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Q2 League Tables: Energy, Retail, Pharma Most Active in Restructuring

By Kirk O'Neil | Published on June 29, 2018

Despite rising oil and natural gas prices over the last quarter, many energy companies still launched out-of-court restructurings in the second quarter hoping to avoid filing Chapter 11.

However, predictions that a steady flow of retailers would also seek to restructure out of court did not materialize, though there were some notable retail restructurings launched.

Restructuring attorneys and advisers still expect the energy and retail sectors to be the most active for out-of-court restructurings through the second half of 2018. Expect the pharmaceutical and shipping sectors to be quite active as well.

Notable energy restructurings in the second quarter included coal producer Bowie Resource Partners LLC in June securing new debt to improve liquidity.

May was a busy month for energy restructurings as EP Energy Corp. (EPE) issued notes to pay off outstanding debt, Empire Generating Co. LLC obtained a forbearance agreement on its debt, Yuma Energy Inc. (YUMA) launched a restructuring, Bellatrix Exploration Ltd. (BXE) sought a refinancing to improve liquidity and Northern Oil and Gas Inc. (NOG) completed a restructuring.

Notable retailers who were restructuring out-of-court in the second quarter included Men’s Wearhouse parent Tailored Brands Inc. (TLRD), Guitar Center Inc. and Petco Animal Supplies Inc.

A parade of pharmaceutical companies also began restructurings out of court. Among them were Vivus Inc. (VVUS), Temasek Holdings and Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (SGYP).

Shipping companies were also busy out of court as Danaos Corp. (DAC), Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd. (GNK) and Scorpio Tankers Inc. (STNG) launched restructuring to avoid Chapter 11.

A number of distress factors affecting retailers, oil and gas companies, shipping concerns and pharmaceutical companies will prompt each of these industries to continue to seek out-of-court restructurings through the remainder of the year.

Retailers in regional malls and other shopping centers will continue to suffer, as foot traffic decreases from consumers purchasing more products online from retailers led by Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN). Increased activity in internet commerce will force many retailers to re-examine their business models and try to drive more online retail traffic.

Offshore oil and gas exploration and development companies, ancillary suppliers and shipping companies will continue to endure the fallout of financial distress caused by low oil and gas prices in past years.

Uncertainty with the future of the Affordable Care Act will continue to affect businesses in the healthcare sector, including pharmaceutical companies.

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