Bloomberg Law reports that that the U.S. Trustee’s Office is working to combat the recent rise of “pre-packaged” chapter 11 bankruptcy filings. A pre-packaged bankruptcy or a “pre-pack” refers to the circumstances in which a debtor negotiates its reorganizational agreements with key stakeholders before filing its chapter 11 case and then files and confirm its

In mid-February, Winter Storm Uri brought frigid air across the US from the Pacific Northwest to the Gulf Coast.  Most notably, Winter Storm Uri passed through Texas, resulting in large snowfalls and reducing temperatures to historic levels.  In advance of the storm, plants and utilities responsible for providing vital electricity and natural gas to Texas residents sought to prepare for the extreme conditions—but then, diesel fuel began to gel, generators and turbines froze, and electricity became scarce—leaving many market participants and end-user consumers with astronomical bills for power.  Some entities have since disputed the bills, while others have even declared bankruptcy or indicated the need for future bankruptcy court protection.

Continue Reading Texas Utilities Continue to Deal With Aftermath of Winter Storm Uri: CPS Energy Sues the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Alleging One of the “Largest Illegal Wealth Transfers” in Texas History

Reporting from CNBC indicates that Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has proposed a $10 billion plan to exit bankruptcy.  According to sources, the exit plan not only includes a significant contribution of more than $4 billion from members of the Sackler family who own the Connecticut-based pharmaceutical giant, but also calls for the pharmaceutical

In its recent decision in Matter of First River Energy, LLC,1 the Fifth Circuit resolved a priority dispute between lienholders regarding their competing claims to cash held by the debtor, First River Energy, LLC. The cash at issue was the proceeds of a pre-bankruptcy sale of crude oil that the debtor purchased from certain producers (located in Texas and in Oklahoma) and then sold on to certain downstream purchasers. Following the debtor’s filing, each of the producers asserted a first-priority lien on the cash proceeds, as did the administrative agent for certain of First River Energy’s secured lenders. The administrative agent subsequently filed an adversary proceeding seeking to confirm its first priority status (senior to the producers), based on its perfection by the filing of a first-in-time UCC-1 financing statement with the Delaware Secretary of State in 2015. The two issues before the Bankruptcy Court were what law applied to the priority dispute (as between Delaware, First River’s state of organization, or Texas or Oklahoma, the locations of the producers and the oil sold) and, based on such choice of law, the priority of the parties’ liens. The Bankruptcy Court ruled that Delaware law applied and found that, under Delaware law, the administrative agent’s lien had priority over the lien of the Texas producers, but that the administrative agent’s lien did not have priority over the Oklahoma producers’ lien. The Fifth Circuit took an interlocutory appeal of the decision.

Continue Reading Opinion of Interest – Matter of First River Energy: Some State-Specific Liens May be no More than “Amazing Disappearing Security Interests”

Reporting from the Wall Street Journal details an independent monitor’s conclusion that Texas’ Public Utility Commission overcharged market participants by approximately $16 billion dollars during Texas’ recent energy crisis by electing to keep wholesale prices raised for 33 hours longer than the monitor deemed necessary. Although the monitor urged the Public Utility Commission of Texas

Reuters reports that the involuntary bankruptcy proceeding filed against Navient by three student loan borrowers on February 8, 2021 was dismissed on February 25, 2021. In dismissing the case, Judge Martin Glenn of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York noted that there was no evidence Navient was not paying its

As Texas recovers from its winter energy crisis, hard hit consumers and retail power providers may be facing potential bankruptcies caused by the extreme price fluctuations experienced during the cold. The New York Times describes the plight faced by consumers who may face energy bills in the thousands. And retail power companies that supplied power

The Wall Street Journal reports that high demand for corporate debt has allowed even the riskiest of companies to refinance their debt at interest rates that have typically been reserved for only the safest types of debt. Since the beginning of the year through February 10, over $13 billion of new debt has been issued,

Bloomberg reports that at least seven new-issue CLOs are currently marketing, with January new-issue volume at nearly $9 billion.  The rise in sales comes as risk premiums for new transactions have tightened to pre-pandemic levels, prompting managers to market new deals at favorable terms and refinance and reset existing bonds at cheaper costs.  [Bloomberg; Feb.

The Wall Street Journal analyzes the challenges and prospects of Gamestop Corp., AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., Nokia Corp., and Blackberry Ltd. In recent weeks, investors have bid up the share prices of these companies, as hedge funds and short sellers have bet against them. [WSJ; Jan. 31, 2021]

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