Financial Restructuring & Insolvency Law - White & Case

Financial Restructuring & Insolvency

Clients who appoint us on financial restructuring and insolvency matters want a recognized leader in complex cross-border insolvencies and workouts. Our practice represents clients in all aspects of restructurings, workouts and insolvency matters, including both transactional and litigation matters. We regularly represent multinational corporations in simultaneous proceedings in virtually every corner of the world.

The industry magazine The Deal has ranked White & Case as the number one restructuring team globally for seven consecutive years.

Unmatched problem solving and strategic thinking

Our practice's approach is to develop a sound strategic understanding of each client’s circumstances upfront, as quickly as possible. We have built a reputation for being aggressive and creative on behalf of our diverse clients across the board, not waiting for others to act, but forcing others to react to what we are doing for our clients. We are the go-to team for clients in deep trouble who need a law firm to hit the ground running–and to represent them with passion and tenacity.

 

AWARDS

#1 in Global Bankruptcy for seven years in a row
The Deal Bankruptcy League Tables 2013

"Standout" recognition for work advising Roust Trading Ltd. in restructuring Central European Distribution Corporation
Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Rankings 2013

Restructuring Deal of the Year
TORM A/S and General Maritime (jointly)
Marine Money 2012

Restructuring Law Firm of the Year
The M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards 2011

"White & Case has a better ability than any other firm to represent both debtors as well as creditors in restructuring cases."
The Legal 500 United States (client quote)

Central European Distribution Corporation
We advised Roust Trading Ltd. (RTL), owner of Russian Standard Vodka, in a multijurisdictional restructuring under which RTL invested in and ultimately acquired US holding company Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC), a leading spirits producer/distributor in Russia, Poland and Hungary.

Leveraging our US, Russia, Poland and UK offices, we quickly designed creative solutions to the many cross-border challenges related to operations, asset locations, liens and capital structure. A US$50 million secured loan from RTL provided liquidity and investment protection. Within two months, we negotiated chapter 11 support agreements with every major creditor; an overwhelming majority accepted the plan. Only 59 days after filing its petitions, CEDC was able to restructure.

These surgical steps allowed the restructuring of US$1.3 billion of notes and eliminated US$665 million of CEDC's debt, enabling the company's survival. RTL's acquisition elevated it to the world's second-largest vodka producer.

Bank of Ireland
Bold approach results in par plus accrued interest on claims for bondholders

We represented a group with €300 million in subordinated bondholders' claims against the Bank of Ireland in its bankruptcy. Overcoming significant challenges, the group ended up getting par plus accrued interest on their claims.

Innovation was required to succeed. Negotiations with the Irish Minister for Finance were attempted. When that failed, a lawsuit was filed in the UK against the Irish government, arguing that the government couldn't come into a nonstate-owned bank and unilaterally determine the disposal of debt in an Irish insolvency proceeding, especially when the bonds were denominated in pounds and controlled by UK laws.

The Irish Minister of Finance threatened a subordinated liability order (SLO) that would have wiped out the bondholders. Ultimately, in large part due to the strategic position staked out by the UK lawsuit, the Minister agreed not to implement an SLO, and our clients benefited from our approach.  We ended up getting this ad hoc group par plus accrued interest on their claims.

ResCap/Ally Financial
Proactive stance nets investors paid-in-full claim plus US$125 million in post-petition interest

In the ResCap chapter 11 cases, an investor group (junior secured noteholders) holding more than US$1 billion in secured bonds from the company engaged us to proactively represent their interests. We represented the group in all aspects of the proceedings, which began in May 2012 and concluded in December 2013.

When the ResCap debtors and creditors committee proposed a plan that would pay the noteholders in full regarding their pre-petition claim, but no post-petition interest, we undertook a significant and complex litigation to determine the amount of post-petition interest owed to our client. After a lengthy trial, we negotiated a settlement that awarded them more than US$125 million in post-petition interest.

PrimaCom
Groundbreaking use of English law scheme of arrangement for German company

We advised PrimaCom Holding GmbH (PrimaCom), a leading cable, high-speed Internet and telephony provider in Germany, in its most recent financial restructuring, achieved using an English law scheme of arrangement following the stakeholders' inability to reach a consensual deal.

The restructuring marked the first time that an English High Court ruled that it could sanction a scheme of arrangement for an overseas company where a majority of the company's creditors (in PrimaCom's case, all creditors) were located outside the UK.

As a result of the High Court's landmark decision, overseas companies like PrimaCom now can take advantage of English law schemes of arrangement and have them sanctioned by English courts, even though the majority or even all the creditors involved are domiciled outside the UK.

Wind Hellas
Unprecedented mix of multijurisdictional restructuring tools results in successful €1.8 billion restructuring

With the €1.8 billion restructuring of Wind Hellas, a Greek telecommunications operator, we used a mix of multijurisdictional restructuring tools. Measures included shifting the "center of main interests" of five entities from Luxembourg to the UK to capitalize on more flexible insolvency laws. The largest-ever UK prepack removed more than €1.2 billion of subordinated debt from the capital senior secured notes, facilitating the broader restructuring. A subsequent restructuring was effected via an English law scheme of arrangement, a US Chapter 15 filing and prepackaged administrations.

The restructuring gave Wind Hellas a sustainable capital structure. Approximately €1.8 billion of debt was eliminated and Wind Hellas's senior secured creditors took over the company, exchanging €1.22 billion of senior secured notes for 10 percent of the restructured equity. They then subscribed to the remaining 90 percent with a €420 million additional offering, the largest foreign direct investment in Greece since the country's financial crisis.

Tabreed
Integrated Abu Dhabi/London team helps achieve Middle East restructuring

Lawyers from our Abu Dhabi and London offices worked together to successfully represent a coordinating committee of lenders to National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed) in its restructuring of approximately AED 2.8 billion (US$1.36 billion) of debt. Tabreed is an Abu Dhabi-based utility company and the largest district cooling provider in the world.

The restructuring involved both leading Middle Eastern and international banks, a mixture of conventional and Islamic financial products and Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi government. We advised our clients to agree on a consensual restructuring of Tabreed under which Tabreed agreed to repay the debt in full, with extra time to do so. The restructuring also involved an injection of funds into Tabreed by Mubadala.

Vinashin
First-ever use of English law scheme of arrangement in Vietnam keeps shipbuilder afloat

When restructurings occur in emerging economies, often little precedent exists for innovative approaches. Clients in such situations need experienced guidance in both local and international aspects of the restructuring. We were able to provide that to the steering committee of the lenders of a US$600 million loan to state-owned Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin) on the restructuring of its debt, after Vinashin defaulted on the loan. We guided our clients through Vinashin's use of an English law scheme of arrangement, a first for a Vietnamese company, in restructuring the loan.

Sanctioned by the High Court of England, the scheme maintained repayment of the loan principal in full, created a readily tradable instrument enabling lenders to cash out early and had payment supported by a Vietnamese government guarantee.

Financial Restructuring & Insolvency
About

Clients who appoint us on financial restructuring and insolvency matters want a recognized leader in complex cross-border insolvencies and workouts. Our practice represents clients in all aspects of restructurings, workouts and insolvency matters, including both transactional and litigation matters. We regularly represent multinational corporations in simultaneous proceedings in virtually every corner of the world.

The industry magazine The Deal has ranked White & Case as the number one restructuring team globally for seven consecutive years.

Unmatched problem solving and strategic thinking

Our practice's approach is to develop a sound strategic understanding of each client’s circumstances upfront, as quickly as possible. We have built a reputation for being aggressive and creative on behalf of our diverse clients across the board, not waiting for others to act, but forcing others to react to what we are doing for our clients. We are the go-to team for clients in deep trouble who need a law firm to hit the ground running–and to represent them with passion and tenacity.

 

AWARDS

#1 in Global Bankruptcy for seven years in a row
The Deal Bankruptcy League Tables 2013

"Standout" recognition for work advising Roust Trading Ltd. in restructuring Central European Distribution Corporation
Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Rankings 2013

Restructuring Deal of the Year
TORM A/S and General Maritime (jointly)
Marine Money 2012

Restructuring Law Firm of the Year
The M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards 2011

"White & Case has a better ability than any other firm to represent both debtors as well as creditors in restructuring cases."
The Legal 500 United States (client quote)

Experience

Central European Distribution Corporation
We advised Roust Trading Ltd. (RTL), owner of Russian Standard Vodka, in a multijurisdictional restructuring under which RTL invested in and ultimately acquired US holding company Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC), a leading spirits producer/distributor in Russia, Poland and Hungary.

Leveraging our US, Russia, Poland and UK offices, we quickly designed creative solutions to the many cross-border challenges related to operations, asset locations, liens and capital structure. A US$50 million secured loan from RTL provided liquidity and investment protection. Within two months, we negotiated chapter 11 support agreements with every major creditor; an overwhelming majority accepted the plan. Only 59 days after filing its petitions, CEDC was able to restructure.

These surgical steps allowed the restructuring of US$1.3 billion of notes and eliminated US$665 million of CEDC's debt, enabling the company's survival. RTL's acquisition elevated it to the world's second-largest vodka producer.

Bank of Ireland
Bold approach results in par plus accrued interest on claims for bondholders

We represented a group with €300 million in subordinated bondholders' claims against the Bank of Ireland in its bankruptcy. Overcoming significant challenges, the group ended up getting par plus accrued interest on their claims.

Innovation was required to succeed. Negotiations with the Irish Minister for Finance were attempted. When that failed, a lawsuit was filed in the UK against the Irish government, arguing that the government couldn't come into a nonstate-owned bank and unilaterally determine the disposal of debt in an Irish insolvency proceeding, especially when the bonds were denominated in pounds and controlled by UK laws.

The Irish Minister of Finance threatened a subordinated liability order (SLO) that would have wiped out the bondholders. Ultimately, in large part due to the strategic position staked out by the UK lawsuit, the Minister agreed not to implement an SLO, and our clients benefited from our approach.  We ended up getting this ad hoc group par plus accrued interest on their claims.

ResCap/Ally Financial
Proactive stance nets investors paid-in-full claim plus US$125 million in post-petition interest

In the ResCap chapter 11 cases, an investor group (junior secured noteholders) holding more than US$1 billion in secured bonds from the company engaged us to proactively represent their interests. We represented the group in all aspects of the proceedings, which began in May 2012 and concluded in December 2013.

When the ResCap debtors and creditors committee proposed a plan that would pay the noteholders in full regarding their pre-petition claim, but no post-petition interest, we undertook a significant and complex litigation to determine the amount of post-petition interest owed to our client. After a lengthy trial, we negotiated a settlement that awarded them more than US$125 million in post-petition interest.

PrimaCom
Groundbreaking use of English law scheme of arrangement for German company

We advised PrimaCom Holding GmbH (PrimaCom), a leading cable, high-speed Internet and telephony provider in Germany, in its most recent financial restructuring, achieved using an English law scheme of arrangement following the stakeholders' inability to reach a consensual deal.

The restructuring marked the first time that an English High Court ruled that it could sanction a scheme of arrangement for an overseas company where a majority of the company's creditors (in PrimaCom's case, all creditors) were located outside the UK.

As a result of the High Court's landmark decision, overseas companies like PrimaCom now can take advantage of English law schemes of arrangement and have them sanctioned by English courts, even though the majority or even all the creditors involved are domiciled outside the UK.

Wind Hellas
Unprecedented mix of multijurisdictional restructuring tools results in successful €1.8 billion restructuring

With the €1.8 billion restructuring of Wind Hellas, a Greek telecommunications operator, we used a mix of multijurisdictional restructuring tools. Measures included shifting the "center of main interests" of five entities from Luxembourg to the UK to capitalize on more flexible insolvency laws. The largest-ever UK prepack removed more than €1.2 billion of subordinated debt from the capital senior secured notes, facilitating the broader restructuring. A subsequent restructuring was effected via an English law scheme of arrangement, a US Chapter 15 filing and prepackaged administrations.

The restructuring gave Wind Hellas a sustainable capital structure. Approximately €1.8 billion of debt was eliminated and Wind Hellas's senior secured creditors took over the company, exchanging €1.22 billion of senior secured notes for 10 percent of the restructured equity. They then subscribed to the remaining 90 percent with a €420 million additional offering, the largest foreign direct investment in Greece since the country's financial crisis.

Tabreed
Integrated Abu Dhabi/London team helps achieve Middle East restructuring

Lawyers from our Abu Dhabi and London offices worked together to successfully represent a coordinating committee of lenders to National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed) in its restructuring of approximately AED 2.8 billion (US$1.36 billion) of debt. Tabreed is an Abu Dhabi-based utility company and the largest district cooling provider in the world.

The restructuring involved both leading Middle Eastern and international banks, a mixture of conventional and Islamic financial products and Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi government. We advised our clients to agree on a consensual restructuring of Tabreed under which Tabreed agreed to repay the debt in full, with extra time to do so. The restructuring also involved an injection of funds into Tabreed by Mubadala.

Vinashin
First-ever use of English law scheme of arrangement in Vietnam keeps shipbuilder afloat

When restructurings occur in emerging economies, often little precedent exists for innovative approaches. Clients in such situations need experienced guidance in both local and international aspects of the restructuring. We were able to provide that to the steering committee of the lenders of a US$600 million loan to state-owned Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin) on the restructuring of its debt, after Vinashin defaulted on the loan. We guided our clients through Vinashin's use of an English law scheme of arrangement, a first for a Vietnamese company, in restructuring the loan.

Sanctioned by the High Court of England, the scheme maintained repayment of the loan principal in full, created a readily tradable instrument enabling lenders to cash out early and had payment supported by a Vietnamese government guarantee.