark Lightner, Benjamin Butterfield, J. Alexander Lawrence, Geoffrey Peck) & (local) Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP (Mark Minuti, Monique Bair DiSabatino, Sharon Levine)
    • Financial Advisor: Berkeley Research Group LLC
    • Investment Banker: Jefferies LLC
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Noteholder Group
      • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (Richard Levy, Jason Gott, Ted Dillman) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (MIchael Nestor, Kara Hammond Coyle)

Updated 11/17/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - GenOn Energy Inc.

GenOn Energy, Inc.

  • 6/14/17 Recap: NRG Energy Inc. ("$NRG") owned deregulated wholesale power generation corporation and operator of 32 power plants in 8 states (Mid-Atlantic & California) filed a bankruptcy case with a restructuring support agreement agreed to by NRG and holders of 90% of the funded debt. The plan for the restructuring is to delever the company by $1b with the holders of the unsecured senior notes obtaining equity in the reorganized entity from NRG (and the right to participation in rights offering for $900mm in exit financing). This is another in a line of recent power cases including Panda Temple Power, Homer City Generation LP, Illinois Power Generating Co., La Paloma Generating Company LLC. And it probably won't be the last. The company cited the following causes - in addition to its over-levered capital structure - for the bankruptcy filing: (i) flat demand for power over the past five years, (ii) excess capacity (in part due to insufficient power plant retirements), (iii) lower cost structure for competitors, and (iv) significantly depressed natural gas prices. "This combination has caused energy and capacity prices to fall. So has the Debtors' profitability as a result." In the mid-Atlantic, electricity cleared $100 per megawatt hour in early 2014 and now the price hovers around $30 per megawatt hour. And nat gas isn't predicted to recover to industry price highs at least until 2030. So, looks like the merger that created this combined mid-Atlantic/California entity and levered this sucker up to the sky was a bit ill-timed, hey? 
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas (Judge Jones)
  • Capital Structure: $ '18 RCF (NRG Energy Inc. & U.S. Bank NA), $691mm '17 7.875% Senior Notes & $649mm '18 9.50% Senior Notes & $490mm '20 9.875% Senior Notes (Wilmington Trust Company NA), $366mm '21 8.50% Senior Notes & $329mm '31 9.125% Senior Notes (Wilmington Savings Fund Socieity FSB)    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, David Seligman, Steven Serajeddini, W. Benjamin Winger, Christopher Hayes, AnnElyse Scarlett Gibbons) & (local) Zack A. Clement PLLC (Zach Clement)
    • Financial Advisor: McKinsey Recovery & Transformation Services U.S., LLC (Kevin Carmody, Tanner MacDiarmid, Sam Jacobs)
    • Investment Banker: Rothschild & Co. (Todd Snyder)
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Committee of GenOn Note and GAG Notes
      • Legal: Ropes & Gray LLP (Keith Woffard, Stephen Moeller-Sally, Marc Roitman, Meredith Parkinson) & (local) Porter Hedges LLP (John Higgins, Joshua Wolfshohl, Rachel Thompson)
    • Ad Hoc Steering Committee of GAG Notes
      • Legal: Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP (David Gerger, Emily Smith, Benjamin Firestone, Daniel Holzman)
    • NRG Energy Inc.
      • Legal: Baker Botts LLP (Emanuel Grillo, Ian Roberts, Christopher Newcomb)
    • Wilmington Trust Company
      • Legal: Covington & Burling LLP (Ronald Hewitt, Dianne Coffino)
    • Issuing Bank: Citibank NA
      • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (Richard Levy, David Hammerman)

Updated 7/11/17 6:47 pm CT

New Chapter 11 Filing - Panda Temple Power LLC

Panda Temple Power LLC

  • 4/18/17 Recap: Texas-based gas-operated merchant power generator servicing the ERCOT region filed for bankruptcy because demand projections were too robust (in the face of increasing share serviced by alternative energy sources), depressed natural gas prices crushed revenues, and a regulatory attempt to reform to a capacity market failed, among other reasons. The company had been downgraded and operating pursuant to a forbearance with its lenders. Now, the company is in bankruptcy with a restructuring support agreement that outlines the terms of a transaction that will swap the term loan for 100% of the equity in the company. The company will have a $20mm DIP in play to effectuate the transaction.
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $398.7mm funded '22 first lien TL (inclusive of LOC and RCF - Wilmington Trust, NA)  
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (Keith Simon, Annemarie Reilly, Marc Zelina) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger (John Knight, Paul Heath, Brendan Schlauch, Christopher De Lillo)
    • Investment Banker: Ducera Partners (Mark Davis)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of Term Lenders (Ares Capital Corporation, Avenue Capital Management II LP, Brigade Capital Management LP, Canaras Capital Management, GSO Capital Partners LP, H.I.G. WhiteHorse Capital LLC, Lord Abbett & Co. LLC, MJX Asset Management LLC, Oaktree Capital Management LP, Siemens Financial Services Inc., SOF-X Credit Holdings LLC (Starwood Credit Advisors LLC), Western Asset Management Company)
      • Legal: Stroock Stroock & Lavan LLP (Jayme Goldstein, Jonathan Canfield, Joanne Lau) & (local) Young Conaway & Stargatt LLP (Edmon Morton, Matthew Lunn, Ashley Jacobs)
      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey
    • 3M Employee Retirement Income Plan Trust
      • Legal: Blank Rome LLP (Jeffrey Rhodes, Ira Herman, Stanley Tarr)

Updated 5/3/17 

New Chapter 11 Filing - Westinghouse Electric Company LLC

Westinghouse Electric Company LLC

  • 3/29/17 Recap: File this under the most heavily leaked/discussed bankruptcy filing of all time: the Japanese government seemed to make an announcement about the proposed filing every hour. So...Pennsylvania-based nuclear power company filed for bankruptcy (30 debtors in total) after its parent, Toshiba, took a uuuuuuuuuge $6b+ write-down due to delayed and above-budget construction of plants in Georgia and South Carolina. The company secured a $800mm commitment for a DIP facility to fund the cases after a competitive DIP process with powerhouses like Goldman Sachs, Highbridge and Silver Point duking it out with Apollo. We've already covered this company a lot in previous weeks so suffice it to say that the upshot of this filing is that it will lead many to question the viability of nuclear as an alternative power source.
  • Jurisdiction: SD of New York 
  • Company Professionals:
    • Primary Legal: Weil (Gary Holtzer, Garrett Fail, Robert Lemons, David Griffiths, Charles Persons, David Cohen)
    • Legal for Toshiba Nuclear Energy Holdings (UK) Limited: Togut Segal & Segal LLP (Albert Togut, Brian Moore, Kyle Ortiz)
    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLC (Lisa Donahue)
    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners Inc. (Timothy Coleman, John Singh, Mark Buschmann, Harold Kim)
    • Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Toshiba Corporation
      • Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Van Durrer, Paul Leake, Annie Li) 
    • Prepetition Agent:
      • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (Zulfiqar Bokhari) 
    • Proposed DIP Lenders: Apollo Investment Corporation, AP WEC Debt Holdings LLC, Midcap Financial Trust, Amundi Absolute Return Apollo Fund PLC, Ivy Apollo Strategic Income Fund, Ivy Apollo Multi Asset Income Fund
      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkand Wharton & Garrison LLP (Jeffrey Saferstein, Claudia Tobler, Kevin O'Neill) 
    • Proposed DIP Agent: Citibank NA
      • Legal: Shearman & Sterling LLP (Fredric Sosnick, Ned Schodek) 
    • Competing (but losing) DIP Providers: Goldman Sachs Bank USA, HPS Investment Partners LLC, Silver Point Finance LLC
    • Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and City of Dalton Georgia
      • Legal: Jones Day (Gregory Gordon, Dan Prieto, Amanda Rush, Anna Kordas, Jeffrey Ellman)
    • Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia
      • Legal: Alston & Bird LLP (Dennis Connolly)
    • South Carolina Electric & Gas Company and South Carolina Public Service Authority
      • Legal: Reed Smith LLP (Paul Singer, Derek Baker, Tarek Abdalla)
    • Oglethorpe Power Corporation (An Electric Membership Corporation)
      • Legal: Dechert LLP (Michael Sage, Stephen Wolpert) & Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs LLP (C. Edward Dobbs)
    • Exelon Generation Company LLC
      • Legal: Ballard Spahr LLP (Matthew Summers)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Proskauer Rose LLP (Martin Bienenstock, Timothy Karcher, Vincent Indelicato)
      • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC

Updated 5/31/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - Gander Mountain Company

Gander Mountain Company

  • 3/10/17 Recap: Preppers alert! The Minneapolis-based outdoor retailer that specializes in guns guns and more guns has run out of "dry powder" (score!) and finds itself in chapter 11. This comes around the same time that the Cabela's/Bass merger looks to be hanging by a thread. Tough time for outdoor retail. On the brightside, folks who are so scared by the recent election can now get a break on MREs and other survival gear as they go off-grid or to Canada. So, there's that.
  • 5/3/17 Update: The company has sold to Camping World Inc. and, attendant to the sale, entered into an agency agreement with a JV of liquidating firms noted below to handle the assets left out of the sale. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Minnesota
  • Capital Structure: $390mm ABL (Wells Fargo Bank NA) & $35mm TL (Pathlight Capital LLC) debt
  • Company Professionals: 
    • Legal: Fredrikson & Byron PA (Ryan Murphy, Clinton Cutler, Cynthia Moyer, James Brand, Sarah Olson, Steven Kinsella)
    • Financial Advisor: Lighthouse Management Group (Timothy Becker, James Bartholomew)
    • Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Stephen Spencer)
    • Real Estate Advisor: Hilco Real Estate LLC (Ryan Lawlor)
    • Liquidators: Tiger Capital Group LLC (Dan Kane, Michael McGrail), Great American Group LLC (Scott Carpenter, Alan Forman), Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC (Mackenzie Shea), Hilco Merchant Resources LLC (Ian Fredricks)
      • Legal for Liquidators: Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz (Scott Charles, Neil Snyder) & Riemer & Braunstein LLP (Steven Fox)
    • Claims Agent: Donlin Recano (*click on the company above for free docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Prepetition ABL & DIP Lender: Wells Fargo Bank NA
      • Legal: Choate Hall & Stewart LLP (Sean Monahan, Kevin Simard)
    • Term Loan Agent: Pathlight Capital LLC
      • Legal: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP (Mark Silva, Julia Frost-Davis, Amelia Joiner)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Lowenstein Sandler LLP (Jeffrey Cohen, Keara Waldron, Barry Bazian) & (local) Barnes & Thornburg LLP (Connie Lahn, Peter Clark, Christopher Knapp, Roger Maldonado)
      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting LLC (Steven Simms, Dewey Imhoff, Matt Diaz, Timothy Gaines, Jessica Jedynak, Clement Chiun)
    • Buyer: Camping World Inc.
      • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (Zachary Judd, Caroline Reckler, Matthew Warren, Jason Gott)

Updated 5/3/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - Chieftain Sand and Proppant

Chieftain Sand and Proppant

  • 1/9/17 Recap: "You had ONE job!" Here, mining processing and selling frac sand. Only problem is: demand for sand collapsed along with the rest of the oil and gas industry. And, to boot, fracking companies are apparently racist and prefer white sand over the brown type that Chieftain produces. And so the company filed for chapter 11 to sell the company to its term lender and DIP provider, Energy Capital Partners. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $60mm TL debt 
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Gibbons PC (Howard A. Cohen, Natasha Songonuga)
    • Financial Advisor: EisnerAmper LLP (Wayne Weitz)
    • Investment Banker: Tudor Pickering & Holt Co. (Max Barrett)
    • Claims Agent: Donlin Recano (*click link above for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Energy Capital Partners
      • Legal: Latham & Watkins (Mitchell Seider, Annemarie Reilly) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Mark Collins, John Knight, Brett Haywood)

Updated 1/17/17