Go Long Alternative Energy. #MAGA!

For the first time, wind and solar accounted for 10% of US electricity generation and coal may be DOA sooner than people think. Meanwhile, people seem to be getting pretty worried about peak oil supply...in 2018. Also sooner than most expected/modeled. Elsewhere in energy, this really doesn't paint an optimistic picture for the recently bankrupt coal-fired Homer City Generation LP power plant operation. #MAGA! 

What the Pros Say (Week of 01/08/17)

  • Death Traps. Katharina Earle of Cole Schotz PC discusses the risks of proposing death traps in a plan.
  • Energy. The US Energy Information Administration has released its annual energy outlook with forecasts through 2050.
  • Lease Rejections. Kenneth Rosen of Lowenstein Sandler LLP articulates that BC 365(d)(4) is causing retail liquidations.
  • Makewhole. Gregory Horowitz of Kramer Levin reviews the EFIH decision.
  • Privacy. Shmuel Vasser of Dechert LLP discusses internet privacy issues in the context of international bankruptcies.
  • Professional Fees. Michael Cook of Schulte Roth & Zabel summarizes the recent In re Relativity Fashion LLC case relating to objections to investment banking transaction fees. In this instance, attempts to revisit 328-approved fees failed. For some inexplicable reason, Cook doesn't indicate whose applications were at risk - to the point of blatantly avoiding it even though the court makes no attempt to hide it. To spare you the suspense, it was Houlihan Lokey and PJT Partners LP that were attacked. 
  • Takata. Brendan Best of Varnum LLP writes about the implications of a Takata bankruptcy for trade creditors.

News for the Week of 12/18/16

  • Distressed Debt. More focus lately on Africa and the Middle East. Meanwhile, New Jersey is issuing transportation debt directly to state pension funds, cutting out middlemen in the issuance and driving down issuance costs. 
  • Hertz. Despite Carl Icahn's best efforts, this company has shown nothing but decline in the face of Uber and Lyft stealing revenue from the consumer-facing rental car business.
  • Renewable Energy. Wind and natural gas are on the rise in the United States: there's no holding it back. Interestingly, Statoil announced this week that it - like many others - is abandoning the Canadian oil sands to the tune of a $500mm impairment; meanwhile, Statoil paid $42.4mm for a lease to develop a wind farm 79k acres southeast of New York City. There were 33 rounds of bidding: the longest auction the agency has ever had for offshore wind. Earlier this week the wind farm offshore of Rhode Island went on-line.
  • Shenanigans. JCrew transferred its IP to a Cayman subsidiary triggering significant downward trending term loan activity; IHeartMedia elected not to pay $57mm of senior notes due to an affiliate upon maturity which may or may not be a CDS credit event; Cumulus Media launched a lawsuit against JPMorgan for allegedly unreasonably withholding consent to a proposed refinancing transaction that would significantly delever its balance sheet. 
  • Takata. The airbag recall keeps spreading - now to McLaren, Ferrari and Tesla. Chances are the company is looking on at the General Motors situation with great interest.
  • Twinkies. An interesting summary of the company's history - including stints in bankruptcy.
  • Fast Forward: Forbes Energy Services' fifth forbearance expires on 12/23, Stone Energy's equity committee hearing is 12/21, and CHC Group Limited may get its PSA ruling from Judge Houser this week.
  • Rewind I: Neiman Marcus reported dog-sh*t numbers this past week blaming a strong US dollar and general retail headwinds for a widened $23.5mm loss. Headwinds persist for retailers: here are top trends affecting retail go-forward.
  • Rewind II: For-Profit Education. The US FTC announced a $100mm settlement with DeVry University, capping a BRUTAL two years for for-profit education. Some highlights: ITT Technical Institute already shut down earlier in the year, the infamous Trump University recently settled a suit for $25mm, and last year Education Management Corporation paid a $95.5mm settlement and Corinthian Colleges filed for bankruptcy.
  • Rewind III: We discussed Amazon Go last week. Here are some more takes on the technology.
  • Chart of the Week

Tweet of the Week

News for the Week of 12/11/16

  • Argentina. Lawyers get credit for a break in the 15-year impasse.  
  • Distressed Legal Debt. Wait, say what? Anchorage Capital purchased Citi's debt in law firm Slater & Gordon for $0.38/on-the-dollar. 
  • Solar & Wind. In the wake of La Paloma Generating and Illinois Power Generating Company (Genco) both filing for bankruptcy (see below), solar seems to be gaining momentum with measurable progress in Florida and California (San Diego). But not just solar: this week Google announced that its reducing its carbon footprint with direct purchases of renewable (wind) energy. See Chart of the Week II below.
  • Fast Forward: UnderArmour announced this week that, starting in 2020, it has exclusive rights to produce Major League Baseball's uniforms. While this is a way off and numbers for MLB fanhood may be even weaker than today, this is a big deal for them and a major loss for Majestic Athletic. Cause and effect: we're wondering what this will mean for Majestic's business go-forward...
  • Rewind I: Dead Malls. People can't seem to talk about this enough: here, some ways to invest it.
  • Rewind II: Dallas. We previously mentioned the pension issues there and talk of Chapter 9. This week Moody's released a report highlighting that Texas' four largest cities have a combined $22.6 billion in underfunded pension liabilities. Yikes.
  • Rewind III: Last week we noted the injunction in place delaying, for now, a mandated overtime pay rule that is thought to endanger retail profits further. Some companies have decided to implement the change preemptively. 
  • Chart of the Week: When viewed in tandem with last week's chart about peak oil, the rise of battery-powered cars is marked.  

Renewable energy use...this is changing rapidly: