White & Case Deal Wins M&A Advisor's Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year Award; Thomas Lauria Wins 2014 Leadership Award
White & Case advised on the deal that won the "Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (over US$1 billion)" award at the M&A Advisor Distressed Investing Summit in Palm Beach, Florida. The reorganization transaction involved Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC), a leading producer and distributor of spirits in Russia, Poland and Hungary. We advised Roust Trading Ltd. (RTL), the owner of Russian Standard Vodka, in architecting a multijurisdictional restructuring under which RTL would invest in and ultimately acquire CEDC.
CEDC was a US holding company. With its Eastern European operating subsidiaries, CEDC had more than US$1.5 billion of US dollar-, euro- and Russian ruble-denominated obligations governed by US, UK, Russian and Polish law. After a series of difficult deals had been negotiated with, and approved by, the requisite majorities of CEDC's largely European bondholders, the transaction was implemented through CEDC's chapter 11 filing in Delaware. The prepackaged plan, approved by the Delaware Bankruptcy Court just over one month after CEDC's filing, eliminated approximately US$665 million of debt from CEDC's balance sheet, avoided the risks associated with potential insolvency proceedings for CEDC's foreign operations and delivered 100 percent ownership to RTL, which is now the world’s second-largest vodka producer.
In addition, White & Case partner Thomas Lauria (Miami/New York) was presented with the "M&A Advisor's 2014 Leadership Award" for his accomplishments in financial restructuring and bankruptcy legal advice. In addition to leading the reorganization of CEDC, Lauria has advised on reorganizations involving LightSquared, Dynegy, Bank of Ireland, the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, Torm and General Maritime.