Below is our initial take on recent bankruptcy-related developments:
Bankrupt Voyager Rebuffs Sam Bankman-Fried’s “Low-Ball Bid” | Reuters
FTX and Alameda Ventures submitted a joint proposal to purchase all of Voyager’s digital assets and digital asset loans, except the loans to Three Arrows Capital, and Voyager alleged the proposal would only benefit FTX and Alameda and disrupt Voyager’s bankruptcy process.
S&K Take: Interesting development in the Voyager case. Debtors seem unhappy here because the bid was made through the media, rather than through the court ordered sale process, followed by some Twitter jousting. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this kind of deal is dead, which is probably a good thing for creditors. A purchase by a larger platform, in a certain context, could allow creditors to gain access to their accounts, or at least a portion thereof. I imagine that kind of deal is what creditors are shooting for.
3M to Spin Off Healthcare Business, Earplugs Unit Seeks Bankruptcy Protection | Reuters
3M announced plans to spin off its healthcare business into a listed company as it looks to simplify its business and boost investor returns, and the company is also seeking bankruptcy protection for its unit that makes earplugs for the U.S. military since it is facing claims that the earplugs are defective.
S&K Take: Another mass tort bankruptcy which has drawn the ire of plaintiffs and a federal judge who was previously overseeing the plaintiffs’ claims. This will likely be subject to the same vigorous challenge as the LTL case (and the other Texas Two-Steps) although this isn’t technically a Texas Two-Step. The bankruptcy judge in Indianapolis has already indicated that he is not inclined to grant a broad injunction against claims against non-debtors, which always seems to be the first point of contention. It is possible that the public backlash against these corporate maneuvers is starting to color the thinking of the judiciary.
Revlon Gets Court OK on $15.4M Bonus Plan for ‘Critical’ Employees | Retail Dive
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David S. Jones approved Revlon’s bonus plan offering up to $15.4 million to key employees whose work is critical to the debtors’ restructuring process and business operations.
S&K Take: This is a big headline number and could lead to an assumption that this was the typical large debtor paying executives to stick around for a bankruptcy. That isn’t the case however, as these payments would go to non-insiders (i.e. employees that aren’t in control of the business). Given the attrition that has occurred at the company and the competitive nature of Revlon’s industry, these payments make sense so that Revlon can continue to operate with some semblance of normalcy. If the business craters, it is not good for anyone.
Betting on a Recession, U.S. Distressed Debt Funds Seek Fresh Capital | Reuters
Several U.S. distressed debt asset managers began marketing their plans to investors to raise capital, anticipating that a recession will create more opportunities to profit off troubled companies’ debt.
S&K Take: The restructuring industry rejoices! This supports what industry sentiment has suggested recently—that we are potentially due for an uptick in restructuring activity. The macro trends have also been pointing in that direction, and an increase in bankruptcy filings, albeit modest so far, leads to the same conclusion. Less blogs, more work? Fear not, we will continue to churn out content, but will definitely be here for the increased activity.
Zipmex Files for Bankruptcy Protection in Singapore | CoinDesk
Crypto exchange Zipmex filed five applications in Singapore on behalf of the company’s different entities, seeking bankruptcy protection as legal action from creditors threatens the company.
S&K Take: The cryptopocalyspse is nigh! That is a bit of hyperbole, but I have been wanting to say that. Zipmex marks another victim of the ripple effect emanating from the Terra collapse, having relationships with Babel and Celsius. Not sure if this one will touch the US, although Zipmex will be a creditor in the Celsius proceeding.
Lawyers Argue 3AC Founders ‘Continue to Conceal their Whereabouts’ in Latest Hearing | Yahoo! Finance
Lawyers representing Teneo, the liquidator for Three Arrows Capital, told a U.S. bankruptcy court that the firm’s co-founders, Kyle Davies and Su Zhu, are making it difficult to track down the firm’s remaining assets.
S&K Take: The 3AC founders have provided liquidators very limited information and cooperation, and have refused to have any kind of discussions, whether formal or informal, and will not disclose their location. This is getting interesting. I do not think Judge Glenn will look kindly on this kind of conduct. We will definitely be keeping an eye on this one, as it seems like some fireworks are on the horizon.