Bankruptcies Set to Increase as Debt Maturities Loom

Serving as a partner at Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP, Norman Kinel is a New York based partner and member of the firm’s Restructuring & Insolvency Practice Group and heads the Firm’s Creditors’ Committee Practice as national chair. In late 2019, Norman Kinel was a participant in Corporate LiveWire’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring Virtual Roundtable.

The first topic discussed was the bankruptcy and restructuring landscapes presently existing in each panelist’s jurisdiction. As Mr. Kinel described it, there has been a slight increase in business bankruptcy filings, which he felt may presage a wave of filings in sectors that are particularly vulnerable.

In addition, with debt maturities approaching for a diversity of over-leveraged companies, lenders are less likely to extend deadlines when reaching their natural limits. At the same time, political uncertainties abound domestically and worldwide, and a recession is “long overdue” when going by historical standards.

A fellow panelist noted that, with bankruptcy filings having last reached a peak in September of 2010, followed by years of decline, non-business bankruptcies continued to decline, but only marginally. At the same time, the first half of 2019 witnessed a significant increase in business bankruptcies, led by major national retailers.

LBI Media, Inc., Chapter 11 Disclosure Statement Approved

Norman Kinel

Norman Kinel

Norman Kinel is a New York-based attorney at Squire Patton Boggs, LLP, who serves as head of its Creditors’ Committee practice and as partner in the Restructuring & Insolvency Practice Group. As reported by Law360 in January, 2019, Norman Kinel represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in a case in which a Delaware U.S. bankruptcy judge approved a disclosure statement in connection with a proposed plan proposed by Debtor LBI Media, Inc.

The disclosure statement was approved after objections by junior noteholders, who requested that more details be provided before its approval. Their specific concerns centered on undisclosed details regarding LBI’s plans to sell the company, top officer compensation provisions, and inadequate review time. The noteholders alleged that with the additional information it sought the chances of having a “contested hearing on the disclosure statement itself” would be minimized.

Mr. Kinel noted that this did not affect the committee’s ongoing investigation of whether any valid claims against California-based LBI or others existed. The committee he represented had yet to decide on whether it would support the Chapter 11 plan presented by LBI.

TMA’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Cleveland

Turnaround Management Association pic

Turnaround Management Association
Image: turnaround.org

Seasoned bankruptcy lawyer Norman Kinel has earned numerous awards, including the 2018 Turnaround Atlas Award for Chapter 11 Restructuring of the Year ($500 million to $1 billion) for the Optima Specialty Steel chapter 11 case. Mr. Kinel led the representation of the official committee of unsecured creditors, and unsecured creditors in the case received a 100% recovery on their claims.

To keep abreast about the latest developments in the field of turnarounds, Norman Kinel maintains membership with the Turnaround Management Association (TMA). TMA is a professionally diverse organization whose close to 10,000 members worldwide include attorneys, turnaround practitioners, accountants, government employees, liquidators, and judiciary members in the renewal, corporate health, and corporate restructuring fields. It will be holding the 2019 TMA Annual on September 25-27 at the Hilton Downtown in Cleveland, Ohio. The affair coincides with the organization’s 31st anniversary and features golf at Canterbury Golf Club on the first day.

The opening program in the afternoon of September 25th will delve into the economy’s major trends and how these changes will affect restructuring opportunities. Topics for the educational breakout sessions include Multilateral Negotiation Strategies in Capital Restructuring and Ethically-Challenged Restructuring Cases. There is also on the schedule a networking breakfast and a networking lunch. The closing reception will be at the iconic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. For more information, visit www://annual.turnaround.org/.

Norman Kinel on the Roster of 2019 O’Neill Bankruptcy Institute

 

Norman Kinel

Norman Kinel

Based in New York, Norman Kinel serves as a partner in the Restructuring & Insolvency Practice Group of Squire Patton Boggs. In recognition of his achievements, he has been recognized again in 2019 by Super Lawyers as one of New York City’s top bankruptcy lawyers.

In May 2019, Norman Kinel will be among the professionals who will speak at the William J. O’Neill Regional Bankruptcy Institute, sponsored by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA),which will address a variety of bankruptcy law issues. At the event, Mr. Kinel will serve as a member of a panel focusing on the topic “Retail Apocalypse Now?” He will speak alongside fellow professionals who possess a substantial knowledge of and experience with law, financial services, and accounting. The panelists on the roster represent firms with offices across the country.

A number of individuals with knowledge of financial trends have projected that the overall 2019 retail sector will continue its trajectory of disruption – and not only in terms of digital transformation – as consumer power and demand increase, and companies continue to fight for customers.

Mr. Kinel’s panel, entitled “Retail Apocalypse Now?”, will examine numerous issues relating to the surge in retail bankruptcy cases, including: extending trade credit, critical vendor issues, administratively insolvent cases, special concerns of commercial landlords and the composition and role of creditors’ committees in retail cases.

Amid rising global economic and political unrest, the relatively prosperous American economy demonstrated mixed results for retailers in 2018 that included some notable bankruptcies for a range of businesses. It may be that 2019 is shaping up to be a year in which survival for many retail businesses will involve thorough-going change in response to uncertainty.