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 Filing - Hexion Holdings LLC

Hexion Holdings LLC

April 1, 2019

What we appreciate that and, we hope thanks to PETITION, others will eventually come to appreciate, is that there is a lot to learn from the special corporate law, investment banking, advisory, and investing niche labeled “restructuring” and “distressed investing.” Here, Ohio-based Hexion Holdings LLC is a company that probably touches our lives in ways that most people have no knowledge of: it produces resins that “are key ingredients in a wide variety of industrial and consumer goods, where they are often employed as adhesives, as coatings and sealants, and as intermediates for other chemical applications.” These adhesives are used in wind turbines and particle board; their coatings prevent corrosion on bridges and buildings. You can imagine a scenario where, if Washington D.C. can ever get its act together and get an infrastructure bill done, Hexion will have a significant influx of revenue.

Not that revenue is an issue now. It generated $3.8b in 2018, churning out $440mm of EBITDA. And operational performance is on the upswing, having improved 21% YOY. So what’s the problem? In short, the balance sheet is a hot mess.* Per the company:

“…the Debtors face financial difficulties. Prior to the anticipated restructuring, the Debtors are over nine times levered relative to their 2018 adjusted EBITDA and face annual debt service in excess of $300 million. In addition, over $2 billion of the Debtors’ prepetition funded debt obligations mature in 2020. The resulting liquidity and refinancing pressures have created an unsustainable drag on the Debtors and, by extension, their Non-Debtor Affiliates, requiring a comprehensive solution.”

This is what that capital structure looks like:

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(PETITION Note: if you’re wondering what the eff is a 1.5 lien note, well, welcome to the party pal. These notes are a construct of a frothy high-yield market and constructive readings of credit docs. They were issued in 2017 to discharge maturing notes. The holders thereof enjoy higher priority on collateral than the second lien notes and other junior creditors below, but slot in beneath the first lien notes).

Anyway, to remedy this issue, the company has entered into a support agreement “that enjoys the support of creditors holding a majority of the debt to be restructured, including majorities within every tier of the capital structure.” The agreement would reduce total funded debt by $2b by: (a) giving the first lien noteholders $1.45b in cash (less adequate protection payments reflecting interest on their loans), and 72.5% of new common stock and rights to participate in the rights offering at a significant discount to a total enterprise value of $3.1b; and (b) the 1.5 lien noteholders, the second lien noteholders and the unsecured noteholders 27.5% of the new common stock and rights to participate in the rights offering. The case will be funded by a $700mm DIP credit facility.

*Interestingly, Hexion is a derivative victim of the oil and gas downturn. In 2014, the company was selling resin coated sand to oil and gas businesses to the tune of 8% of sales and 28% of segment EBITDA. By 2016, segment EBITDA dropped by approximately $150mm, a sizable loss that couldn’t be offset by other business units.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Gross)

  • Capital Structure: See above.

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Latham & Watkins LLP (George Davis, Andrew Parlan, Hugh Murtagh, Caroline Reckler, Jason Gott, Lisa Lansio, Blake Denton, Andrew Sorkin, Christopher Harris) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Mark Collins, Michael Merchant, Amanda Steele, Brendan Schlauch)

    • Managers: Samuel Feinstein, William Joyce, Robert Kaslow-Ramos, George F. Knight III, Geoffrey Manna, Craig Rogerson, Marvin Schlanger, Lee Stewart

    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLP

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

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Noteholders (Angelo Gordon & Co. LP, Aristeia Capital LLC, Barclays Bank PLC, Beach Point Capital Management LP, Capital Research and Management Company, Citadel Advisors LLC, Contrarian Capital Management LLC, Credit Suisse Securities USA LLC, Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, DoubleLine Capital LP, Eaton Vance Management, Federated Investment Counseling, GoldenTree Asset Management LP, Graham Capital Management LP, GSO Capital Partners LP, Heyman Enterprise LLC, Hotchkis and Wiley Capital Management LLC, OSK VII LLC, Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, Silver Rock Financial LP, Sound Point Capital Management LP, Tor Asia Credit Master Fund LP, UBS Securities LLC, Whitebox Advisors LLC)

      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Ira Dizengoff, Philip Dublin, Daniel Fisher, Naomi Moss, Abid Qureshi)

      • Financial Advisor: Evercore Group LLC

    • Ad Hoc Group of Crossover Noteholders (Aegon USA Investment Management LLC, Aurelius Capital Master Ltd., Avenue Capital Management II LP, Avenue Europe International Management, Benefit Street Partners LLC, Cyrus Capital Partners LP, KLS Diversified Asset Management LLC, Loomis Sayles & Company LP, Monarch Alternative Capital LP, New Generation Advisors LLC, P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP)

      • Legal: Milbank LLP (Samuel Khalil, Matthew Brod)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc.

    • Ad Hoc Group of 1.5 Lien Noteholders

      • Legal: Jones Day (Sidney Levinson, Jeremy Evans)

    • Pre-petition RCF Agent & Post-petition DIP Agent ($350mm): JPMorgan Chase Bank NA

      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

    • Trustee under the First Lien Notes: U.S. Bank NA

      • Legal: Kelley Drye & Warren LLP (James Carr, Kristin Elliott) & (local) Dorsey & Whitney LLP (Eric Lopez Schnabel, Alessandra Glorioso)

    • Trustee of 1.5 Lien Notes: Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB

      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

    • Trustee of Borden Indentures: The Bank of New York Mellon

    • Sponsor: Apollo

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; Agrium US, Inc.; The Bank of New York Mellon; Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America; PVS Chloralkali, Inc.; Southern Chemical Corporation; Wilmington Trust; Wilmington Savings Fund Society; and Blue Cube Operations LLC

      • Legal: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP (Kenneth Eckstein, Douglas Mannal, Rachael Ringer) & (local) Bayard PA (Scott Cousins, Erin Fay, Gregory Flasser)

      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Samuel Star)

Updated:

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - 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)

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⛽️New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Arsenal Energy Holdings LLC⛽️

Arsenal Energy Holdings LLC

February 4, 2019

This is the week of proposed super-short bankruptcy cases.

Pennsylvania-based natural-gas developer, Arsenal Energy Holdings LLC, filed a prepackaged bankruptcy case in the District of Delaware. Pursuant to its prepackaged plan of reorganization, the company will convert its subordinated notes to Class A equity. Holders of 95.93% of the notes approved of the plan. The one holdout — the other 4+% — precipitated the need for a chapter 11 filing. Restructuring democracy is a beautiful (and sometimes wasteful) thing.

100% of existing equity approved of the plan and will get Class B equity (with the exception of Arsenal Resource Holdings LLC and FR Mountaineer Keystone Holdings LLC, which will both get Class C equity).

The company, itself, is about as boring a bankruptcy filer as they come: it is just a holding company with no ops, no employees and, other than a single bank account and its direct and indirect equity interests in certain non-debtor subs, no assets. The equity is privately-held.

More of the action occurred out-of-court upon the recapitalization of the non-debtor operating company. Because of the holdout(s), the company, its noteholders, the opco lenders (Mercuria) and the consenting equityholders agreed to consummate a global transaction in steps: first, the out-of-court recap of the non-debtor opco and then the in-court restructuring of the holdco to squeeze the holdouts. For the uninitiated, a lower voting threshold passes muster in-court than it does out-of-court. Out-of-court, the debtor needed 100% consent. Not so much in BK.

Given the simplicity of this case, the company hopes to be in and out of bankruptcy in less than two weeks. Which, considering the effort in FULLBEAUTY, begs the question: why is it taking so long?

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware

  • Capital Structure: $861mm subordinated notes, $116.7mm Seller Notes

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Michael Torkin, Kathrine McLendon, Nicholas Baker) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Pauline Morgan, Kara Coyle, Ashley Jacobs)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc Group of Subordinated Noteholders

      • Legal: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (Sean O’Neal, Humayan Khalid)

    • Mercuria Investments US, Inc.

      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (David Meyer, Garrick Smith)

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - FULLBEAUTY Brands Holdings Corp.

FULLBEAUTY Brands Holdings Corp.

February 3, 2019

We’re going to regurgitate our report about FULLBEAUTY Brands Holdings Corp. from January 6th after the company publicly posted its proposed plan of reorganization and disclosure statement and issued a press release about its proposed restructuring. What follows is what we wrote then:


FULLBEAUTY Brands Inc., an Apax Partners’ disaster…uh, “investment”…will, despite earlier reports of an out-of-court resolution to the contrary, be filing for bankruptcy after all in what appears to be either a late January or an early February filing after the company completes its prepackaged solicitation of creditors. Back in May in “Plus-Size Beauty is a Plus-Size Sh*tfest (Short Apax Partners’ Fashion Sense),” we wrote:

Here’s some free advice to our friends at Apax Partners: hire some millennials. And some women. When you have 23 partners worldwide and only 1 of them is a woman (in Tel Aviv, of all places), it’s no wonder that certain women’s apparel investments are going sideways. Fresh off of the bankruptcies of Answers.com and rue21, another recent leveraged buyout by the private equity firm is looking a bit bloated: NY-based FullBeauty Brands, a plus-size direct-to-consumer e-commerce and catalogue play with a portfolio of six brands (Woman Within, Roamans, Jessica London, Brylane Home, BC Outlet, Swimsuits for All, and Eilos).

Wait. Hold up. Direct-to-consumer? Check. E-commerce? Check. Isn’t that, like, all the rage right now? Yes, unless you’re levered to the hilt and have a relatively scant social media presence. Check and check.

Per a press release on Thursday, the company has an agreement with nearly all of its first-lien-last out lenders, first lien lenders, second lien lenders and equity sponsors on a deleveraging transaction that will shed $900mm of debt from the company’s balance sheet. It also has a commitment for $30mm in new liquidity in the form of a new money term loan with existing lenders. Per Bloomberg:

About 87.5 percent of the common reorganized equity would go to first-lien lenders, 10 percent to second liens, and 2.5 percent to the sponsor, according to people with knowledge of the plan who weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Which, in English, means that Oaktree Capital Group LLCGoldman Sachs Group Inc., and Voya Financial Inc. will end up owning this retailer. Your plus-sized clothing, powered by hedge funds. Apax and Charlesbank Capital, the other PE sponsor, stand to maintain 2.5% of the equity which, from our vantage point, appears rather generous (PETITION Note: there must be a decent amount of cross-holdings between the first lien and second lien debt for that to be the case). Here is the difference in capital structure:

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What’s the story here? Simply put, it’s just another retail with far too much leverage in this retail environment.

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Of course, there’s the obligatory product strategy, inventory control, and e-commerce excuses as well. Not to mention…wait for it…Amazon Inc ($AMZN)!

“In addition to these operational hurdles, FullBeauty has also faced competition from online retail giant Amazon, Inc. and retail chains, including Walmart Inc. and Kohl’s Corporation, that have recently entered the plus-size clothing space.”

Kirkland & Ellis LLPPJT Partners ($PJT) and AlixPartners represent the company.


We give bankruptcy professionals grief all of the time for what often appears to be fee extraction in various cases. In our view, there have been some pretty egregious examples of inefficiency in the system and, considering a number of our readers are management teams of distressed companies, we feel it’s imperative that we cure for a blatant information dislocation and help educate the masses. This, though, appears to be an extraordinary case. In the other direction.

The company’s professionals here propose to confirm the company’s plan of reorganization at the first day hearing of the case. As Bloomberg noted on Monday, this would “set a new record for emerging from court protection in under 24 hours.” Bloomberg reports:

The previous record for the fastest Chapter 11 process is held by Blue Bird Body Co., which exited bankruptcy in 2006 in less than two days. Fullbeauty and its advisers aim to beat that mark.

“We structured this deal as if bankruptcy never happened for our trade creditors, vendors and employees to avoid further disruption to the company,” attorney Jon Henes at Kirkland & Ellis, the company’s legal counsel, said in an interview. “In this situation, every day in court is another day of costs without any corresponding benefit.”

In fact, this case would be so quick that, as you read this (on Wednesday), Judge Drain may have already given the plan his blessing. This makes Roust Corporation Inc. (6 days) and Southcross Holdings (13 days) look like child’s play. For that reason — and that reason alone — we’ll forgive the company’s professionals for their blatant victory lap: it’s curious that Bloomberg had a completed interview ready to go at 9:26am on the morning of the company’s bankruptcy filing. Clearly Kirkland & Ellis LLP, PJT Partners LP ($PJT) and Houlihan Lokey Capital ($HL) want to milk this extraordinary result for all it’s worth. We can’t really blame them, truthfully. That is, unless and/or until the company violates the “Two Year Rule” a la Charlotte Russe.

Anyway, why so quick? Well, because they can: the entire capital structure is on board with the proposed plan and trade will ride through unimpaired and paid. All contracts will be assumed. There are no brick-and-mortar stores to deal with: this is a web and catalogue-based business. Like we said, this case is extraordinary. Per the Company:

It is in the best interest of the estates that the Debtors remain in bankruptcy for as short a time-period as possible. If FullBeauty is forced to remain in chapter 11 longer than necessary, it may be required to seek debtor in possession financing, which would cost the Debtors unnecessary bank fees and professional expenses. In addition, although January has been relatively smooth in terms of vendor outreach, FullBeauty expects that trade could contract very quickly if the company remains in chapter 11 longer than necessary—particularly because many vendors are in foreign jurisdictions and they do not understand the nuances of prepackaged cases versus longer prearranged or traditional chapter 11 cases. Every day that FullBeauty remains in chapter 11 results in cash spent that could go to developing the business.

Indeed, for once, it appears that the best interests of the debtor company were, indeed, heeded.*

*Which is not to say that we believe the out-of-court bills will be light.

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

  • Capital Structure: $mm debt     

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Jonathan Henes, Emily Geier, George Klidonas, Rebecca Blake Chaikin, Nicole Greenblatt)

    • Independent Director: Mohsin Meghji

    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLC

    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP (Jamie Baird)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Financial Sponsor (69.6%): Apax Partners LLP

      • Legal: Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Nicholas Baker)

    • Financial Sponsor (26.4%): Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC

      • Legal: Goodwin Proctor LLP (William Weintraub, Joseph Bernardi Jr.)

    • ABL Agent & FILO Agent: JPMorgan Chase Bank NA

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

    • First Lien Agent & Second Lien Agent: Wilmington Trust NA

      • Legal: Shipman & Goodman LLP (Nathan Plotkin, Eric Goldstein, Marie Pollio)

    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Term Loan Lenders

      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Dennis Dunne, Gerard Uzzi, Nelly Almeida)

      • Financial Advisor: Ducera Partners

    • Ad Hoc Group of Second Lien Term Loan Lenders

      • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Paul Basta, Elizabeth McColm, Christopher Hopkins)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Saul Burian)

Updated 2/4/19 at 7:03 CT

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - FR Dixie Holdings Corp.

FR Dixie Holdings Corp.

November 2, 2018

Oilfield services company, Dixie Electric LLC, and its parent, FR Dixie Holdings Corp., have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the District of Delaware with a prepackaged plan of reorganization that eliminates $300mm of funded debt via a debt for equity swap. The privately-held (First Reserve) Houston-based provider of electrical infrastructure materials and services to the energy industry (primarily in the Permian and Bakken basins) has a commitment in hand for $17.5mm of DIP financing to fund the business in BK and $30mm in exit term loans to fund the business upon its emergence from BK.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2018, the unaudited and consolidated financial statements of the Company reflected revenue of $95.0 million and a net loss of $24.5 million. Given approximately $300mm in debt, these numbers presented the company with some serious challenges. The company also blames its bankruptcy filing on “decreased drilling and well completion activity, tightness in the skilled labor market and unprofitable lumpsum contracts.

The company’s bankruptcy papers include a commentary about the state of the post-downturn oil and gas market reflecting, not-so-surprisingly, (i) some discipline by oil and gas drillers and (ii) macro concerns about the labor market. The company notes:

Operators have become increasingly focused on service costs and have pushed for rate cuts and reduced overtime and fixed-priced work. The Company was also increasingly bidding against other firms for work, further putting pressure on margins. As the oil and gas market has recovered, operators have remained focused on costs and, while the Company has been pushing for rate increases, there is still less overtime work and more fixed-price work than existed prior to the downturn. In addition, the Company is experiencing higher labor rates and has not been able to fully offset those labor rate increases with the additional pricing increases.

Accordingly, the company has shut down business lines and stream-lined operations. The hope is that with a near-full deleveraging, it will be better positioned for the future. Given the support of its secured lenders and other parties in interest, the company appears headed in the right direction. The company seeks confirmation of its plan on December 13.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware

  • Capital Structure: $19.6mm revolver, $267.4mm TL (Wilmington Trust NA), $8mm unsecured loans    

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Kathrine McLendon, Edward Linden, David Baruch) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Edmon Morton, Sean Beach, Elizabeth Justison, Tara Pakrouh)

    • Financial Advisor: BDO USA LLP

    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP (Peter Laurinaitis, Joseph Fallon)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc Group of Prepetition Secured Lenders

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP

      • Financial Advisor: Ankura Consulting Group

Updated 11/2 7:45am CT

New Chapter 11 Filing - The NORDAM Group, Inc.

The NORDAM Group, Inc.

7/22/18

A promising contract can sometimes prove to be an albatross. Here, The Nordam Group Inc., an Oklahoma-based aircraft component manufacturing and repair company, has filed for bankruptcy after a long-term development and manufacturing agreement ("LTPA") with Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation ("P&WC") to develop, manufacture, and support an FAA-approved nacelle system for the Gulfstream G500 aircraft proved overly burdensome. Per the company:

"The Debtors currently estimate that their expenses incurred under the LTPA exceed $200 million. These expenses have, in turn, challenged overall financial performance, with EBITDA declining from approximately $88 million in fiscal year 2008 to approximately $50 million in fiscal year 2017. These financial challenges have further impacted the Debtors’ balance sheet and available liquidity, including with respect to the Debtors’ revolving credit facility, which matured on June 18, 2018 with approximately $266.5 million outstanding."

Harsh. After failing to successfully negotiate a resolution to these issues with both its bank group and P&WC, the company has filed for bankruptcy to leverage the Bankruptcy Code's "breathing spell" and, presumably, contract rejection provisions under section 365. The company seeks access to a $45mm DIP credit facility to fund its cases. 

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Walrath)
  • Capital Structure: $266.5mm RCF (JPMorgan Chase Bank NA), $19.2mm unsecured promissory notes   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Ray Schrock, Ryan Preston Dahl, Jill Frizzley) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Daniel DeFranceschi, Paul Heath, Brett Haywood, Megan Kenney)
    • Financial Advisor: Huron Consulting Group Inc. (John DiDonato, Matthew Fisher)
    • Investment Banker: Guggenheim Securities LLC (Ronen Bojmel)
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
    • Independent Directors: David Eaton, Thomas Allison
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Prepetition Agent & DIP Agent: JPMorgan Chase Bank NA
      • Legal: Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP 
    • P&WC
      • Legal: Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz (Philip Mindlin, Douglas Mayer) & (local) Stevens & Lee PC (Joseph Huston Jr.)

Updated: 7/23 at 2:09 CT

New Chapter 22 Filing - Geokinetics Inc.

Geokinetics Inc.

6/25/18

Just when we thought companies had mysteriously figured out how to stay out of bankruptcy court, alas, a filing!

And just when we thought oil and gas-related distress had ridden off into the proverbial Texan sunset, in walks Houston-based geophysical services provider Geokinetics Inc. into the Southern District of Texas with a plan to sell substantially all of its assets to (one-time bankruptcy candidate) SAE Exploration Inc. for $20mm. Looks like the oil and gas downturn still has some appetite for prey. And it must be tasty prey: this is the second time in four years that this company is in bankruptcy. #Scarlet22. Indeed, this company is so good at bankruptcy that, the first time, it emerged from chapter 11 a full year before it even confirmed its plan!! From paragraph 24 of the First Day Declaration:

"On March 10, 2014, GOK and certain affiliated subsidiaries confirmed a prepackaged chapter 11 plan of reorganization in the District of Delaware. Pursuant to the Plan, GOK equitized over $300 million of debt and paid off its revolving credit facility. On May 10, 2013, GOK and certain affiliated subsidiaries emerged from chapter 11."

And we thought Westworld had mind-bending timelines. Whoops. 

The company blames the prolonged downturn and certain discreet "operational difficulties" that resulted in uncollectable receivables for its bankruptcy. Wanting to jump ship as the iceberg approached, Wells Fargo sought to minimize its exposure but the company and its bankers, Moelis, weren't able to find a suitable secured loan facility to refinance its revolving loan. So Moelis toggled to "strategic alternatives" mode which, seemingly, included dumping this turd on unsuspecting public equity investors as the company -- under the guidance of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson -- filed a confidential S-1 under the JOBS Act. Sounds a lot like Domo Inc. Or Tintri Inc., for that matter. #HailMary

Obviously the company didn't IPO. Instead, it continued to bleed cash. Ascribe Capital replaced Wells Fargo and funded bridge loans for some time until they were no longer willing to perform triage. The company and its advisors stepped on the gas, lined up the stalking horse bidder, and secured interest in a $15mm DIP credit facility -- from Whitebox Advisors and Highbridge Capital, two funds that are stakeholders in the stalking horse bidder -- and filed for bankruptcy. The proceeds of the DIP will be used, in part, to pay off Ascribe's bridge loans. 

Meanwhile, remember that IPO? It seems the company thought that that was a gigantic waste of time: among the top creditors are Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Moelis & Co. ($MO). Savage. 

  • Jurisdiction: S.D of Texas (Judge Jones)
  • Capital Structure: $15.6mm Term Loan A (Ascribe Capital, Wilmington Trust), $6.8mm RCF (Ascribe Capital, Wilmington Trust)
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Porter & Hedges LLP (John Higgins, Joshua Wolfshohl, Aaron Power)
    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. 
    • Investment Banker: Moelis & Co. 
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ascribe Investments LLC
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Michael Torkin, Bryce Friedman, Randi Lynn Veenstra, Megan Tweed, Sandeep Qusba, Yun Joo Lim) & (local) Haynes and Boone LLP (Charles Beckham Jr., Martha Wyrick)
    • SAExploration Inc.
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Sarah Link Schultz, Eric Seitz)
    • DIP Lenders: Whitebox Advisors LLC, Highbridge Capital Management LLC
      • Legal: Brown Rudnick LLP (Andreas Andromalos, Steven Levine, Jeffrey Jonas, Robert Stark, Kimberly Cohen)

Updated 6/26 6:54 PT

New Chapter 11 Filing - R.E. Gas Development LLC (a/k/a Rex Energy)

R.E. Gas Development LLC

5/18/18

Pennsylvania-based R.E. Gas Development LLC and its affiliates are independent publicly-traded ($REXX) oil and gas companies operating in the Appalachian Basin with a focus on drilling and exploration activity in the Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale and Upper Devonian Shale, mostly throughout Western Pennsylvania. Like most other exploration and production companies that have found their way in bankruptcy court over the last several years, the sudden steep decline in crude oil and nat gas prices that began in 2014 significantly affected the company's liquidity and ability to manage its balance sheet. After all, this company isn't operating in the Permian. Revenues for 2017 were $205.3 million. 

After months and months of foreplay, the company enters bankruptcy court with a restructuring support agreement ("RSA") in tow: it provides for a dual path pursuant to which the company will, in agreement with its secured lenders, pursue a sale of substantially all assets or, in the absence of qualified bids, pursue a plan process pursuant to which the first lien lenders (i.e., Angelo Gordon) will swap (DIP) debt for equity in the reorganized company. The RSA purportedly has the support of 100% of the first lien lenders and 71.8% of the outstanding second lien notes.

To fund the company throughout the dual process, the company seeks a $411 million DIP credit facility, the proceeds of which will be used to (i) roll up $261 million of prepetition loans and (ii) settle the "makewhole provision" under the first lien credit agreement to the tune of $50 million. The makewhole was put into place at the time of the issuance of the first lien loan just short of a year ago.  For the uninitiated, the makewhole entitles the lender to certain economics in the event the lenders are "repaid in whole or in part prior to the maturity date or the outstanding indebtedness under the facility is accelerated for any reason." The economics are calculated "based on the sum of remaining interest payments and certain fees due on all loans for the remainder of the make whole period, which terminates on October 28, 2019." In other words, Angelo Gordon structured this to give themselves the utmost economics in the (highly likely) case of an event of default and eventual bankruptcy. Solid planning on their part -- assuming, in particular, that the assets fetch a purchase price that will clear the first lien debt and makewhole amount. Respect. 

So, lo and behold, there was an event of default called in February for failure to deliver quarterly financial statements (which led to other defaults as well). In April, the lenders, after a short forbearance period, issued a notice of acceleration. Cha ching! Makewhole!!

The DIP credit agreement imposes fairly expedited -- but not wholly unreasonable (relative to other recent cases) -- timing on the company, including closing of any sale or confirmation of a plan 170 days after the filing date. 

  • Jurisdiction: W.D. of Pennsylvania (Judge Deller)
  • Capital Structure: see below.
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Jones Day (Scott Greenberg, Tom Howley, Michael Cohen, Anna Kordas, Rachel Biblo Block) & (local) Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney PC (James Newell, Timothy Palmer, Tyler Dischinger)
    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Albert Conly)
    • Investment Banker: Perella Weinberg Partners (Alexander Tracy)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Prepetition First Lien Admin Agent: Angelo Gordon Energy Servicer
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Michael Torkin) & (local) Duane Morris LLP
      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners
    • Informal Group of 1%/8% Senior Secured Second Lien Notes due 2020 of Rex Energy Corporation
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Michael Stamer, Meredith Lahaie, Stephen Kuhn, Kevin Zuzolo) and (local) Reed Smith LLP (Eric Schaffer, Maura McIntyre)
      • Financial Advisor: Stephens Inc.
    • Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB
      • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Jonathan Levine, Daniel Harris) & (local) Reed Smith LLP (Eric Schaffer, Maura McIntyre)
    • BOKF, National Association
      • Legal: Arent Fox LLP (Andrew Silfen, George Angelich, Jordana Renert) & (local) Federic Dorwart, Lawyers PLLC (Samuel Ory)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Brown Rudnick LLP (Robert Stark, Chelsea Mullarney, Sigmund Wissner-Gross, Brian Rice, Steven Pohl, Andrew Carty, Bennett Silverberg, Chelsea Mullarney, Emily Koruda, Justin Cunningham) & (local) Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl LLC (Patrick Carothers, David Lampl, John Steiner)
      • Financial Advisor: Conway MacKenzie Inc. (John Young Jr.)
Source: First Day Declaration

Source: First Day Declaration

New Chapter 11 Filing - EV Energy Partners L.P.

EV Energy Partners L.P.

4/2/18

Assuming this filing has adhered to its previously announced Restructuring Support Agreement, this is pretty boring and so we'll just let the company's March press release speak for itself:

"...the Plan, which is subject to confirmation by the Bankruptcy Court, contemplates the equitization of all of the Company’s Senior Notes and the entry into an amended reserve-based lending facility with the Company’s existing lenders. Additionally, the Plan contemplates that suppliers, customers and other holders of general unsecured claims will be paid in full in the ordinary course of business and otherwise be unimpaired. The Company does not plan to reject any of its existing contracts as part of the restructuring."

The noteholders are agreeing to equitize the senior notes in exchange for 95% of the equity in the reorganized company. The upshot of this is that the company will eliminate $343 million of debt and debt-related obligations. 

Because no contracts will be rejected under section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, all suppliers, service providers, customers, employees, royalty and working interest obligation holders will be paid in full in the ordinary course. Due to the company's Master Limited Partnership structure, however, stock holders will get hit by some "CODI" or "Cancellation of Debt Income" which ought to make for an interest tax filing. To alleviate some of that chafe, the company is offering 5% of the reorganized equity and warrants to the stock holders. 

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware 
  • Capital Structure: ~$297 million RBL (funded, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA), ~$356 million 8.0% '19 senior notes (Delaware Trust Company)   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Joshua Sussberg, Jeremy David Evans, Brad Weiland, Travis Bayer) & (local) Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Laura Davis Jones)
    • Financial Advisor: Perella Weinberg Partners LP 
    • Restructuring Advisor: Deloitte & Touche LLP
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of Senior Noteholders
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
      • Financial Advisor: Intrepid Partners LLC 
    • RBL Lenders
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
      • Financial Advisor: RPA Advisors, LLC
    • Consenting Sponsor:
      • EnerVest, Ltd. and EnerVest Operating, L.L.C.

Will Update if Filing Differs from Advertised. 

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Orchard Acquisition Company LLC (The J.G. Wentworth Company)

The J.G. Wentworth Company

  • 12/12/17 Recap: What's the statute of limitations for getting tagged with the "Chapter 22" label? While this may be out of bounds thanks to the passage of time, this is not the company's first foray in bankruptcy court, having previously filed during the financial crisis in 2009. It subsequently emerged under new private equity ownership and then IPO'd in 2013. This time around, the specialty-finance company in the business of providing financing solutions ((e.g., mortgage lending (as an approved issuer with Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae), structured settlement, annuity and lottery payment purchasing, prepaid cards, and personal loans)) filed a prepackaged bankruptcy pursuant to which its lenders will be swapping debt for at least 95.5% of the new equity and some cash. Holders of partnership interests and tax-related claims will get the remaining equity (subject to dilution by the 8% of equity set aside for management allocations). The company will eliminate its $449.5mm of debt and have a $65-70mm revolving credit facility to utilize going forward. The company blames regulatory requirements and a highly competitive market that pressured rates, service levels, products, and fees for its downfall. 
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Gross)
  • Capital Structure: $449.5mm '19 first lien TL (Jefferies Finance LLC)     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Kathrine McLendon, Edward Linden, Randi Lynn Veenstra, Haley Garrett, Nicholas Baker, Bryce Friedman) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Edmon Morton, Sean Beach)
    • FInancial Advisor: Ankura Consulting
    • Investment Banker: Evercore 
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Jefferies Finance LLC
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Natasha Tsiouris, Erik Jerrard) & (local) Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP (Jeremy Ryan, R. Stephen McNeill, D. Ryan Slaugh)
      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (formerly CDG Group LLC)
    • New RCF Commitment Party (HPS Investment Partners LLC)
      • Legal: Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP (Matthew Barr, Kelly DiBlasi, Damian Ridealgh) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Curtis Miller, Matthew Talmo)

Updated 12/13/17

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Cumulus Media Inc.

Cumulus Media Inc.

  • 11/29/17 Recap: It has become routine for a company to tout the synergistic benefits of an acquisition. But synergies only come from solid execution and integration of the new properties into the existing franchise. As we often see, that's a pipe dream that often fails to come to fruition. Take, Cumulus Media, for instance, which from 1998 through 2013, "completed approximately $5 billion worth of acquisitions to grow its network and station businesses," including two large recent acquisitions (Citadel Broadcasting in 2011 and Westwood One in 2013). Notably, "[t]he Company struggled to develop the management and technology infrastructure required to integrate the acquired assets and to support and manage its expanding portfolio. Additionally, certain of the acquisition projections proved erroneous and a number of subsequent management decisions failed to achieve their desired results. The Company was thus unable to achieve the cash flow projections it had made to support the prices paid for those acquisitions...." Projections didn't translate to reality? Color us shocked. Combine these operational challenges with "industry challenges" and you've got a recipe for decreased YOY trends in ratings, revenue and EBITDA. Since 2012. Yikes. But like most bankruptcies, this is a storm of multiple elements. Clearly, the above-noted transactions led to a tremendous amount of incurred debt, capex for integration, and interest expense on that debt. But, in addition, "advertiser and listener demand for radio overall has been negatively impacted by the availability of content and advertising opportunities in growing digital streaming and web-based digital formats, resulting in declines in radio industry revenue and listenership. As a result of these general industry pressures, high acquisition prices and subsequent poor performance, Cumulus Media found itself with an excessive level of debt relative to its earnings and rapidly approaching maturities on its funded debt." So, in other words, blame the debt, Facebook ($FB), Google ($GOOGL), Netflix ($NFLX), Amazon ($AMZN), podcasts, etc., for the decline in radio consumption. So, now the company is in bankruptcy with a restructuring support agreement in place to equitize the term loan. The term loan lenders will get take-back paper and 83.5% percent of the reorganized company. The noteholders will get 16.5% of the equity subject to management incentive plan. Shareholders will get bupkis. 
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York (Judge Chapman)
  • Capital Structure: $1.73b TL (JP Morgan Chase Bank NA), $637mm 7.75% senior notes (U.S. Bank NA)   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (Paul Basta, Lewis Clayton, Jacob Adlerstein, Claudia Tobler)
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC (David Miller)
    • Investment Banker: PJT Partners LP
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
    • Board of Directors: Mary Berner, Jill Bright, Ralph Everett, Jeffrey Marcus, Ross Oliver, Jan Baker
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of Term Loan Lenders (Eaton Vance Management and Boston Management & Research, Franklin Mutual Advisors, Highland Capital Management LP, JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, Silver Point Finance LLC, Symphony Asset Management LLC and Nuveen Fund Advisors, Voya Investment Management Co. LLC, Beach Point Capital Management LP)
      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Michael Messersmith, Michael Solow, Seth Kleinman)
      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting LLC
    • Ad Hoc Senior Noteholder Group (Angelo Gordon & Co. LLP, Brigade Capital Management, Capital Research and Management Co., Greywolf Capital Management LP, Waddell & Reed Investment Corporation)
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Michael Stamer, Meredith Lahaie, Abid Qureshi, Kate Doorley)
    • Administrative Agent: JP Morgan Chase Bank NA
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Nicholas Baker)

Updated 11/30/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - rue21 Inc.

rue21 Inc.

  • 5/15/17 Recap: Pennsylvania-based specialty fashion retailer (owned by private equity shop Apax Partners LP) with 1184 brick-and-mortar locations (pre recent closing initiative) in various strip centers, regional malls and outlet centers filed for bankruptcy to (i) further revamp its e-commerce strategy, (ii) improve the in-store experience, (iii) right-size the store footprint and lease portfolio, (iv) de-lever its capital structure, and (v) effectuate a long-term business plan under its relatively new management. The numbers here are interesting: the company had a negative EBITDA swing of approximately $51mm from 2015 to 2016 - despite rising sales. The company's girls' division got decimated due to "an evolution of customer tastes." Wow! Who knew that teenage girls have fickle fashion tastes? These merchandising issues combined with (a) supply chain issues (heightened - in a self-fulfilling kind of way - by all of the rumors surrounding the company's bankruptcy), (b) "the shift away from brick-and-mortar retail sales to online channels," AND (c) a "not as robust" e-commerce presence relative to competitors, to put the company in a tough spot. A digression: we have previously noted David Simon's comments on the Simon Properties Group (SPG) earnings call from 4/27/17 that SPG is NOT experiencing a decline in traffic - though he offered absolutely ZERO data to back that up. According to SPG's own website, there are currently 90 rue21 locations in SPG properties (which translates to nearly 8%): we're curious to see whether any of these 90 locations will be featured in store closing motions coming soon to a bankruptcy court near you; indeed, in the first instance, it appears that some already are). The company is proposing a deal whereby the Term Lenders will effectively own the majority of the company post-bankruptcy after rolling-up a $100 DIP credit facility (applied in addition to $50mm of new money to be rolled into an exit facility). They've been so kind so as to give general unsecured creditors (read: the little guys) a 4% equity kiss - but only if they vote to accept the plan. Otherwise, the "death trap" door opens and general unsecured creditors end up with nada. We're sure a creditors' committee will have something to say about that. 
  • Jurisdiction: W.D. of Pennsylvania
  • Capital Structure: $150mm RCF ($78mm funded)(Bank of America), $521mm '20 TLB (Wilmington Savings Fund Society as successor to JPMorgan Chase Bank NA), $239mm '21 9% unsecured bonds (Wells Fargo Bank NA).    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Jonathan Henes, Nicole Greenblatt, Robert Britton, George Klidonas) & (local counsel) Reed Smith LLP (Eric Schaffer, Jared Roach)
    • Financial Advisor: Berkeley Research Group LLC (Stephen Coulombe, Kyle Richter, Patrick Farley)
    • Investment Banker: Rothschild Inc. (Neil Augustine, Jonathan Brownstein)
    • Real Estate Advisor: A&G Realty Partners LLC
    • Liquidator: Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC
      • Legal: Greenberg Traurig LLP (Nancy Peterman)
    • Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name for access to the free docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • ABL Agent and DIP ABL Agent: Bank of America
      • Legal: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP (Matthew Furlong, Marc Ledue, Julia Frost-Davis) & (local) Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC (James Newell, Timothy Palmer, Kelly Neal)
    • TL Agent and DIP TL Agent: Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB and Term Lender Group (Bayside Capital LLC, Benefit Street Partners LLC, Bennett Management Corporation, Citadel Advisors LLC, Eaton Vance Management, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, Octagon Credit Investors LLC, Southpaw Credit Opportunity Master Fund LP, Stonehill Capital Management LLC, Voya Investment Management)
      • Legal: Jones Day LLP (Scott Greenberg, Michael J. Cohen, Jeffrey Bresch, Genna Ghaul)
      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners
    • Indenture Trustee: Wells Fargo Bank NA
      • Legal: Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP (Gerard Uzzi, Robert Nussbaum, Eric Stodola)
    • Sponsor: Apax Partners LP
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Nicholas Baker, Jonathan Endean) & Duane Morris LLP (Joel Walker, Kenneth Argentieri)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: Cooley LLP (Jay Indyke, Cathy Hershcopf, Seth Van Aalten, Michael Klein, Lauren Reichardt) & Fox Rothschild LLP (John Gotaskie Jr.)
      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Samuel Star)

Updated 7/12/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - Ameriforge Group Inc.

Ameriforge Group Inc. (d/b/a AFGlobal Corporation)

  • 5/1/17 Recap: Houston-based manufacturer of products for a variety of markets (oil and gas, power, aerospace and industrial) filed a prepackaged bankruptcy case to delever its balance sheet by approximately $680mm. The company's first lien lenders will get nearly all of the equity in the reorganized entity. Second lien lenders will get some option value in the form of an equity kiss and warrants/options. The company has secured $70mm in new money and seeks to be out of bankruptcy in roughly three weeks: some of these cases are getting VERY speedy.
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas
  • Capital Structure: $89.5mm '17 first lien funded RCF and $519mm '19 first lien senior secured TL-B (Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas), $143.3mm '20 second lien secured TL (Delaware Trust Company).   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Edward Sassower, William Guerrieri, Christopher Hayes, Bradley Giordano, Chad Husnick) & (local) Jackson Walker LLP (Patricia Tomasco, Matthew Cavenaugh, Jennifer Wertz)
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (James Grady)
    • Investment Banker: Lazard Middle Markets LLC (Brandon Aebersold, Parry Sorenson)
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Lenders (Carlyle Strategic Partners, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, Eaton Vance Management, Stellex Capital Management)
      • Legal: Jones Day LLP (Scott Greenberg, Michael Cohen, Bryan Kotliar, Paul Green)
      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Adam Dunayer)
    • Ad Hoc Group of Second Lien Lenders
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (Ira Dizengoff, Philip Dublin, Jason Rubin, Charles Gibbs)
      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners LP (Jon Walters, Paul Sheaffer)
    • Sponsor: First Reserve Heavy Metal LP
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Sandy Qusba, Elisha Graff)
  • Prepetition 1L Agent & DIP Agent: Deutsche Bank Trust Company
    • Legal: White & Case LLP (Scott Greissman, Adam Zatz)
  • Prepetition 2L Agent: Delaware Trust Company
    • Legal: Bryan Cave LLP (Jeremy Finkelstein, Stephanie Wickouski, Keith Miles Aurzada)

Updated 7/13/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - Answers Holdings Inc.

Answers Holdings Inc.

  •  3/3/17 Recap: Apax Partners' backed website operator has filed for bankruptcy because it never evolved from Internet 1.0, has too much debt, its main site, Answers.com, is the red-headed step-child of Quora, and, quite frankly, not a single person receiving the PETITION newsletter has visited the site(s) since 2006. Yahoo, FacebookAmazon (AWS), Amex and Silicon Valley Bank are among the top 10 creditors. The debtors solicited a prepackaged plan and so all of the above will be unimpaired - somewhat ironic given that algorithmic changes by Google and Facebook - in addition to a mountain of debt - are the real root causes of the company's decline.
  • Jurisdiction: SD of New York
  • Capital Structure: $40mm revolver, $325mm '21 first lien TL, $180mm '22 second lien TL.   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Jonathan Henes, Christopher Greco, Melissa Koss, John Weber, Anthony Grossi)
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (Justin Schmaltz, Erin McKeighan)
    • Investment Banker: Rothschild (Steven Antinelli)
    • Claims Agent: Rust Bankruptcy/Omni Consulting (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of Consenting First Lien Lenders
      • Legal: Jones Day LLP (Scott Greenberg, Michael Cohen, Bryan Kotliar)
      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey
    • First Lien Agent: Credit Suisse AG
      • Legal: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP (David Feldman, J. Eric Wise)
    • Ad Hoc Group of Consenting Second Lien Lenders (Deerpath Capital Management LP, North Haven Credit Partners LP, Summit Partners Credit Advisors LP)
      • Legal: Akin Gump Strauss Haur & Feld LLP (David Botter, David Simonds)
        • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc.
    • Second Lien Agent: Wilmington Trust NA
      • Legal: Alston & Bird LLP (Jason Solomon, David Wender)
    • Sponsor Entities: Apax Partners LP, Clarity Holdco LP, Clarity GP LLC
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Elisha Graff, Edward Linden)
    • Proposed Board of Directors of the Reorganized Entity: William Ruckelshaus, Eric Ball, Peter Daffern, Eugene Davis, John Federman, Lonne Jaffe, Brian Mulligan.

Updated 4/2/17

New Filing - Shoreline Energy LLC

Shoreline Energy LLC

  • 11/02/16 Recap: Privately-owned Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana focused energy and exploration company files for bankruptcy backed by a $50mm DIP from Morgan Stanley Energy Capital (of which $32mm represents a rollup) and an RSA to sell the company to an affiliate of Highbridge Capital LLC, a second lien lender.  
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas
  • Capital Structure: $150mm RBL (Morgan Stanley), $160mm second lien TL, $71mm unsecured note (Sankaty Advisors LLC)    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Jones Day (Thomas Howley, Paul Green, Jonathan Fisher, Cassie Suttle) & (conflicts counsel) Jackson & Walker LLP (Patricia Tomasco)
    • Financial Advisor: Imperial Capital LLC (Robert Warshauer, Justin Byrne, Kyle Anderson, John Radigan)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • DIP Lender: Morgan Stanley Energy Capital
      • Legal: Simpson Thacher (Nicholas Baker)
      • Financial Advisors: FTI Consulting
    • Second Lien Lender: Highbridge Capital/HPS Investment Partners LLC
      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins (William Wallander, Bradley Foxman, Reese O'Connor)
    • Unsecured Creditors' Committee
      • Legal: Arent Fox LLP (Robert Hirsh, George Angelich, Jordana Renert) & (local) Royston Rayzor Vickery & Williams LLP (Kevin Walters, Eugene Barr)
      • Financial Advisor: Conway MacKenzie LLC (John Young)

Updated 12/30/17

New Filing - American Gilsonite Company

 American Gilsonite Company

  • 10/25/16 Recap: "Gilsonite" miner, processor, and oilfield services provider files prepackaged chapter 11 to effectuate debt-for-equity deal with 2nd lien noteholders and sponsor, Palladium Partners.  
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $20mm RCF (Key Bank), $270mm '17 11.5% 2nd lien notes (Wilmington Trust)    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Weil (Matthew Barr, Sunny Singh, Jessica Diab, Prashant Rai) & (local) Richards Layton (Mark Collins)
    • Financial Advisor: FTI (Alan Boyko)
    • Investment Banker: Evercore (Stephen Hannon)
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLP (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Noteholder and DIP Lender Group: Varde Partners, Axar Capital Management, PennantPark Investment Advisers, River Birch Capital, Tinicum Incorporated
      • Legal: Stroock Stroock & Lavan (Kris Hansen, Erez Gilad, Matt Garofalo) & (local) Young Conaway (Robert Poppiti Jr., Matthew Lunn)
      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan
    • Wilmington Trust
      • Legal: Pryor Cashman LLP (Seth Lieberman, Patrick Sibley, Matthew Silverman) & (local) Reed Smith LLP (Kurt Gwynne, Emily Devan)
    • Palladium Equity Partners
      • Legal: Simpson Thatcher (Elisha Graff, Ariana Watson Evarts) & (local) Landis Rath & Cobb (Richard Cobb)

Updated 12/30/16

New Filing - IMX Acquisition Corp. (Implant Services Corp.)

IMX Acquisition Corp. (Implant Services Corp.)

  • 10/10/16 Recap: L-3 Communications is stalking horse bidder in $117.5mm sale (plus assumed debt) of previously publicly-traded explosives trace detection business.  
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $84mm funded secured debt b/t Term Notes ($61.6mm) & Revolver Note ($22.5m)    
  • Company Professionals:
  • Other Parties in Interest:

Updated 12/30/16