When investing in distressed debt, one has to be aware that negotiations can affect a creditor's ultimate recovery - for the good or the bad.
- Bondholders were to get 5% of the new common stock - They are now getting 15%
- Bondholders were to receive no cash - They are now getting $120M
The Creditors’ Committee commenced this adversary proceeding in order to challenge certain of the Agent’s liens and the valuation and allocation of the Debtors’ unencumbered property, if any, pursuant to the Debtors’ proposed plan of reorganization. The Creditors’ Committee contended that there are significant unencumbered assets, including the Debtors’ copyrights and related revenue streams, and rights to use the Verizon brand, as well as post-petition revenue streams, and that the value of such assets should be distributed to unsecured creditors. The Agent rejected the Creditors’ Committee’s contentions, maintaining that (a) the Agent held a perfected pre-petition lien, for the benefit of the Lenders, on substantially all of the Debtors’ assets, (b) the Creditors’ Committee’s challenges to the Agent’s liens on the Verizon brand and the revenues associated with the Debtors’ copyrights were without any merit, (c) the value of the Debtors’ copyrights were de minimis, and (d) the challenge to the Agent’s lien on post-petition revenues was defeated, among other things, by the diminution in value of the Debtors’ estates since the bankruptcy filing, and the Agent’s right to be adequately protected by receiving a post-petition replacement lien on whatever unencumbered property existed. This litigation ensued, extensive discovery was taken, and trial commenced and was conducted on November 9th and 10th.
Now, following the commencement of trial on the myriad legal and factual issues implicated in this dispute, the Parties have reached a global resolution of all issues. The Settlement described herein preserves a significant recovery to the Lenders on account of their secured claims, while significantly increasing the consideration to be paid to Class 4 unsecured creditors under the Debtors’ plan of reorganization, and paves the way for the Debtors’ prompt emergence from Chapter 11.