💥Sungard Napalms the United States Trustee💥

New Chapter 11 Filing - Sungard Availability Services Capital Inc Part I

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

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

This is what the capital structure looked like and will look like:

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

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

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


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#BustedTech (Short Busted IPOs…cough…DOMO)

Tintri Inc., a publicly-traded ($TNTR) Delaware-incorporated and Mountain View California based provider of enterprise cloud and all-flash and hybrid storage systems appears to be on the brink of bankruptcy. There's no way any strategic buyer agrees to buy this thing without a 363 comfort order. 

In an SEC filing filed on Friday, the company noted:

"The company is currently in breach of certain covenants under its credit facilities and likely does not have sufficient liquidity to continue its operations beyond June 30, 2018."

Furthermore, 

"Based on the company’s current cash projections, and regardless of whether its lenders were to choose to accelerate the repayment of the company’s indebtedness under its credit facilities, the company likely does not have sufficient liquidity to continue its operations beyond June 30, 2018. The company continues to evaluate its strategic options, including a sale of the company. Even if the company is able to secure a strategic transaction, there is a significant possibility that the company may file for bankruptcy protection, which could result in a complete loss of shareholders’ investment."

And yesterday the company's CEO resigned from the company. All of this an ignominious end for a company that IPO'd almost exactly a year ago. Check out this chart:

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Nothing like a $7 launch, a slight post-IPO uptick, and then a crash and burn. This should be a warning sign for anyone taking a look at Domo — another company that looks like it is exploring an IPO for liquidity to stay afloat. But we digress. 

The company's capital structure consists of a $15.4mm '19 revolving credit facility with Silicon Valley Bank, a $50mm '19 facility with TriplePoint Capital LLC, and $25mm of 8% convertible notes. Revenues increased YOY from $86mm in fiscal 2016 to $125.1mm in fiscal 2017 to $125.9mm in fiscal 2018. The net loss, however, also moved up and right: from $101mm to $105.8mm to $157.7mm. The company clearly has a liquidity ("net cash") covenant issue (remember those?). Accordingly, the company fired 20% of its global workforce (~90 people) in March (a follow-on to a 10% reduction in Q3 '17). The venture capital firms that funded the company — Lightspeed Venture Partners among them — appear to be long gone. Silver Lake Group LLC and NEA Management Company LLC, unfortunately, are not; they still own a good amount of the company.

"Isn't cloud storage supposed to be all the rage," you ask? Yeah, sure, but these guys seem to generate product revenue largely from sales of all-flash and hybrid storage systems (and stand-alone software licenses). They're mainly in the "intensely competitive IT infrastructure market," sparring with the likes of Dell EMCIBM and VMware. So, yeah, good luck with that.

The Great Escape

"The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds." - John Maynard KeynesThe General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (13 December 1935).

This past week, Michael Batnick, from Ritholtz Asset Management deployed a version of this quote to make a point about investing; he provided a nice callback to Blockbuster and an equity analyst's repeated bad calls vis-a-vis Netflix (which popped this week after impressive subscription growth - despite negative free cash flow (-$600mm+) and an increasingly levered balance sheet). TL;DR: don't be too wed to your ideas. 

This applies to the actual businesses that investors pour money into too. In today's rapidly transforming environment, businesses must now, more than ever, pivot, and innovate. They can't be too wed to legacy ideas. Recognizing that is the first step. It then becomes a question of execution in the face of constraints.  

Enter Avaya Inc., a privately-held provider of contact center, "legacy" unified communications and networking products and services with 176 global entities, $940mm of adjusted EBITDA, 200,000 customers and 9700 employees. To Avaya's credit, the company pivoted in 2009 away from its historical hardware-based operating model - recognizing the shift towards software-based and cloud-oriented services solutions. It undertook a massive reinvention, adapting its revenue model and streamlining operating performance in a manner that cut $700mm in costs since 2014. To some degree, the company's private equity overlords - TPG Capital and Silver Lake Partners - deserve some credit, too, for working with management and reconciling the need to pivot. After all, they had a $8.2 billion LBO to rationalize. 

But sometimes the constraints are insurmountable. Avaya has $6 billion of debt on its balance sheet; it has $440mm of annual interest expense along with an additional $180mm nut for annual pension and OPEB obligations. And it faces stiff competition from the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, and others, necessitating another ~$400mm in expenditures to fund R&D and other investments. It's been bleeding cash, losing over $505mm in the fourth quarter and over $750mm in fiscal '16.

And so the company is now a bankruptcy filer. Notably, the papers accompanying the filing have zero specificity about the company's go-forward business plan. Its one small victory is a robust DIP financing commitment and milestones intended to achieve a rapid turn in bankruptcy court. But then what? 

We rarely see big freefall bankruptcy cases anymore. Clearly there seems to be disagreement among the various constituencies about how best to proceed with this business in the face of competition and technological headwinds. That said, the company was able to secure $425mm of its proposed DIP facility at the "First Day" hearing on Friday. So there's that. 

"Software is eating the world," we noted last week (per Marc Andreesen). We'll see very soon whether Avaya gets swallowed along with TPG and Silver Lake's investment. Yes, they pivoted. But was it too little too late?

Thoughts? Opinions? Let us know at petition@petition11.com. 

Odd ad to place in the WSJ on the day after bankruptcy.

Odd ad to place in the WSJ on the day after bankruptcy.