A corporate restructuring and bankruptcy BLOG

    Run-On Sentence, Searching for a Curo, For Pete’s Sake, and The Rite Stuff

    What's News
    March 29, 2024

    Below is our initial take on recent bankruptcy-related developments:

    Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison | CoinDesk

    FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted on seven fraud and conspiracy charges. According to Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, he plans to appeal his conviction following this sentencing decision.

    S&K Take: Judge (Lewis) Kaplan (as opposed to the ubiquitous Judge Michael Kaplan) handed out 25 years (actually 291 months) to SBF yesterday like he was handing out candy, specifically citing any lack of remorse for his actions. The DOJ had asked for 40 to 50 years, while the defense had asked for months (and nothing greater than 6.5 years). Judge Kaplan also ordered SBF to forfeit $11.02 billion to the government. Kaplan did recommend that SBF be assigned to a low- or medium-security facility given his “notoriety, his association with vast wealth, his autism and social awkwardness,” so there is that. The sentencing tied into the bankruptcy case a bit, with the defense arguing that the sentence should be more lenient as creditors will be paid in full, including some interesting attachments in their sentencing letter (which contemplated paying customers and GUCs in full plus interest). A worthwhile read if you are following the case.

    Consumer Lender Curo Files For Bankruptcy To Cut $1 Bln In Debt | Reuters

    On Monday, Curo Group, a Chicago-based consumer finance company, filed for bankruptcy protection in Texas, aiming to get rid of $1 billion in debt and give control of the company to its lenders. The majority of Curo’s lenders support its restructuring plan, and the company plans to build on its lenders’ support to finalize its bankruptcy restructuring within 120 days.

    S&K Take: Another mega case, another prepack, this one back in the Southern District of Texas. Curo is an “omni-channel consumer finance company” (payday lender) and enters bankruptcy with an RSA with its first, second and 1.5 lien holder groups. $29 million to $35 million of GUCs would pass through. The Debtors aim to get out by May 14. Judge Isgur approved the DIP on Monday and conditionally approved the DS yesterday (with a slight tweak to certain releases). Doesn’t look like there will be fireworks here, but we will keep an eye on it. 

    Nursing Home Co. Petersen Files for Bankruptcy After Cyberattacks | Reuters

    Illinois-based nursing home operating company Petersen Health Care filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware bankruptcy court with $295 million in debt and cyberattacks and defaults on government-backed loans exacerbated the company’s long-standing financial challenges.

    S&K Take: Unlike Curo, there were some early fireworks in Petersen. The company joins a long list of nursing home providers that have filed for bankruptcy. The interesting twist here is that Petersen enlisted a third party to provide the “extraordinarily expensive” DIP (experienced postpetition lender JMB), which drew objections by prepetition lenders with HUD guarantees of their debt. Those lenders essentially argue that the priming and cross-collateralization under the DIP is prohibited by HUD regulations. The parties eventually agreed on a revision that incorporates something of a marshaling mechanism that is TBD. 

    Rite Aid Reaches Bankruptcy Settlement with Lenders, DOJ, McKesson | CNBC

    On Tuesday, bankrupt pharmacy chain Rite Aid reached an agreement with its lenders, the U.S. Department of Justice and drug supplier McKesson Corp, paving a path for Rite Aid to finalize its bankruptcy case by the end of April. Creditors who have sued Rite Aid over its sale of opioid medications are not currently supporting Rite Aid’s plan. The pharmacy chain had over 1,600 lawsuits claiming that it had ignored red flags and illegally filled prescriptions for addictive opioid medication.

    S&K Take: We haven’t covered Rite Aid extensively in these hallowed pages, but this seemed worth an update, as peace has largely broken out in the valley. The Debtors have struck multiple deals to resolve some major case issues, paving the way for DS approval and an April 22 confirmation hearing. The plan would turn the keys of the company over to senior secured noteholders so they can run with Rite Aid 2.0. There are various other goodies for the different constituencies. Interestingly during the case the Debtors rejected 643 leases saving about $17 million in occupancy costs. Basically the anti-Jo-Ann. Stay tuned to see if the plan is ultimately confirmed.  

    The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm or its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

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