New Chapter 11 Filing - Color Spot Holdings Inc.

Color Spot Holdings Inc.


Sometimes distress comes from unexpected places. On Tuesday, Color Spot Holdings Inc., a "leading" grower and distributor of quality live plants in the western and southwestern United States filed for bankruptcy. The company's products include bedding plants, e.g., (i) annuals, perennials and poinsettas and other holiday plants (70% of revenue) and (ii) flowering and ornamental shrubs (30% of revenue).

In its First Day Declaration, the company noted:

"In 2016 and 2017, the Debtors had sales of about $268 million and $248 million, respectively. The Debtors’ industry is expanding due to, among other things, an ongoing focus by consumers on caring for their yards and outdoor spaces, favorable demographic shifts, and increasing housing stock. The Debtors are poised to capture upside from this industry growth." 

Curiously that expansion and growth didn't point to expanded and grown sales. And that is despite having a heavyhitter client list, including The Home Depot ($HD), Lowe's Companies, Inc. ($LOW), Costco ($COST), Target ($T), and Walmart ($WMT). And this is despite the company's internal logistics infrastructure which includes 75% of product distribution handled by its internal fleet. This shields the company from rising trucking costs which, as PETITION has noted elsewhere, is more and more of an issue for a variety of businesses. 

To fund its highly seasonal business, the company is a party to three different credit facilities, some components of which applied (cough, usurious) interest rates at 12+%. This is a big part of the problem. In addition, we like to joke a lot about how every business under the sun blames weather for its poor earnings reports. Here, though, it truly makes sense. Indeed, the company blames the long California draught and Texan storms in 2015 and 2017 for significant operational issues. Apparently, the company also experienced declining customer service as it grew. It's hard to get good help these days, it seems. 

Consequently, the company has been in the midst of an operational restructuring; it has closed 33% of its nurseries and fixed its product mix. It has also been seeking a buyer. No stalking horse buyer is lined up, however, and the expressions of interest that the company has obtained don't appear likely to cover the Wells Fargo-funded debt. Consequently, the company intends to use bankruptcy to pursue an expedited sale process supported by the use of cash collateral with the hope of improving upon the prepetition interest and setting the business and its new owners up for success in the upcoming season. By late July, we'll know whether they were successful. 

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Silverstein)
  • Capital Structure: $117.5mm debt     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (M. Blake Cleary, Ryan Bartley, Sean Greecher, Jaime Luton Chapman, Betsy Feldman)
    • Investment Banker: Raymond James & Associates Inc.
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Prepetition Lender: Wells Fargo Bank NA
      • Legal: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw & Pittman LLP (Matthew Walker, M. David Minnick) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (John Knight, Brendan Schaluch)
    • Capital Farm Credit, FLCA
    • Black Diamond Commercial Finance, L.L.C.

New Filing - Violin Memory Inc.

Violin Memory Inc.

  • 12/14/16 Recap: Marc Andreeson of A16Z once famously said that software would eat the world. Case and point: Violin Memory Inc. The publicly-traded Santa Clara California-based flash-drive hardware and (only recently) software services provider files for bankruptcy after software providers cannibalized its product, two failed attempts to sell the company, and a failed attempt to secure DIP financing. The objective of the filing is a "value-maximizing sale" of the assets: hey, its three strikes and you're out, not two. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $10mm '17 5% RCF (Silicon Valley Bank - terminated as of petition date), $120mm '19 4.25% convertible notes (Wilmington Trust)
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Pillsbury & Winthrop LLP (Deryck Palmer, David Forsh, Cecily Dumas) & (local) Bayard PA (Scott Cousins, Justin Alberto, Gregory Flasser)
    • Financial Advisor & Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey [(Andrew Turnbull, Ryan Sandahl, Randall Tatman, Angus Schaller, Brendan Wolf, Derek Kuns)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of Convertible Noteholders (Jefferies Group LLC, Nokota Management LP, Pine River Capital Management LP, Silverback Asset Management LLC, Soros Fund Management LLC)
      • Legal: Weil (Gary Holtzer, David Griffiths)
    • Wilmington Trust
      • Legal: Brown Rudnick LLP (Daniel Saval) & (local) Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (Steven Kortanek)
    • Unsecured Creditors' Committee
      • Legal: Cooley LLP (Lauren Reichardt, Robert Winning, Jay Indyke, Eric Haber, Michael Klein) & (local) Elliott Greenleaf PC (Eric Sutty, Rafael Zahralddin-Aravena)
      • Financial Advisor: The DAK Group (Sheon Karol, Ari Fuchs, Claudia Levine)

Updated 3/21/17