🔌New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Agera Energy LLC🔌

Agera Energy LLC

October 4, 2019

Agera Energy LLC, a retail electricity and natural gas provider to commercial, industrial and residential customers filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. The company blames, among other things, mismanagement and poor strategy for the run-up to its financial problems: too many low margin fixed contracts in an environment that calls for variable contracts proved to be an albatross. Nevertheless, in September ‘18, sponsor Eli Global LLC agreed to pursue a turnaround plan including any and all capital infusions that might be necessary.

But then the hammer dropped. New management discovered “material balance sheet issues, which led to a restatement of the Debtors’ financials. Specifically, as of August 31, 2018, there was approximately $39 million of over stated receivables, of which $37 million related to unbilled receivables. As a result of the foregoing discovery, the Debtors suddenly found themselves in breach of the Senior Lien Supply Agreement’s $16 million Tangible Net Worth covenant.” WHOOPS.

Thereafter, the company and its lenders operated pursuant to a series of forbearance agreements while Eli Global LLC made millions of dollars of capital contributions. Until they didn’t. In May, Eli Global indicated that it was no longer in a position to inject capital into the business — and it still had $21mm in commitments from that point forward. Without the capital, the company was unable to satisfy, among other things, renewable portfolio standards it is subject to.* This dominoed into a separate liability for the company of approximately $72mm and a slate of enforcement actions from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission that threatened the debtors’ ability to sell electricity or natural gas in those states. Consequently, the debtors initiated a strategic alternatives review process which, naturally, included a marketing process for the sale of the debtors. The company now has Exelon Generation Company LLC lined up as a stalking horse purchaser (for the debtors’ contracts) for $24.75mm.

*RPS laws require a certain portion of a state’s electricity consumption to be generated from renewable sources, such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, or hydroelectric.

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

  • Capital Structure: $161.6mm Senior Lien Supply Agreement and Senior Lien ISDA Master Agreement (BP Energy), $35mm Second lien Revolving Credit Facility (Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Company)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: McDermott Will & Emery (Timothy Walsh, Darren Azman, Ravi Vohra, Debra Harrison)

    • Independent Manager: Stephen Gray

    • Financial Advisor: GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group LLC

    • Investment Banker: Miller Buckfire & Co. LLC & Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Inc.

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • DIP Lender: BP Energy Company

      • Legal: Haynes and Boone LLP (Charles Beckham Jr., Kelli Norfleet, Arsalan Muhammad, Kathryn Shurin)

    • Stalking Horse Bidder: Exelon Generation Company, LLC

      • Legal: McGuireWoods LLP (Cecil Martin III)

    • Platinum Partners

      • Legal: Otterbourg PC (Melanie Cyganowski, Eric Weinick)

10/7/19 #42

😷New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Promise Healthcare Group LLC😷

Promise Healthcare Group LLC

November 5, 2018

Most professionals predicted at the start of 2018 that healthcare would be an active industry for restructuring activity. Instead, there’s only been a few cases here and there — nothing to really stand out from the crowd in terms of volume. And, so just when we’re on the verge of declaring that prediction utterly and emphatically wrong, here is Promise Healthcare Group LLC and its affiliated debtors — another short-term and long-term acute care and nursing facility operator in bankruptcy court (with DLA Piper and FTI Consulting in tow, a seemingly regular occurrence these days in sizable healthcare matters).

Why is another large acute care operator in bankruptcy? The debtors blame the usual deplorables, i.e., reimbursement rate declines, capital-intensive and ultimately-abandoned new business projects, underperforming facilities, and an “unsustainable balance sheet.” Consequently, it undertook performance improvement measures, including the closure of two facilities and the sh*tcanning of 147 full-time equivalent employees. This, collectively, freed up a total of $13.5mm but vendors had begun squeezing the company in such a way that this amount, alone, wasn’t enough to cash flow to sustain the debtors.

The debtors intend to (i) sell non-core assets and real estate to payoff certain secured creditors (including one in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, to the L.A. Downtown Medical Center for $84.15mm) and (ii) otherwise market and sell substantially all of the rest of their assets or, if an equity sponsor emerges, restructure. They intend to do this within six months (anyone want to take the under?). The company has a $85mm DIP commitment ($20mm new money) to fund the process.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware

  • Capital Structure: $61.6mm Revolver, $15mm TL debt, $200mm intercompany debt (two loans)

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP (John Tishler, Katie Stenberg, Blake Roth, Tyler Layne) & (local) DLA Piper LLP (Stuart Brown, Kaitlin MacKenzie Edelman, Erik Stier, Matthew Sarna)

    • CRO/Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Andrew Hinkelman, Jennifer Byrne, Chris Goff)

    • Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Andrew Turnbull, Matthew Ryan, Scott Kremeier, Moyo Mamora, Brian Marks, Marc Epstein, Conor Dorgan) and MTS Health Partners LP (Jay Shiland)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition Administrative Agent: Wells Fargo Bank NA

      • Legal: McGuireWoods LLP (Brian Swett, Alexandra Shipley) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (John Knight, Amanda Steele, David Queroli)

    • Healthcare Services Group Inc.

      • Legal: Stevens & Lee P.C. (Joseph Huston Jr., Evan Coren, Robert Lapowsky)

    • Stalking Horse Purchaser: Select Medical Corporation

      • Legal: Dechert LLP (Brian Greer, Stephen Leitzell, Jonathan Stott) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Robert Brady, Sean Greecher)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (HEB Ababa, Ronaldoe Guiterrez and Yolanda Penney, Cardinal Health, Wound Care Management LLC d/b/a MEDCENTRIS, Freedom Medical Inc., Morrison Management Specialists Inc., Efficient Management Resources Systems Inc., Surgical Program Development)

      • Legal: Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. (Andrew Sherman, Boris Mankovetskiy, Rachel Brennan) & (local) Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Jeffrey Pomerantz, Alan Kornfeld, Bradford Sandler, Maxim Litvak, Colin Robinson)

      • Financial Advisor: Province Inc. (Edward Kim, Paul Huygens, Carol Cabello, Jorge Gonzalez, Carlos Lovera, Paul Navid)

Updated 3/9/18

New Chapter 11 Filing - GST AutoLeather Inc.

GST AutoLeather Inc.

  • 10/3/17 Recap: Disruption, illustrated. The automobile industry is at the beginning of a downturn marked by auto price reductions and a drop in new vehicle production. Automobile output is down 4% over the past year as automobile dealers are placing fewer manufacturing orders and dealing with excess supply. Moreover, auto OEMs are decreasing the leather content in certain new vehicles. Finally, automobiles are lasting longer and "the climbing popularity of ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft...diminish consumers' needs for their own cars." Put simply, there is a demand side decline. Consequently, here, the Southfield Michigan-based supplier of leather interiors filed a freefall bankruptcy with the hope of consummating an expedited (approximately 2-month timeframe) 363 asset sale. The company has secured a $40mm DIP credit facility to fund its bankruptcy; it continues talks with its senior lenders about a stalking horse bid to purchase the company. In addition to the aforementioned macro factors, the company blames its deteriorated financial performance on (i) issues associated with certain new customer launches in Europe, (ii) supply chain issues with a critical Chinese supplier who is using leverage to extract out-of-contract economics from the company and (iii) constraints imposed by significant working capital investments to mitigate supply chain disruption to its customers (which include the likes of major auto OEMs, e.g., Audi, BMW/Mini, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Honda, Porsche, PSA, Nissan, Kia, Toyota and Volkswagen).
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Silverstein)
  • Capital Structure: $24mm '19 RCF, $140mm '20 TL-B (Royal Bank of Canada), $32mm mezz debt (Triangle Capital Corp./Alcentra Capital Corp.)
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Ryan Blaine Bennett, Michael Slade, Alexandra Schwarzman, Timothy Bow, Benjamin Rhode, Luke Ruse) & (local) Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Laura Davis Jones, Timothy Cairns, Joseph Mulvihill)
    • Financial Advisor/CRO: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC (Jonathan Hickman, Jay Herriman)
    • Investment Banker: Lazard Middle Market (Jason A. Cohen)
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Sponsor: Advantage Partners
    • Lender Group (Royal Bank of Canada, as DIP Admin Agent)
      • Legal: Paul Hastings LLP (Andrew Tenzer, Michael Comerford, Shlomo Maza) & Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Pauline Morgan, M. Blake Cleary, Justin Rucki)
      • Financial Advisors: FTI Consulting
    • Mezzanine Lenders:
      • Legal: McGuireWoods LLP (Anne Croteau, Douglas Foley) & (local) Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP (Jennifer Hoover, William Alleman Jr.)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Foley & Lardner LLP (Erika Morabito, Brittany Nelson, John Simon, Richard Bernard, Leah Eisenberg) & (local) Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLC (Christopher Samis, L. Katherine Good, Kevin Shaw, Christopher Jones, David Gaffey)
      • Financial Advisor: Berkeley Research Group LLC (Christopher Kearns, Peter Chadwick, Michelle Tran, Kevin Beard, Jay Wu)
      • Investment Banker: Configure Partners LLC (Jay Jacquin)

Updated 11/15/17 7:55 am CT

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

Toys "R" Us Inc.

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

First Day Declaration

First Day Declaration

First Day Declaration

Updated 10/5/17 11:40 am

New Chapter 11 Filing - The Gymboree Corporation

The Gymboree Corporation

  • 6/12/17 Recap: Yawn...another private equity owned retailer in bankruptcy. Why? Standard fare for everyone following the retail story at this point: a substantial brick-and-mortar presence (1300 stores) in need of rightsizing, higher expenses than web-based competitors, an underdeveloped wholesale operation, an underdeveloped web presence, insufficient "omnichannel" capabilities (the go-to buzzword for retailers these days), and more debt than competitors like Children's Place and the Gap. In other words, private equity, that's why (here, Bain Capital Private Equity LP). Notably, "[a]pproximately 35% of their domestic real estate space is concentrated with Simon Property Group, Inc. and GGP Inc. (previously General Growth Properties, Inc.)" ($SPG, $GGP) and, in the first instance, the company is seeking to close 450 stores. Hmmm. The Company will operate under a $105mm DIP term loan credit facility ($35mm new money) and a $273.5mm DIP revolving credit facility; it will also seek to avail itself of $80mm in new equity capital by way of a fully-backstopped rights offering. The upshot of all of this financial mumbo-jumbo is that the term lenders will own the majority of the company. 
  • Jurisdiction: E.D. of Virginia
  • Capital Structure: $81mm '17 ABL RCF (Bank of America NA), $47.5mm '17 ABL Term Loan (Pathlight Capital LLC), 788.8mm '18 TL (Credit Suisse), $171mm '18 unsecured notes (Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas)    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Anup Sathy, Joshua Sussberg, Steven Serajeddini, Matthew Fagen, Laura Elizabeth Krucks, Timothy Bow, Gabor Balassa, Ben Tyson) & (local) Kutak Rock LLP (Michael Condyles, Peter Barrett, Jeremy Williams)
    • Legal (Special Committee): Munger Tolles & Olson LLP (Thomas Wolper, Seth Goldman, Kevin Allred)
    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLC (James Mesterharm, Liyan Woo)
    • Investment Banker: Lazard Freres & Co. LLC (David Kurtz, Christian Tempke)
    • Real Estate Consultant: A&G Realty Partners LLC (Andrew Graiser)
    • Liquidators: Tiger Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Consenting Term Loan Lenders & DIP Term Loan Agent: Credit Suisse AG, Cayman Islands Branch
      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Dennis Dunne, Evan Fleck) & (local) McGuireWoods LLP (Dion Hayes, Sarah Boehm, K. Elizabteh Sieg)
      • Financial Advisor: Rothschild & Co.
    • DIP ABL Administrative Agent
      • Legal: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP (Julia Frost-Davies, Robert A.J. Barry, Amelia Clark Joiner) & (local) Hunton & Williams LLP (Tyler Brown, Justin Paget)
    • DIP ABL Term Agent
      • Legal: Choate Hall & Stewart LLP (Kevin Simard, Jennifer Fenn) & (local) Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP (Christopher Jones)
    • Sponsor: Bain Capital Private Equity LP 
      • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Matthew Barr, Robert Lemons) & (local) Wolcott Rivers Gates (Cullen Speckhart)
    • Ad Hoc Group of Senior Unsecured Noteholders
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Daniel Golden, Jason Rubin)
    • Pathlight Capital
      • Legal: Choate Hall & Stewart LLP (Kevin Simard, Jonathan Marshall) & (local) Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP (Christopher Jones)
    • Indenture Trustee: Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas
      • Legal: Moses & Singer LLP (Alan Gamza, Kent Kolbig, Jessica Boneque) & (local) Hirschler Fleischer PC (Robert Westermann, Rachel Greenleaf)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Hahn & Hessen LLP (Mark Power, Mark Indelicato, Janine Figueiredo, Alison Ladd) & (local) Tavenner & Beran PC (Lynn Tavenner, Paula Beran, David Tabakin)

Updated 7/11/17 at 7:25 pm CT