Murray Energy: Assessing Restructuring Options

e don’t want to bury the lead: Murray Energy is likely to file for bankruptcy or re-organize and the BDC lenders involved are going to absorb some rather large losses. On September 10, 2019 the Wall Street Journal’s bankruptcy publication reported that the privately-held coal miner had hired Kirkland & Ellis and Evercore to assess restructuring options.

That follows a recent downturn in the short term prospects for the U.S. coal industry, according to Moody’s and as reported by S&P… That’s not to mention the obvious secular decline in the prospects for coal mining and coal usage. Previously in 2019 , the rating groups had downgraded the company’s debt to SD or Selective Default, so the writing has been on the wall.

BDC exposure totals $52.4mn, spread over 6 BDCs. These include publicly traded FS-KKR Capital (FSK) and three sister non-traded BDCs funds (FSIC II, FSIC III and FSIC IV but not – surprisingly – FS Energy). Then there are two others: Cion Investment and Business Development Corporation Of America.The exposure is in two different loans, one which matures in 2021 and the other in 2022. The debt has been on our under-performing list since IVQ 2018 and is currently rated CCR 4 (Worry List), where the chances of an eventual loss are greater than a full recovery.

As of June 2019, the 2021 debt was carried at par but the 2022 debt was discounted by a third. Currently, though, the 2022 debt trades at twice that discount, suggesting holders are not optimistic. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2022 debt fully written off once the dust settles, which would result in ($8.5mn) of further losses and ($12.5mn) in Realized Losses, to be absorbed by Cion and BDCA. Less clear is what might happen to the 2021 debt, which still trades at par. We won’t speculate at this point but will point out that – overall – $5.5mn of annual investment income is at risk.

In any case, we expect we’ll be discussing Murray Energy again in the weeks ahead.

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group: Agrees Debt For Equity Swap

On September 4, 2019 Variety reports Deluxe Entertainment Services Group , which was headed for bankruptcy, has agreed for a debt to equity swap instead. “In a deal announced on Saturday, Deluxe said it would offer a deal to all of its term-loan lenders to exchange their debt for 100% of the equity of the newly organized company”.

BDC exposure – Harvest Capital (HCAP) and non-traded Cion Investment – is material at $20.3mn, all in senior debt and carried at par or at a modest discount at June 30, 2019. The income likely to be lost – and right away – is approximately $1.6mn annually. We had a quick look at HCAP and calculated that investment income lost is equal to 11% of its latest Net Investment Income annualized.

Based on other news reports we’ve seen, the company will be writing off half its senior debt, suggesting the losses – both realized and unrealized – will be around ($10mn).

A bankruptcy is not yet out of the question. If all the lenders do not agree to the “reorganization”, a pre-packaged bankruptcy will be filed.

The BDC Credit Reporter had the company rated as under-performing since the IVQ 2018 with a CCR 3 rating. However, the situation deteriorated more recently. In July, the company announced it had abandoned plans to spin off its Creative Services division. The company – and its lenders – had hoped that the proceeds of which, along with a debt raise, would repay a sizable amount of the company’s term loans and ABL borrowings. The value of the existing debt dropped to 20 cents on the dollar on the negative news.

We are now rating Deluxe Entertainment CCR 5 on our 1-5 scale as a material loss is baked in. Nonetheless, as in all these situations where lenders become owners after the traditional PE sponsor has failed, we have to wonder if additional capital will be injected and whether the business can ultimately be made to work. We’ll be hearing more about Deluxe Entertainment for some time.