Below is our initial take on recent bankruptcy-related developments:
UPDATE 11-Founder of crypto lender Celsius Network pleads not guilty to fraud charges | Yahoo Finance
Alex Mashinsky, co-founder and former CEO of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius has pleaded not guilty to U.S. fraud charges. The indictment includes seven counts including securities fraud, commodities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to manipulate the company’s token pricing. Mashinsky and others Celsius executives are accused of making false and misleading statements to the public. This DOJ indictment accompanies multiple other lawsuits against the firm in recent months, including from the SEC, CFTC, FTC and NY Attorney General.
S&K Take: Thousands of former Celsius customers rejoiced over the last few weeks, as Celsius founder Alex Mashinsky was formally charged with a smorgasbord of fraud. There is something for everyone. It is the latest chapter in what has been an eventful case, made more interesting by the bizarre social media posts from Mashinsky and his wife. Obviously everyone gets their day in court, but we have a pretty good view on what the vast majority of customers thinks about Mr. Mashinsky and his conduct. Could be in for a new kind of CEL manipulation.
David’s Bridal has received court approval to sell its business to New York-based investment firm, CION Investment. The no-cash transaction will allow the wedding gown retailer to keep 195 store open and allow 7,000 of the company's 10,000 employees to keep their jobs.
S&K Take: The next two stories are emblematic of the pain in the retail space. Recent retail cases have been nothing but ugly. DB, which was sold for the assumption of liabilities and the payment of cure costs (i.e. no cash flowing into the estate). Good news for a big chunk of locations and employees, but not great news for unsecured creditors owed millions.
Here are some of the stories from last week:
A NJ bankruptcy judge approved Dream on Me’s purchase of BuyBuy Baby’s trademark and digital assets, for a total of $15.5M. Though parent company Bed Bath & Beyond had aimed to sell the BuyBuy Baby’s physical stores and had initial interest from retailer Go Global Retail, they were unable to reach a deal. Instead BuyBuy Baby’s IP will be sold, and creditors will continue with liquidation sales.
S&K Take: BuyBuy Baby, which was valued in the billions within the last year or two, failed to find a going concern transaction. There was some interest, but a potential deal fell through, leaving only a bid for the IP. That has been a recurring trend in the retail space. Sale processes without stalking horse bidders, with the ultimate purchase being solely for intellectual property. All of the sales in the BBBY cases have been underwhelming. The Debtors just filed a plan incorporating a settlement with the UCC that provides for an agreed-upon waterfall for proceeds from litigation claims. Bleak circumstances for all creditors.
In a recent SEC filing, Yellow Corporation has been allowed to amend its credit agreement with their lenders by extending the deadlines on its debt. This is contingent on the company hiring a financial adviser and submitting regular financial reporting.
S&K Take: Good news for Yellow on the financial front, although reports this week have Yellow’s union threatening to strike because of Yellow’s failure to make certain benefit payments. So still missing a big piece of the restructuring puzzle.