Professional ProfileRoss M. Kwasteniet is a partner in the Restructuring Group. His practice is centered around the representation of distressed companies in all aspects of Chapter 11 reorganizations and out-of-court restructurings. Ross also has considerable experience representing both buyers and sellers of distressed assets.
Cengage Learning, Inc. — Representing Cengage Learning, Inc., a leading educational content, software and services company for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide, in its prearranged Chapter 11 case. With annual revenues of approximately $2 billion, the company has approximately 5,200 employees with operations in more than 20 countries worldwide. Cengage is seeking to restructure its balance sheet and significantly reduce its approximately $5.8 billion of outstanding debt to better position itself for long-term growth and profitability. To this end, prior to its Chapter 11 filing, Cengage entered into a restructuring support agreement with an ad hoc committee of first lien lenders holding approximately $2 billion of the Company's first lien debt, whereby the lenders committed to support a restructuring transaction that will eliminate more than $4 billion in debt from Cengage's balance sheet.
Hawker Beechcraft ― Represented Hawker Beechcraft Inc., a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission, light attack and trainer aircraft, in its successful prearranged Chapter 11 cases. The restructuring involved conversion of approximately $2.5 billion of bank and bond debt into equity, termination of two defined benefit pension plans and a significant operational restructuring that eliminated jet production and focused on the Company's core Beechcraft, defense, special mission and customer support businesses.
Friendly's Ice Cream Corp. — Represented a leading full-service, family-oriented restaurant chain and provider of ice cream products in the Eastern United States, in Chapter 11 proceeding through which substantially all of Friendly's assets were acquired by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc. through a credit bid sale transaction. The sale closed and the Friendly's business emerged from Chapter 11 approximately 3 months after the bankruptcy filing.
Local Insight Media Holdings, Inc. — Represented the fifth largest directory publisher and local search provider in the U.S., in its restructuring. At the time of its filing, Local Insight served more than 340,000 businesses across 42 states, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, with annual revenue of more than $700 million. Local Insight Media was selected by Turnarounds & Workouts as one of the most "Successful Restructurings of 2011."
YRC Worldwide, Inc. ― Representation of YRC Worldwide, Inc., one of the country's largest LTL transportation businesses, with operations in U.S., Canada, Mexico and China, in a comprehensive out-of-court restructuring. The deal refinanced more than $1 billion in secured indebtedness, converted deferred fees and interest under YRC's senior credit facility into equity, provided for a $100 million new-money investment into YRC and extended the maturity of YRC's refinanced debt obligations and its deferred pension obligations. YRC's recent financial restructuring was supported by its primary union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, more than 20 different multi-employer pension funds and all of the lenders under YRC's secured credit facilities.
U.S. Concrete, Inc. ― Representation of U.S. Concrete, Inc. and its affiliates, a leading provider of ready-mixed concrete and concrete-related products in select markets throughout the United States, in their restructuring of approximately $315 million in funded indebtedness through a pre-arranged Chapter 11 restructuring. U.S. Concrete emerged from bankruptcy approximately 4 months after seeking Chapter 11 relief. Through the restructuring, U.S. Concrete successfully equitized approximately $285 million in bond debt, paid general unsecured claims in full, and provided existing equity with a warrant package to acquire up to 15 percent of the reorganized equity.
Broder Bros., Co. ― Successful out-of-court restructuring of one of the nation's largest distributors of trade, private label and exclusive apparel brands to the imprinting, embroidery and promotional products industries. Restructuring involved the conversion of $213.5 million in bond debt into equity and the issuance of $94.9 million in new notes. Existing equity holders retained a 4% direct equity interest and were issued warrants to acquire 12% of the company's fully diluted common stock.
Movie Gallery, Inc. ― Representation of the second largest North American home entertainment specialty retailer. At the time of its filing, Movie Gallery operated approximately 4,600 retail stores located throughout all 50 states and Canada. In 2006, Movie Gallery generated annual revenue of approximately $2.5 billion with almost 40,000 employees.
Hines Horticulture ― Representation of one of the largest commercial nursery operators in North America. Successfully negotiated a going-concern sale transaction that closed in January, 2009.
Hyatt Corporation ― Representation of Hyatt Corporation and partners in the acquisition of a Hyatt-managed hotel on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii through a Chapter 11 plan. The acquisition, valued at $410 million, involved complicated tax, corporate and bankruptcy issues and was effectuated pursuant to U.S. and Japanese restructuring proceedings.
Calpine Corporation ― Representation of Calpine Corporation and its affiliates in what, at the time of its filing, was described as the sixth largest Chapter 11 case in history. Representation included restructuring of many long-term energy contracts.
Radnor Holdings Corporation ― Representation of Silver Point as DIP lender for $103 million DIP credit facility.
Tower Automotive, Inc. ― Representation of a tier-1 automotive supplier in all aspects of its Chapter 11 proceedings, including vendor and customer negotiations and asset sales.
Conseco, Inc. ― Represented a multi-faceted financial services firm in what, at the time of its filing, was described as the third largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in history. Restructured approximately $6 billion in debt.
Maxim Craneworks ― Represented a national equipment rental company in all aspects of its Chapter 11 proceedings.
Exide Technologies ― Representation of a $2.5 billion annual revenue global battery manufacturer in all aspects of its Chapter 11 proceedings.
HALO Industries ― Representation of HIG Capital in its Section 363 acquisition of substantially all assets of HALO Industries, a leading global promotional products distributor.
Teligent, Inc. ― Representation of a multibillion-dollar asset competitive local exchange carrier in connection with its Chapter 11 restructuring.
"Negotiating with Difficult Creditors: Getting to Yes in the Face of No," Turnaround Management Association Women’s Group Quarterly Luncheon, November 5, 2014, Chicago, Illinois
"Whose Case is This Anyway? Should A Chapter 11 Case be Run Solely for the Benefit of the Secured Creditors?" 88th Annual National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, October 10, 2014, Chicago, Illinois
"The § 363 Sale Process from a Transactional Perspective," American Bankruptcy Institute's 32nd Annual Spring Meeting, April 25, 2014, Washington, D.C.
"Flying High -- Lessons from the Hawker Beechcraft Restructuring," Turnaround Management Association, April 24, 2013, New York, New York
"Challenges Faced When a Manufacturer Goes Bankrupt," Global Corporate Aircraft Transactions Forum, June 13, 2013, New York, New York
2002, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
2002, Illinois Supreme Court