Bankruptcy Filings


Near real-time filing alerts and comprehensive case summaries for chapter 11 bankruptcy filings across the U.S. with information on unsecured creditors, DIP financings and more.

Fri Jan 27, 2023 3:31 pm Bankruptcy Filings

5 Ways ML And SME Collaboration Can Accelerate Innovation

This article orginally appeared on forbes.com
When it comes to legal tech, the concept of AI has gained acceptance as initial concerns about “robot lawyers” replacing skilled litigators, or strategic negotiators have largely waned over the years. Key factors in a machine learning (ML) based solution’s overall success include the diligence followed in its development and the oversight employed by the humans who build and train it. As a disclosure, my own company, Reorg, uses ML to power our suite of credit intelligence, data and analytics products which are used by financial and legal professionals at leading investment banks, law firms, hedge funds and corporations. In this article, I will lay out five ways in which partnerships between data scientists and subject matter experts (SMEs) can accelerate innovation.

  1. Enjoy greater efficiency by leveraging natural language processing.
    One of the most challenging assignments faced by our team of covenant analysts at Reorg is the distillation of an Offering Memorandum (OM) into slick summaries for our legal, buyside and leveraged finance subscribers to consume. OMs are typically hundreds of pages long and filled with complex descriptions of high-yield bond terms and financial information.

Our SMEs partnered with our data scientists to develop a model that compares new OMs with all U.S. and European high-yield bond offerings since 2020 contained in Reorg’s library. This bond similarity tool is able to produce a list of bonds that are most similar to the new OM being analyzed and provide a numerical “grade” to express that similarity.

Reading through and synthesizing 400+ pages of an OM is a time-consuming task that requires concentration and fastidiousness. It could easily take an expert analyst several hours to ingest and interpret an OM. Using the natural language processing methods employed by our data science team, the bond similarity tool can locate the description of senior debt and senior secured debt notes, identify all subsections and financial covenants, extract the relevant sections and calculate a similarity score, typically within 10 minutes or less.

This helps our analysts and clients quickly surface OMs that they can rely on to understand market trends and anticipate any changes that may occur between the preliminary and final stages of bond issuance.

  1. Witness the network effects of building at scale.
    Models that can process large sums of data can quickly expand the scope of available information at an exponential rate. We at Reorg were able to increase our universe of OMs to nearly 1,000 in a matter of months. When the “control” dataset is smaller, it is challenging to differentiate dominant patterns from coincidental ones. Our bond library now sits in the 1,200 range, and as this denominator increases, we are able to better determine “what’s market” when it comes to specific provisions or industry trends.

For example, with the increased number of OMs available, we are able to isolate specific drafting language preferred by individual sponsor private equity firms. We can also make connections between those sponsors and the law firms they hire. As a result, once a new OM is announced, we can quickly ascertain how certain sub-sections might appear, given the sponsor and law firm attached to the deal. We can also compare those provisions to highly similar provisions in other OMs and anticipate the degree of pushback the new deal may face.

  1. Improve accuracy through the exchange of knowledge.
    In our case, we have recognized how crucial the role of SMEs is in developing the model to verify raw data, as they help our data scientists both understand the meaning behind our data as well as evaluate its usefulness. SMEs can suss out nuances in language and the importance of phrases that might not be readily apparent to a data scientist. For example, experts are regularly called upon to develop a list of aliases to ensure that edge cases are captured by a model.

An AI model built on higher-valued data will have more accurate results. SMEs can identify key deal provisions, consider the controlling jurisdiction of a drafter or isolate components that should be ignored. For example, our bond similarity model weights subsections that are riskier for creditors above those containing merely boilerplate language because SMEs highlighted the provisions of greater value when collaborating with data scientists.

  1. Accept the upfront investment and save in the long run.
    Developing data science models can be time-consuming and resource-draining. However, it is important to remember that the hours spent are a one-time cost that can soon be reimbursed by the hours saved in manual labor.

Additionally, depending on the type of model and feedback loop in action, the outputs can improve and evolve over time. Done well, the increased velocity and accuracy created by employing a data science solution should outweigh the original fixed costs associated with its inception.

  1. Develop a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
    A data science model built in the absence of expert oversight will be clunky and likely rife with errors. Conversely, a solution operated manually by an individual without the assistance of a technologist will be glacially slow and challenging to accomplish at scale.

An aligned, collaborative effort from both the data scientist’s tools and the SME’s perspective will overcome these difficulties and arrive at superior outcomes. By discussing the overall goals of the project at the outset, SMEs and data scientists can propose and test hypotheses that neither may have thought of alone. They can collaborate on best practices for achieving data cleanliness. They can also institute a common vocabulary and employ constant communication to ensure that objectives are aligned.

In Conclusion
Data scientists are technical experts with a deep understanding of how to develop AI solutions, while SMEs are practice-specific experts who appreciate the utilitarian applications of those solutions. The combination of these skill sets serves to generate outcomes that can improve accuracy, save time and drive innovation.

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Reorg Webinar: The Perfect Storm? Facing the Year Ahead in Asian Credit and Restructuring
Fri Jan 6, 2023 4:33 pm Bankruptcy Filings  Financial Restructuring

What lies ahead in 2023 in Asian restructuring and where are the opportunities for investors?

Asia’s high-yield market in 2022 was hit by multiple defaults in China’s real estate sector. “Three Red Lines”, frozen escrow accounts, follow-on LMEs, and opaque onshore restructuring processes, all contributed to substantial losses in Asian high-yield markets.

But the world’s second-largest economy is now emerging from a three-year Covid lockdown, with the government hinting at business-friendly policies, and greater support for the property market. Will it stem fund outflows from the region? Will high-yield bond markets ever return to their previous size? What are the restructuring trends, and where are the next set of credit opportunities in Asia?

Join Reorg – along with a panel of expert guests from Dechert, Latham & Watkins and Rothschild & Co – for a discussion of what we can expect this coming year in the Asian credit markets. 

Panelists:

  • Stephen Aldred, Reorg, (moderator) 
  • Benjamin Fang, Rothschild & Co
  • Howard Lam, Latham & Watkins
  • Yang Zhao, Dechert

Webinar details:

  • When:  Wednesday, Jan. 11, 4 p.m. HKT / 8 a.m. GMT
  • Registration: To register for the webinar, click HERE.
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Year in Review — Americas Webinars 2022

Throughout the year, Reorg hosts webinars bringing together industry professionals to discuss themes in the performing, distressed, restructuring and post-reorg credit markets. Reorg’s webinars cover topical credits and industry updates. They’re produced by our reporters and analysts with selected external guests.

Americas Webinars from 2022:

  1. Primary in the Eye of the Storm: Challenges and Opportunities in Leveraged Finance in a Downturn
  2. Hot Topics in Crypto Winter
  3. Winter Came for Covid-Era Darlings? – Distress in Crypto and Tech
  4. Bausch’s Remedies for Potential Patent Defeat & Creditor Angst Over B+L Spin
  5. Puerto Rico’s Restructuring Endgame and Beyond
  6. Revlon – Chapter 11 Cases and Creditor Disputes
  7. CLO Considerations for Distressed Investors
  8. Diebold Nixdorf: Can Significant Unencumbered Assets Overcome Massive Maturity Wall?
  9. Talen Energy Chapter 11 Filing
  10. The Texas Two-Step: LTL J&J Chapter 11 and Likely Future Filings
  11. Samarco – Testing Brazil’s Bankruptcy Reform
  12. Loan Market Trends in 2021 from Americas Covenants
  13. No Surprises Act Rollout: Implementation and Litigation Challenges Ahead

If you would like to be panelist on our upcoming webinars, please contact marketing@reorg.com, and if you would like to be notified for the upcoming webinars, sign up for Reorg on the Record.

Request a trial here.

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Following BlockFi Bankruptcy Case Summary
Tue Dec 6, 2022 3:20 pm Bankruptcy Filings  Distressed Debt

Reorg’s First Day team continues to follow the growing number of cryptocurrency companies in distress, including FTX, Celsius and Voyager. The newest joiner to this group, BlockFi, a Jersey City, N.J.-based provider of crypto exchange services, and several affiliates filed chapter 11 petitions today reporting $1 billion to $10 billion in both assets and liabilities. In addition to its exchange offerings, BlockFi also functions as a crypto bank, offering loan services and interest-bearing accounts to retail and institutional clients.

Following the “collapse of FTX, the BlockFi management team and board of directors immediately took action to protect clients and the Company,” says Mark Renzi of Berkeley Research Group in the company’s press release issued contemporaneously with the bankruptcy filing this morning. The debtors state that they enter bankruptcy with approximately $256.5 million of unencumbered cash and anticipate that this cash “will be sufficient to fund the costs” of the chapter 11 cases, indicating that they do not intend to seek approval of DIP financing “at this time.” As detailed below, the BlockFi debtors take pains in their first day papers to distinguish their corporate governance and operating procedures from those that have come to light in the FTX cases.

Read the full article.

The Reorg team continues to follow developments in the cryptocurrency space. Check out our recent webinar and podcast episodes. Reorg also provides updates via our live blog platform, which can be accessed through the live blog portal. To learn how to get access, request a trial.

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FTX Bankruptcy: First Day Highlights
Fri Nov 25, 2022 3:51 pm Bankruptcy Filings

The FTX Group chapter 11 debtors made their first bankruptcy court appearance before Delaware Bankruptcy Judge John T. Dorsey earlier this week. Reorg’s First Day team covered the hearing via our Live Blog platform. The Securities Commission of The Bahamas issued a statement regarding “certain remarks” made by the FTX Group debtors at their first day hearing on Tuesday “in connection with the motion to transfer the venue of FTX Digital Markets’ chapter 15 proceedings.

James L. Bromley of Sullivan & Cromwell said this background resulted in “one of the most difficult collapses in corporate America and in the world.” He added that Binance’s divestiture from FTX would have to be “investigated.”

Bromley characterized FTX as operating as the “personal fiefdom” of Bankman-Fried, remarking that there was a “lack of corporate controls that no-one in this profession has ever seen.” Among the resulting issues Bromley discussed were “substantial” transfers of funds to Alameda from the other FTX entities, which were utilized for investments unrelated to FTX’s business, including the purchase of over $300 million of Bahamian real estate.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the court set a second day hearing for Jan. 11, 2023, at 10 a.m. ET, and Judge Dorsey directed the parties to confer on the scheduling of a recognition hearing in the FTX Digital Markets’ chapter 15 case. Prior to the hearing, the Bahamian joint provisional liquidators for FTX DM cleared a hurdle for the cases by consenting to the FTX Group debtors’ motion to transfer the chapter 15 venue, pending in the Southern District of New York, to Delaware for combined administration before Judge Dorsey. Going forward, the commission says that it will “continue to evaluate the situation” and “act in accordance with directions issued by the Supreme Court of The Bahamas.”

Reorg is continuing to follow the FTX bankruptcy, as well as other notable cryptocurrency companies Voyager Digital and Celsius Network. To keep up with our coverage in these developing bankruptcy litigations, request a demo today.

For more of Reorg’s cryptocurrency coverage, watch our recent webinar and listen to the Americas Core Credit weekly podcast.

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Reorg Webinar Series: Hot Topics in Crypto Winter
Tue Nov 22, 2022 8:30 pm Bankruptcy Filings  Financial Restructuring

In the latest installment of our Americas webinar series, Reorg’s editorial team, in collaboration with our expert panel discussed novel issues raised in recent cryptocurrency bankruptcy filings.

The discussion provided a background overview of the state of the crypto industry and reviewed the trajectory of the ongoing reorganizations of cryptocurrency exchanges Voyager Digital and Celsius Network. Also covered were legal issues relating to the valuation and ownership of cryptocurrency assets, and what’s next in crypto restructurings and regulation.

 
Reorg’s Ellen Schneider and Mike Legge moderated a discussion with:

  • Jeff Dorman, the chief investment officer at Arca, an asset management firm that invests in digital assets; 
  • J.R. Smith, a partner with Hunton Andrews Kurth; and
  • Vincent Indelicato, a partner with Proskauer Rose.  

Watch the full replay now, and visit our events and webinars page to see what’s next

To see more of Reorg’s coverage on cryptocurrency, bankruptcy and FTX, listen to the podcast.

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Reorg’s Recent EMEA Webinar Replays

Throughout the year, Reorg hosts webinars bringing together industry professionals to discuss themes in the performing, distressed, restructuring and post-reorg credit markets. View a selection from our EMEA Core Credit team here.

Houst RP Binds Dissenting HMRC – Where Next for SME Restructuring Plans?

Reorg’s Shan Qureshi hosted a webinar covering the first use of the Part 26A Restructuring Plan in the SME market by Houst Ltd. with the advisors on the deal.

The panel discussed “cross-class cramdown” with respect to the U.K. tax authority and explored the interaction between the allocation of a “restructuring surplus” and the “relevant alternative” order of priorities.

Our group of experts also discussed how the English court is becoming pragmatic when it comes to SMEs using the restructuring plan and where we may see more creative deals in the future.

View the recording here.


European Primary Update – What to Expect When the Market Reopens.

The European leveraged finance market enjoyed a blistering start to the year, notching up record issuance levels, fueled by healthy inflows and the market putting on reopening trades.

While market participants expect the torrent of new issues to resume post the August break, a number of potential headwinds loom, such as the tapering of central banks’ asset purchases amid rising inflation, major supply chain disruptions which are increasingly disrupting certain industries as well as the potential risk of winter lockdowns if Covid-19 rates spike again.

In this webinar, Reorg along with high-yield bond and loan investors, looked at the outlook for the European primary leveraged finance markets in the second half, discussing these potential risks, some of the key trends in primary markets and how they expect the rest of the year to shape up
View the recording here.


National Interest Insolvencies – Should these be for the State to Manage?

Over the last few years there have been four large national interest insolvency cases which have gone into compulsory liquidation with The Official Receiver and special managers appointed. In this webinar, our panelists – from Ashurst, EY and The Insolvency Service – discussed if compulsory liquidation is fit for purpose for these big complicated, national interest insolvencies. We also examined the factors pushing these cases into public sector insolvencies rather than private administration.

View the recording here.

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According to nearly 70 percent of leading academic economists polled by the Financial Times, the U.S. economy will tip into a recession next year. With the distressed debt warning climbing, restructuring and leveraged finance professionals should be aware of Reorg’s Restructuring Risk Index (RRRI) and how it can serve their business strategies.

The RRRI is a proprietary numerical indicator that reflects the probability of any U.S. public company filing for bankruptcy. Leveraging Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), the RRRI classifies and extracts data from publicly available documents and press releases to identify patterns and provide a scoring mechanism to predict bankruptcy. The model is trained off of Reorg’s unique historical database of in- and out-of-court restructuring events and all public disclosures leading up to those restructuring events.

Available exclusively through Credit Cloud. Learn more.

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First Day by Reorg: 2022 Chapter 11 Filings by Month
Tue Sep 6, 2022 2:50 pm Bankruptcy Filings

Reorg’s First Day team provides timely alerts and expert analysis of new chapter 11 cases.

Each Wednesday, the First Day team publishes a weekly wrap of high-level analysis on chapter 11 filing trends. The following extract is from the weekly wrap dated September 2, 2022 —

This week is the sixth consecutive week to include a billion-dollar chapter 11 filing – this time from automotive and LED lighting manufacturer Lumileds, bringing the year-to-date count of chapter 11s involving at least $1 billion in liabilities to 15, including nine in Q3, with nearly a full month remaining in the quarter.

August concluded with 23 cases for the month, making it the second busiest month of the year behind only June, which recorded 30 cases. The counts per month are shown below, broken down by sector:

To see more of our teams work, watch the 2021 Chapter 11 Filings, A Year in Review webinar replay.

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First Day Weekly: July Has Back-to-Back Weeks of Billion-Dollar Chapter 11 Filings
Fri Jul 15, 2022 12:57 pm Bankruptcy Filings  Distressed Debt

This week’s chapter 11 cases included a filing from asphalt construction company Premier Paving Ltd., extending 2022’s spike in industrials sector filings, stemming primarily from the construction subsector. The wave of cryptocurrency cases also continued this week, with a filing from Celsius Network, following filings earlier in July of the chapter 11 case of Voyager Digital and the chapter 15 of defunct cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. Also this week, GenapSys, which has developed a “novel method” for DNA sequencing, filed to run a sale process after it stopped selling its DNA benchtop sequencer and offered refunds because of “inherent design flaws.”

Celsius Network, a cryptocurrency finance platform and lender that claims over 1.7 million users worldwide, filed chapter 11 to stabilize its business and consummate a “comprehensive restructuring transaction.” Without an RSA in hand, the company intends to fund postpetition operations using cash on hand, which “will provide ample liquidity to support certain operations during the restructuring process.” The company explained in a press release that it paused customer account withdrawals on June 12 because “without a pause, the acceleration of withdrawals would have allowed certain customers – those who were first to act – to be paid in full while leaving others behind to wait for Celsius to harvest value from illiquid or longer-term asset deployment activities before they receive a recovery.”

The company says its stabilization and restructuring pursuits would allow Celsius to “emerge from chapter 11 positioned for success in the cryptocurrency industry.” Celsius adds that as a result of the company’s asset-preservation strategies, it holds approximately $4.3 billion in assets and $780 million in “non-user liabilities” as of the petition date.

The debtors say that after “early success,” the “amount of digital assets on the Company’s platform grew faster than the Company was prepared to deploy,” causing the company to make “what, in hindsight, proved to be certain poor asset deployment decisions,” some of which the debtors say “took time to unwind” and “left the Company with disproportional liabilities when measured against the unprecedented market declines.” Despite the company’s efforts to unwind these asset deployments, “unfortunately, the damage was done,” the debtors say. In addition, the debtors face “other unanticipated losses,” including a private lender’s inability to return the company’s collateral when Celsius attempted to repay a loan in July 2021. According to the declaration, this resulted in the company holding an uncollateralized claim against its lender in the amount of about $509 million after setting off its own loan obligations.

Celsius is the year’s ninth chapter 11 involving more than $1 billion in liabilities and the month of July’s third. Out of the year’s nine, six have filed in the last 45 days:

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