Posts for Garrison Capital

VIP Cinema Holdings: Bankruptcy Plan In Doubt

Back on February 19, 2020 when we first wrote about VIP Cinema Holdings, the movie theater seat manufacturer was in bankruptcy but planning to exit with a plan that included the conversion of debt to equity and new capital. Since then, though, we’ve had the Covid-19 situation, which has been a disaster for so many businesses, including the company’s prospective movie house clients.

Now, thanks to a legal challenge from a disgruntled unsecured creditor (Regal Cinemas) and a full fledged article in Law360, we hear that there is some doubt that the company will be able to proceed and get bankruptcy court approval to exit Chapter 11. Admittedly, this is one sided information as the company has not responded to claims made as yet.

However, one has to wonder – even without Regal’s complaints – if the company can survive in any form the extreme market conditions that Covid-19 has wrought and which show no signs of abating. For the three BDCs involved, this is making a bad situation worse. At year end 2019 – with the debt owed already on non accrual but before the Chapter 11 bankruptcy – VIP’s 2023 Term Loan had been written down by approx (55%). The expectation was that the BDC lenders would become owners in a fully de-leveraged entity. Now a complete loss on $23.6mn invested is a possibility. The BDCs involved are (in descending order of importance) publicly traded Main Street (MAIN); non-traded sister BDC HMS Income and public Garrison Capital (GARS).

We will check back when the BDC Credit Reporter determines if the company successfully exited Chapter 11 or not. Even then – and even without any debt outstanding – VIP may not yet survive. We are in a whole new environment and what was possible only a month ago in terms of company rescue will be very different going forward.

Constellis Group Inc.: Update

We have written about Constellis Group on four prior occasions. With the publishing of IVQ 2019 BDC results, our most dire predictions appear to be coming true. That’s unfortunate because on January 4, 2020 the BDC Reporter was saying darkly: “We’ll probably be learning a lot about the company’s plans and the impact on its various lenders very soon and will be able to make a better assessment. At this point, though, with a potential loss range of $75mn-$100mn in a down case, this looks like a major credit reverse is on its way“.

Now we’ve just seen OFS Capital’s (OFS) latest valuation of the 4/1/2025 “First Lien” debt. The loan has been discounted by (96%) from cost versus (71%) at 9/30/2019. Worse, and according to Advantage Data, currently that loan trades at 1 cent on the dollar... Likewise, FS-KKR Capital II has also reported IVQ 2019 results and the value of its 4/15/2022 Term Loan. That was discounted by (14%) in September, but (33%) at year-end 2019. Currently that loan – also on non accrual – is discounted (87%).

Let’s tot up the damage. There’s $9mn of investment income already interrupted since November 2019 (according to OFS) and potential realized losses across several tranches of debt of ($96mn-$100mn) by our rough estimate. That’s ($30mn) in additional unrealized depreciation from the 9/30/2019 levels for which we have values for all BDCs involved. We don’t have the latest word about how the restructuring of the company is going but by the time we hear, the lenders involved appear set to recover very little. Even then, that might be in the form of equity rather than cash.

Frankly, this is an unmitigated disaster for this Apollo Group-led buyout and for the BDC lenders involved. To be specific, the biggest hit is being taken by the non-traded BDCs in the FS-KKR Capital construct (FS Investment II; FS Investment III; FS Investment IV and CCT II, all of which are being rolled into one entity). By our count 86% of the exposure is there, with OFS the second BDC group on the list with $9.8mn at cost. Far behind are Garrison Capital (GARS); followed by two non-traded players with small outstandings.

We’ll be checking back when the final decision about a bankruptcy-restructuring is finalized but – from a lenders standpoint – most of the damage has been done and material recovery of any kind seems unlikely from the information at hand.

Bass Pro Group, LLC: Loan Value Dropped

The BDC Credit Reporter added fishing and hunting specialty retailer Bass Pro Group LLC to the under performers list only in IVQ 2019. That was on the back of a worrisome note by Moody’s about the company, which we wrote about on October 1, 2019. The company is privately owned.

There’s been no new information from the ratings group that we’re aware of since, or anything material in the public record. However, when we checked Advantage Data’s records for the latest valuation of the company’s debt we noted a discount of (12%) on March 13, 2020, significantly higher than before the market melt-down.

Moreover, we couldn’t help surmising that a company still heavily reliant on walking around consumers – now stuck at home in some cases – might be impacted going forward. As Moody’s previously noted, the owners have had an “aggressive” financial stance. The loan in which the BDCS involved are funded was expanded in 2018 to allow for the repayment of junior capital, as Moody’s reported at the time. Also, EBITDA is at or above the levels we’d prefer for companies of this size. We are affirming our CCR 3 rating, but will be paying ever closer attention.

At the moment, though, BDC exposure is relatively modest: now just 2 players: publicly traded OFS Capital (OFS) and Garrison Capital (GARS), with $9.0mn invested at cost. (The latter has the bulk of the exposure). Non-traded GSO-Blackstone appears to have dropped out as lender late in 2019. In both remaining cases, the exposure is limited to involvement in the syndicated 2024 Term Loan, mentioned above. OFS actually valued the debt at a premium to par at 12/312/2019 (the GARS report is not available). That might even suggest the debt will shortly be repaid.

In our database, we’ve assumed some potential material credit losses in a worst case, but there’s no immediate reason to be concerned for the BDCs involved. Income at risk is just $0.6mn as the debt is priced at LIBOR + 500 bps.

VIP Cinema Holdings: Files Chapter 11

Well, that’s embarrassing. For the last few weeks we’ve prided ourselves on having identified all BDC-funded companies that are under-performing. However, we’ve now learned that cinema seat manufacturer VIP Cinema Holdings has just filed Chapter 11, and that there are 3 BDCs involved and $24mn invested at cost who are about to take a haircut. VIP Holdings was not on our under performers list. All BDC exposure is in a 2023 Term Loan. We should have placed the company on the under performers list in the IIIQ 2019 (the last one reported) when the debt was discounted up to (25%), versus (8%) the prior quarter. The BDCs involved are Garrison Capital (GARS); Main Street (MAIN) and non-traded HMS Income, which is managed by MAIN.

The company appears to have a plan in place to allow a fast exit from bankruptcy: a debt-for-equity swap with the existing lenders that will see $178mn in debt extinguished out of $210mn and new capital brought in by a PE group – H.I.G. Capital. Reuters reports that the company “hopes to emerge from bankruptcy by mid-April, while preserving 373 jobs”

For the record: VIP was founded in 2008 in New Albany, Mississippi, as a residential furniture maker and reportedly has a 70% share of the U.S. market for luxury movie theater seating.

Questions have to be asked about lenders underwriting a single product company which services an industry (movie houses) whose troubles are well known. Also, when a borrower has a 70% market share the most likely direction is usually down. Still, we don’t know exactly how the BDCs involved will fare and exactly what portion of their debt will be converted to equity and what kind of realized loss – if any – will be booked. That’s likely to become evident in the IQ or IIQ 2020 results.

This new non accrual/bankruptcy is notable – besides from the fact that we missed the name in our research- for the speed at which the company went from performing to non performing. This credit dates back to IQ 2017, according to Advantage Data. As mentioned above VIP’s debt was valued close to par through IIQ 2019. Just a few months later virtually all its debt has to be written off for the business to be viable. This begs questions about the valuation process of the BDCs involved as we can’t imagine the slowdown in VIP’s sales was a very recent phenomenon. We worry that BDC lenders – and the army of valuation experts that review their investments just about every quarter – are only recognizing problems when they are right in front of them and inescapable. That’s good for manager compensation levels and keeps investors from worrying for a while, but may keep matters that should be brought into the open in the dark.

Akorn, Inc.: Lenders Extend Standstill, Company To Be Sold

Akorn, Inc. has been in trouble ever since a proposed sale to a third party fell through last year for all the wrong reasons. Since mid-2019, the company has been operating under a “standstill agreement” with its lenders, and much negotiation has been happening behind the scenes. We last wrote about the company and its troubles back on December 18, 2019. At that point, we had a rating of CCR 4 on Akorn, suggesting we believed that a bankruptcy or restructuring, and some sort of realized loss, was more likely than not.

Now we hear – thanks to a February 12, 2020 press release – that certain lenders have agreed to an indefinite extension of the” standstill agreement”. More importantly – and the reason for the lenders apparent patience – is an agreement that the company will immediately seek a buyer. There’s even an agreed schedule and provisions for a “pre-packaged” Chapter 11. If no sale occurs then a default will occur and we’ll be potentially back in bankruptcy court, but under different conditions. The lenders goal: ensuring Akorn is sold to ensure their debt is paid in full. As of September 2019, Akorn reported $835mn in debt, all due the minute the borrower and the lenders cannot agree. All of the above suggests the Akorn story will come to a conclusion of some sort in 2020, and sooner rather than later if matters go well.

From a BDC perspective there’s only BDC with exposure – and not much at that. Garrison Capital (GARS) has $2.0mn invested in the 2021 Term Loan, marked at a modest (7%) discount. The BDC – and the market if we are to believe what the debt is trading for – seem to believe the lenders will “get out” without any material loss. Not so the shareholders of the company who have seen their stock price drop in the last two years from $33 a share to $1.36. That suggests there is not much room for any further decline in Akorn before lenders join common stockholders to share the financial pain. Still, with annual investment income at risk of only $0.166mn and a modest potential book value loss, GARS is unlikely to be much affected one way or another.

Frontier Communications: March Bankruptcy Targeted

We’ve written eight prior articles about the publicly traded telecom + cable giant Frontier Communications, dating all the way back to March 2019. In fact, the company was added to our Under Performer list following IVQ 2018 results with a CCR 3 (Watch List) rating and downgraded further to a CCR 4 (Worry List) back on June 13, 2019. More recently, we predicted the company might file Chapter 11 in the IVQ 2019, but that did not happen. In our last report before this one, though, we said a Chapter 11 filing was likely in the IQ 2020. With the latest news reports, that seems likely to turn out to be true.

People with knowledge of the matter” – and there are dozens of lenders, lawyers, insiders and regulators involved at this stage so journalists have plenty of sources – indicate the company is aiming to file a consensual, pre-packaged bankruptcy by March. On the horizon are $356mn of interest payments due in mid-March. As a result, Frontier’s new CEO and his team have been busy – according to these reports – meeting creditors and seeking to craft out a restructuring plan that would be blessed by the court. (The company itself has no comment).

From a BDC perspective, the question is now more about how each lender class will fare in the restructuring, and what impact there will be on interest income – running about $5mn a year. As we’ve noted before, the debt held by the BDC lenders remains valued at a premium to par, both in their own valuations and when we look at the market price of their secured debt on Advantage Data. Will Frontier restructure itself, go in and come out of Chapter 11 in a hurry and have no impact on the value or income of the $67.5mn in debt held by 8 BDCs ? We have our doubts, but that’s the state of play at the moment. We shall soon learn if those valuations are appropriate.

Fusion Connect: To Exit Chapter 11

The BDC Credit Reporter has written on four prior occasions about Fusion Connect Inc. ever since the “leading provider of integrated technology solutions” failed to make an interest payment on its debt back in April 2019. Subsequently the company agreed to a debt for equity swap with its senior lenders and filed for Chapter 11 back on June 4, 2019. Those senior lenders were owed $574mn. From today’s announcement, we know $400mn of debt has been written off. Furthermore, some existing lenders have agreed to provide $115mn in an “exit financing loan”. We’re not sure if that rolls up the D.I.P. financing in place or is a new facility.

Back in July we’d anticipated the Chapter 11 exit momentarily, so there’s been some delay. In the interim, the company has appointed a new CEO from within.

With the exit, we are upgrading our credit rating to CCR 3 (Watch List) from CCR 5 (Non Performing). We’ll be keeping Fusion in our BDC portfolio company Under Performers database until we learn a good deal more about the company’s long term prospects with its new manager and balance sheet. For the two BDCs involved Garrison Capital (GARS) and Investcorp Credit Management (ICMB), with at least $20.3mn in exposure, a day of reckoning is now nigh. The BDCs should be writing off a portion of the 2023 Term Loan they hold in the IQ 2020 results. Based on the current market value of that debt, we expect a third of the position may be written off. The small DIP positions the two BDCs have is likely to be repaid or continue in the unspecified “exit” facility.

Even at this interim stage, this is a material blow to both BDCs, with ICMB with the greatest exposure on the 2023 Term Loan-turned equity, with $11.4mn at cost and a likely Realized Loss of over ($3mn). GARS has $7.4mn invested at cost in the 2023 debt, but had not taken as big a discount as ICMB last quarter in valuation terms (27% versus 34%). As a result, GARS might have to take an incremental unrealized loss before booking its realized loss of over ($2mn). All the above is just speculation because BDCs have wide latitude on how to value these investments gone wrong and converted into different security types. Undeniably, though, both BDCs will permanently lose much of the $1.8mn of investment income being generated before everything went wrong.

A final word. As Advantage Data’s records show both BDCs got involved in lending to the fast growing (i.e. risky) technology company only in the second half of 2018. ICMB joined the lending group in the IIIQ 2018 and GARS started a quarter earlier. By the IQ 2019, the company was in trouble due to its inability to successfully integrate two major acquisitions and the debt went on non accrual. That’s a very brief period to go from performing credit to non performing. Hopefully for both BDCs the company’s future performance – and the stock that they now own – will offset these early reverses.

Constellis Holdings: Restructuring Underway

We warned in an earlier article on October 9, 2019 that for Constellis Holdings “a day of reckoning is coming – and fast”. Judging from two major – and related – developments, the time is nigh. On January 3, 2020 the Wall Street Journal reported the troubled security company “is in talks with creditors on a deal to restructure its $1 billion of debt, according to people with knowledge of the discussions”. Darkly, unnamed sources, warned that if an out of court restructuring didn’t happen, a “pre-packaged” Chapter 11 filing was also on the table. (That’s all part of the negotiation process in these kind of deals as interested parties suddenly find their way to the phone to confide to journalists, who are themselves happy to be of service).

We also learned that the company failed to make a scheduled principal payment on December 31 and has received a short term forbearance from its lenders.

At the same time, Moody’s went and downgraded the company’s corporate rating to Ca, and re-rated several debt tranches outstanding. Most worrying of all is that Moody’s reports that the company’s finances suddenly deteriorated in the last quarter of the year, resulting in a “liquidity crunch”.

All of which suggests the Day of Reckoning is here for the 8 BDCs with nearly $107mn in debt exposure at various points in the company’s balance sheet. Just one month ago, one of those BDC lenders – OFS Capital or OFS – waxed relatively optimistic about the outlook for Constellis: ” I want to note that the company is current on its payments. And based on discussions with management, they have stressed that they have adequate liquidity to fund operations. The company has a growing backlog and expects sequential performance improvement. The sponsor has substantial amount of cash invested in this business, and we expect continued focus from the sponsor”.

We now know that at least some of those reassurances are no longer true. This is reflected in the public prices of the outstanding debt as provided by Advantage Data. The 2022 Term Loan is trading at a (57%) discount, versus (14%) at September 30, 2019. The second lien debt is worth only 10 cents on the dollar in the market, down from 25 cents. At 9/30/2019 FMV was still around $84mn, down ($23mn) from cost. Now, we wouldn’t be surprised to see further losses of ($30mn)-($40mn) more at FMV and ultimate Realized Losses – which could crystallize very soon – of nearly ($75mn). Add to that the loss of income and you’ve got the first bona fide major set-back for BDC lenders in 2020 , should there be no last minute rescue.

As we’ve noted before, the bulk of the exposure – and thus any damage – will be concentrated in the four non-listed FS-KKR BDCs – CCT II, FSIC II, FSIC III and FSIC IV. This was a borrower that the group jumped into under the KKR regime, bringing BDC exposure from modest ($12mn) to major, when they initiated exposure in the IVQ 2018. Maybe the far sighted folk at the jointly run asset manager have their eyes on becoming equity owners of Constellis, but we don’t think so as Advantage Data’s records show the debt was purchased at a cost very close to par, and before the current downturn in corporate fortunes.

We’ll probably be learning a lot about the company’s plans and the impact on its various lenders very soon and will be able to make a better assessment. At this point, though, with a potential loss range of $75mn-$100mn in a down case, this looks like a major credit reverse is on its way.

Centric Brands Inc: Credit Coverage Initiated

We are initiating our credit coverage of Centric Brands Inc. with a rating of CCR 3, dating back to the IIQ 2019. At that time, Ares Capital (ARCC) discounted the value of its $24.6mn equity stake in the company by (24%), from par in the prior period. Given that the company is publicly traded (ticker: CTRC) that reflects a declining stock price, which was as high as $5.33 a share in mid-March. By the end of June CTRC was at $4.11. As we write this on December 28, 2019, the stock price has halved since the summer to $2.15.

Admittedly, most of the substantial BDC exposure of $123.8mn at cost is in the form of Term debt due in 2023, held by the afore mentioned ARCC, TCW Direct Lending and Garrison Capital (GARS). That debt has been valued very close to par since first being booked and remains so in late December, according to Advantage Data’s records.

Nonetheless, even a quick glance at the company’s 10-Q is enough to elicit credit concern. The company is fast growing, thanks to acquisitions in 2018 and 2019, but debt levels are very high and getting higher. We note that Adjusted EBITDA, as reported in the latest 10-Q for the first 9 months of 2019, was given as $122mn. Interest expense – which admittedly includes Pay-In-Kind income – was $142mn…The ‘comprehensive loss” over the same 9 month period was ($171mn). Yes, we know investors are too clever to take GAAP accounting as the be-all in this brave new world of adjusted numbers but that’s still a lot to swallow.

Notwithstanding the apparent complacency of the debt markets, the BDC Credit Reporter is worried about the leverage levels. Our concern is heightened because the amount of total BDC exposure is so high, especially for ARCC and TCW Direct Lending. Any sort of stumble by the company could materially impact book value and investment income earned. Nor should debt holders take too much comfort from the “first lien senior secured” appellation of the $99mn in term debt held by the BDCs. Sitting above them in order of priority is a secured Revolver – led by ARCC as administrative agent – and many of the company’s trade receivables are being sold off in a different financing facility.

We expect that we’ll be updating readers multiple times in the year ahead given that Centric is a public company and every quarter brings a new snapshot of performance. We’ll also keep an eye on stock and debt price performance, even if we don’t fully trust the credit antennas of the latter in the current frothy and generous market conditions.

Constellis Holdings: Hires Restructuring Firm

The Wall Street Journal reports on October 9 that defense contractor Constellis Holdingshas engaged PJT Partners Inc. to engineer a plan for restructuring the company’s debt-laden balance sheet, according to people familiar with the matter“. PJT Parners is an investment bank, often used in turnaround work.

Otherwise, the WSJ article has no new information, except a recap of some of the highlights from the most recent financial filings. Some of that data is admittedly dire. We noticed that even after a recent asset sale – the subject of our last post about Constellis – “the company’s liquidity remained tight, amounting to just $33 million of cash and $18 million of availability on a revolving credit facility as of June 30“. That alone should send chills down the spines of anyone concerned about the company.

Anyway, the advent of a restructuring firm and those slim liquidity numbers suggests a day of reckoning is coming – and fast.

We discussed BDC exposure before when we first added Constellis to the under-performing list back in August. Judging by the current market valuations (source: Advantage Data) of the three different loans outstanding in which BDC lenders are involved, the debt is discounted from (8%) to (70%), higher than in June. Thankfully, 90% of of BDC exposure is in the 2022 Term Loan, which is valued the highest even after the news of a prospective restructure. Nonetheless, at current levels – and things could get much worse – potential ultimate realized losses could reach $20mn on the $109mn invested at cost, most of which has not been recognized even on an unrealized basis as of June 2019. Not to mention the loss of investment income, which we’ve previously pegged at $9mn annually.

Unfortunately Constellis has the possibility of being one of the biggest credit hotspots of the fourth quarter (if that’s when the rubber meets the road) for the BDC sector. The prospective damage will be widespread. There are 4 FS-KKR related non-listed funds with $90mn at cost lent to Constellis. OFS Capital (OFS) and Garrison Capital (GARS) and – to a lesser degree – two non-listed BDCs are also exposed.

Fusion Connect: New CEO Appointed.

The BDC Credit Reporter has tracked Fusion Connect from under-performing to Chapter 11 filing and, most recently, to getting ready to exit bankruptcy, expected by the end of the year.

Now we hear that the existing CEO is departing and a new chief executive has been promoted internally to take that key position on an interim basis. The company will be head hunting for a permanent CEO once Chapter 11 is exited. The new interim CEO will be very busy as he has also been appointed President and COO as the individual wearing those two hats has also resigned.

Given that Fusion will shortly be owned by its lenders, which includes Garrison Capital (GARS) and Investcorp Credit Management BDC (ICMB) – formerly CM Finance – these changes – and those to come – deserve watching. We still rate Fusion Connect a CCR 5 because it’s non-performing but expect to maintain the company on our under-performing list with a rating of CCR 3 (Watch List) once operating normally again. We still have a lot to learn about the ultimate balance sheet of the restructured entity; its strategy going forward – and we see from this news – who will be at the helm long term.

Bass Pro Group: Moody’s Revises Outlook

According to a news report, Moody’s Investors Servicerevised Bass Pro Group, L.L.C’s outlook to stable from positive and affirmed the company’s Ba3 Corporate Family Rating, Ba3-PD Probability of Default rating and B1 senior secured rating“. The change was caused by “revenue and earnings weakness“. Please read the article for the key details.

We’re far from panicking based on what we’ve learned to date but have just added the Bass Pro Group to our under-performing list, with an initial CCR 3 rating (Watch List). BDC exposure is a modest $14.4mn, shared by three BDCs. Income at risk is just over $1.0mn annually.

We’ll be keeping close tabs on this credit – leveraged over 5x – going forward.

Constellis Holdings: Sells Assets To Improve Liquidity

According to the Wall Street Journal’s crack Pro publication, Constellis Holdings – a troubled leading defense contractor with multiple operations – has sold a training facility for $40mn. More than the amount involved – which is modest by comparison with the debt on the company’s balance sheet – we noted that the WSJ article indicated the sale was undertaken to “avert a liquidity crunch”.

We added Constellis to the under-performing list (CCR 3) only in the IIQ 2019, as reported in a post on August 17, 2019 and based in downward valuation changes, rating downgrades and changes in the C-suite. As we become more familiar with the Apollo Global-owned private company, we recognize that Constellis should have been a candidate for our concern some time before. The drawdown of US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, which has been going on for some time, is one negative factor; along with a major restructuring of its business underway, discussed by its CEO in a recent article in a defense trade publication.

The sale of the training facility by itself will not be sufficient to right the ship, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on developments at the company in the months ahead. Given the over $100mn invested by 9 BDCs – especially 4 FS-KKR entities – this deserves watching.

Constellis Holdings: Added To Under-Performing List

With the publication of the IIQ 2019 valuations by 8 BDCs with $107mn in various forms of debt exposure (2022-2024 and both senior and second lien), we’ve added Constellis Holdings to our under-performers list with an initial rating of CCR 3 (Watch List). The debt has been discounted between (6%-30%) from 0% to (5%) in the prior quarter.

This is not surprising as there has been a massive number of changes in senior management in recent months and downgrades from both S&P and Moody’s in the spring, worried about high leverage; cash flow losses and operational challenges. For the BDC sector, this is very big exposure in aggregate, with annual income of approx. $9mn at risk should the company default down the road. With that said $90mn of the debt is held by the three FS-KKR non traded BDCs (FS II-III and IV), which are intending to go public under one banner before long. How Constellis plays out will be of above average interest at FS Investment-KKR in the quarters ahead.

Fusion Connect: Schedule For Chapter 11 Exit

According to Informa, Fusion Connect has filed its bankruptcy plan with the court and hopes to get a hearing by October 1st and – if all goes well – exit Chapter 11 shortly thereafter. The plan includes a very large debt swap/forgiveness that is said to cut total borrowings from $680mn to $380mn. Currently, the restructuring appears to have the first lien lenders gaining control of the business in return for writing off a goodly portion of their debt. The two BDCs involved – CM Finance (CMFN) and Garrison Capital (GARS) have $18mn invested at cost, but that liability may have increased as senior lenders provided DIP financing. That original debt is on non accrual and won’t – in any form – be paying interest till the IVQ 2019. That’s three quarters without LIBOR + 7.25%. Moreover, a write-off of some kind must be coming.  We’ll learn more when CMFN and GARS report IIQ 2019 portfolios. The valuations are likely to be close to the final, if all goes to plan. See our prior posts on June 12, 2019  and April 17, 2019.

Fusion Connect: Further Details On Post Bankruptcy Financing

The Company filed for Chapter 11 on June 3. On June 11, in an article from the Global Legal Chronicle we learned that “ad hoc group of lenders also backstopped Fusion’s debtor-in-possession financing facility in the aggregate principal amount of $59.5 million, which consists of $39.5 million of new money term loans”. This suggests that the two BDCs with $18mn in senior debt exposure  –  CMFN and GARS – have increased their exposure to what was till very recently a fast growing enterprise, cobbled together from multiple acquisitions. It’s still too early to determine how this will all play out. The business may yet be sold or the existing lenders may be involved in a debt for equity swap. In either case, income from the pre-petition debt is going to be interrupted for months, and some sort of realized loss is likely. At 3/31/2019, the discount to cost that the BDCs were using ranged between (12%) and (17%). However, any income and return from the DIP financing should be money good.

Fusion Connect: Lenders Agree To Standstill Agreement

Publicly traded Fusion Connect has entered into a Forbearance Agreement with its Revolver lenders and 70%+ of first lien lenders. As the press release states : “Under the terms of the Forbearance Agreement, these first lien lenders have agreed not to exercise the remedies available to them related to Fusion’s decision not to make its scheduled principal payments due on April 1 and 2, 2019 and certain other defaults under the Company’s credit agreement. The Forbearance Agreement extends until April 29, 2019 unless certain specified events occur”.  In the interim, the Company has hired turnaround advisers and appropriate legal counsel in an effort to restructure the balance sheet out of bankruptcy. However, the odds are stacked against the highly leveraged business. See the Company File for the BDC Credit Reporter’s View. The two BDCs with $18mn in exposure appear to be in a first lien loan due in 2023. The publicly traded debt – valued by the BDCs at close to par at 12/31/2018 – currently trades at a (25%) discount). That suggests CMFN and GARS are likely to have to write down their debt by close to $5mn or more in the IQ 2019 results and face the risk of additional Realized and Unrealized Losses. The most immediate impact is likely to be interruption of interest income: $1.1mn on an annual basis for CMFN and $0.7mn for GARS.

Lionbridge Technologies: Sued By Rival Company For $700mn

On April 11, 2019,TransPerfect – the world’s largest language provider by revenue – filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York against rival Lionbridge Technologies and its owner, private equity firm HIG. TransPerfect is seeking at least  $700m in damages and compensation. For all the details, see the press release. We have no way to determine who will win the lawsuit or any terms that might be involved. Nonetheless, the amount is sufficiently large – and with recent experience of companies losing major cases in court and being financially crippled thereby in mind – we’ve decided to add Lionbridge Technologies to our Watch List, with a CCR 3 rating.  Till this news – and using IVQ 2018 values – there are three BDCs with $31mn in first lien and second lien debt exposure, all carried at par. We’ve also opened a Company File, which we’ll keep updated as this issue wends its way through the courts.