Bankruptcy News Makers

 
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    Emerging Markets Restructuring Journal Released

    Cleary Gottlieb announced the release of the fifth edition of The Emerging Markets Restructuring Journal, a publication that was founded by Cleary Gottlieb lawyers and focuses on emerging markets restructuring law and practice. The fifth issue begins with an article discussing the keys to minimizing FCPA risk when doing business in Brazil, which takes on particular importance in the wake of the Lava Jato investigation. Two contributions focus on new legislation - one evaluating the impact of Chile's 2014 law that created a new in-court reorganization option for debtors and the other previewing new legislation in the Netherlands that would allow debtors to bind holdout creditors without commencing a formal insolvency proceeding. This issue also includes contributions focusing on new distressed opportunities in Ukraine, recent updates in the International Bank of Azerbaijan's Chapter 15 proceeding in the United States, a case study of an unsuccessful attempt in Nigeria to restructure a major telecommunications company via a debt-to-equity conversion and analysis of the Dana Gas dispute that is testing the limitations of Islamic Sharia-compliant bonds (sukuk). Finally, Cleary Gottlieb closes this issue with a contribution discussing the Crystallex/PDVSA litigation that will have important implications on Venezuela's restructuring. The latest edition of The Emerging Markets Restructuring Journal can be viewed here: https://www.clearygottlieb.com/news-and-insights/publication-listing/emrj-issue-no-5-winter-2017 .

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    Houlihan Lokey Acquisition Announced, Managing Director Added

    Houlihan Lokey, Inc. announced that it has agreed to acquire Quayle Munro Limited, an independent advisory firm that provides corporate finance advisory services to companies underpinned by data & analytics, content, software, and services. The agreement is expected to close following regulatory approvals. Quayle Munro was founded in 1983 and is based in London with a team of 40 financial professionals. Its client list spans the globe and includes private and publicly listed companies, financial sponsors and entrepreneurs. In addition to the Data & Analytics Group, which covers a broad range of sectors, Quayle Munro also has market-leading advisory practices in financial services, financial technology, and education. The Quayle Munro business adds a new capability in data & analytics, expands Houlihan Lokey's financial institutions focus in Europe and builds the firm's presence in financial technology and education. The Data & Analytics Group will continue to be headed by Andrew Adams, Quayle Munro's C.E.O., who will also serve as Co-Head of Houlihan Lokey's U.K. Corporate Finance business. Separately, Houlihan Lokey also announced that Steffen Leckert has joined the firm as a Managing Director in Corporate Finance. He is based in Frankfurt, Germany and will focus on the industrials sector. Leckert joins from Lincoln International, where he was a Managing Director and Head of Industrials and Corporate Coverage in the DACH region. His previous experience also includes serving as Head of Industrials and Automotive Coverage at Mediobanca and Head of Automotive Suppliers for the EMEA region at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Leckert began his career at Baring Brothers in 1993.

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    Clear Thinking Group Promotion Announced

    Clear Thinking Group LLC announced the promotion of Patrick Diercks to Partner. Diercks has over 13 years of experience as a consultant in the turnaround and restructuring arena, focusing primarily on consumer product manufacturing/distribution and retail companies. He has been retained to assist clients with the preparation and analysis of business plans, financial statements, cash flow reporting and forecasting, collateral analysis and monitoring, out of court wind-downs, refinancing, organizational restructuring, labor standards development and POS implementation/training. Diercks has provided services to the debtor within the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process - including the preparation of cash collateral forecasts, DIP budgets, claims analysis, asset analysis and recovery and estate wind-down activities - and has also been retained by multiple bankruptcy estate trustees post confirmation. Additionally, he has performed interim senior management roles including operations, finance, logistics, customer service, distribution, and inventory control. Diercks is a Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor through AIRA and has a bachelor's degree in Finance from Florida State University.

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    King & Spalding Partner Added

    King & Spalding announced that Bradley T. Giordano has joined as a Partner in the Chicago, IL office. Giordano will bolster the firm's Financial Restructuring practice and will serve a key role in expanding the firm's recently opened Chicago office. Giordano represents debtors, creditors, equity sponsors and strategic investors in all aspects of in-court and out-of-court restructurings. In addition to company-side representations, he advises credit and private equity fund clients on strategic acquisitions or dispositions of distressed assets. He joins from Kirkland & Ellis, where he was a Partner. Giordano joins his former Partner Jeffrey D. Pawlitz who is based in New York, NY and joined King & Spalding in June 2016 from Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago. Giordano received his undergraduate degree from DePauw University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Giordano is the fifth Partner to join King & Spalding's Chicago, IL office since it launched in September 2017. He follows the addition of Zachary Fardon, Patrick Collins, Jade Lambert and Patrick Otlewski, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, who joined earlier this month.

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    BankruptcyData C.E.O. Named

    New Generation Research - publisher of The Turnaround Letter, BankruptcyData and other bankruptcy and distressed securities-related publications - announced that James Hammond has joined the company as C.E.O. Hammond, who will be based in the company's Quincy, MA headquarters, has extensive experience building and selling products in the niche publishing and electronic business information industries. Hammond joins New Generation Research from emerging markets business news provider BNE Intellinews, where he was a Publisher and C.E.O. Prior to BNE IntelliNews, Hammond served as E.V.P. of Product and Marketing for Euromoney Institutional Investor's EMIS service (fka ISI Emerging Markets). Hammond received his MSM (1996) from Hult International Business School in Cambridge, MA and BA, Philosophy (1987) from Columbia University in the City of New York and also serves on the Investment Committee of non-profit financial advisory services provider Lowell, Blake & Associates.

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    Zolfo Cooper Promotions Announced

    Zolfo Cooper announced promotions of its professional staff, including the appointment of a new Managing Director, Frank Pometti, to its senior management ranks. Most recently, Pometti served as C.R.O. of a West Virginia-based oil and gas company in its successful out-of-court restructuring. He has advised clients across a spectrum of industries and situations including the following roles: financial advisor to ETX Energy (formerly New Gulf Energy), deputy C.R.O. of Milagro Exploration, financial advisor to the secured creditors of Aquilex, and financial advisor to the official committee of retired employees of American Airlines. Pometti began his tenure in 2009 as part of the Zolfo Cooper team leading the balance sheet and retail business model restructuring of Samsonite. Promoted to Senior Director are Ray Li, Denise Lorenzo and Scott Martinez. Recently, Li advised ModSpace, the largest U.S.-owned provider of modular buildings, through its consensual restructuring. Lorenzo has been assisting $3.2 billion global technology company Avaya in its successful restructuring, while Martinez has been advising the unsecured creditors committee in the complex restructuring of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In addition, three individuals have been named Directors: Eric Deichmann, Andrew Ralph and Adam Searles. Most recently, Deichmann has advised the UCC of Puerto Rico and Light Tower Rentals. Ralph has advised Avaya and Sabine Oil and Gas, winner of the 2017 TMA Large Company Transaction of the Year Award. Searles has also advised Avaya throughout its Chapter 11 restructuring.

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    Bracewell Partner Elected

    Bracewell LLP announced the election of Mark E. Dendinger as a Partner in the firm's Financial Restructuring and Lending practices. Based at the firm's Connecticut office, Dendinger's practice focuses on financial restructurings across a company's capital structure, most recently in the energy, retail and maritime sectors. He has played a leading role in every complex Chapter 11 case handled by Bracewell over the last five years, including matters for Energy & Exploration Partners, Marco Polo Seatrade, Optim Energy and Venoco. He has also represented creditors on debt and equity restructurings, asset sales, amendments, distressed investments and acquisitions, litigation matters and exit finance transactions. Before his legal career at Bracewell, Dendinger worked for seven years at a private equity investment firm specializing in secondary market transactions, with funds capitalized at more than $15 billion. For the last three consecutive years, IFLR1000 has recognized Dendinger as a Rising Star in Financial Restructuring. Dendinger began his legal career at Bracewell after earning his J.D. from the University of Connecticut Law School. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Saint Olaf College.

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    Tiger Group Business Development Officer Added

    David L. Tepper, a 25-year veteran of the valuation, banking and financial management industries, has joined Tiger Group as Business Development Officer for the Western U.S. From his base in the asset valuation, advisory and disposition services firm's Los Angeles, CA office, Tepper will initially work alongside longtime Director of Business Development Rick Briggs, who will be retiring this year. Most recently, Tepper served as Business Development Director for CBIZ Valuation Group in Los Angeles, a business unit of national CPA firm Mayer Hoffman McCann, P.C. In that post, he was responsible for working with corporations, private equity, hedge funds, attorneys, corporate finance, and turnaround professionals on complex valuation and asset management issues. Prior to that, Tepper spent five years as Western Regional Manager at Accuval Associates/Liquitec, where he was responsible for managing the firm's West Coast office and working with corporations, private equity, hedge funds, attorneys, corporate finance and turnaround professionals. From 1998 to 2007, he was a V.P. at Arthur Consulting Group, Inc. (formerly Arthur D. Little Consulting Group) in Los Angeles, CA responsible for the M&A and Joint Venture consulting firm's client acquisition, marketing activities and relationship and engagement management. He began his career in 1985 at Bloomingdales in Executive Development before moving to garment manufacturing. He was subsequently named Comptroller at Stringfellow Ltd. and went on to hold positions as a Registered Representative/Stock Broker for Kennedy Cabot and Company and as a Financial Consultant Associate for Wells Fargo Bank/Wells Fargo Securities before moving into the valuation field in the late 1990s. A resident of Calabasas, CA, Tepper holds a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University and undergraduate degrees in finance and accounting from Pace University. He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), Turnaround Management Association (TMA), Special Asset Management Association (SAMA) and the Tax Executives Institute (TEI).

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    FTI Consulting Promotions, Addition Announced

    FTI Consulting, Inc. announced the promotion of 23 professionals to Senior Managing Director across the firm. Among those, eight professionals were promoted within the Corporate Finance and Restructuring segment: Joseph Concannon, Charles Goad, Joseph Hansell, Bradley Henn, Daniel Hugo, Shawn O'Donnell, Blanca Perea and Richard Turner. Concannon, based in Pittsburgh, PA, has more than 13 years of experience in restructuring, bankruptcy proceedings, troubled company consulting, financial analyses and due diligence. He is an interim management executive and assists senior management, secured and unsecured lenders and other constituents on a variety of matters, primarily focusing on the mining, healthcare, real estate, hospitality, manufacturing and automotive industries. His expertise includes assisting companies with addressing liquidity issues and developing appropriate cash forecasting tools and cash management practices. Goad, based in Charlotte, NC, has more than 20 years of financial and accounting experience. His expertise includes financial accounting, business/asset-sale advisory services, financial and operational assessment, project management, performance improvement, financial modeling, negotiations, business valuation, vendor relations and bankruptcy management. Hansell, based in Sydney, Australia, has more than 17 years of experience in corporate recovery, restructuring and turnaround management. With extensive experience in corporate advisory and recovery matters, he provides strategic advice, assists in negotiations and develops solutions with respect to a range of reconstruction and turnaround proposals and recovery matters, such as receiverships, voluntary administrations and liquidations, which have involved the trade and sale of distressed businesses. Henn, based in New York, NY, has specialized in business valuation and delivered financial advice across a range of asset classes and topics, including enterprise, equity, fixed income and intangible asset valuations, fairness opinions, and solvency opinions for more than ten years. Among his extensive engagement experience, Henn prepares valuations for transaction support, accounting, tax compliance, restructuring and litigation support purposes for both domestic and international entities. Hugo, based in Chicago, IL, has more than 15 years of experience leading projects in the distribution, construction, aggregates and transportation industries. In addition to developing financial models and analyses and leading day-to-day cash management, he has served in numerous interim management roles. As a former business owner, Hugo brings a unique perspective and first-hand experience with financial and operational management to his client engagements. O'Donnell, based in Dallas, TX, provides turnaround, management and corporate performance improvement services to technology, media and telecommunications companies. With more than 25 years of experience in operating, restructuring and investing in telecommunications, cable and technology businesses, O'Donnell serves as a C.E.O., C.O.O. and principal on-site operating executive on restructuring engagements in the telecommunications, cable and call-center sectors. Perea, based in Madrid, Spain, is a leader in the energy industry and leads FTI Consulting's Energy practice in Spain. She has more than 18 years of experience in energy, with deep expertise in electricity and gas, specializing in regulation, economic analysis and energy efficiency. Perea advises on economic and financial analysis, corporate strategy formulation, business model transformation, strategic market entry and exit, restructuring, due diligence, and energy policy and regulation. Turner, based in London, England, has more than 20 years of experience and leadership role at FTI Consulting. In this capacity, Turner leads the firm's tax and innovation services, encompassing intellectual property planning, research and development incentives and the UK Patent Box. Turner is one of the foremost UK tax specialists in life sciences and is regularly consulted and asked to contribute to fiscal policy for the sector. Separately, Jan Naifeh has also joined the firm as a Senior Managing Director in the Corporate Finance & Restructuring segment, enhancing its healthcare advisory expertise for both companies and creditors. Naifeh, who will be based in Brentwood, TN, brings more than 25 years of experience in risk management and restructuring. Working alongside FTI Consulting's Transaction Services and Health Solutions practices, she will advise both healthcare companies and lenders nationally on debt restructuring, refinancing, the implementation of credit solutions and financial and compliance risk analysis. Naifeh most recently was S.V.P. of the Corporate and Investment Banking Special Assets Division at SunTrust Bank. She focused on distressed debt restructuring and problem asset management in the healthcare industry, as well as in the oil and gas, telecommunications and media, manufacturing and distribution, financial services, defense and government-contracting sectors. Naifeh also managed syndicated transactions and negotiated, developed and implemented solutions designed to minimize credit exposure and maximize asset recovery.

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    Richards Kibbe & Orbe Elevation Announced

    Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP announced that Victor Ludwig has been elevated to Counsel. Ludwig practices in the firm's Corporate & Finance Transactions practice group and is based in the New York, NY office. He concentrates on credit and credit derivatives, marketplace lending and bankruptcy claims trading. Ludwig plays an active role in the firm's finance practice, focusing on loans backed by specialty assets. He represents both dealer and buy-side clients in analyzing and negotiating total return swap facilities. He also regularly assists swap providers in reviewing and negotiating credit facilities that provide support for swap transactions and in negotiating ISDA Master Agreement Schedules. Ludwig earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.S. from the University of Virginia. In addition to being a lawyer, Mr. Ludwig is a CFA charterholder.

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    JAMS Panel Member Added

    JAMS, the largest private provider of mediation and arbitration services worldwide, announced the addition of David G. Heiman, Esq. to its panel. Heiman will be based in the JAMS Detroit Resolution Center and will be available to hear cases throughout the country. He will serve as a mediator and arbitrator in a variety of disputes including Accounting, Antitrust, Bankruptcy, Business/Commercial and Government/Public Agency. Heiman joined JAMS after more than 35 years of advising clients in business bankruptcy and restructuring. He founded Jones Day's business restructuring practice in 1984 and has played a key role in many of the largest business bankruptcy and out-of-court restructurings in the United States. His practice included representations of debtors, lenders, creditors and distressed assets purchasers. He also has had extensive experience in a wide array of commercial, financial and lending matters and disputes. He most recently led the City of Detroit Chapter 9 bankruptcy case. Heiman received his B.B.A. from University of Cincinnati and earned his J.D. from University of Cincinnati College of Law. Heiman is a past Chair of the American College of Bankruptcy and has held leadership positions in a number of professional, community and charitable organizations.

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    Grant Thornton Chief Economist Named

    Diane Swonk has joined Grant Thornton LLP as Chief Economist. Based in the firm's Chicago, IL headquarters, Swonk will enhance client services with her economic forecasting acumen and significant experience advising U.S. policy makers, central banks, multinational corporations and C-suite teams. Swonk has worked with a range of companies throughout her career, most recently with her private consulting firm, DS Economics. Swonk and her team have transitioned to Grant Thornton from DS Economics. Through DS Economics, Swonk has advised clients from the Fortune 500 to small and midsize firms. Previously, she was Chief Economist at Mesirow Financial and Director of Economics for Bank One Corporation. She served two terms as an advisor to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Swonk advises the Federal Reserve. She is a distinguished Fellow and past-President of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Swonk serves on the Sitting Committee for the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and advises the Department of Economics at the University of Michigan. She sits on the NABE Statistics and Policy Committees as well as the board for the NABE Foundation. She is an active member of the board of the Posse Foundation in Chicago, a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to higher education. She has also served on a number of other non-profit boards including the Joffrey Ballet, as well as state and local advisory panels. Swonk received her bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from the University of Michigan. She received a master's degree in business administration in finance from the University of Chicago.

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    FTI Consulting Promotions Announced

    FTI Consulting, Inc. announced that eight professionals have been promoted to Senior Managing Director in the firm's Corporate Finance & Restructuring segment. Joseph Concannon, based in Pittsburgh, has more than 13 years of experience in restructuring, bankruptcy proceedings, troubled company consulting, financial analyses and due diligence. He is an interim management executive and assists senior management, secured and unsecured lenders and other constituents on a variety of matters, primarily focusing on the mining, healthcare, real estate, hospitality, manufacturing and automotive industries. Concannon's expertise includes assisting companies with addressing liquidity issues and developing appropriate cash forecasting tools and cash management practices. Charles Goad, based in Charlotte, has more than 20 years of financial and accounting experience. His expertise includes financial accounting, business/asset-sale advisory services, financial and operational assessment, project management, performance improvement, financial modeling, negotiations, business valuation, vendor relations and bankruptcy management. He helps clients navigate the complexities of underperformance and distress by assessing business plans and financial models, preparing financial projections and performing financial analysis. Joseph Hansell, based in Sydney, has more than 17 years of experience in corporate recovery, restructuring and turnaround management. With extensive experience in corporate advisory and recovery matters, he provides strategic advice, assists in negotiations and develops solutions with respect to a range of reconstruction and turnaround proposals and recovery matters, such as receiverships, voluntary administrations and liquidations, which have involved the trade and sale of distressed businesses. Bradley Henn, based in New York, has specialized in business valuation and delivered financial advice across a range of asset classes and topics, including enterprise, equity, fixed income and intangible asset valuations, fairness opinions and solvency opinions for more than 10 years. Among his extensive engagement experience, Henn prepares valuations for transaction support, accounting, tax compliance, restructuring and litigation support purposes for both domestic and international entities. Daniel Hugo, based in Chicago, has more than 15 years of experience leading projects in the distribution, construction, aggregates and transportation industries. In addition to developing financial models and analyses and leading day-to-day cash management, Hugo has served in numerous interim management roles, including appointments as C.F.O. and Interim Treasurer and Director of Financial Planning and Analysis. As a former business owner, Hugo brings a unique perspective and first-hand experience with financial and operational management to his client engagements. Shawn O'Donnell, based in Dallas, provides turnaround, management and corporate performance improvement services to technology, media and telecommunications companies. With more than 25 years of experience in operating, restructuring and investing in telecommunications, cable and technology businesses, O'Donnell serves as a C.E.O., C.O.O. and Principal On-site Operating Executive on restructuring engagements in the telecommunications, cable and call-center sectors. Blanca Perea, based in Madrid, is a leader in the energy industry and leads FTI Consulting's Energy practice in Spain. She has more than 18 years of experience in energy, with deep expertise in electricity and gas, specializing in regulation, economic analysis and energy efficiency. Dr. Perea advises on economic and financial analysis, corporate strategy formulation, business model transformation, strategic market entry and exit, restructuring, due diligence and energy policy and regulation. She is a frequent speaker at events and universities and has served as an expert witness both in national tribunal and international arbitration courts. Richard Turner, based in London, has built one of the leading tax advisory practices in life sciences through his more than 20 years of experience and leadership role at FTI Consulting. In this capacity, Turner leads the firm's tax and innovation services, encompassing intellectual property planning, research and development incentives and the UK Patent Box. Turner is widely recognized as one of the foremost UK tax specialists in life sciences and is regularly consulted and asked to contribute to fiscal policy for the sector.

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    TMA C.O.O. Appointed

    The Turnaround Management Association (TMA) announced that Marie Fahrenbach has been appointed C.O.O., effective January 1, 2018. Fahrenbach currently serves as TMA's C.F.O. As C.O.O., and in addition to her current responsibilities as C.F.O., Fahrenbach will be responsible for ensuring operational excellence and efficiency across TMA. TMA previously announced that Gregory J. Fine had tendered his resignation as C.E.O., effective January 15, 2018. As a result, TMA has commenced a search for a new C.E.O. A C.E.O. search committee is being established, and TMA announced its intentions to retain an executive search firm to identify qualified candidates. Fahrenbach has assumed the additional responsibilities on an interim basis while TMA searches for a permanent C.E.O.

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    Perella Weinberg Partners Elected

    Perella Weinberg Partners (PWP) announced that it has elected five individuals to join the firm's Partnership, effective January 1, 2018. The following Partners are of most interest to restructuring professionals: David Heimer - London, Advisory and Troy Wagner - New York, Advisory. Heimer focuses on advising clients in the Telecommunications, Media and Technology sectors and has more than 17 years of investment banking experience assisting companies on a wide range of strategic matters. While at Perella Weinberg Partners, he has advised clients on a large number of M&A transactions across Europe. Prior to joining PWP in 2006, Heimer was at Merrill Lynch International in London where he worked on a range of merger and acquisition transactions as well as equity and debt financings. Heimer earned a Master of Science degree from the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden. Wagner focuses on advising financial sponsors across a variety of sectors and has more than 14 years of investment banking experience assisting companies on a wide range of strategic matters and capital markets transactions. Prior to joining PWP in July of 2012, Wagner was at Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers from 2003 to 2012. At Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers, he worked with clients across a variety of industries on capital markets transactions and strategic initiatives. Wagner earned an MBA from Emory University, where he was a Woodruff Scholar, and a Bachelor of Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology. He serves on the Board of The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine and All Hallows High School in Bronx, New York.

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