Speaking of tech, Quixey, a "pioneer" of deep mobile search, announced in an epically hubristic blog post that it is shutting down and exploring strategic options (read: IP sale in bankruptcy, most likely). It has $31mm of venture debt and $134mm of venture capital from the likes of Alibaba and Softbank scattered on the cap table. On the topic of venture debt, choice quote from Fred Wilson taken from here: "I have lived [the venture debt] story several times in my career and we are seeing this play out again in the market." Sure sounds like it. We've surveyed a number of restructuring professionals and there seems to be very little attention given to busted tech. Well, maybe other than from us. Why? No debt, we're told. Really? No debt? See, e.g., Violin Memory, Answers.com, Aspect Software. And, now also, some Soundcloud news - a company we have previously identified as a potential bankruptcy candidate. The company appears to have secured an additional $70mm of venture debt (additive to the $30mm previously raised from Tennenbaum Capital Partners) from the likes of Ares Capital, among others. Something tells us that Houlihan Lokey isn't in the business of making nonsensical and useless acquisitions. Interested in this subject? Email us.
Everyone loves a comeback. And Weil is most definitely back.
Post-Lehman and GM, Weil settled into a notable rut as Kirkland & Ellis and others stole market share and preeminence in the restructuring world. Though Kirkland & Ellis arguably remains the dominant player in the industry, Weil is swiftly climbing back up the ranks. How have they done it?
We're going to stay away from crediting any specific individuals here because it is difficult to say what is outside deal flow origination and what is platform-based.
But one thing is clear: Weil has diversified its practice. Sure, debtor work - across an array of industries - remains its bread and butter and debtor work abounds: Golfsmith, Aeropostale Inc., Breitburn Energy Partners, Fairway, Halcon Resources, Basic Energy, American Gilsonite, Paragon Offshore, CHC Group, A&P, Vantage Drilling Company, and Chassix Holdings Inc. But now Weil is also doing lender, bondholder, and equityholder work as in Seventy-Seven Energy, Things Remembered, Aspect Software, Performance Sports Group and DirectBuy Holdings. And unsecured creditor committee work, e.g., SunEdison and Ultra Petroleum. Wait, what? Weil does UCC work now?
It's not all sunshine, though. Last week, Weil's attempted confirmation of Paragon Offshore's plan of reorganization over the objection of crammed-up term lenders failed in a rare judicial recognition of the feasibility standard. Now exclusivity may be in danger. In Breitburn Energy Partners, equity holders (represented by Weil alumni) successfully argued for an equity committee over vehement Weil objection (in contrast, this week Kirkland & Ellis successfully defeated an equity holder attempt to form an official equity committee in C&J Resources). In Aeropostale, the Southern District of New York judge handily denied Weil's attempts to recharacterize and equitably subordinate Sycamore Partners' claims.
As we near the end of 2016, PETITION offers a hearty congratulations to Weil: it's been a great year. 2017 appears promising too.