golf

From Dallas News

Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Co. filed for bankruptcy over the weekend, less than a month after it laid off the bulk of its workforce in Fort Worth.

The Chapter 11 petition, filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Worth on Saturday, lists both assets and liabilities between $1 million and $10 million. Among its top creditors are Perry Ellis International, which licensed the Hogan name to the company, owed $267,500, and Conti Edgecliff-Sias LLC, its landlord in south Fort Worth, owed $77,256.74.

The Fort Worth maker of premium golf clubs, backed by Corbett Capital in Fort Worth, brought the revered Hogan name back to the marketplace two years ago under the leadership of industry veteran Terry Koehler. The company introduced its first set of irons, the Fort Worth 15, in 2015, and a second set, called PTx, a year ago.

Introduced at a time when the golf business has been in the rough, the new Hogan clubs took the novel approach of numbering irons by loft — anywhere from 20 degrees to 63 — instead of the traditional 2-9 plus wedges.

Last August, Koehler was replaced as president and CEO by Scott White, who previously worked as an executive at both Callaway Golf and TaylorMade. In November, the company said it would add the traditional 2-9 numbers on the hosels of the clubs.

On Jan. 3, about 30 workers were laid off, leaving less than 10 employees at its facility near Interstate 35 and Interstate 20 in south Fort Worth. In a statement at the time, Hogan called the action “re-tooling and right-sizing in an effort to become more nimble and profitable.”

Steve Kaskovich and Sandra Baker, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TNS)

gym

From Retail Dive

  • Gymboree Corp. on Thursday announced that CEO Mark Breitbard will step down from his role once a successor has been appointed, but he won’t be leaving the company. Breitbard will become the Chairman of the Board of Directors effective Feb. 1, according to a press release.
  • Breitbard said in a statement that he believes the children’s apparel retailer needs a new CEO as it continues to “focus on the strategic plans for our brands.”
  • As of October 29, 2016, there was $769.1 million of principal outstanding under Gymboree’s $820 million senior secured term loan due in February 2018, the company said in December. A group of its lenders is has hired Rothschild Inc. to guide a possible restructuring of some $1 billion in debt, according to Bloomberg.
  • Gymboree is the latest mall-based retailer to stumble in the face of declining store traffic and a debt burden piled on by its private equity owner, Bain Capital.

    Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations, defined as net loss from continuing operations attributable to Gymboree before interest, income taxes and depreciation and amortization was $17.8 million, compared to $26.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2015, the company said in December. The reduction was attributed primarily to the decrease in same-store sales, according to that report.

    The Limited and Wet Seal in recent weeks have thrown in the towel, closing stores, laying off workers and filing for bankruptcies that are unlikely to result in those retailers’ survival.

    “Now private equity is there with billions in debt — and goodbye,” Howard Davidowitz, chairman of New York City-based retail consulting and investment banking firm Davidowitz & Associates, told Retail Dive regarding Wet Seal and others. “The first thing they do is borrow billions, and retailers can’t function that way because the business is too volatile and it’s too unpredictable. These poor apparel chains end up one way or another in the hands of private equity — and in the end, there’s no company, no stores, no employees, and the private equity made money. Congratulations. That’s how it works.”

    Private equity is unlikely to have the patience it takes for a proper retail turnaround, in part because those firms keep their focus on getting out with decent profits. The Limited’s owner, private equity firm Sun Capital, told its investors that despite the closures, it had nearly doubled its Limited Stores investment, according to an email to shareholders obtained by Reuters. Due to prior distributions and dividends, Sun Capital made back its original $50 million 1.8 times over, and will write down the remaining equity value of Limited Stores to zero.

    “Private equity wants to be in and out in five to seven years,” Suneet Chandvani, head of middle market research at corporate debt intelligence firm Debtwire, told Retail Dive. “The goal is after five years, sell it or IPO it. Closing the stores, slashing jobs, the fact that Sun Capital is marking the capital to zero — that just says it all. Retail is just a declining business, especially the brick-and-mortar business where fixed costs are high and margins are thin. It’s not they haven’t done what they were supposed to do as far as managing costs, cutting costs, cutting down on their brick and mortar footprint — it’s the nature of the business.”

Abu Dhabi

From The National

Abu Dhabi government-owned Islamic lender Al Hilal Bank has appointed an interim chief executive.

Khaled AlKhoori has stepped down and been replaced by chief financial officer Craig Bell, on an acting basis, it said in a statement yesterday.

Mr AlKhoori was appointed in December 2015 “during a critical transitional phase” which included developing the bank’s 2020 strategy, to “initiate its execution, and implement an overall bank restructure”.

No further details were provided on the restructuring.

“Mr AlKhoori meticulously and successfully completed his task and he will be now moving to his next chapter,” the bank said. Mr Bell will be supported by “the newly appointed leadership team” which includes chief information officer Gopikrishnan Janakaraja and head of treasury banking Yousuf Sandeela, both appointed in August.

A permanent chief executive “will be announced in due course”, the bank said.

Al Hilal has been the subject of speculation that it could merge with one of its Abu Dhabi rivals.

Both Moody’s and Fitch ratings agencies have highlighted the lender’s weak profitability compared to the overall sector and its concentration of risks. The latter had caused the bank difficulties in 2014 and 2015, according to the rating agencies.

Al Hilal’s profit for last year’s second quarter fell almost 78 per cent to Dh28.2 million from Dh128m a year earlier as higher provisions and lower income from Islamic financing affected the bottom line.

The fall in oil prices to around half from their summer 2014 peak has affected the entire UAE banking sector’s rate of profitability as government deposits fell and slower economic activity impacted the SME sector.

rue 21

From Bloomberg

Rue21 Inc., a teen clothing retailer controlled by Apax Partners, hired Rothschild Inc. to help tame its nearly $1 billion debt-load, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The advisory firm is to look at various options including working with Rue21’s senior lenders to give the chain some breathing room as it tries to turn around its business, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

Rue21’s bonds, meanwhile, continue to sink to deeply distressed levels. The retailer’s $250 million of 9 percent senior unsecured notes maturing 2021 dropped another 1.3 cents after the news of Rothschild’s hiring to last trade at 18.6 cents on the dollar late Thursday, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The bonds traded as high as 87 cents in early 2015.

Representatives for Rue21 and Apax declined to comment. Rothschild didn’t comment.

Like other smaller retailers, including Gymboree Corp. and True Religion Apparel Inc., Rue21 has been struggling with online competition while attempting to reduce debt. The company’s ratings were cut last month by S&P Global and Moody’s Investors Service.

Rue21 made key hires in recent months including naming chief financial officer Keith McDonough as interim CEO and bringing in Nina Barjesteh from Target as chief merchandising officer.

Rue21, which was taken private by Apax in 2013 for about $934 million, has seen same-store sales under pressure and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 56 percent in the third quarter, according to Moody’s.

Europe

From En.taj

On 22 November 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a directive harmonizing the national insolvency laws of the 28 Member States.

This ambitious harmonization initiative was born in 2011 as a result of the following findings:

  • 50% of new businesses survive less than 5 years, causing 200,000 annual bankruptcies (including 25% with cross-border effects) and the destruction of 1,700,000 jobs.
  • There are substantial discrepancies among the 28 national insolvency laws, which constitutes a major obstacle to the free flow of capital, and overall there is great unpredictability and inefficiency surrounding insolvency proceedings.
  • Recovery rates vary between 30% and 90% in the EU.
  • The credit market in Europe is being impacted by a significant volume of under-performing loans.

Harmonization would improve the predictability that investors demand and would encourage the early restructuring of viable businesses, and therefore employment.

The Commission wishes to promote a “new approach” to matters of insolvency and even a “rescue culture“.

To this end, the Commission is counting on an informed approach and flexibility. It has no ambition to harmonize the core aspects of the insolvency framework (conditions for opening insolvency proceedings, definitions of insolvency or ranking of claims): such a project would be too complex given the significant national differences and interconnections with other branches of the law.

The Commission prefers to establish common principles and a series of targeted and realistic measures, centered around 3 themes:

  • Promoting early restructuring tools of viable businesses to help them continue their activity and maintain employment (while unviable businesses should be liquidated) and this through:
    • early warning tools alerting debtors to the risk of insolvency
    • early restructuring proceedings authorizing the restructuring and avoiding insolvency, based on simple principles:
      • the debtor must remain in control of its business
      • to facilitate negotiations and provide more predictability to creditors, stay of enforcement actions must be limited to 4 months renewable twice under strict conditions
      • the restructuring plan must be very structured: content, modalities of adoption by creditors grouped into classes of creditors and validation by a court, possibility to impose this plan upon one or more dissenting voting classes of creditors, as well as upon refractory shareholders, methods of assessment of the enterprise value, binding effect of the plan, and remedies
    • protections for new financing and other restructuring-related transactions in the case of subsequent bankruptcy (priority right, no risk of being declared void and exemption from liability)
    • the duty of directors to take the required measures where there is a likelihood of insolvency in order to protect the company and its environment (creditors, workers, shareholders, stakeholders)
  • Giving a second chance to honest, over-indebted entrepreneurs in order to rebound (estimated 3 million jobs created), articulated around:
    • the limitation of the discharge (full discharge of debt) and disqualification (disqualification from pursuing a business) periods to a maximum of 3 years (unless a general interest calls for longer periods)
    • the coordinated treatment of professional and personal debt
  • Improving the efficiency of restructuring and insolvency proceedings through:
    • the training and specialization of judges
    • the training of insolvency practitioners, subject to a code of conduct, controls, a predictable appointment process with consultation of the debtor and the creditors, an appropriate regime of sanctions and a merit pay system. In the case of cross-border procedures, their ability to communicate and cooperate with foreign colleagues and their human resources must be taken into account to justify their appointment
    • the optimization of electronic means of communication (filing of claims, filing of restructuring or repayment plans, notifications to creditors, votes and lodging of appeals)
    • a national statistics tool, including an annual report to the Commission

Member States would have 2 years to implement this directive which provides for great flexibility and avoids the pitfalls of the Commission’s interfering in the well-functioning national systems in place, with an initial follow-up inspection by the Commission within 5 years and every 7 years thereafter.

With its recent reforms, France is already at the forefront of innovation in preventive restructuring frameworks and second chances. This directive, however, would lead to the following adjustments:

  • the suppression of the systematic involvement of courts or court-appointed insolvency practitioners
  • the reduction of the maximum duration of the “breathing space” period from 18 to 12 months
  • the separation of secured and unsecured creditors into 2 separate classes to ensure that similar rights are treated equitably and that restructuring plans can be adopted without unfairly prejudicing the rights of affected parties
  • the integration of the “cross-class cram-down” (removal of the unanimous agreement of all the creditors’ committees) to rule out dissenting classes of creditors
  • the systematization of the company valuation to ensure better protections for creditors

ayaya

From cdn.ampproject.org

(Reuters) – Telecommunications company Avaya Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday to reduce its debt load of about $6.3 billion but said it would not sell its call center business, which it had tried to do last year.

The bankruptcy underscores the challenges telecommunications companies face as they transition to software and services from hardware. Early last year, Avaya had planned to sell its call center business but did not reach a deal with buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC, which had been in the lead to acquire it for about $4 billion.

Avaya said it must focus on its debt and that a sale of the call center would not maximize value for its customers or creditors. It is still negotiating deals to sell parts of its business.

The company is hashing out terms of a restructuring deal with creditors. The original goal was to have one in place before bankruptcy, but an agreement was not reached.

The company said an affiliate of Citigroup Inc would provide a $725 million loan for up to a year to fund its operations during the reorganization.

Avaya said the loan was needed to reassure jittery vendors who had been shortening payment periods and reducing credit terms in recent months on fears about the company’s financial health.

“Absent additional financing, I believe the debtors could be forced to liquidate on a highly expedited basis,” said a court filing by Eric Koza, a managing director at the restructuring firm Zolfo Cooper, which has been advising Avaya.

Koza also said the money was needed to pay for administrative costs of bankruptcy, “which are expected to be significant.”

Avaya faced a deadline at the end of January in agreements with creditors to address its debt or potentially default.

imagem_cana_estrangeiros

From Alfonsin

Emerging country conglomerates and investment funds are probing sugarcane mills with financial problems in Brazil interested in making any acquisitions. Some of these deals are expected to come out this year, according to sources linked to the talks. The funds assess a short-term incursion in the segment, but there are large groups operating in other sectors that are targeting long-term investments in the scenario of restricted sugar production capacity for the next few years in the world.
Among these conglomerates are the Cevital group, Algeria’s largest private company, and Fatima, one of the largest groups in Pakistan. Amerra, Proterra Investments Partners (which owns one of Cargill’s shareholders), Castlelake and RK Partners are listed on the list of fund managers and consultants who have been collecting information on mills.

Fatima is evaluating the possibility of acquiring the Madhu plant, currently owned by Renuka, and assets of Spain’s Abengoa Bioenergia, which has been seeking to restructure its debt since last year. The Pakistani group – which operates in the sugar-alcohol sector in its country, besides trading in commodities, fertilizers, textiles, mining and energy – already has a close commercial relationship with the Indian company. Wanted, the representative of the group in Brazil declined to comment.
The Madhu plant is expected to undergo a second judicial auction attempt on the 23rd, but so far there have been few inquiries based on information the company has made available about its unit. According to a source linked to Renuka, interested investors are more likely to bid for the entire assets of the Indian company in Brazil after the auction.
With Abengoa Bioenergia, Fatima is under negotiation and is considering the possibility of assumption of debts of the Spanish. Abengoa Bioenergia reported that there have been “information withdrawals from potential investors and buyers”, but “clarifies that so far there is no negotiation completed” and that, for now, continues to focus on grinding 6 million tons Of sugarcane in the next harvest (2017/18).
In turn, the Cevital group has already shown interest in companies in the sector, such as the Usina São Fernando, the family of the businessman José Carlos Bumlai and who is in judicial recovery. The Algerian company owns the world’s largest sugar refinery and operates in several segments of agribusiness, industry and the automotive sector in several countries in Asia and Europe. Wanted, the Cevital representative in Brazil chose not to comment.
This appetite, however, is not unanimous. Cofco Agri, controlled by China’s state-owned Cofco and which already has four plants in São Paulo, even prospected for business last year, including Renuka, but withdrew from the deal. At Valor, Marcelo Andrade, Cofco Agri’s global sugar president, said the company is focused on filling sugarcane capacity with its sugar mills and that current asset sales prices are “out of the question.”
The same mills are also being courted by investment funds. Proterra Investments Partners and Castlelake have already signed a confidentiality agreement to access the database on the Madhu mill, which means they are interested in bidding on the auction, although it is not a guarantee that this will happen.
Proterra already made its first foray into the segment in 2016, when it took over the Ruette Group, after Black River resource manager hit the acquisition in 2015. Castlelake’s entry would be new to the industry. Wanted, Proterra declined to speak, while Castlelake representatives did not return the interview requests.
Brazil’s RK Partners, which has a joint venture with Cerberus Capital Management (one of the largest private equity managers in the world) specializing in distressed assets, contacted representatives of Renuka to evaluate a possible acquisition asset.
Amerra is another fund that since 2016 has indicated interest in acquisition in Brazil. The target is the São Fernando Plant. However, the negotiations have found a barrier since the court of Mato Grosso do Sul (TJ-MS) suspended the assembly of creditors of the plant.

imagem_cana_estrangeiros

From Alfonsin

Emerging country conglomerates and investment funds are probing sugarcane mills with financial problems in Brazil interested in making any acquisitions. Some of these deals are expected to come out this year, according to sources linked to the talks. The funds assess a short-term incursion in the segment, but there are large groups operating in other sectors that are targeting long-term investments in the scenario of restricted sugar production capacity for the next few years in the world.

Among these conglomerates are the Cevital group, Algeria’s largest private company, and Fatima, one of the largest groups in Pakistan. Amerra, Proterra Investments Partners (which owns one of Cargill’s shareholders), Castlelake and RK Partners are listed on the list of fund managers and consultants who have been collecting information on mills.

Fatima is evaluating the possibility of acquiring the Madhu plant, currently owned by Renuka, and assets of Spain’s Abengoa Bioenergia, which has been seeking to restructure its debt since last year. The Pakistani group – which operates in the sugar-alcohol sector in its country, besides trading in commodities, fertilizers, textiles, mining and energy – already has a close commercial relationship with the Indian company. Wanted, the representative of the group in Brazil declined to comment.

The Madhu plant is expected to undergo a second judicial auction attempt on the 23rd, but so far there have been few inquiries based on information the company has made available about its unit. According to a source linked to Renuka, interested investors are more likely to bid for the entire assets of the Indian company in Brazil after the auction.

With Abengoa Bioenergia, Fatima is under negotiation and is considering the possibility of assumption of debts of the Spanish. Abengoa Bioenergia reported that there have been “information withdrawals from potential investors and buyers”, but “clarifies that so far there is no negotiation completed” and that, for now, continues to focus on grinding 6 million tons Of sugarcane in the next harvest (2017/18).

In turn, the Cevital group has already shown interest in companies in the sector, such as the Usina São Fernando, the family of the businessman José Carlos Bumlai and who is in judicial recovery. The Algerian company owns the world’s largest sugar refinery and operates in several segments of agribusiness, industry and the automotive sector in several countries in Asia and Europe. Wanted, the Cevital representative in Brazil chose not to comment.

This appetite, however, is not unanimous. Cofco Agri, controlled by China’s state-owned Cofco and which already has four plants in São Paulo, even prospected for business last year, including Renuka, but withdrew from the deal. At Valor, Marcelo Andrade, Cofco Agri’s global sugar president, said the company is focused on filling sugarcane capacity with its sugar mills and that current asset sales prices are “out of the question.”

The same mills are also being courted by investment funds. Proterra Investments Partners and Castlelake have already signed a confidentiality agreement to access the database on the Madhu mill, which means they are interested in bidding on the auction, although it is not a guarantee that this will happen.

Proterra already made its first foray into the segment in 2016, when it took over the Ruette Group, after Black River resource manager hit the acquisition in 2015. Castlelake’s entry would be new to the industry. Wanted, Proterra declined to speak, while Castlelake representatives did not return the interview requests.

Brazil’s RK Partners, which has a joint venture with Cerberus Capital Management (one of the largest private equity managers in the world) specializing in distressed assets, contacted representatives of Renuka to evaluate a possible acquisition asset.

Amerra is another fund that since 2016 has indicated interest in acquisition in Brazil. The target is the São Fernando Plant. However, the negotiations have found a barrier since the court of Mato Grosso do Sul (TJ-MS) suspended the assembly of creditors of the plant.

preços dos ativos

From Alfonsin

Harvest of sugarcane in the interior of São Paulo; Lack of raw material supply may limit asset value, analysts say

The interest of new investors in sugarcane mills in the country may lead to an increase in merger and acquisition operations in the sector this year compared to 2016, but the lack of supply of sugar cane, due to the low investment in the last few years Years, may limit the value of transactions.

“There are five or six deals to go out this year,” says Luis Felipe Trindade, director of corporate finance for consulting firm Czarnikow.

The persistence of the financial difficulties of some mills has made its assets “cheap” to potential buyers, especially in the face of a lack of investment to expand world production capacity in a market where demand grows steadily from 1% to 2% % every year.

Last year, the value of traded assets was much lower than in the boom at the beginning of the decade. A study carried out at the request of Valor by consulting firm EXM Partners indicates that the value of the acquisitions closed in 2016 per tonne of sugarcane that the mill is capable of grinding was between R $ 62.70 and R $ 229.40, or US $ 19.10 To US $ 67.90 (see chart above).

Nothing compared to 2010 levels, according to Ângelo Guera Netto, partner of EXM. “That euphoria caused businesses to close at $ 116 per ton. As much as businesses recover now, we will not get back to the same level, “he says. He estimates that the value of upcoming deals could be $ 75 per tonne of installed capacity. According to Netto, the funds, which have short-term vision, are evaluating acquisitions “with a term of exit of about three years, at a price of US $ 85 a ton.

However, there are those in the market who believe that business should not exceed $ 60 a ton, since many mills looking for buyers – even with good milling potential – do not have enough sugar cane to guarantee “satisfactory” Production of sugar and ethanol. In addition, political uncertainties and a lack of credit “should keep asset prices down,” Netto estimates.

Trindade, of Czarnikow, says there is growing pressure for businesses with high financial liabilities to make good on debt. “The typical transaction is to take over debt, which may incur haircut, while capital is more directed to the business itself, in working capital lines.”

Most of the deals last year came from judicial auctions or Petrobras’ decision to exit the segment to focus on oil.

Included in the first case are the acquisitions of the Infinity Bioenergia plants by the US fund managers Amerra and Carval and the purchase of a Unialco unit by the Swiss trading company Glencore. In the case of sales made by Petrobras, there was a sale of the stake in Nova Fronteira to São Martinho and the participation in Guarani to the French company Tereos.

The only business that escaped this tonic was the departure of the American ADM from the plant in Limeira do Oeste (MG). The unit was sold to JFLim Participações, a fund managed by BRL Trust Investments, at an undisclosed amount.

Cocoa

From: food business news

KANSAS CITY — U.S. cocoa processor and products supplier Transmar Commodity Group Ltd., Morristown, N.J., filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Dec. 31, 2016, to restructure debts of more than $413 million, according to news reports and court documents.

Transmar said it plans to continue operating during the Chapter 11 proceedings. Deadlines for filing of various schedules were set during January with a chapter 11 plan due by May 1, according to court documents.

Transmar Commodity Group is the U.S unit of Transmar Group Ltd., founded in 1980 by cocoa trader Peter G. Johnson, a global supplier of cocoa products, including beans, powder, butter, liquor and specialty items, to the baking, confectionery and ice cream industries. Operations span the entire cocoa supply chain, including bean sourcing, logistics, processing and risk management of semi-finished products, with cocoa processing plants in the United States, Germany and Ecuador and contract manufacturers in West Africa and Indonesia. It is one of the world’s 10 largest cocoa processors with more than 350 commercial customers, including Hershey Co., Barry Callebaut AG, Mars, Nestle, Guittard Chocolate, Ghirardelli Chocolate and others, court documents said.

The bankruptcy filing unsettled the cocoa market, after Transmar Group Ltd.’s German unit, Euromar Commodities GmbH, declared insolvency in early December. Euromar was overseen by Peter G. Johnson’s son, Peter B. Johnson, who resigned in December.

Court filings suggest Transmar’s financial problems stemmed from a sluggish cocoa market the past couple of years, several unfavorable forward contracts (including some unhedged) and the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016 that caused the British pound to plunge (and cocoa beans priced in pounds to soar). Before declaring insolvency, Euromar attempted its own out-of-court restructuring that drew heavily from Transmar Commodity Group, including financial support. Court documents indicate Euromar owes Transmar at least $94 million in intercompany dealings. Euromar’s inability to pay Transmar Commodity Group along with the financial support of Euromar contributed to Transmar Commodity Group’s bankruptcy filing, court documents said.

Japan’s trading company Itochu Corp. took a 20% ownership stake in parent company Transmar Group in early in 2016.

 Some U.S. cocoa product users, uncertain if they will get contracted material from Transmar, have been “tire kicking” at other suppliers but were finding higher prices since some of Transmar’s contracted business was said to be below current price levels, industry sources told Food Business News.