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News 08 Sep. 2014
New York, September 8, 2014 — Six of Curtis' Restructuring & Insolvency transactions have been selected as finalists in nine award categories for the 13th Annual M&A Advisor Awards. The winners will be announced at the M&A Advisor Awards Gala to be held on November 17th, 2014 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City. Three of these restructurings were also recently honored by The Turnaround Atlas Awards as well. The matters nominated and their respective award categories are:
Genco Shipping and Trading Limited Chapter 11 Restructuring: Restructuring Deal of the Year (Over US$1 Billion) Industrial Manufacturing/Distribution Deal of the Year (Over US$250 Million) Industrial Goods and Basic Resources Deal of the Year
Genco is a leading shipper of iron ore, coal, grain, steel products and other dry bulk cargoes along worldwide shipping routes. Genco filed prepackaged Chapter 11 cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in order to implement a US$1 billion restructuring. Curtis acted as conflicts counsel to Genco (alongside lead counsel Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP) in the Chapter 11 cases. In July 2014, after a lengthy trial, the Bankruptcy Court overruled the objections of certain equity holders related to the value of Genco's businesses and confirmed the prepackaged Chapter 11 plan proposed by Genco. Genco emerged from bankruptcy on July 9, 2014 positioned for long-term success after having completed a financial restructuring that reduced its debt by approximately US$1.3 billion and provided for a new equity infusion of US$100 million.
The Curtis team included associates Daniel Bloom and Dienna Ching (Restructuring and Insolvency); counsel Gabriel Hertzberg and associate Edward Combs (Litigation).
FriendFinder Networks Chapter 11 Restructuring: Restructuring Deal of the Year (US$100 million - US$1 Billion) Technology, Media and Telecom Deal of the Year (US$100 million - US$1 Billion)
FriendFinder operates an internet and technology business providing services in the social networking and web-based video sharing markets. Curtis represented Wilmington Trust, National Association, as successor indenture trustee for certain secured notes in connection with FriendFinder's successful Chapter 11 cases, which were filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
The plan confirmed in the FriendFinder Chapter 11 cases implemented a financial restructuring that, among other things, (a) provided second lien noteholders with approximately 100% of the reorganized company's new common stock and (b) provided that general unsecured creditors would either be paid in full or satisfied in the ordinary course.
This restructuring was also selected as the 2013 Media & Entertainment Turnaround of the Year by the Turnaround Atlas Awards.
The Curtis team included partner Evan S. Borenstein and counsel Susana Namnum (Corporate).
Ashley Stewart Holdings, Inc. Chapter 11 Restructuring: Retail Manufacturing/Distribution Deal of the Year
Ashley Stewart is a leading specialty retailer and brand of fashion-forward, inspirational apparel and accessories catering to plus-sized women. In March 2014, facing excessive debt and certain unfavorable leases, Ashley Stewart filed Chapter 11 cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. Curtis acted as lead bankruptcy counsel to Ashley Stewart in its Chapter 11 cases. Within weeks, the company negotiated a stalking horse asset purchase agreement with an affiliate of Clearlake Capital Group for the sale of substantially all of its assets. The company also resolved potential claims and causes of actions held by the estates and creditors' committee, paving the way for consummation of a consensual asset sale a mere 45 days after the Chapter 11 cases were filed.
The Curtis team included associate Bryan M. Kotliar (Restructuring and Insolvency); partner Turner P. Smith (Litigation); and partners Evan S. Borenstein and Lawrence Goodman, and counsel Joshua S. Geller (Corporate).
Trinity Coal Corporation Chapter 11 Restructuring: Energy Deal of the Year (Over US$100 Million)
Trinity Coal was once a leading coal mining company, but experienced a downturn after power companies started migrating to cheaper and cleaner fuel options such as natural and shale gas. Curtis acted as lead bankruptcy counsel to Trinity Coal in its successful restructuring pursuant to a confirmed plan of reorganization in Chapter 11 cases filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. The successful restructuring enabled Trinity to emerge from bankruptcy with a deleveraged balance sheet and continued coal mining operations in West Virginia. Not only were numerous jobs saved, but secured, administrative and priority creditors were paid in full. Holders of general unsecured claims are estimated to receive from US$0.15 to US$0.25 on the dollar from a liquidating trust established under the plan.
The Curtis team was led by partner L. P. Harrison, 3rd, and associates Dienna Ching; partner Evan S. Borenstein, counsel Joshua S. Geller and associate Danny Philips (Corporate); partners Turner P. Smith and Jonathan J. Walsh (Litigation); and partner Eduardo A. Cukier and associates Thomas Reilly and Sarah E. Ryan (Tax).
Patriot Coal Corporation Chapter 11 Restructuring: Restructuring Deal of the Year (Over US$1 Billion)
Patriot Coal is a producer and marketer of coal in the United States, with operations and coal reserves in the Appalachia (Northern and Central) and Illinois Basin coal regions. Curtis acted as conflicts counsel to Patriot (alongside Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP) in Chapter 11 reorganization cases which were confirmed in December 2013 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Patriot Coal's many accomplishments during its reorganization include obtaining an US$802 million debtor-in-possession financing facility, a litigation victory and subsequent consensual restructuring of its legacy union labor liabilities, a settlement of non-union retiree benefits, a settlement with certain environmental groups, the successful prosecution of multiple adversary proceedings, and global settlements with Peabody Energy Corporation and Arch Coal, Inc. that provided the union retiree VEBA trust and Patriot with hundreds of millions of dollars in payments and financing, which enabled it to complete its financial restructuring and emerge successfully from Chapter 11 in December 2013.
This restructuring was also honored as the 2013 Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (Large Markets) by the Turnaround Atlas Awards.
The Curtis team included associate Dienna Ching (Restructuring and Insolvency); partner Turner P. Smith and Jonathan J. Walsh and associates Stephanie R. Morris and Ellen Tobin (Litigation); partner Evan S. Borenstein and associate Ellen McGrath (Corporate); partner Eduardo A. Cukier and associate Sarah E. Ryan (Tax).
Rural/Metro Corporation Chapter 11 Restructuring: Healthcare/Life Sciences Deal of the Year (Over US$250 Million)
Rural/Metro is one of the largest providers of ambulance services in the United States and also delivers private fire protection services. Facing financial distress, Rural/Metro filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on August 4, 2013. Curtis represented Wilmington Trust, National Association as successor indenture trustee for certain unsecured notes issued in the amount of US$308 million and, as chair of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, was actively involved in negotiating the terms of Rural/Metro's plan of reorganization. The rights offering made pursuant to the approved plan was fully subscribed, providing Rural/Metro with a US$135 million equity infusion. The company emerged from bankruptcy on December 31, 2013 with 50 percent less debt, greater capital flexibility and the resources to continue investing in their business.
This restructuring was also chosen as the 2013 Healthcare Services Turnaround of the Year by the Turnaround Atlas Awards.
The team was led by partner L.P. Harrison 3rd (Restructuring and Insolvency), and included partner Evan S. Borenstein (Corporate).
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is a leading international law firm providing a broad range of services to clients around the world. Curtis has 16 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Central and East Asia. The firm's international orientation has been a hallmark of its practice for nearly two centuries. For more information about Curtis, please visit www.curtis.com or follow Curtis on Twitter (twitter.com/curtislawfirm) and Facebook (Facebook.com/Curtis.Careers).
Commercial Disputes - Litigation
Restructuring and Insolvency
Susana M. Namnum
Turner P. Smith
Jonathan J. Walsh