🏠New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Stearns Holdings LLC🏠

Stearns Holdings LLC

July 9, 2019

Hallelujah! Something is going on out in the world aside from the #retailapocalypse and distressed oil and gas. Here, Blackstone Capital Partners-owned Stearns Holdings LLC and six affiliated debtors (the “debtors”) have filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York because of…drumroll please…rising interest rates. That’s right: the FED has claimed a victim. Stephen Moore and Judy Shelton must be smirking their faces off.

The debtors are a private mortgage company in the business of originating residential mortgages; it is the 20th largest mortgage lender in the US, operating in 50 states. We’ll delve more deeply into the business model down below but, for now, suffice it to say that the debtors generate revenue by producing mortgages and then selling them to government-sponsored enterprises such as Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. There are a ton of steps that have to happen between origination and sale and, suffice it further to say, that requires a f*ck ton of debt to get done. That said, on a basic level, to originate loans, the debtors require favorable interest rates which, in turn, lower the cost of residential home purchases, and increases market demand and sales activity for homes.

Except, there’s been an itsy bitsy teeny weeny problem. Interest rates have been going up. Per the debtors:

The mortgage origination business is significantly impacted by interest rate trends. In mid-2016, the 10-year Treasury was 1.60%. Following the U.S. presidential election, it rose to a range of 2.30% to 2.45% and maintained that range throughout 2017. The 10-year Treasury rate increased to over 3.0% for most of 2018. The rise in rates during this time period reduced the overall size of the mortgage market, increasing competition and significantly reducing market revenues.

Said another way: mortgage rates are pegged off the 10-year treasury rate and rising rates chilled the housing market. With buyers running for the hills, originators can’t pump supply. Hence, diminished revenues. And diminished revenues are particularly problematic when you have high-interest debt with an impending maturity.

This is where the business model really comes into play. Here’s a diagram illustrating how this all works:

Source: First Day Declaration, PETITION

Source: First Day Declaration, PETITION

The warehouse lenders got nervous when, over the course of 2017/18, mortgage volumes declined while, at the same time, the debtors were obligated to pay down the senior secured notes; they, rightfully, grew concerned that the debtors wouldn’t have the liquidity available to repurchase the originated mortgages within the 30 day window. Consequently, the debtors engaged PIMCO in discussions about the pending maturity of the notes. Over a period of several months, however, those discussions proved unproductive.

The warehouse lenders grew skittish. Per the debtors:

Warehouse lenders began reducing advance rates, increasing required collateral accounts and increasing liquidity covenants, further contracting available working capital necessary to operate the business. Eventually, two of the warehouse lenders advised the Debtors that they were prepared to wind down their respective warehouse facilities unless the Debtors and PIMCO agreed in principle to a deleveraging transaction by June 7, 2019. That did not happen. As a result, one warehouse lender terminated its facility effective June 28, 2019 and a second advised that it will no longer allow new advances effective July 15, 2019. The Debtors feared that these actions would trigger other warehouse lenders to take similar actions, significantly impacting the Debtors’ ability to fund loans and restricting liquidity, thereby jeopardizing the Debtors’ ability to operate their franchise as a going concern.

On the precipice of disaster, the debtors offered the keys to PIMCO in exchange for forgiveness of the debt. PIMCO rebuffed them. Subsequently, Blackstone made PIMCO a cents-on-the-dollar cash-out offer on the basis that the offer would exceed liquidation value of the enterprise and PIMCO again declined. At this point there’s a lot of he said, she said about what was offered and reneged upon to the point that it ought to suffice merely to say that the debtors, Blackstone and PIMCO probably aren’t all sharing a Hamptons house together this summer.

So, where did they end up?

The debtors have filed a plan of reorganization with Blackstone as plan sponsor. Blackstone agreed to inject $60mm of new equity into the business — all of which, notably, is earmarked to cash out the notes in their entirety (clearly at at discount — read: below par — for PIMCO and the other noteholders). The debtors also propose to subject Blackstone’s offer to a 30-day competitive bidding process, provided that (a) bids are in cash (credit bids will not be allowed) and (b) all obligations to the GSEs and other investors are honored.

To fund the cases the debtors have obtained a commitment from Blackstone for $35mm in DIP financing. They also sourced proposals from warehouse lenders prepetition and have obtained commitments for $1.5b in warehouse financing from Barclays Bank PLC and Nomura Corporate Funding Americas LLC (guaranteed, on a limited basis, by Blackstone). In other words, Blackstone is ALL IN here: with the DIP financing, the limited guarantee and the equity check, they are placing a stake in the ground when it comes to mortgage origination.

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

  • Capital Structure: $184mm 9.375% ‘20 senior secured notes (Wilmington Trust Association NA)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Jay Goffman, Mark McDermott, Shana Elberg, Evan Hill, Edward Mahaney-Walter)

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

    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP (Jamie O’Connell)

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

    • Board of Directors: David Schneider, William Cary, Glenn Stearns, Nadim El Gabbani, Chinh Chu, Jason Roswig, Chris Mitchell

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Indenture Trustee: Wilmington Trust Association NA

      • Legal: Alston & Bird LLP (Jason Solomon)

    • Major Noteholder: Pacific Investment Management Company LLC

      • Legal: Hogan Lovells US LLP (Bennett Spiegel, Stacey Rosenberg)

    • Blackstone Capital Partners VI-NQ/NF LP

      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Jamie Fell)

    • Barclays Bank PC

      • Legal: Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP (Peter Partee Sr., Brian Clarke)

    • Nomura Corporate Funding Americas LLC

      • Legal: Milbank LLP (Mark Shinderman, Lauren Doyle) & Alston & Bird LLP (Karen Gelernt)

    • Fannie Mae

      • Legal: O’Melveny & Myers LLP (Stephen Warren)

    • Freddie Mac

      • Legal: McKool Smith PC (Paul Moak)

7/9/19 #30

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing -- Fusion Connect Inc.

June 3, 2019

We previously wrote about Fusion Connect Inc. ($FSNN), providers of “Unified Communications-as-a-Service” and “Infrastructure-as-a-Service” in “⛈A Dark "Cloud" on the Horizon⛈.” Therein we marveled at how special Fusion must be…to fail SO SPECTACULARLY in today’s cloud here, cloud there, cloud everywhere, everyone’s gaga for cloud environment. Cloud is SO captivating that it wasn’t until the company filed a piss poor 8-K back in April that a B. Riley FBR ($RILY) analyst FINALLY had an epiphany and declared that the company’s stock ought to be downgraded from “buy” to “neutral” (huh?!?) with a price target of $0.75 — down from $9.75/share. This is despite the fact that the stock hadn’t traded anywhere in the vicinity of $9.75/share in ages — nowhere even close, actually — but whatevs. Clearly, his head was in the cloud(s). This, ladies and gentlemen, demonstrates, in a nutshell, the utter worthlessness of equity analyst reports.🖕

But this isn’t a story about shoddy analyst research. That would be wholly unoriginal. This is a story about synergies and burdensome debt. Because, like, that’s so super original that you won’t read of it again until…well…you scroll below to the next bit of content about FTD!! 🙄

Boiled down to its simplest form, this company is the product of an acquisition strategy (and reverse merger) gone wrong. Like, in a majormajor way. Per the company:

The Company pursued the Birch Merger with a vision of leveraging its existing processes and structures to create synergies between Fusion’s and Birch’s joined customer bases, combine network infrastructure assets to improve operational efficiencies, and ultimately drive material growth in Fusion’s and Birch’s combined annual revenue. In connection with the Birch Merger and MegaPath Merger, the Company incurred $680 million in secured debt(emphasis added)

That reverse merger closed at the end of Q2, 2018. Yet…

Unfortunately, due to underperformance compared to business projections, the Company found itself with limited liquidity and at risk of default under its debt documents by early 2019.

Wait, what? Limited liquidity and risk of default by “early 2019”?!? Who the f*ck diligenced and underwrote this transaction?!? This sitch is so bad, that the company literally didn’t have enough liquidity to make a recent $6.7mm amort payment under the first lien credit agreement and a $300k interest payment on its unsecured debt. This is the company’s pre-petition capital structure:

  • $20mm super senior L+10% June 2019 debt

  • $43.3mm Tranche A Term Loans L+6.0% May 2022 debt

  • $490.9mm Tranche B Term Loans L+8.5% May 2023 debt

  • $39mm Revolving Loans L+6.0% May 2022 debt

  • $85mm Second Lien L+10.5% November 2023 debt

  • $13.3mm Unsecured Debt

Back in April we summed up the situation as follows:

The company’s recent SEC reports constitute a perfect storm of bad news. On April 2, the company filed a Form 8-K indicating that (i) a recently-acquired company had material accounting deficiencies that will affect its financials and, therefore, certain of the company’s prior filings “can no longer be relied upon,” (ii) it won’t be able to file its 10-K, (iii) it failed to make a $7mm interest payment on its Tranche A and Tranche B term loan borrowings due on April 1, 2019, and (iv) due to the accounting errors, the company has tripped various covenants under the first lien credit agreement — including its fixed charge coverage ratio and its total net leverage ratio.

Again, who diligenced the reverse merger?!? 😡

So here we are. In bankruptcy. To what end?

The company is seeking a dual-path restructuring that is all the rage these days: everyone loves to promote optionality that will potentially result in greater value to the estate. In the first instance, the company proposes, as a form of “stalking horse,” a “reorganization transaction” backed by a restructuring support agreement with certain of its lenders. This transaction would slash $300mm of the company’s $665mm of debt and result in the company’s first lien lenders owning the company. That is, unless a buyer emerges out of the woodwork with a compelling purchase price. To promote this possibility, the company is filing a bid procedures motion with the bankruptcy court with the hope of an eventual auction taking place. If a buyer surfaces with mucho dinero, the company will toggle over to a sale pursuant to a plan of reorganization. This would obviously be the optimal scenario. Absent that (and maybe even with that), we’ve got a jaw-dropping example of value destruction. “Fail fast,” many in tech say. These cloud bros listened!! Nothing like deep-sixing yourself with a misguided poorly-diligenced acquisition. Bravo!!

The company has secured a commitment for a fully-backstopped $59.5mm DIP that subsumes the $20mm in super senior pre-petition bridge financing recently provided by the first lien lenders. Is this DIP commitment good for general unsecured creditors? Is any of this generally good for unsecured creditors? Probably not.

Major creditors include a who’s who of telecommunications companies, including AT&T Inc. ($T) (first Donald Trump and now THIS…rough week for AT&T), Verizon Communications Inc. ($VZ)XO Communications (owned by VZ), Frontier Communications Corp. ($FTR)(which has its own issues to contend with as it sells assets to sure up its own balance sheet), CenturyLink Inc. ($CTL)Level 3 Communications ($LVLT)Time Warner Inc. ($TWX), and….wait for it…bankrupt Windstream Communications ($WINMQ). Because the hits just keep on coming for Windstream….

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Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York (Judge Bernstein)

  • Capital Structure: see above.

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Gary Holtzer, Sunny Singh, Natasha Hwangpo)

    • Board of Directors: Matthew Rosen, Holcombe Green Jr., Marvin Rosen, Holcombe Green III, Michael Del Guidice, Lewis Dickey Jr., Rafe de la Gueronniere, Neil Goldman)

    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Mark Katzenstein)

    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners (Brent Herlihy, John Singh)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc First Lien Lender Group

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Adam Shpeen)

      • Financial Advisor: Greenhill & Co. Inc.

    • DIP Lender: Credit Suisse Loan Funding LLC

    • DIP Agent, Prepetition Super Senior Agent & Prepetition First Lien Agent: Wilmington Trust NA

      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (Michael Messersmith, Sarah Grylll, Alan Glantz)

    • Prepetition Second Lien Successor Agent: GLAS America LLC & GLAS USA LLC

    • Ad Hoc Group of Tranche A Term Loan/Revolving Lenders

      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Sandeep Qusba, Soogy Lee, Edward Linden)

    • Second Lien Lenders

      • Legal: Proskauer Rose LLP (Charles Dale, Jon English)

    • Large Unsecured Creditor: AT&T

      • Legal: Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (David Rosenzweig, Francisco Vazquez)

Updated 6/4/19 at 5:42am


😷New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc.😷

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

May 20, 2019

We were right and we were wrong. Back in November 2018, in “😬Biopharma is in Pain😬 ,” we snidely wrote, “Do Pills Count as ‘Healthcare’? Short Biopharma” riffing on the common trope that healthcare was a hot spot for restructuring activity.* No, we argued: the activity is really in publicly-traded biopharma companies with little to no sales, too much debt (and usually busted convertible notes) and attractive intellectual property. We went on to predict that Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. ($SGYP) and Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (a subsidiary of Novelion Therapeutics Inc. ($NVLN)) would both file for bankruptcy. Ding ding!!! We were right.** The former filed back in December and, now, the latter is also in bankruptcy court. Of course, with respect to the latter, we also wrote, “[c]ome February — if not sooner — it may be in bankruptcy court.” But let’s not split hairs.***

The company manufactures two approved therapies, JUXTAPID and MYALEPT, that treat rare diseases. On Sunday, we’ll discuss the future of these therapies and what the company seeks to achieve with this restructuring.

*To be fair, the healthcare space has, indeed, picked up in activity since then.

**For what it’s worth, we also predicted that Orchids Paper Products Company ($TIS) would be in bankruptcy soon, writing “This company doesn’t produce enough toilet paper to wipe away this sh*tfest. See you in bankruptcy court.” Three for three: this is precisely why — wait for the shameless plug — you should become a PETITION Member today.

***Maturity of the bridge loan was initially February 15, 2019 but the debtors had a right to extend, which they did.

  • Jurisdiction: Southern District of New York (Judge )

  • Capital Structure: $36.1mm 8% PIK ‘19 secured Novelion Intercompany Loan, $73.8mm Bridge Loan (Highbridge Capital Management LLC and Athyrium Capital Management LP), $304mm 2% unsecured convertible notes (The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company NA)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Paul Shalhoub, Andrew Mordkoff)

    • Financial Advisor/CRO: AlixPartners LLP (John Castellano)

    • Investment Banker: Moelis & Co. (Barak Klein)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • DIP Agent: Cantor Fitzgerald Securities

    • Ad Hoc Group of Convertible Noteholders

      • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP & King & Spalding LLP

      • Financial Advisor: Ducera Partners LLC

    • Novelion

      • Legal: Goodwin Proctor LLP & Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

      • Financial Advisor: Evercore

🛌New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy & CCAA Filing - Hollander Sleep Products LLC🛌

Hollander Sleep Products LLC

May 19, 2019

Florida-based private equity owned Hollander Sleep Products LLC and six affiliates (including one Canadian affiliate) have filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. The debtors are “the largest bed pillow and mattress pad manufacturer in North America.” The debtors produce pillows, comforters and mattress pads for the likes of Ralph Lauren, Simmons, Beautyrest, Nautica and Calvin Klein; their products are available at major retailers like Costco Wholesale Corporation ($COST), Kohl’s Corporation ($KSS), Walmart Inc. ($WMT) and Target Inc. ($TGT) and with the Marriott International Inc. ($MAR) chain of hotels; they have a main showroom in New York City, nine manufacturing facilities throughout the US and Canada, and a sourcing, product development and quality control office in China. Speaking of China, 60% of the debtors’ top 10 creditors are Chinese companies.

Why bankruptcy? Interestingly, the debtors colorfully ask, “How Did We Get Here?” And the answer appears to be a combination of (a) “[r]ecent substantial price increases on materials” like fiber, down and feathers, (b) acquisition integration costs, (c) too much competition in a low margin space, (d) employee wage increases “as a result of natural wage inflation and the tight job market” and (e) too much leverage. The debtors burned through $20mm in the last year on material cost increases alone (it opted NOT to pass price increases on to the consumer), straining liquidity to the point that, at the time of filing, the company had less than $1mm of cash on hand.

With the filing, the debtors seek to restructure approximately $166.5mm of term debt, effectuating a debt-for-equity swap in the new reorganized entity (plus participation in a $30mm exit facility). 100% of the debtors’ term lenders support the plan. As does lender and equity sponsor, Sentinel Capital Partners LLC. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that they truly want to own the post-reorg company. Indeed, the debtors have indicated that while they march towards plan confirmation (which they say will be in four months), they will also entertain the possibility of a sale of the company to a third-party. These dual-track chapter 11 cases are all the rage these days, see, e.g., Shopko.

If approved by the bankruptcy court, the bankruptcy will be funded by a $118mm DIP credit facility which will infuse the debtors with $28mm in incremental new money and roll-up the debtors’ prepetition asset-backed first priority credit facility.

The debtors note that “the sleep industry as a whole is both healthy and growing. Market trends favor healthy lifestyle sectors, and the basic bedding segment is generally recession resilient.” We have no quibble with either comment. The company believes that by, among other things, (i) delevering its balance sheet, (ii) gaining access to new capital, (iii) engaging in selective price increases, (iv) implementing material efficiencies, (v) streamlining manufacturing, and (vi) building out their e-commerce channel, it will have a more sustainable path forward. Whether that path will be taken at the direction of their lenders or a strategic buyer remains to be seen.

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

  • Capital Structure: $125mm ABL ($43mm funded), $166.5mm term loan

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Joshua Sussberg, Christopher Greco, Joseph Graham, Andrew McGaan, Laura Krucks)

    • Board of Directors: Eric Bommer, Michael Fabian, Steve Cumbow, Chris Baker

    • Disinterested Director: Matthew Kahn

      • Legal: Proskauer Rose LLP

    • Financial Advisor: Carl Marks Advisory Group LLC (Mark Pfefferle)

    • Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Saul Burian)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition and ($90mm) DIP ABL Agent: Wells Fargo Bank NA

      • Legal: Goldberg Kohn Ltd. (Randall Klein, Prisca Kim) & (local) Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (Laura Metzger, Peter Amend)

    • ($28mm) DIP Term Loan Agent:

5/2/19, #2

⚡️New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Empire Generating Co LLC⚡️

Empire Generating Co LLC

May 19, 2019

We love when companies that have been circling around the bankruptcy bowl finally get flushed into bankruptcy court. Empire Generating Company is a name that has been kicking around distressed circles for some time now: The Wall Street Journal wrote about it a year ago, back in May 2018. Alas, it now sits within the Southern District of New York. It is the latest in a line of power producers to file for bankruptcy in recent years.

The company owns and operates a (now) dual-fuel power plant in Rensselaer New York; as a merchant power plant, it sells electricity in the wholesale market that ultimately helps power New York’s electrical grid. Very soon, it will likewise be able to generate revenue in New England. In fiscal year 2017, the company generated $91.8mm of revenue and $16.77 of EBITDA. EBITDA decreased to $11.05mm in 2018. The company also has a meaningful amount of debt. As of the petition date, its outstanding owed amounts under its credit facility total $353.4mm. Its $20mm revolver matured in March 2019.

The company cites some interesting causes for its filing. First, it gives an economics 101 lesson, saying that coal and nuclear facilities in New York haven’t been retired quickly enough to limit electricity supply and put upward pressure on prices. Second, it blames progressives (Cuomo!!): New York’s Clean Energy Standard requires that 50% of NY’s electricity come from renewables by 2030, creating yet another supply/demand imbalance that has placed “downward pressure on the price for energy generated by other sources.” Third, unlike retailers who blame bad weather for under performance all of the time, this company actually has a viable excuse: the abnormally cold winter of 2017/2018 increased natural gas prices, compressing the company’s margins. At the time, the company wasn’t yet “dual-fuel” and, therefore, relied exclusively on natural gas whereas competitors could toggle to more economical fuel oil instead. This confluence of factors ultimately led the company to default under its loan docs.

The company has since been in a state of perpetual forbearance with an ad hoc group of pre-petition lenders. It was on the verge of a prepackaged solution to its balance sheet but time ticked away and the company’s pesky lenders traded out of their respective positions. Per the company:

Once the debt trades settled, approximately 55% of the Credit Facility was held by the Consenting Lenders (Black Diamond and MJX), and approximately 34% of the Credit Facility was held by funds managed by Ares Capital (“Ares”).

For the uninitiated, debtors need 2/3 of the amount of a particular tranche of debt to approve a deal for a plan of reorganization to be confirmed by the bankruptcy court. As you can see from the percentages above, Ares Capital and the “Consenting Lenders” (Black Diamond Capital Management LLC & MJX Asset Management LLC) had “blocking positions,” eliminating the possibility of surpassing the required threshold. Months of negotiations ensued and, apparently, Ares and Black Diamond simply couldn’t get along. Uh, yeah, bros: Black Diamond is kinda known for not getting along. Just sayin.

In lieu of an agreement with those parties, the company has secured, pursuant to a restructuring support agreement, a commitment by Black Diamond Capital Management LLC & MJX Asset Management LLC to credit bid — subject to higher and better offers — their debt in exchange for a 100% interest in the reorganized company. The company has, in turn, rejected a proposal from Ares Capital that would confer $37.8mm in cash and 89.75% equity of an acquisition vehicle as consideration for the company’s assets (which it values at a total of $369mm). Why? It concluded that the offer was neither higher nor better than the credit bid; it also had concerns about valuation, approval and feasibility (feasibility!!!!!). Otherwise, the company be like, “PEACE, B*TCHES, WE DON’T WANT NO PART OF THIS INTERCREDITOR DISPUTE.”

And an intercreditor dispute there is! Ares objected right away to the company’s proposed cash collateral, among other things, saying that Black Diamond is steering the company like a meek little sheep. The objection is too lengthy to recant here but, suffice it to say, it looks like we can expect an old school private equity battle over the course of the case. Judge Drain more or less shot down Ares at the hearing, questioning, even, whether they had standing to object; he then went on to amend the proposed cash collateral order.

Absent a settlement between the funds, this will not be the last fight in the case. Pop the popcorn.

  • Jurisdiction: (Judge Drain)

  • Capital Structure: $20mm RCF, $430mm Term B loan, $30mm Term C loan

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Steinhilber Swanson LLP (Michael Richman) & Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP (Peter Partee Sr., Robert Rich, Michael Legge)

    • Financial Advisor: RPA Advisors (Chip Cummins)

    • Investment Banker:

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Secured Lenders: Black Diamond Capital Management LLC & MJX Asset Management LLC

      • Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Christine Okike, Albert Hogan III, Carl Tullson)

    • Secured Lender: Ares Capital LP

      • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Brian Schartz, Anup Sathy, Stephen Hackney, Alexandra Schwarzman)

    • Secured Lender: Starwood

      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (Steven Abramowitz)

    • Ad Hoc Group

      • Legal: Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

    • Agent: Ankura Trust Company

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Darren Klein)

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - New Cotai Holdings LLC

New Cotai Holdings LLC

May 1, 2019

New Cotai Holdings LLC and three affiliated debtors filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York on the basis of New Cotai Ventures LLC, a NY LLC, having cash held in a bank account in White Plains New York (as of when, we wonder). The debtors were formed for the purpose of investing in Studio City International Holdings Limited, have no employees, and are otherwise managed by sponsor, Silver Point Capital LP. The declarant supporting the debtors’ chapter 11 filing is an independent director who was put into place literally 2 days before the filing. Yup, 2 whole days.

Studio City International Holdings Limited is a wretched hive of scum and villany. Sorry, that’s not right. That’s us trying to make this more interesting than it is. In truth, its an “integrated resort comprising entertainment, retail, hotel and gaming facilities” located in Macau (that’s China, people). The project has made it past Phase I of construction but has stalled out there: the rest of the project will require several more years. In October 2018, the company IPO’d 28.75mm American Depository Shares at $12.50/share.

To further capitalize the project, two of the debtors, as co-issuers, issued $380mm of 10.625% PIK Notes in 2013 due May 2019. Curious to know how 10.625% PIK adds up? The current principal balance of the notes is now $856mm.

Now, not to state the obvious, but to paydown Notes on maturity, you kinda need to have some moolah. And considering that the project is only past Phase I with much more work to do…well, you see where we are going here. The company notes:

The Debtors’ ability to satisfy their obligations under the Notes is directly tied to the development and success of the Studio City project. Due to delays in the development of the Studio City project, a reduced allocation of gaming tables from the government, and some unanticipated declines in the Macau gaming market, the Investment has not yet achieved sufficient market value in light of the highly illiquid and unreliable market conditions that have developed following the IPO, making a refinancing impracticable. Therefore, through no fault of their own, the Debtors were unable to satisfy the Notes obligations by their maturity.

Listen guys: you ain’t getting Matt Damon, George Clooney and other whales at your tables if you don’t have VIP tables. Obvi. Second, it sounds like the project hired the quintessential New York City-based general contractor. “Yeah, sure, the project will cost $30mm and take 1 month” only to cost “an additional $300 million” and take literally years. Of course “[c]onstruction costs came in greater than expected.” Isn’t that par for the course in hotel development? The company now has until 2021 to finish Phase II of the project. It sounds like it will need it.

Of course, you have to admire the entrepreneurial enthusiasm:

Notwithstanding the aforementioned challenges, the Debtors believe that the Investment continues to represent a significant economic opportunity—the value of which is not accurately represented in the current market prices of the ADS. Indeed, should the Studio City project continue to develop on its currently anticipated timeframe, the Debtors expect the Investment to generate sufficient value to repay the Notes in full.

The debtors must NOT be expecting a downturn. Gaming usually doesn’t fare too well during one of those. And Chinese growth hasn’t exactly been at levels enjoyed over the last decade or so. But, fingers crossed.

The debtors are negotiating with an Ad Hoc Group of noteholders in an effort to address this state of affairs. They have latitude: Silver Point has committed to a $6.25mm DIP with, among other favorable terms to the debtors, no milestones and a 12-month maturity (with an option to extend a subsequent 12 months). This DIP was not marketed and so the early part of the case will be spent presumably searching for alternatives. Because lenders surely love the idea of providing a DIP, the main purpose of which is to pay Skadden Arps’ and the Ad Hoc Group’s fees.

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

  • Capital Structure: $856mm (Wells Fargo Bank NA)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (Jay Goffman, Mark McDermott, Evan Hill)

    • Managing Member: Drivetrain Advisors LLC (John Brecker)

    • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc.

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Wells Fargo Bank NA

      • Legal: Arent Fox LLP (Andrew Silfen, Beth Brownstein)

    • Sponsor: Silver Point Capital LP

New Chapter 11 Filing - Sungard Availability Services Capital Inc.

Sungard Availability Services Capital Inc.

May 1, 2019

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

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

Source: Disclosure Statement

Source: Disclosure Statement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Capital Structure:

  • Professionals:

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

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

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

    • Investment Banker: Centerview Partners (Samuel Greene)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • DIP Agent: JPMorgan Chase Bank NA

    • Secured Lender Group

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

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc.

    • Crossover Group

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

      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners LP

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

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

New Chapter 11 Filing - Sizmek Inc.

Sizmek Inc.

March 29, 2019

New York-based Sizmek Inc., an online advertising campaign management and distribution platform for advertisers, media agencies, and publishers, filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. The company indicates that it lost access to capital when Cerberus Business Finance LLC…took control of the Company's bank accounts and sought to divert customer receivables…” and filed, in large part, to have access to its lenders’ cash collateral. Major creditors include players in the ad world, including Google Inc. ($GOOGL), Facebook Inc. ($FB) and AOL ($VZ)(yes, AOL is still, technically, a “player” in something).

The company is a portfolio company of private equity firm, Vector Capital, which took the company private — merely two years after its IPO — via a 2016 all-cash tender offer for the outstanding shares of common stock for $3.90/share, a 65% premium over the then-30-day weighted average trading price. Kirkland & Ellis LLP represented Vector in the transaction.* In 2017, the company made a $145mm acquisition of Rocket Fuel, another struggling adtech company. And then shortly thereafter, AdExchanger reported merely two years later that Vector was looking to divest the company.

We’ll have more on this once the docket is updated.

*Interestingly, after filing, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP replaced Kirkland & Ellis LLP as debtors’ counsel in these cases.

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

  • Capital Structure: $172mm funded debt

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Stephen Hessler, Marc Kieselstein, Justin Bernbrock)

    • Replacement Legal: Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP (Steven Reisman, Cindi Giglio, Jerry Hall, Peter Siddiqui)

    • Board of Directors: Eugene Davis, Mark Grether, Tom Smith, Marc Heimowitz

    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc.

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition Secured Agent: Cerberus Business Finance LLC

      • Legal: Klee Tuchin Bogdanoff & Stern LLP (David Fidler, Whitman Holt, Michael Tuchin, Thomas Patterson)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

      • Legal: Cooley LLP (Seth Van Aalten, Michael Klein, Robert Winning, Lauren Reichardt)

      • Financial Advisor: Province Inc. (Carol Cabello)

Updated 4/1/19 6:08 CT (#10)

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Windstream Holdings Inc.

Windstream Holdings Inc.

February 25, 2019

See here for our write-up on Winstream Holdings Inc.

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

  • Capital Structure: see below.

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Stephen Hessler, Ross Kwasteniet, Marc Kieselstein, Brad Weiland, Cristine Pirro Schwarzman, John Luze, Neda Davanipour)

    • Legal (Board of Directors): Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (Louis Strubeck Jr., James Copeland, Kristian Gluck)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC

    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • DIP Lender ($500mm TL, $500mm RCF): Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

    • Prepetition 10.5% and 9% Notes Indenture Trustee: Wilmington Trust NA

      • Legal: Reed Smith LLP (Jason Angelo)

    • Prepetition TL and RCF Agent: JPMorgan Chase Bank NA

      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Sandeep Qusba, Nicholas Baker, Jamie Fell)

    • Ad Hoc Group of Second Lien Noteholders

      • Legal: Milbank LLP

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital

    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Term Lenders

      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Brian Hermann, Andrew Rosenberg, Samuel Lovett, Michael Rudnick)

      • Financial Advisor: Evercore

    • Midwest Noteholders

      • Legal: Shearman & Sterling LLP

    • Uniti Group Inc.

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Marshall Huebner, Eli Vonnegut, James Millerman)

      • Financial Advisor: Rothschild & Co.

    • Large Unsecured Creditor: AT&T Corp.

      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Brian Lohan, Ginger Clements, Peta Gordon) & AT&T (James Grudus)

    • Large Unsecured Creditor: Verizon Communications Inc.

      • Legal: Stinson Leonard Street LLP (Darrell Clark, Tracey Ohm)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (AT&T Services Inc., Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO CLC, VeloCloud Networks Inc., Crown Castle Fiber, LEC Services Inc., UMB Bank)

      • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Lorenzo Marinuzzi, Brett Miller, Todd Goren, Jennifer Marines, Erica Richards)

Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 9.04.55 PM.png

😷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 - Arpeni Pratama Ocean Line Investment B.V.

Arpeni Pratama Ocean Line Investment B.V.

February 1, 2019

Dutch-based non-operating single-purpose-entity, Arpeni Pratama Ocean Line Investment B.V., filed a prepackaged bankruptcy case in the Southern District of New York to effectuate a restructuring of its $141mm Floating Rate Guaranteed Secured Notes due 2021 (HSBC Bank USA NA, as agent), the issuance of which is the legal entity's sole reason to exist. The Debtor's plan sponsor, PT Arpeni Pratama Ocean Line Tbk, is the owner and operator of a fleet of Indonesian flagged dry bulk vessels and a guarantor of the debt. It operates 14 wholly-owned and 2 chartered vessles, the use of which is to provide coal transportation and jetty management services to one of Indonesia's largest power plants. 

Why is this company in bankruptcy? Per the Company:

"...the Debtor is a single purpose entity created for the purpose of issuing the Senior Secured Notes. Accordingly, the Debtor is wholly dependent on its parent company, the Plan Sponsor, to generate sufficient revenues so as to permit for the repayment of the Senior Secured Notes. The Plan Sponsor, who derives substantially all of its revenues its drybulk shipping operations, has operated in an increasingly challenging market since the financial crisis of 2008 where operational costs have continued to increase and revenues for drybulk shipping have remained at historic lows. These factors, coupled with increasing competition from smaller and less leveraged drybulk shippers, has made it more difficult for the Plan Sponsor to service its existing indebtedness, including the Senior Secured Notes."

Accordingly, the Debtor and the Plan Sponsor have agreed to equitize substantially all of the Debtor's and the Plan Sponsor's indebtedness "to permit the Plan Sponsor to position itself on a more level landscape to its competitors to better prepare itself to weather the continuing uncertainty in the shipping industry." Pursuant to the Plan, holders of the notes will receive common shares in the Plan Sponsor, warrants, and a small cash payment. 

  • Jurisdiction: S.D.N.Y. (Judge Bernstein)

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Paul Hastings LLP (Pedro Jimenez)

    • Financial Advisor: Fulcrum Partners Asia

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

💄New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Glansaol Holdings Inc.💄

December 19, 2018

A week after Glossier CEO Emily Weiss revealed that the direct-to-consumer beauty brand hit $100mm in sales, Glansaol, a platform company that acquires, integrates and cultivates a portfolio of prestige beauty brands — including a direct-to-consumer brand — filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. The company owns a trio of three main brands: (a) Laura Geller, a distributor of female beauty and personal care products sold primarily on QVC and wholesale, (b) Julep, a wholesale distributor of high-end nail polish, skincare and cosmetic products with a direct-to-consumer and “subscription box” model, and (c) Clark’s Botanicals, a skincare retailer, which sells primarily via e-commerce (including Amazon) and QVC.

The company indicated that “a general shift away from brick-and-mortar shopping, evolving consumer demographics, and changing trends” precipitated its bankruptcy filing. More specifically, profit drivers, historically, have been broadcast shopping networks and wholesale distribution. But both QVC and large retailers have cut back orders significantly amidst a broader industry shakeout. Compounding matters is the fact that the company’s top two customers account for over 60% of total receivables. As we always say, customer concentration is NEVER a good thing.

Moreover, the company added:

…the Debtors have been unable to replace key revenue generators due to: (a) the increasingly competitive industry landscape coinciding with the downturn in the brick and mortar retail sector; (b) the decline in broadcast shopping network sales; and (c) the downturn of the Company’s single-brand subscription business, which faces competition from new entrants that offer subscriptions covering a variety of brands.

Hmmm. Insert Birchbox here? Perhaps Glansaol ought to have entered into a partnership with Walgreens! 🤔

What happens when you can’t move product? You build up inventory. Which, for a variety of reasons, is no bueno. Per the company:

…the decline in sales has saddled the Debtors with a significant oversupply of inventory, which has forced the Debtors to sell goods at steep markdowns and destroy certain products, further tightening margins and draining liquidity. Oversupply of inventory, coupled with higher returns and chargebacks described below, has also significantly increased the Debtors’ costs for warehouses and other third-party logistics providers.

Interestingly, the company aggregated the three brands in the first place because of perceived supply chain synergies. Per the company:

The strategy was put into practice in late 2016 and early 2017 when the Debtors acquired a trio of rising prestige beauty companies ― Laura Geller, Julep, and Clark’s Botanicals. The combination was designed to realize the benefit of natural synergies without any cannibalization. The brands share relatively similar supply chains where it was thought efficiencies could be realized, but they featured different price points and consumer profiles. For example, while Laura Geller appeals to consumers over the age of 35 and is primarily sold through wholesale retailers and broadcast shopping networks, Julep caters to a younger generation through its online business and experience-driven nail salons.

We love synergies. They always seem to be good in theory and nonexistent in practice. To point:

the Debtors were never able to achieve significant cost savings related to shared services among their brands. Upon the Debtors’ acquisitions of Laura Geller, Julep and Clark’s in 2016, the plan was to ultimately consolidate shared services, including supply chain, senior management, administrative support, human resources, information technology support, accounting, finance and legal services. The brands, however, were never fully integrated. Instead, the Company is saddled with a substantial legacy investment in a new ERP system, which was put into place ahead of cross-organizational efficiency initiatives and right-sizing functionality. Accordingly, the costs savings attributed to synergies, which had been a pillar of the Debtors’ original business model, were never realized.

Which is why we generally tend to be skeptical whenever we hear about cost savings and synergies as a basis for M&A (cough, Refinitiv).

Given all of the above, the company has been engaged in a marketing process since roughly February 2018 running, in the interim, based on its credit facility and equity infusions. Now, though, the company has a stalking horse bidder in tow in the form of AS Beauty LLC, which has agreed to purchase the company’s brands and related capital assets for approximately $16.2mm. The company’s prepetition lender, SunTrust Bank, has agreed to provide a $15mm DIP credit facility which, along with cash collateral, will fund the cases.

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

  • Capital Structure: $7.2mm RCF (SunTrust Bank)

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Brian Lennon, Daniel Forman, Andrew Mordkoff)

    • Financial Advisor: Emerald Capital Advisors (John Madden)

    • Claims Agent: Omni Management Group Inc. (click on the case name above for free docket access)

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition Secured & DIP Lender: SunTrust Bank (Legal: Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs LLP — Rufus Dorsey, Eric Anderson, James Gadsden

    • Stalking Horse Purchaser: AS Beauty LLC (Legal: Sills Cummis & Gross PC — Michael Goldsmith, George Hirsch)

    • Private Equity Sponsor: Warburg Pincus Private Equity XII Funds

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)

Copy of New Chapter 11 Filing - Waypoint Leasing Holdings Ltd.

Waypoint Leasing Holdings Ltd.

November 25, 2018

“Get to the Choppa!” - Arnold Schwarzenegger

It has been a tough couple of years for companies in the helicopter business (see, e.g., Erickson Aircrane and CHG Group, not to mention PHI Inc. and Bristow Group, both of which restructuring professionals continue to watch and salivate over). So tough, in fact, that even Thanksgiving weekend wasn’t sacrosanct and even some big name sponsors couldn’t keep this thing out of court. Over the weekend, helicopter leasing company, Waypoint Leasing Holdings Ltd., “facing imminent liquidity constraints and potential defaults under their secured loan facilities,” filed for bankruptcy with a goal of…

…TO READ THE REST OF THIS SUMMARY — WHICH INCLUDES DISCUSSION OF THE COMPANY’S CAPITAL STRUCTURE AND A ROSTER OF THE PLAYERS AND PROFESSIONALS INVOLVED IN THE MATTER — YOU MUST BE A MEMBER. BECOME ONE HERE.

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc.

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc.

November 6, 2018

On Sunday, November 4, 2018, we wrote the following in our “Fast Forward” segment:

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. ($ANW) is now subject to a fraud probe by international auditors. This thing will be in a bankruptcy court near you before too long.

We didn’t expect that prediction to come to fruition so quickly!

Admittedly, Aegean, one of the world’s largest independent marine fuel logistics companies with 57 owned and chartered vessels, has been a slow moving train towards bankruptcy for some time. The recent revelation of fraud — yes, fraud — is just the cherry on top. (PETITION Note: in frothy times come desperate shenanigans. This won’t be the last bankruptcy filed in the near-term that, in part, will have an element of fraud in the story.) And, alas, earlier, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. and 74 affiliated debtors filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. The more immediate trigger? The maturity of its 4% convertible unsecured notes.

Aegean blames an over-saturated market, limitations imposed by its lenders under the credit facilities, and…wait for it…the fraud…as reasons for its bankruptcy filing. Wait. Why are we describing the debtors’ ails in words when they’ve provided us with some crafty graphics to illustrate, in part, the “perfect storm of circumstances” that have plagued them:

Source: First Day Declaration

Source: First Day Declaration

Aegean intends to use the bankruptcy process to address its capital structure (namely the maturity), stabilize operations and sell to Mercuria Energy Group Limited, a private company that, back in August, became the sole lender under both the debtors’ US and Global credit facilities. Mercuria also provided a DIP proposal that consists of a $160mm US credit facility, a $300mm global credit facility, and a $72mm term loan that the debtors deemed better than a proposed facility from an ad hoc group of unsecured convertible noteholders. The question will be to what degree a more robust and competitive sale process emerges now that this thing is finally in bankruptcy court.

  • Jurisdiction: S.D.N.Y. (Judge Wiles)

  • Capital Structure: $131.7mm US credit facility (ABN AMRO Bank NV), $249.6mm global credit facility (ABN AMRO Bank NV), $206.6mm aggregated across ten secured term loans, $172.5mm 4.25% convertible unsecured notes due 2021 (U.S. Bank NA), $94.55mm 4.00% convertible unsecured notes due 2018 (Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas)  

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Jonathan Henes, Marc Kieselstein, Ross Kwasteniet, Cristine Pirro Schwarzman, Adam Paul, Benjamin Winger, Christopher Hayes, Bryan Uelk)

    • Independent Directors: Donald Moore, Raymond Bartoszek, Tyler Baron)

    • Audit Committee of the Board of Directors

      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Tyler Nurnberg)

    • Financial Advisor: EY Turnaround Management Services LLC (Andrew Hede)

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

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition Agent: ABN AMRO Capital USA LLC

      • Legal: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Ana Alfonso)

    • Prepetition Agent: Aegean Baltic Bank SA

      • Legal: White & Case LLP (Scott Greissman, Elizabeth Feld, Mark Franke)

    • Indenture Trustee for the 4% ‘18 Convertible Senior Notes

      • Legal: Ropes & Gray LLP (Mark Somerstein, Patricia Chen)

    • Largest Equity Holder/Stalking Horse Buyer: Mercuria Energy Group Limited

      • Legal: Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (Marc Ashley, Robert Kirby)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, U.S. Bank National Association, American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc.)

      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Ira Dizengoff, Philip Dublin, Kevin Zuzolo)

      • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLP

Source: First Day Declaration

Source: First Day Declaration

Updated 11/17/18

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Republic Metals Refining Corporation

Source: Pexels.com

Source: Pexels.com

November 2, 2018

Republic Metals Refining Corporation (and affiliates), a Miami-based family-owned refiner of gold and silver, filed for bankruptcy to run an orderly sale process of their assets and operations. Last spring, the debtors discovered “a significant discrepancy” in their inventory accounting that, ultimately, led to summer-time default notices from their various senior lenders. The lenders, however, were mostly kept at bay until the filing because the debtors appeared, on multiple occasions, to be close to a going concern sale.

Close. But no cigar.

In the absence of a pre-petition buyer and/or stalking horse bidder, the debtors will now continue their potential sale process or, alternatively, engage in a process to liquidate. The debtors have an agreement with their senior lenders for the consensual use of cash collateral for a short period to attempt a sale, liquidate, and implement a plan for the wind down of the debtors’ estates.

  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York

  • Capital Structure: $177mm senior debt

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Akerman LLP (Susan Balaschak, Andrea Hartley, Katherine Fackler, John Mitchell, Esther McKean)

    • Financial Advisor: Paladin Management Group LLC (Scott Avila)

    • Investment Banker: SSG Capital Advisors LLC

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Senior Lender: ICBC Standard Bank Plc

      • Legal: Haynes and Boone LLP (J. Frasher Murphy, Eli Columbus, Geoffrey Raicht)

    • Senior Lenders: Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., New York Branch, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., Bank Hapoalim B.M., Mitsubishi International Corporation, Techemet Metal Trading LLC, Woodforest National Bank, and Bank Leumi USA.

      • Legal: Luskin Stern & Eisler LLP (Richard Stern, Alex Talesnick)

New Chapter 15 Bankruptcy Filing - Noble Group Limited

Noble Group Limited

October 17, 2018

Noble Group Limited, an over-levered global commodity trader that deals in oil, nat gas, coal and metals, filed for chapter 15 protection in order to hinder U.S.-based creditors from obstructing the company’s proposed schemes of arrangement filed in the UK last week. The schemes seek to de-lever the company and recapitalize it with a combination of new debt and equity as well as a corporate reorganization that includes a transfer of assets to a new Bermudan holdco. The company hopes to effectuate the schemes by late November and has a restructuring support agreement in place with its creditors in order to do so.

  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York

  • Capital Structure: $2.29b RCF, 3.625% ‘18 senior notes, 6.75% ‘20 senior notes, 8.75% ‘22 senior notes

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Marc Kieselstein, Adam Paul, Catherine Jun, Gerardo Mijares-Shafai)

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc Group of Lenders

      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Philip Dublin, Kevin Zuzolo)

💥New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Sears Holdings Corporation💥

Sears Holdings Corporation

October 15, 2018

Finally.

Early this morning, Illinois-based Sears Holdings Corporation ($SHLD) and approximately 49 affiliated entities (including KMart) finally filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company lists a staggering $11.339 billion of total debts and $6.937 billion of assets.

The well-known company has 866 full-line and specialty stores as of August 4, 2018. In its chapter 11 petition, it boasts of its legacy as an “integrated retailer with significant physical and tangible assets, as well as virtual capabilities enabled through technology.” Yes, you read that correctly: they actually say “virtual capabilities enabled through technology.” That right there may help inform EVERYONE why this storied retailer has found its way into bankruptcy court. To the last, Sears stands out for its ability to appear out of touch.

The company appears to have a commitment for a $1.875 billion debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) asset-backed credit facility, including an increase of $300mm from its existing facility as well as an agreement over the use of the company’s lenders’ cash collateral. According to a company press release, the company is also negotiating an additional $300mm commitment from ESL Investments Inc. (“ESL”), the company’s largest shareholder and the investment vehicle of Eddie Lampert. The company intends to reorganize around a smaller store platform of “EBITDA-positive stores.” To this end, the company will close 142 stores near the end of the year adding to the previously announced 46 stores set to close in November 2018 — potentially further perpetuating the hurt put on U.S.-based malls over the last several years. Meanwhile, the company continues to negotiate an asset purchase agreement with ESL for “a large portion of the Company’s store base.” This would, obviously, keep the enterprise from liquidating and potentially help maintain thousands of jobs: Sears currently employs approximately 90k people.

While Eddie Lampert will remain Chairman of the Board, he has resigned as CEO of the company. Godspeed, Eddie.

The company’s top listed creditors at the time of filing include The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and various trustees under five different tranches of unsecured notes totaling over $3 billion in principal amount (BNY Midwest Trust Company, Computershare Trust Company NA, The Chase Manhattan Bank NA). Trade creditors include Whirlpool Corporation ($23.4mm), Frigidaire Company ($18.6mm), and Winia Daewoo Electronics America ($15.2mm).

We will update this post on Wednesday in our next briefing; we are particularly excited to see how the company spins the “factors” that led to its appearance in bankruptcy court. Here’s one explanation:

And here’s another — seemingly more-on-point — one:

Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 6.33.14 AM.png
  • Jurisdiction: S.D.N.Y. (Judge Drain)

  • Capital Structure: $11.339b debt     

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (Ray Schrock, Garrett Fail, Jacqueline Marcus, Sunny Singh)

    • CRO/Financial Advisor: M-III Partners, LP (Mohsin Meghji, Colin Adams, Brian Griffith, Christopher Good, Mary Korycki, Kevin Tanaka, Enrique Acevedo, Wesley Sima, Noah Zatzkin, Joseph Frantz, Nicholas Weber, Ravi Ramnani )

    • Investment Banker: Lazard Freres & Company

    • Restructuring Committee’s Independent Directors: William Transier, Alan Carr, Paul DePodesta, Ann Reese

    • Restructuring Sub-Committee (RSC): Alan Carr and William Transier

    • Legal to RSC: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Paul Basta, Kelley Cornish, Lewis Clayton, Susanna Buergel, Robert Britton, Jonathan Hurwitz, Emma Carlson, Teresa Lii)

    • Financial Advisors to RSC: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC (Dennis Stogsdill, Nick Grossi, Brian Corio, Jonah Galaz, Andrew Gasbarra, Jonathan Bain, Jordan Kravette)

    • Investment Banker to RSC: Evercore Group LLC (Daniel Aronson, Jeremy Matican, Guy McCumber, Siddhesh Patkar, Jonathan Kamel, Ajith Sukumar)

    • Conflicts Counsel: Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Pauline Morgan, Rolin Bissell, Ryan Bartley, Travis Buchanan)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Large Shareholders: ESL Investments. Legal: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (James Bromley, Sean O’Neal, Andrew Weaver)

    • Prepetition RCF, Term Loans, FILO & DIP ABL Agent: Bank of America NA. Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Paul Leake, Shana Elberg, George Howard)

    • Citibank NA. Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Marshall Huebner, Eli Vonnegut)

    • Large Shareholder: Fairholme Capital Management LLC. Legal: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (Andrew Dietderich, Brian Glueckstein, David Zylberberg)

    • PBGC. Legal: Locke Lord LLP (David Wirt)

    • Debtors’ IP/Ground Lease Term Loan Lender: SHLD Lendco LLC. Legal: Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP (Joel Levitin, Richard Stieglitz Jr.)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors

      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Ira Dizengoff, Philip Dublin, Abid Quereshi, SARA Brauner)

      • Legal (Conflicts): Herrick Feinstein LLP (Sean O’Donnell, Stephen Selbst, Steven Smith)

      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Matt Diaz, Conor Tully, Michael Berkin, Marshal Eisler, Kenny O’Trakoun, Morgan McCaskey, Samuel Star)

      • Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey (Saul Burian, Eric Siegert, Brad Geer, Surbhi Gupta, Greg Rinsky, Tom Hedus, Ross Rosenstein, Ryan Conroy, John Hartigan, Ahmed Mumtaz, Jack Foster, James Lai, Natalie Weelborg, Andrew Felman, Matthew Stadtmauer)

    • Cyrus Capital Partners LP

      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Eric Reimer, Thomas Kreller, Craig Price)

    • Indenture Trustee to Medium Term Notes: The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A.

      • Legal: Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP (James Gadsden, Leonardo Trivigno)

Updated 11/30/18


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New Chapter 11 Filing - Hooper Holmes Inc. (d/b/a Provant Health)

Hooper Holmes Inc. (d/b/a Provant Health)

8/27/18

Kansas-based Hooper Holmes Inc. ($HPHW), a provider of comprehensive health and wellbeing programs, e.g., biometric screening services, flu shots, lab testing and more, filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York. The company does business as Provant Health Solutions LLC ("PHS), an entity it merged with as recently as 2017. And that is part of the problem: the company incurred tens of millions in debt over the last few years in connection with the PHS merger and a prior acquisition of Accountable Health Solutions Inc., a provider of, among other things, telephonic health coaching and wellness portals. 

The company will use the bankruptcy process to effectuate a sale of substantially all of its assets to a stalking horse bidder, Summit Health Inc., for $27mm in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities. The company's prepetition secured lenders will finance the cases via a proposed $13.6mm DIP credit facility. 

  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York (Judge Drain)
  • Capital Structure: See below.   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Foley & Lardner LLP (Richard Bernard, Timothy Mohan, Jill Nicholson, Geoff Goodman, Michael Riordan, John Melko) & Halperin Battaglia Benzija LLP (Christopher Battaglia)
    • Financial Advisor: Phoenix Management (James Fleet, Albert Mink)
    • Investment Banker: Raymond James & Associates Inc. (Geoffrey Richards)
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Term Lender: SWK Funding LLC
      • Legal: Holland & Knight LLP (Arthur Rosenberg)
    • Stalking Horse Bidder: Summit Health Inc., a subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics Inc.
      • Legal: Bass Berry & Sims PLC (Paul Jennings) & Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Gary Holtzer, Jessica Liou, John Conte)
Source: First Day Declaration

Source: First Day Declaration

😷New Chapter 11 & CCAA Bankruptcy Filing - Aralez Pharmaceuticals US Inc.😷

8/10/18

Publicly-traded Ontario-based Aralez Pharmaceuticals US Inc. ($ARLZ), a specialty pharma company focused on the development and commercialization of cardiovascular products, filed for bankruptcy to pursue sales of its main operating businesses in the US and Canada. The company will use the bankruptcy process to sell its TOPROL-XL franchise, a beta-blocker used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain and heart failure, to its secured lender, Deerfield Management Company LP, for approximately $140mm; it will also sell its VIMOVO royalties and Canadian operations to Nuvo Pharmaceuticals Inc. ($NRI) in a transaction valued at $110mm. The company purchased the former franchise in late 2016 for $175mm so a sale for $140mm is a bit of a slap in the face.

The company blames its chapter 11 filing on Amazon. Just kidding. These pharma deals are so technical and boring that we had to write that just to see if you were still paying attention.

The company REALLY blames its chapter 11 filing on a “highly competitive”pharmaceuticals market “characterized by rapidly changing markets and technology, emerging industry standards and frequent introduction of new products.” It notes:

The market is dominated by a small number of highly-concentrated global competitors, many of which boast substantially greater resources than the Company, and competition is based on, among other things, product safety, reliability, availability, and price.

The company seeks approval of a $15mm DIP credit facility provided by Deerfield.

  • Jurisdiction: Southern District of New York (Judge Glenn)

  • Capital Structure: $203.1mm 12.5% term loan (plus $2.7mm in PIK interest); $75.5mm 2.5% ‘22 senior convertible secured notes (plus $200k in PIK interest).

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Paul V. Shalhoub, Robin Spigel, Debra C. McElligott)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal Healthcare Industry Group LLC

    • Investment Banker: Moelis & Company (Barak Klein)

    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • DIP Agent: Deerfield Management Company LP (Legal: Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Steven Reisman, Shaya Rochester, Peter Siddiqui, Paul Musser)