Representing distressed companies is very difficult and requires the work of lawyers from across various disciplines to move the company from “distressed” to “reorganized” as efficiently as possible. Specifically, such engagements can include any or all of the following tasks:
- identifying which path forward to take—whether an out-of-court restructuring, a pre-packaged or pre-negotiated chapter 11 process, a chapter 11 process without a pre-arranged deal or a sale of assets or equity under the auspices of the bankruptcy court
- advising boards of directors and members of management with respect to their fiduciary duties
- identifying key creditor and equity constituents and negotiating with them the terms of a restructuring that ensures their necessary support—and likewise, and equally importantly, determining which creditor and equity constituents are less important to engage in order for the company to achieve an optimal result at an accelerated pace
- negotiating and documenting the terms of new liquidity instruments—whether it be short-term rescue financing, bridge loans, DIP financing or exit financing
- working with management to ensure that, during any restructuring process, the business continues to function, and employee morale does not wane, including by, among other things, developing bonus, incentive and employee retention programs
- negotiating and documenting the key documents that will be the company’s “ticket” out of its distress—whether it be a forbearance agreement, standstill agreement, rights offering, chapter 11 plan and disclosure statement, among other options
- engaging in litigation with disgruntled constituents regarding any potential objections they have with regard to the company’s path forward and maneuvering such litigation through the court process.
Our financial restructuring attorneys, with the help of their colleagues from across the firm, perform these tasks on a day-to-day basis in a manner that stands out from their peers. As can be seen from the number of our company-side engagements and by the breadth of industries across which Akin Gump attorneys have advised distressed companies, all types of companies—big, small, public, private, domestic, international, operationally challenged, over-leveraged—heavily rely on us to advise them through their distressed periods. These companies all value the fact that Akin Gump specializes in determining, for each and every company, the specific solution that best fits its needs and then tenaciously but cautiously seeks to achieve that solution. Where issues can be dealt with consensually, we guide our clients through out-of-court restructurings; where speed, cost and certainty are of paramount importance, we use our extensive experience to devise prepackaged or prearranged chapter 11 filings; and, where a consensual out-of-court restructuring or prepackaged filing is not possible, we will proceed with chapter 11 filings.
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