Financial Restructuring and Insolvency
In an unprecedented year, we helped our clients change tack, survive and prosper
Major airport services restructuring and recapitalization
We advised Swissport, the world’s leading provider of airport ground services and air cargo handling, on its comprehensive restructuring and recapitalization. Our cross-practice deal team advised on a transaction that reset the group’s balance sheet and brought in significant additional investment. Swissport’s financial restructuring was effective from December 21, 2020 and, as part of a debt-for-equity swap, ownership of the group was transferred to a group of global financial investors.
The debt-for-equity swap was facilitated by an English law scheme of arrangement and a pre-packaged sale of the Swissport business out of an English administration. This followed Swissport’s initial scheme of arrangement earlier in the year that enabled the borrowing for a €300 million super-senior interim facility. Each of the schemes was supported by a chapter 15 recognition order from the US Bankruptcy Court.
The restructuring provided Swissport with a delevered and strengthened balance sheet by addressing approximately €1.9 billion of existing debt, and left the business with improved liquidity with which to withstand the ongoing challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Swissport employed approximately 65,000 people pre-crisis and is active at 298 airports in 47 countries on six continents.View the press release here.
Fashion company insolvency
We advised ESPRIT on its debtor-in-possession (DIP) insolvency proceedings in Germany. As supervisor appointed by the Düsseldorf court, we protected the positions of creditors and ensured that the rules of the DIP process were followed by all parties. The six German ESPRIT companies were working through six separate insolvency plans, coordinated among supervisor White & Case, the management and the respective creditor committees.
Argentine debt restructuring
We advised the Ad Hoc Argentine Bondholder Group, the largest group of the Republic of Argentina bondholders, in the successful restructuring of approximately US$64 billion of the country’s external debt. The group comprised major institutional investors who collectively held in excess of US$17 billion of Argentina’s bonds. This is the largest and most high-profile sovereign debt restructuring in recent years. Following an exchange offer and consent solicitation, the matter successfully settled on September 4, 2020. The restructuring terms provide Argentina with additional resources to help the government address the challenges the country faces while preserving bondholder value. View the press release here.
Garrett Motion chapter 11 proceedings
Manufacturing & industrial
We advised the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the chapter 11 cases of Garrett Motion Inc., a global auto parts manufacturer, and its affiliated debtors. The Committee represents the interests of all unsecured creditors of Garrett in the bankruptcy proceeding and is tasked with monitoring, evaluating and protecting the rights of all unsecured creditors throughout the case. This is a complex cross-border restructuring of more than US$1.68 billion of funded indebtedness, where the Committee advised by White & Case represents a diverse array of unsecured creditors across multiple jurisdictions.
Support for largest shareholder in GNC bankruptcy
We advised Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co., Ltd. as the largest shareholder of GNC Holdings Inc., the nutritional supplements retailer, on Harbin’s acquisition of GNC’s business out of chapter 11. GNC was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many of GNC’s stores to close. The sale of GNC’s assets to Harbin was approved by the court on September 18, 2020. Throughout the case, White & Case advised Harbin with respect to chapter 11, M&A, banking, tax and other issues throughout multiple jurisdictions.
We advised a group of revolving credit facility (RCF) debtholders, comprising banking institutions and investment funds, on the financial restructuring of Europcar Group and its subsequent accelerated financial safeguard (sauvegarde financière accélérée) in respect of the full refinancing of the €670 million RCF. The refinancing was achieved through the granting to Europcar Mobility Group and other relevant entities within the group of a €170 million revolving credit facility and a €500 million term loan facility.
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