News 21 Mar. 2007

Curtis Represents Federal Government in Loan Restructuring

On March 15, 2007, the Emergency Steel Loan Guarantee Board, represented by Curtis, entered into an agreement to restructure its $250 million federally guaranteed project loan to Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Company. The loan proceeds were used to construct a state of the art electric arc furnace at the company's plant in Steubenville, Ohio. The restructuring cleared the way for Wheeling's merger with Esmark Corporation, a downstream steel finishing and fabrication company. Wheeling was required to raise $50 million in new subordinated convertible debt and prepay $37.5 million in principal and one year of interest on the federal loan, in exchange for which Wheeling was granted financial covenant relief and consent to consummate the merger on specified terms and conditions. The covenant relief was structure to averted a 'going concern' qualification to PricewaterhouseCoopers' audit opinion on Wheeling's 2006 financial statements. The engagement was handled for Curtis by Daniel Lenihan and Evan Borenstein, working in conjunction with the Steel Board's financial advisor, Lazard Freres & Co., and the loan's administrative agent, Royal Bank of Canada. The Steel Board was established by Act of Congress in 1999 and has been represented by Curtis since its inception. The Board is comprised of the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Commerce, and one of the five Commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission.