Ross M. Kwasteniet, P.C. - Partner

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Ross M. Kwasteniet, P.C.

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Phone: +1 312-862-2069
Fax: +1 312-862-2200
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Professional Profile

Ross 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. Most recently, Ross was recognized in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA. Sources noted Ross “is a strong counselor, has excellent legal and business judgment, and is a good communicator.” Ross was selected by Law360 as one of seven Bankruptcy “Rising Stars for 2016” in its list of top attorneys under 40. In 2015, Ross was named an “Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyer” by Turnarounds & Workouts, one of 12 individuals selected under the age of 40 for accomplishments in corporate restructuring.

Representative Matters

Armstrong Energy, Inc. ― Representing Armstrong Energy, Inc. and certain of its affiliates, producers and marketers of thermal coal in the Illinois Basin, in their Chapter 11 proceedings before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. At the time the cases were filed, Armstrong had funded debt of approximately $200 million of senior secured notes. Armstrong and its affiliates commenced their Chapter 11 cases with a restructuring support agreement and Chapter 11 plan that had the support of a substantial portion of their secured noteholders, primary mineral rights provider, and equity sponsor, as well as a contemplated investor for purposes of consummating the plan.

Seadrill Limited  Represented Seadrill Limited and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries in their multi-jurisdictional restructuring of approximately $20 billion of contract and debt obligations. Seadrill is a leading global provider of offshore contract drilling services and employs nearly 4,000 individuals across 22 countries and five continents. Seadrill's pre-arranged Chapter 11 cases, one of the largest filings in 2017 based on asset size, resulted in the re-profiling of approximately $6 billion of secured debt, eliminated approximately $3.5 billion of unsecured bond and contractual obligations, and facilitated a capital investment of more than $1 billion. In the months preceding Chapter 11, Seadrill also consummated a series of ring-fencing transactions that successfully prevented its non-consolidated businesses from also having to commence Chapter 11 cases. Seadrill and its debtor subsidiaries confirmed their Chapter 11 plan with near universal consensus in approximately 7 months and emerged from Chapter 11 in less than 10 months.

Light Tower Rentals, Inc. ― Represented the ad hoc committee of bondholders, composed of Clearlake Capital Group and Avenue Capital Management, in connection with the prepackaged Chapter 11 plan of reorganization of Light Tower Rentals, Inc. (LTR), which was completed in fewer than 40 days from filing and resulted in a 90 percent reduction of LTR’s debt. The Chapter 11 plan provided for a recapitalization of LTR, led by affiliates of Clearlake, in partnership with the company’s management team and other existing stakeholders.  LTR is a diversified specialty oilfield surface equipment rental company focused on operations in the Permian basin, with yards in other leading U.S. shale basins including the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Marcellus.

Platinum Energy Solutions, Inc. — Represented Platinum Energy Solutions, Inc., a Houston, Texas based oilfield services provider specializing in premium hydraulic fracturing, coiled tubing, and other pressure pumping services, in all aspects of its successful comprehensive out-of-court restructuring. Platinum's various restructuring transactions, including a successful exchange offer for Platinum's 14.250% senior secured notes, retired more than 55% of Platinum's debt, as well as eliminated more than $90 million of contingent and other liabilities based on various agreements reached with its material contract counterparties.

Sorenson Communications, Inc. — Represented Sorenson Communications, Inc. and its affiliates, together the leading provider of telecommunications services and technology for hearing impaired individuals, in their Chapter 11 cases. Utilizing a “straddle” solicitation to confirm its plan of reorganization in 38 days, Sorenson successfully restructured approximately $1.3 billion of funded indebtedness, paid all general unsecured claims in full, and returned value to existing equity holders.

EveryWare Global, Inc. — Represented EveryWare Global, Inc. and its affiliates, leading global marketers of tabletop and food preparation products for the consumer, foodservice, and specialty markets, in their prepackaged Chapter 11 restructuring involving approximately $300 million in funded debt. EveryWare was recognized by Turnaround & Workouts as one of the Most Successful Restructurings of 2015.

Samson Resources ― Representing Samson Resources, a privately held onshore oil and gas exploration and production company with headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in its Chapter 11 restructuring of more than $4 billion of debt. Samson has operations primarily located in Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming, and operates, or has royalty or working interests in, approximately 8,700 oil and gas production sites.

Patriot Coal Corporation ― Represented Patriot Coal Corporation and certain of its affiliates, producers and marketers of coal in the eastern United States with several active mining complexes in West Virginia, in their Chapter 11 proceedings before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. In less than five months, Patriot completed a successful Chapter 11 reorganization that addressed $790 million in funded debt obligations as well as Patriot’s significant and complex legacy and environmental liabilities.

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.


Case Study of the Chapter 11 Restructuring of Patriot Coal, The 12th Annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference, February 26, 2016, New York, New York

"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

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