Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis LLC | Transactions Involving Distressed Businesses
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Practice Areas

Transactions Involving Distressed Businesses

Transactions Involving Distressed Businesses:  We regularly represent auctioneers and other third parties in a range of transactions involving the acquisition and disposition of physical and intangible assets of troubled enterprises.  We work closely with both buyers and sellers to negotiate appropriate terms and ensure the smooth transfer of ownership.  We represent a number of well recognized financial consultants and auctioneers that provide consolidation and liquidation services to troubled businesses and other parties involved in bankruptcy, insolvency and reorganizations.  We negotiate terms including sale processes, commissions and other issues to ensure a smooth transfer of assets and ownership.

Creditors Committees:  We regularly represent equity, ad hoc and official unsecured creditors committees in a broad range of matters associated with insolvencies, including negotiating and drafting Chapter 11 reorganization plans, the establishment and implementation of sales procedures for debtor assets, pursuing claims against insiders and affiliates of debtors, prosecution of sophisticated avoidance actions and other creditors’ litigation.

We have also organized and served on numerous committees for creditor and creditor-group clients.  We have extensive practical experience in the fiduciary duties and consensus building that are necessary components of managing an effective committee.

Debtors:  We have broad experience representing business debtors in chapter 11 reorganization cases, as well as in out-of-court recapitalizations, workouts, turnarounds and restructurings.  We have counseled clients in a range of industries that reflect the economy of the Midwest.  In serving our debtor clients, we often call upon attorneys from the firm’s other practice areas to address the challenges and opportunities that frequently arise in these matters.

Bankruptcy Avoidance Litigation:  We represent plaintiffs and defendants in a range of bankruptcy related litigation matters.  These include preference, fraudulent transfer, breach of duty, and subordination actions; claims against insiders, affiliates and former owners of debtors; and the filing and prosecution of involuntary bankruptcy petitions.

Secured and Unsecured Lenders:  We represent a full range of secured and unsecured lenders and other creditors, including institutional lenders and investors in workouts, restructurings, insolvencies and bankruptcies involving a broad range of industries.  We also provide experienced guidance with respect to out-of-court and court-supervised matters such as sales under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, assignments for the benefit of creditors, negotiation and litigation concerning cash collateral, adequate protection, valuation and plan confirmation issues.

Our long experience with distressed and insolvent companies enables us to provide effective guidance with respect to the long-term effects of agreements, contracts, credit applications and other transactions.  We are keenly aware of the signs and circumstances that may trigger financial problems, and regularly help renegotiate and rewrite documents and court filings, assess financing options, and audit other initiatives in order to help clients increase their chances for business success.

Representative Matters

Challenge of two cases where bank customers sought bankruptcy relief to stall proceedings filed against them by financial institutions.  Following a series of briefings and evidentiary hearings, we were successful in obtaining bankruptcy court orders which resulted either in the dismissal of the bankruptcy case, or the conversion of the case to a different form of bankruptcy (i.e., chapter 7), which allowed the financial institutions to enforce their rights against the customers in non-bankruptcy forums.  

Represented former owners of closed businesses, including former owners of a construction subcontracting company who were charged with mid-six figure liability to a union pension and benefit fund, and another former owner of a restaurant who was charged, by Illinois tax authorities, with non-dischargeable tax penalties for the non-payment of employee withholding and sales tax debt.  In the former matter we achieved a favorable settlement with the pension and benefit fund, while in the latter, we were able to convince State authorities, through administrative tax proceedings, that the tax penalties were unwarranted under the circumstances which led to the closing of the business.  

Obtained and defended a $3 million deficiency judgment against several guarantors who argued unsuccessfully that the deficiency judgment was improper because it was based on a sale of the property pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code, rather than a mortgage foreclosure sale.