Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran an article entitled: "For Accuride Investors, a Big Payday: Big Bondholders Parlayed Position at Negotiating Table During Bankruptcy Into $132 Million Gain." (subscription required). A number of people emailed me the above article and asked me my thoughts on it. But first some background.
"Rule 2019(a) requires that unofficial committees or ad hoc groups disclose, inter alia, (1) the nature and amount of their claims or interests; (2) the date of acquisitions of their claims or interests acquired in the year prior to the filing of the bankruptcy case; (3) the amount paid; and (4) any subsequent sales of claims or interests."
"Chapter 11 proceedings have emerged as the preferred venue for mergers and acquisitions, where private investors quickly buy, trade, and break up companies. These investors may attempt to force a company into bankruptcy."What is this? Pretty Woman?
"The evolution of distressed investing has made a mockery of the underpinnings of our bankruptcy process, which is total transparency," said Deirdre Martini, a managing director at Wells Fargo Capital Finance and former U.S. Trustee, the government watchdog for cases in federal bankruptcy courts. Chapter 11 was created decades ago as a way to give ailing companies a chance to fix their balance sheets and operations, and reimburse supportive creditors as much as possible, she said."The bankruptcy code's focus was never intended to garner profits for distressed investors," she said.