As the New Year rolls in, we feel compelled to make lifestyle changes. Gym memberships soar.
People sign up for French lessons or salsa dancing. But never fear — the Annual Networking and Education
Conference co-sponsored by ABF Journal, N YIC and the Philadelphia chapters of TMA and the CFA is not
going to change. It will still deliver a rare opportunity to mingle with the nation’s top bankruptcy judges,
turnaround professionals and lenders. This year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, March 30 in a new venue —
The Union League of Philadelphia. There will be engaging panel discussions, great food and another round of
Judicial Jeopardy. You can register online at
abfjconference.com and take advantage of the early-bird specials.
Speaking of change, how did you purchase your holidays gifts this year? I bought everything online. No
fighting to find a parking spot or rifling through racks to find the right size. Retail outlets worldwide are
teetering on the edge of bankruptcy because of shoppers like me. Bankruptcy attorney Stephen Selbst takes a
look at the state of retail and points out that e-commerce is only one of the factors contributing to the growing
number Chapter 11 filings in the industry.
After filing Chapter 11 twice in 12 months, American Apparel stands out among those distressed retailers.
The company caught my eye when new lender on the block, Encina Business Capital, provided it with a $30
million DIP facility. I ended up enthralled by the tale of American Apparel’s quixotic Founder and CEO Dov
Charney, who set out to manufacturer a 100% made in the U.S.A. T-shirt and ended up losing everything
through a series of unfortunate events.
What would our bankruptcy issue be without the wisdom of Rocco Debitetto? We also get his savvy mom’s
advice: Sit down. Shut Up. And Mind Your Own Business. Which turns out to be the best way to deal with
subordinate lenders when drafting an intercreditor agreement.
For a snapshot of the overall 2016 bankruptcy picture, Samuel Gerdano, executive director of the American
Bankruptcy Institute, offers facts, figures and graphs.
Wise lenders set a default interest rate in the loan agreement. Unfortunately, bankruptcy courts don’t always
recognize the default rate and may recast back to the pre-petition rate. Jeffrey Wurst and Suzanne Mourad
examine the most recent court decisions.
Texas Capital Bank has had a toe in the ABL waters for several years. This summer, the bank hired Chris
Capriotti and his ABL team from the Dallas branch of JPMorgan to create a more dynamic approach. I spoke
with Chris about ABL and its future in Texas.
Unitranche loans are growing in popularity. In Legal Lines, Danielle Garcia and Alyssa Keon of Blank Rome
offer advice putting together an agreement among lenders and explain how it differs from an intercreditor
agreement. In Specialty Lending, David Banfield advocates creating franchises for factors as a cost-effective
way to engage entrepreneurs and build a more efficient business. In Turnaround Corner, Ken Mann of
Heritage Equity Partners offers workout tips to make 2017 a successful year for lenders.
Specialty lending is on tap for the next issue, and I can predict that fintech will be somewhere in the mix. Until
then, I hope to see you at the conference
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