⚡️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 Filing - Cloud Peak Energy Inc.🌑

In what ought to come as a surprise to absolutely no one, Cloud Peak Energy Inc. ($CLD) and a slate of affiliates FINALLY filed for bankruptcy.

Let’s take a moment of silence for coal country, shall we? If this is what MAGA looks like, we’d hate to see what happens when a global downturn eventually hits. There’s gonna be blood in the water.

Sounds like hyperbole? Note that since 2016, there have been a slate of coal-related bankruptcies, i.e., Westmoreland Coal CompanyMission Coal Company LLC, and now Cloud Peak Energy Inc. Blackhawk Mining LLC appears to be waiting in the wings. We suppose it could be worse: we could be talking about oil and gas country (and we will be, we certainly will be…and SOON.).

Cloud Peak is an impressive company. Since its formation in 2008, it has become one of the largest (subbituminous thermal coal) coal producers in the US — supplying enough coal to satisfy approximately 2% of the US’ electricity demand. Its three surface mines are located in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana; it sold approximately 50mm tons of coal in 2018 to 46 domestic and foreign end users.*

In the scheme of things, Cloud Peak’s balance sheet isn’t overly complicated. We’re not talking about billions of dollars of debt here like we saw with Walter EnergyPeabody Energy, Arch Coal, Patriot Coal or Alpha Natural Resources. So, not all coal companies and coal company bankruptcies are created equal. Nevertheless, the company does have $290.4mm of ‘21 12% secured notes (Wilmington Trust NA) and $56.4mm of ‘24 6.375% unsecured notes (Wilmington Trust NA as successor trustee to Wells Fargo Bank NA) to contend with for a total of $346.8mm in funded debt liability. The company is also party to a securitization facility. And, finally, the company also has reclamation obligations related to their mines and therefore has $395mm in third-party surety bonds outstanding with various insurance companies, backed by $25.7mm in letters of credit. Coal mining is a messy business, homies.

So why bankruptcy? Why now? Per the company:

The Company’s chapter 11 filing, however, was precipitated by (i) general distress affecting the domestic U.S. thermal coal industry that produced a sustained low price environment that could not support profit margins to allow the Company to satisfy its funded debt obligations; (ii) export market price volatility that caused decreased demand from the Company’s customers in Asia; (iii) particularly challenging weather conditions in the second quarter of 2018 that caused spoil failure and significant delays in coal production through the remainder of 2018 and into 2019, which reduced cash inflows from coal sales and limited credit availability; and (iv) recent flooding in the Midwestern United States that has significantly disrupted rail service, further reducing coal sales.

To summarize, price compression caused by natural gas. Too much regulation (which, in turn, favors natural gas over coal). Too much debt. And, dare we say, global warming?!? Challenging weather and flooding must be really perplexing in coal country where global warming isn’t exactly embraced with open arms.

Now, we may be hopping to conclusions here but, these bits are telling — and are we say, mildly ironic in a tragic sort of way:

In addition to headwinds facing thermal coal producers and export market volatility, the Company’s mines suffered from unusually heavy rains affecting Wyoming and Montana in the second quarter of 2018. For perspective, the 10-year average combined rainfall for May, June, and July at the Company’s Antelope Mine is 6.79 inches. In 2018, it rained 10.2 inches during that period. While certain operational procedures put in place following heavy flooding in 2014 functioned effectively to mitigate equipment damage, the 2018 rains interrupted the Company’s mining operations considerably.

It gets worse.

The problem with rain is that the moisture therefrom causes “spoil.” Per the company:

Spoil is the term used for overburden and other waste rock removed during coal mining. The instability in the dragline pits caused wet spoil to slide into the pits that had to be removed by dragline and/or truck-shovel methods before the coal could be mined. This caused significant delays and diverted truck-shovel capacity from preliminary stripping work, which caused additional production delays at the Antelope Mine. The delays resulting from the spoil failure at the Antelope Mine caused the Company to have reduced shipments, increased costs, and delayed truck-shovel stripping in 2018. Consequently, the reduced cash inflows from coal sales limited the Company’s credit availability under the financial covenants in the Amended Credit Agreement prior to its termination, and limited access to any new forms of capital.

But, wait. There’s more:

Additionally, the severe weather affecting the Midwest region of the United States in mid-March 2019 caused, among other things, extensive flooding that damaged rail lines. One of Cloud Peak’s primary suppliers of rail transportation services – BNSF – was negatively impacted by the flooding and has been unable to provide sufficient rail transportation services to satisfy the Company’s targeted coal shipments. As of the Petition Date, BNSF’s trains have resumed operations, but are operating on a less frequent schedule because of repairs being made to rail lines damaged by the extensive flooding. As a result, the Company’s coal shipments have been materially impacted, with cash flows significantly reduced through mid-June 2019.

Riiiiiiiight. But:

More about Moore here: the tweet, as you might expect, doesn’t tell the full story.

Anywho.

The company has been burning a bit over $7mm of liquidity a month since September 2018. Accordingly, it sought strategic alternatives but was unable to find anything viable that would clear its cap stack. We gather there isn’t a whole lot of bullishness around coal mines these days.

To buy itself some time, therefore, the company engaged in a series of exchange transactions dating back to 2016. This enabled it to extinguish certain debt maturing in 2019. And thank G-d for the public markets: were it not for a February 2017 equity offering where some idiot public investors hopped in to effectively transfer their money straight into noteholder pockets, this thing probably would have filed for bankruptcy sooner. That equity offering — coupled with a preceding exchange offer — bought the company some runway to continue to explore strategic alternatives. The company engaged J.P. Morgan Securities LLC to find a partner but nothing was actionable. Ah….coal.

Thereafter, the company hired a slate of restructuring professionals to help prepare it for the inevitable. Centerview Partners took over for J.P. Morgan Securities LLC but, to date, has had no additional luck. The company filed for bankruptcy without any prospective buyers lined up.

Alas, the company filed for bankruptcy with a “sale and plan support agreement” or “SAPSA.” While this may sound like a venereal disease, what it really means is that the company has an agreement with a significant percentage of both its secured and unsecured noteholders to dual track a sale and plan process. If they can sell the debtors’ assets via a string of 363 sales, great. If they have to do a more fulsome transaction by way of a plan, sure, that also works. These consenting noteholders also settled some other disputes and support the proposed $35mm DIP financing

*Foreign customers purchased approximately 9% of ‘18 coal production.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Gross)

  • Capital Structure: $290mm 12% ‘21 secured debt (Wilmington Trust NA), $56.4mm unsecured debt (BOKF NA)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (Paul Heath, David Meyer, Jessica Peet, Lauren Kanzer, Matthew Moran, Steven Zundell, Andrew Geppert, Matthew Pyeatt, Matthew Struble, Jeremy Reichman) & (local) Richards Layton & Finger PA (Daniel DeFranceschi, John Knight)

    • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Alan Boyko)

    • Investment Banker: Centerview Partners (Marc Puntus, Ryan Kielty, Johannes Preis)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Major shareholders: Renaissance Technologies LLC, The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Dimensional Fund Advisors LP, Kopernik Global Advisors, Blackrock Inc.

    • DIP Agent: Ankura Trust Company LLC

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Aryeh Ethan Falk, Christopher Robertson) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Robert Dehney, Curtis Miller, Paige Topper)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey

    • Prepetition Secured Noteholder Group (Allianz Global Investors US LLC, Arena Capital Advisors LLC, Grace Brothers LP, Nomura Corporate Research and Asset Management Inc. Nuveen Alternatives Advisors LLC, Wexford Capital LP, Wolverine Asset Management LLC)

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian Schaible, Aryeh Ethan Falk, Christopher Robertson) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Robert Dehney, Curtis Miller, Paige Topper)

    • Indenture Trustee: BOKF NA

      • Legal: Arent Fox LLP (Andrew Silfen, Jordana Renert) & (local) Womble Bond Dickinson US LLP (Matthew Ward)

    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (BOKF NA, Nelson Brothers Mining Services LLC, Wyoming Machinery Company, Cummins Inc., ESCO Group LLC, Tractor & Equipment Co., Kennebec Global)

      • Legal: Morrison & Foerster LLP (Lorenzo Marinuzzi, Jennifer Marines, Todd Goren, Daniel Harris, Mark Lightner) & Morris James LLP (Carl Kunz III, Brya Keilson, Eric Monzo)

      • Investment Banker: Jefferies LLC (Leon Szlezinger)

Update: 7/7/19 #379

⛽️New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Jones Energy Inc.⛽️

Jones Energy Inc.

April 14, 2019

Austin-based independent oil and natural gas E&P company, Jones Energy Inc., filed a prepackaged chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure its $1.009b of debt ($450mm senior secured first lien notes and $559mm unsecured notes across two tranches). In case you didn’t realize, oil and gas exploration and production is a capital intensive business.

The company operates primarily in the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma and Texas. Its territory is the aggregation of acreage accumulated over the years, including the 2009 purchase of Crusader Energy Group Inc. out of bankruptcy for $240.5mm in cash.

We’re not going to belabor the point as to why this company is in bankruptcy: the narrative is no different than most other oil and gas companies that have found their way into bankruptcy court over the last several years. Indeed, this chart about sums things up nicely:

Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 2.29.01 PM.png

It’s really just a miracle that it didn’t file sooner. Why hadn’t it? Per the company:

…the Debtors consummated a series of liquidity enhancing transactions, including equity raises, debt repurchases, strategic acquisitions, non-core asset sales, and modifications of their operations to reduce their workforce and drilling activities. This included a Company-wide headcount reduction in 2016 resulting in the termination of approximately 30% of the Debtors’ total workforce, as well as halting drilling activity spanning several months during the worst of the historic commodity downturn.

But…well…the debt. As in, there’s too much of it.

Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 2.56.24 PM.png

And debt service costs were too damn high. In turn, the company’s securities traded too damn low:

Source: Disclosure Statement

Source: Disclosure Statement

What’s more interesting here is the process that unfolded. In February 2018, the company issued $450mm of 9.25% ‘23 senior secured first lien notes. The proceeds were used to repay the company’s senior secured reserve-based facility and eliminate the restrictive covenants contained therein. The company also hoped to use the proceeds to repurchase some of its senior unsecured notes at a meaningful discount to par. In a rare — yet increasingly common — show of unity, however, the company’s unsecured lenders thwarted these efforts by binding together pursuant to a “cooperation agreement” and telling the company to take its pathetic offer and pound sand. (PETITION Note: its amazing what lenders can achieve if they can solve for a collective action problem). This initiated a process that ultimately led to the transaction commemorated in the company’s announces restructuring support agreement.

So what now? The senior secured lenders will equitize their debt and come out with 96% of the common stock in the reorganized entity. Holders of unsecured debt will get 4% equity and warrants (exercisable for up to a 15% ownership stake in the reorganized company), both subject to dilution by equity issued to management under a “Management Incentive Plan.” The company has a commitment for $20mm of exit financing lined up (with the option for replacement financing of up to $150mm).

Hopefully the company will have better luck without the albatross of so much debt hanging over it.

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

  • Capital Structure: $450mm 9.25% ‘23 senior secured first lien notes (UMB Bank NA), $559mm 6.75% ‘22 and 9.25% ‘23 unsecured notes (Wells Fargo Bank NA)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (James Sprayragen, Christopher Marcus, Brian Schartz, Anthony Grossi, Ana Rotman, Rebecca Blake Chaikin, Mark McKane, Brett Newman, Kevin Chang) & (local) Jackson Walker LLP (Matthew Cavenaugh, Jennifer Wertz)

    • Independent Directors: Tara Lewis, L. Spencer Wells

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (Ryan Omohundro)

    • Investment Banker: Evercore Group LLC (Daniel Aronson)

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Noteholders

      • Legal: Milbank LLP (Dennis Dunne, Evan Fleck, Michael Price) & (local) Porter Hedges LLP (John Higgins, Eric English, Genevieve Graham)

      • Financial Advisor: Lazard Freres & Co. LLC

    • Ad Hoc Group of Crossover Holders

      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Brian Resnick, Benjamin Schak) & (local) Haynes and Boone LLP (Charlie Beckham, Kelli Norfleet)

      • Financial Advisor: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc.

    • Metalmark Capital LLC

      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (Andrew Geppert, David Meyer, Jessica Peet, Michael Garza)

Updated 4/15/19 2:05 CT

⛽️New Chapter 11 Filing - Southcross Energy Partners LP⛽️

Southcross Energy Partners LP

April 1, 2019

We’ve been noting — in “⛽️Is Oil & Gas Distress Back?⛽️“ (March 6) and “Oil and Gas Continues to Crack (Long Houston-Based Hotels)“ (March 24) that oil and gas was about to rear its ugly head right back into bankruptcy court. Almost on cue, Vanguard Natural Resources Inc. filed for bankruptcy in Texas on the last day of Q1 and, here, Southcross Energy Partners LP kicked off Q2.

Dallas-based Southcross Energy Partners LP is a publicly-traded company ($SXEE) that provides midstream services to nat gas producers/customers, including nat gas gathering, processing, treatment and compression and access to natural gas liquid (“NGL”) fractionation and transportation services; it also purchases and sells nat gas and NGL; its primary assets and operations are located in the Eagle Ford shale region of South Texas, though it also operates in Mississippi (sourcing power plants via its pipelines) and Alabama. It and its debtor affiliates generated $154.8mm in revenues in the three months ended 09/30/18, an 11% YOY decrease.

Why are the debtors in bankruptcy? Because natural gas prices collapsed in 2015 and have yet to really meaningfully recover — though they are up from the $1.49 low of March 4, 2016. As we write this, nat gas prices at $2.70. These prices, combined with too much leverage (particularly in comparison to competitors that flushed their debt through bankruptcy) and facility shutdowns, created strong headwinds the company simply couldn’t surmount. It now seeks to use the bankruptcy process to gain access to much needed capital and sell to a buyer to maximize value. The company does not appear to have a stalking horse bidder lined up.

The debtors have a commitment for $137.5mm of new-money post-petition financing to fund its cases. Use of proceeds? With the agreement of its secured parties, the debtors seek to pay all trade creditors in the ordinary course of business. If approved by the court, this would mean that the debtors will likely avoid having to contend with an official committee of unsecured creditors and that only the secured creditors and holders of unsecured sponsor notes would have lingering pre-petition claims — a strong power move by the debtors.

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware (Judge Walrath)

  • Capital Structure: $81.1mm funded ‘19 RCF (Wells Fargo Bank NA), $430.875mm ‘21 TL (Wilmington Trust NA), $17.4mm unsecured sponsor notes (Wells Fargo NA)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Marshall Heubner, Darren Klein, Steven Szanzer, Benjamin Schak) & (local) Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Robert Dehney, Andrew Remming, Joseph Barsalona II, Eric Moats)

    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC

    • Investment Banker: Evercore Group LLC

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition RCF & Unsecured Agent: Wells Fargo Bank NA

      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (William Wallander, Brad Foxman, Matt Pyeatt) & (local) Womble Bond Dickinson US LLP (Ericka Johnson)

    • Prepetition TL & DIP Agent ($255mm): Wilmington Trust NA

      • Legal: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (Seth Kleinman, Alan Glantz)

    • Post-Petition Lenders and Ad Hoc Group

      • Legal: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Joseph Minias, Paul Shalhoub, Leonard Klingbaum, Debra McElligott) & (local) Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP (Edmon Morton, Matthew Lunn)

    • Southcross Holdings LP

      • Legal: Debevoise & Plimpton LLP (Natasha Labovitz)

    • Stalking Horse Bidder:

Updated 9:39 CT

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Weatherly Oil & Gas LLC

Weatherly Oil & Gas LLC

February 28, 2019

Restructuring in the oil and gas space has been quiet of late but we here at PETITION suspect that may change very soon. While oil has been on the rise (in the mid-60s at the time of this writing) — and there are both potential political and supply-side roadblocks growing domestically that may help push prices upward — there nevertheless appear to be cracks forming. We’ve been noting that Jones Energy ($JONE), Sanchez Energy Corporation ($SN), Southcross Energy Partners LP ($SXEE), and Vanguard Natural Resources all look distressed and headed towards chapter 11 bankruptcy filings (or a chapter 22 filing, as the case may be with Vanguard). Recent price action for several other companies also reflects some doubt about the oil and gas space.

Take, for instance, Alta Mesa Holdings LP ($AMR). Per The Houston Chronicle:

Houston oil and gas company Alta Mesa Resources is struggling to stay afloat, laying off roughly one-fourth of its employees and writing down the value of its assets by $3.1 billion because of admitted failures in its financial reporting.

The company's three top executives, CEO Hal Chappelle, Chief Operating Officer Michael Ellis and Chief Financial Officer Michael McCabe, resigned abruptly a few weeks ago.

The company disclosed in an SEC filing that the write-down stems from “ineffective internal control over financial reporting due to an identified material weakness.” We’re conjecturing here, but that sure sounds like diplomatic Texan for “we effed up pretty badly…perhaps even fraudulently.” Consequently, the plaintiffs’ lawyers are circling this puppy like vultures and, well, this:

Indeed, the company’s $500mm 7.875% senior unsecured bonds due 2024 got UTTERLY HOUSED, dipping down over 40% in a week and approximately 50% versus a month ago. This chart is BRUTAL:

Source: TRACE

Source: TRACE

We’ll take a deeper dive into Alta Mesa soon for our Members: if you’re not a Member well, we hope you revel in ignorance.

The price action of once-bankrupt Chaparral Energy Inc. ($CHAP) is also notable: it saw its stock collapse over 20% and its $300mm 8.75% senior unsecured notes due 2023 fall nearly 17%. More debt BRUTALITY here:

Source: TRACE

Source: TRACE

Long trips to Texas.

Here, Weatherly Oil & Gas LLC is an oil and gas acquisition and exploration company focused on Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas; it operates over 800 well bores (over half shut-in or non-producing) on 200k net acres. The company blames continued low commodity prices and fundamentally changed lending practices for its bankruptcy. Specifically, the company notes:

Lending practices moved from a reserves-based approach to a cash-flow based approach, limiting access to capital growth and forcing the Debtor to utilize free cash flow to pay down senior debt instead of making other capital expenditures.

Without capital and with an expensive production focus, the company struggled in the face of a glut of competition.

The company has a transaction support agreement pursuant to which it intends to sell its assets to multiple purchasers and then pursue a plan of liquidation. Angelo Gordon Energy Servicer LLC, the company’s prepetition lender, will provide a $1mm DIP to fund the cases. Halliburton Energy Services is the company’s largest unsecured creditor with an approximate $2.9mm claim.

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

  • Capital Structure: $90.2mm term loan (Angelo Gordon Energy Servicer LLC)

  • Professionals:

    • Legal: Jackson Walker LLP (Matthew Cavenaugh, Kristhy Peguero, Vienna Anaya)

    • Financial Advisor/CRO: Ankura Consulting Group LLC (Scott Pinsonnault)

    • Marketing Agent: TenOaks Energy Partners LLC

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Prepetition Term Lender & DIP Lender ($1mm): Angelo Gordon Energy Servicer LLC

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

    • Buyer: BRG Lone Star, Ltd.

    • Buyer: EnSight IV Energy Partners, LLC

    • Sponsor: Weatherly East Texas LLC

      • Legal: Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Gregory Pesce, Brett Newman)

⛽️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 - Taco Bueno Restaurants, Inc.

Taco Bueno Restaurants, Inc.

November 6, 2018

Damn you Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. ($CMG).

It’s been a rough several months for Mexican restaurants. Over the summer, Tennenbaum Capital and Z Capital-owned RM Holdco LLC (Real Mex) filed for bankruptcy in the District of Delaware and pursued a sale of its business. Now, Texas-based, TPG-owned Taco Bueno Restaurants, Inc., a Tex-Mex quick service restaurant (“QSR”) with 140 owned and 29 franchised locations, has filed a prepackaged bankruptcy that will convey ownership to Taco Supremo LLC, an affiliate of Sun Holdings Inc., which bought-out the debtors’ initial lenders in October. Taco Supremo subsequently signed a restructuring support agreement memorializing its intent to effectuate a debt-for-equity swap and provide the debtors with a DIP credit facility.

So, why is all of this necessary? The company noted:

…while Taco Bueno possesses a traditional brand with a loyal customer base and the potential for future growth under the leadership of its new management team, Taco Bueno’s existing capital structure is unsustainable and its financial performance fell significantly due to, among other things, historical mismatches between price and product value, a lack of product innovation, and deferred maintenance capital investment. In addition, competition in the Mexican food industry – including the rise in popularity of tacos at both QSRs and other types of restaurants – increased substantially in recent years, causing certain Taco Bueno stores to experience stagnant or reduced customer traffic and sales. Moreover, while Taco Bueno recently launched a process to close underperforming stores to better focus on core markets and high-value stores, Taco Bueno continues to suffer from a number of underperforming restaurants. Accordingly, Taco Bueno needs to continue to restructure its lease footprint and renegotiate existing leases to optimize profitability.

Even the “Buenoheads” — yes, that’s actually a thing, apparently — couldn’t save this thing from bankruptcy. The debtors’ EBITDA fell to approximately $17.2 million in 2017 with a projected EBITDA of approximately $5.9 million for 2018, compared to approximately $33 million in 2016 EBITDA and approximately $31 million in 2015 EBITDA. Of course, the $130mm of debt doesn’t help either.

Consequently, to salvage liquidity and allow its bankers to conduct a process, the debtors closed 20 locations in the last year (and are in the midst of negotiations with Spirit Realty Capital Inc. ($SRC), U.S Realty Capital, and Kamin Realty Co., the landlords of over 50% of the debtors’ leases). The management team has turned over and the company attempted a prepetition sale process. That process culminated in the above-noted RSA-based transaction that will attempt to flush the company in and out of bankruptcy court by the middle of December.

  • Jurisdiction: N.D. of Texas

  • Capital Structure: $130.9mm debt     

  • Company Professionals:

    • Legal: Vinson & Elkins (David Meyer, Jessica Peet, Paul Heath, Garrick Smith, Matthew Pyeatt, Andrew Geppert)

    • CRO/Financial Advisor: Berkeley Research Group LLC (Haywood Miller)

    • Investment Banker: Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. (Adam Dunayer)

    • Real Estate Advisor: Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc.

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

  • Other Parties in Interest:

    • Initial Lender: Bank of America NA

    • Sponsor: TPG Growth III Management LLC

New Chapter 11 Filing - Augustus Energy Resources LLC

3/16/18

Augustus Energy Resources is a privately-owned natural gas E&P company based in Billings, Montana; its primary assets are operating and non-operating working interests in approximately 1575 natural gas wells in eastern Colorado, the aggregation of which arises out of various acquisitions from Berry Petroleum Company and Rosetta Resources. 

The company filed for bankruptcy because the collapse in the market price of natural gas left it in a position where it couldn't (i) devote the capital necessary to maintain and grow its business, (ii) service its balance sheet and (iii) get access to credit. Indeed, the falling natural gas price led to multiple redeterminations of the borrowing base in the company's Wells Fargo-provided senior secured credit facility. Moreover, the company became the subject of a class action lawsuit accusing it of improperly charging royalty owners of certain post-production processing and transportation costs. This complicated an attempted out-of-court sale process of the company.

The company has filed for bankruptcy, therefore, to pursue a sale to a proposed stalking horse bidder, OWN Resources Inc. 

  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware 
  • Capital Structure: $14.4mm debt (Wells Fargo Bank NA)    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP (Christopher Richardson, Thomas Bell, Kyler Burgi) & (local) Sullivan Hazeltine Allinson LLC (William Sullivan, William Hazeltine)
    • Investment Banker: TenOaks Energy Advisors LLC
    • Claims Agent: JND Corporate Restructuring (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Sponsor: Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP 
  • Wells Fargo Bank NA
    • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (William Wallander, Matthew Pyeatt) & (local) Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP (Ericka Johnson, Morgan Patterson)
  • Stalking Horse Bidder: OWN Resources Inc.
    • Legal: Husch Blackwell LLP (Lynn Butler)

New Chapter 11 Filing - Harvey Gulf International Marine

Harvey Gulf International Marine

3/7/18

Texas-based offshore supply vessel operator qualified under the Jones Act has filed a prearranged bankruptcy with a deal in place with its lenders. The deal would give 97% of the reorganized equity and $350mm in take-back paper to the company's lenders, with management receiving the remaining 3% with warrants. 

What precipitated the bankruptcy? The company notes,

Beginning in 2014, as a result of severely depressed oil prices, exploration and production companies drastically cut the number of offshore exploration and drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico, causing substantial drops in both vessel utilization and day rates. These cuts impacted the offshore supply boat and service sector by, among other things, contributing to a considerable vessel oversupply in the marketplace. Industry-wide oversupply granted substantial pricing power to exploration and production companies and deeply impacted all offshore supply boat and service market participants—including Harvey Gulf.

The only thing surprising out of this filing is that it took this long. 

  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas
  • Capital Structure: $270mm RCF, $225mm '18 TLA, $875mm '20 TLB
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (Harry Perrin, Garrick Smith, David Meyer, Jessica Peet, Lauren Kanzer)
    • Restructuring Advisors: Postlethwaite & Netterville (Philip Gunn, Tuan Pham)
    • Investment Banker: Stephens Inc. (Lance Gurley, Joel Brown, Blake Woodall, Brad Neuneubel)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Private Equity Sponsor: The Jordan Company
    • Ad Hoc Group of Term Loan Lenders (ex-Black Diamond Capital Management)
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Damian S. Schaible, Angela M. Libby, Benjamin M. Schak) & (local) Haynes and Boone LLP (Charles A. Beckham, Jr., Kelli S. Norfleet, Kelsey Zottnick)
      • Financial Advisor: PJT Partners Inc. 

Updated 3/30/18

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - Global Brokerage Inc. ($GLBR)

Global Brokerage Inc.

  • 12/11/17 Recap: Holding company which holds, as its primary asset, an interest in a non-debtor online forex trading company filed a prepackaged bankruptcy to restructure its balance sheet. Troubles for the company began in early 2015 when "unprecedented volatility" in the euro-to-franc currency rate led the Swiss National Bank to eliminate its 1.2 france per euro floor. Instantly, the company was in breach of certain regulatory capital requirements and had to cease operations. After getting rescue financing from Leucadia National Corp. - bridging the company back into regulatory compliance - the company knew that the short term bridge would become an issue. A looming NASDAQ delisting triggered a "fundamental change" call provision on the notes which, of course, the company couldn't pay. The company's plan, solicited prior to filing, is basically an amend-and-extend. The term loan maturity is pushed one year and the converts will get (secured) take-back paper in the same nominal amount with maturity extended five years (with an interest rate uptick from 2.25% to 7%...PIK Toggle, of course). 
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of New York (Judge Wiles)
  • Capital Structure: $300mm secured term loan (Leucadia National Corp), $172.5mm 2.25% convertible notes (Bank of New York Mellon)    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: King & Spalding LLP (Arthur Steinberg, Michael Handler, Sarah Borders, Thaddeus Wilson, Elizabeth Dechant)
    • Financial Advisor: Perella Weinberg Partners
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of Convertible Noteholders (683 Capital Partners LP, Lazard Asset Management LLC, Penderfund Capital Management Ltd., Phoenix Investment Advisor LLC, Wolverine Flagship Fund Trading Limited)
      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (Steven Abramowitz, David Meyer, Lauren Kazer, Eric Hilmo)
    • Leucadia National Corp.
      • Legal: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP (Eric Ivestor, Gregory Fernicola)
    • Significant Equityholder: Franklin Resources Inc. 

New Chapter 11 Filing - Castex Energy Partners LP

Castex Energy Partners LP

  • 10/17/17 Recap: People have been saying that there is still more oil and gas distress to work its way through the system, particularly offshore-related companies. Well, here, Castex Energy Partners LP, a Houston-based onshore and offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production company located primarily on the coasts of Louisiana and Texas filed for bankruptcy to effectuate a restructuring support agreement with its major parties in interest. The company owns interests in approximately 375 wells (predominantly onshore); it also holds interests in certain seismic interests and specific lands. Like most other oil and gas E&P companies, Castex faced "intense financial pressure" due to the decrease in price of oil and gas and consequent decrease in demand for drilling. The company's EBITDA declined 70% from 2014 to 2016. Yes, you read that right: 70%. Of course, it didn't help that the company made an inopportune decision to invest heavily in offshore development in 2014, outlaying $259mm "in anticipation of future developmental drilling." Timing couldn't have been worse, it seems. Also, the company simply forgot to hedge, apparently; it "was mildly hedged and was exposed to [a massive nat gas] drop." Given all of that, the playbook is pretty un-extraordinary: strapped with a nice chunk of bank debt, the company attempted to make operational cuts to help sustain cash flow while simultaneously running a sales process through Evercore Partners Inc. That process failed. So, now, the company has $4mm of cash on hand and a $15mm DIP credit facility commitment from its prepetition lenders and a restructuring support agreement between it, Capital One Bank, Castex Energy Inc., and the RBL Lenders. The company plans to equitize certain prepetition lenders' debt and emerge from bankruptcy in Q1 of '18. 
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas (Judge Isgur)
  • Capital Structure: $400mm debt (Capital One Bank (USA) NA)    
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Kelly Hart & Pitre LLP (Louis Phillips, Peter Kopfinger, Amelia Bueche, Patrick Shelby)
    • Restructuring Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (Ryan Omohundro)
    • Financial Advisor: Evercore Partners Inc.
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk LLC (*click on company name above for free docket access)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Castex Energy Inc.
      • Legal: Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (Kristian Gluck, Gregory Wilkes, Shivani Shah)
    • Prepetition & DIP Admin Agent: Capital One Bank (USA) NA & Consenting Lenders (Amegy Bank, Whitney Bank, IberiaBank, Frost Bank, Cross Ocean, Comerica Bank, Citibank NA, Bank of America Credit Products Inc., Capital One NA)
      • Legal: O'Melveny & Myers LLP (George Davis, Michael Lotito, Daniel Shamah) & (local) Porter Hedges LLP (John Higgins, Amy Geise)
      • Financial Advisor: RPA Advisors LLC
    • Riverstone V Castex 2005 Intermediate Holdings LLC
      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (Bradley Foxman, Paul Heath)

Updated 10/26/17

New Chapter 11 Filing - Azure Midstream Partners LP

Azure Midstream Partners LP

  • 1/30/17 Recap: Spurned on by the potential riches guaranteed by $105 crude oil and $3.68 natural gas, Azure Midstream Partners - a master limited partnership headquartered in Dallas - invested heavily in natural gas pipeline in 2015, incurring hundreds of millions of debt to fund the expansion. Shortly thereafter, oil sank to $26 and natural gas to $1.62. With the industry in turmoil, capex budgets contracted considerably and the company’s largest contract counterparties terminated or lapsed contracts (including Anadarko Petroleum Corporation), materially reducing EBITDA and triggering covenant defaults. Now, the company seeks to sell its assets in bankruptcy and liquidate the rest. Discussions with a stalking horse bidder hadn’t been finalized at the time of filing.
  • Capital Structure: $175mm debt (Wells Fargo Bank NA)     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Weil (Gary Holtzer, Robert Lemons, Charles Persons, Chris Lopez, Katherine Doorley, David Zubkis) & Vinson & Elkins LLP (Bradley Foxman)
    • Financial Advisor: Alvarez & Marsal LLC (Ed Mosley)
    • Investment Banker: Evercore Group LLC (Stephen Hannon)
    • Claims Agent: KCC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Wells Fargo Bank
      • Legal: Baker & McKenzie (James Donnell, Peter Goodman, Frank Grese)
      • Financial Advisor: RPA Advisors
    • M5 Midstream LLC
      • Locke Lorde LLP (Elizabeth Guffy)
    • Official Equity Committee (Wampanoag Capital LLC)
      • Legal: Brown Rudnick LLP (Howard Steel)

Updated 5/2/17

New Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing - Memorial Production Partners LP

Memorial Production Partners LP

  • 1/17/17 Recap: Utah-based oil and gas MLP filed bankruptcy to deleverage its balance sheet and swap out the entirety of its senior unsecured notes for equity. Shareholders set to receive a tip.
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas
  • Capital Structure: $700mm funded RCF (Wells Fargo), $646mm '21 7.625% senior unsecured notes, $465mm '22 6.875% senior unsecured notes (Wilmington Trust)  
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Weil (Gary Holtzer, Alfredo Perez, Joseph Smolinsky, Edward Soto, Gabriel Morgan, Scott Bowling)
    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners LLC (John Castellano)
    • Investment Banker: Perella Weinberg Partners
    • Claims Agent: Rust Bankruptcy/Omni Consulting (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Ad Hoc Group of Noteholders (Trust Asset Management, Brigade Capital Management, Citadel, Fir Tree Partners)
      • Legal: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (Brian Resnick, Angela Libby)
      • Financial Advisor: Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC
    • Wells Fargo
      • Legal: Linklaters LLP (Margot Schonholtz, Penelope Jensen, Christopher Hunker) & (local) Vinson & Elkins LLP (Paul E. Heath, Bradley Foxman)
    • Wilmington Trust
      • Legal: Stroock Stroock & Lavan LLP (Erez Gilad)

Updated 1/21/17

New Filing - Northstar Offshore Group

Northstar Offshore Group

  • 12/2/16 Recap: The E&P-oriented debtors filed a voluntary case converting an earlier August involuntary filing. The company is tied to the defunct Platinum Partners, which we covered in some detail here and here
  • Jurisdiction: S.D. of Texas
  • Capital Structure: $30mm LOCs (First National Bank of Central Texas) & $80mm 12% '19 second lien private notes (ex-interest of $13.7mm)   
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Diamond McCarthy LLP (Kyung Lee, Charles Rubio, Christopher Murphy, Michael Fritz)
    • Restructuring Advisor: CR3 Partners (Donald Martin)
    • Financial Advisor: M1 Energy Capital Management (Richard Bernardy)
    • Investment Banker: Parkman Whaling LLC (Thomas Hensley Jr.)
    • Claims Agent: Prime Clerk (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Sponsor: Platinum Partners
      • Legal: Holland & Knight (Robert Jonres, Warren Gluck, Barbra Parlen, Arthur Rosenberg)
    • Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
      • Legal: DLA Piper LLP (Vincent Slusher, David Avraham, Adam Lanza, Daniel Simon, Andy Zollinger)
      • Financial Advisor: FTI Consulting Inc. (Conor Tully, David Rush, Michael Cordasco, Paul Jordan, James Aharonian, Marili Hellmund-Mora)
    • Creditor: Spartan Offshore Drilling LLC
      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins LLP (Reese O'Connor)
    • DIP Lender: Arena Limited SPV LLC
      • Legal: Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP (Timothy A. Davidson, Joseph Rovira)
    • First National Bank of Central Texas
      • Legal: Dykema Cox Smith (Deborah Williamson)

Updated 5/18/17

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 - Basic Energy Services Inc.

Basic Energy Services Inc.

  • 10/24/16 Recap: Publicly-traded E&P servicer files prepackaged chapter 11 cases to equitize $824.6mm of unsecured debt and bolster liquidity via $125mm rights offering.  
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: $100mm '19 ABL, $165mm '21 13.5% TL, $475mm '19 7.75% senior notes, $300m '22 7.75% senior notes. 
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Weil (Ray Schrock, Ronit Berkovich, Jessica Liou, Arkady Goldinstein, David Zubkis, Elizabeth Kagedan, Alexander Welch) & (local) Richards Layton (Daniel DeFranceschi, Michael Merchant, Brendan Schlauch, David Queroli, Zachary Shapiro)
    • Financial Advisor: AlixPartners (David Johnston, Charles Braley, Brian Huffman)
    • Investment Banker: Moelis & Co. (Adam Keil)
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions LLC (*click on company name for docket)
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • ABL Admin Agent: Bank of America
      • Legal: Vinson & Elkins (Paul E. Heath) & (local) Morris Nichols (Robert Dehney, Eric Schwartz, Marcy McLaughlin)
    • Term & DIP Lenders (Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking, Riverstone Holdings LLC)
      • Legal: Davis Polk (Marshall Heubner, Darren Klein, Adam Shpeen) & (local) Potter Anderson LLP (Jeremy Ryan, R. Stephen McNeill)
      • Investment Banker: PJT Partners Inc.
    • Unsecured Bondholders:
      • Legal: Fried Frank (Brad Scheler, Peter Siroka, Carl Stapen) & (local) Blank Rome LLP (Michael DeBaecke)
      • Investment Banker: GLC Advisors
    • Agent to Postpetition Lenders: US Bank
      • Legal: Lowenstein Sandler LLP (Jeffrey Prol, Nicholas Vislocky, Theodore Sica)
    • Bank of America Leasing & Capital LLC
      • Legal: Norton Rose & Fulbright (Kristian Gluck, Greg Wilkes) & (local) Womble Carlyle (Kevin Mangan)
    • Creditors (Ascribe Capital, Atlas Enhanced Master Fund, Broad Street Energy Advisors, Blackgold Capital Management, Brigade Capital Management, Covalent Partners, Susquehanna Advisors Group Inc., Phoenix Investment Advisor LLC, Silver Point Capital LP, Whitebox Advisors LLC)

Updated 12/30/16

New Filing - Garden Fresh Restaurant Intermed. Holdings LLC

Garden Fresh Restaurant Intermed. Holdings LLC

  • 10/3/16 Recap: Operator of 123 farm-sourced self-serve restaurants under the Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes brands seeks expedited sale after suffering cash flow pressure from sector headwinds, workers' comp liability, minimum wage and health benefit pressures and rent increases.  
  • 8/8/17 Update: Perpetual Capital Partners and CR3 Capital LLC acquired the reorganized company for an undisclosed amount.
  • Jurisdiction: D. of Delaware
  • Capital Structure: ~$195mm of funded debt     
  • Company Professionals:
    • Legal: Morgan Lewis (Neil Herman, James Moore, Benjamin Cordiano, Katherine Lindsay) & (local) Young Conaway (Kenneth Enos, Michael Nestor, Ian Bambrick, Michael Neiburg, Travis Buchanan)
    • Financial Advisor: RAS Management Advisors LLC (Timothy Boates, Michael Rizzo)
    • Investment Banker: Piper Jaffrey (Teri Stratton, Peter Schwab, Jean Hosty, John Twichell, Jason Wang, Cooper Ziecik, Galen Hand)
    • Real Estate Advisor: Hilco Real Estate LLC (Ryan Lawlor)
    • Claims Agent: Epiq Bankruptcy Solutions, LLC
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • Term Loan A Agent: Cerberus Business Finance LLC
    • Term Loan B Agent & DIP Lender: Cortlandt Capital Market Services LLC
      • Legal: Holland & Knight LLP (Barbra Parlin) & (local) Pachulski Stang (Laura Davis Jones)
    • Term Loan C and Term Loan D Agent: Apollo Investment Management
    • Other Lenders:
      • Ares Capital Corporation, Beach Point Capital, Sun Capital
    • UCC:
      • Legal: Kelley Drye & Warren LLP (Lauren Schlussel, Jason Adams, Eric Wilson, Scott Fleisher, Charlie Liu) & (local) Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (Steven Kortanek, Joseph Argentina, Robert Malone)
      • Financial Advisor: Province Advisors (Paul Huygens, Thomas Jones, Carol Cabello, Jorge Gonzalez, Jin Dong)

Updated - Done

New Filing - Cosi Inc.

Cosi, Inc.

  • 10/1/16 Recap (updated 11/29/16): Fast casual chain seeks expedited asset sale to stalking-horse lenders (who had agreed not to credit bid their debt). Outcome: no competing bid came in and so the company sold to the stalking horse bidder for $10mm, including, in the end, a credit bid, after all. 
  • Capital Structure: $31.2mm debt     
  • Company Professionals:
  • Other Parties in Interest:
    • UCC:
      • Legal: Nixon Peabody LLP (Lee Harrington, Christopher Desiderio, Christopher Fong)
      • Financial Advisor: Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP (John Doyle)
    • Lenders:
    • JPMorgan Chase Bank
      • Legal: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP (Andrew Gallo, Christopher Carter)