Plans of Reorganization

Just after 5:00 p.m. Central Time on February 23, 2021, Belk, Inc. and its affiliates filed chapter 11 petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, along with a proposed “prepackaged” plan of reorganization.   Before midnight, the US Trustee objected to Belk’s plan, and, by 8:00 a.m. the next day, the parties were in court to decide plan confirmation.  Two hours later, Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur confirmed the plan, and it became effective that afternoon, just 20 hours after the Chapter 11 cases were filed.  Typically, chapter 11 debtors take many months, if not longer, to confirm a plan, and even prepackaged bankruptcy cases like Belk’s often take several weeks from filing to confirmation.   As we discuss in this post, Belk’s swift bankruptcy case is part of a growing trend of bankruptcy courts confirming chapter 11 plans shortly after case filing where there is adequate notice and creditor buy-in prior to the filing.

Continue Reading Belk Chapter 11 Plan Confirmed and Effective Within 24 Hours of Bankruptcy Filing

In a recent decision in In re Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Inc., No. 18-3084, 2021 WL 50160 (3d Cir. Jan 6, 2021), a divided Third Circuit panel held that an appeal of a Chapter 11 plan confirmation order was equitably moot and that the dissenting unsecured creditor who filed the appeal, David Hargreaves, was not entitled to individualized relief.  Under the confirmed Chapter 11 plan in Nuverra, secured creditors did not receive payment in full and creditors that were holders of prepetition unsecured notes, including Hargreaves, received cash and securities equal to only six percent of the face value of their note claims, while trade creditors were entitled to be paid in full.  The plan proponents described the full payment to these unsecured trade creditors as a “gift” from the secured creditors, who were undersecured based on the debtors’ enterprise value under the plan.

Continue Reading Opinion of Interest – In re Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Inc.

Mayer Brown partners Sean Scott and Aaron Gavant and associates Tyler Ferguson and Alexander Berk discussed the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas’ most recent decision arising out of the Ultra Petroleum Corp. bankruptcy case and its rulings that (1) make-whole premiums are allowed by the Bankruptcy Code under appropriate circumstances

BJ Services, a Texas-based provider of hydraulic fracturing (i.e., “fracking”) and cementing services for upstream oil and gas companies, filed for chapter 11 protection on July 20, 2020, in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, along with three of its affiliates.  Their chapter 11 filings were prompted by unsuccessful restructuring negotiations with one of their equity sponsors—CSL Capital Management—which would have provided a $75 million new money investment, including $30 million in the form of DIP financing, in exchange for the majority of the reorganized equity.  Citing commodity price volatility and an unmanageable capital structure, the debtors have been pursuing an orderly wind-down and confirmation of a chapter 11 liquidation plan, the cornerstone of which was a sale process for six asset packages:  (a) cementing business; (b) fracking business; (c) certain equipment related to the cementing business; (d) certain equipment related to the fracking business; (e) shared lab equipment; and (f) other miscellaneous equipment (e.g., tractors).

Continue Reading BJ Services, LLC, et al.: Not-So-Smooth Sailing for Credit Bidders

Bloomberg reports that Neiman Marcus Group Inc.’s plan of reorganization was confirmed on September 4, 2020 by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The confirmed plan revolves around a debt-for-equity swap, which will eliminate approximately $4 billion of the company’s $5.5 billion pre-petition secured debt. [Bloomberg; Sept. 4, 2020]

AMC

Houston, TX-based oil services provider SAExploration Holdings Inc. has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, reports the Wall Street Journal. SAExploration reportedly owes $6.8 million on a unsecured loan it received through the Paycheck Protection Program of the CARES Act. [WSJ; Aug.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Aeromexico, Mexico’s flagship airline which filed for bankruptcy in the US earlier this year, has obtained commitments for up to a $1 billion in debtor-in-possession financing facility from Apollo Global Management Inc. The financing consists of two tranches, with one tranche holding a debt-to-equity conversion option. [WSJ; Aug. 14,

Reporting from Reuters discusses how large firms that have filed for bankruptcy relief since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have awarded bonuses to executives shortly before filing for bankruptcy. Of the 40 large firms investigated, Reuters found that approximately one-third awarded bonuses to executives within the month before filing for bankruptcy. [Reuters; July 17,

Various creditor constituencies in the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy case have requested access to financial information concerning foreign affiliates controlled by the Sackler family, reports the Wall Street Journal. The creditors contend that this information is critical in determining the creditors’ response to the current multi-billion dollar settlement offer being made by the Sackler family

The New York Times reports that natural gas extraction company Chesapeake Energy Corporation has sought chapter 11 bankruptcy relief in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Chesapeake’s bankruptcy is reportedly the largest bankruptcy of a United States oil and gas company since 2015 (N.Y. Times; June 29, 2020)

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