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Jeff Pawlitz is a New York partner in our Financial Restructuring practice.  He specializes in distressed financial restructurings. As a partner in our Financial Restructuring practice, Jeff represents parties in a wide range of bankruptcies and other restructurings.

Jeff has extensive experience representing lender groups, debtors, equity sponsors and strategic investors in all aspects of distressed restructurings. His restructuring experience includes multi-jurisdictional and cross-border matters, and spans a number of industries, including retail; restaurant and hospitality; international shipping; energy and power; manufacturing; casino and entertainment; telecommunications; and natural resources.

In addition to his distressed lender-side practice, Jeff also advises senior managers and boards of directors on operating in Chapter 11 and fiduciary duty considerations, and provides advice regarding strategic restructuring alternatives, including pre-negotiated Chapter 11 proceedings and out-of-court deals.

Prior to joining K&S, Jeff was a Restructuring partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Full Bio

Credentials

B.S. Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia, magna cum laude with honors

B.S. Finance & Banking, University of Missouri-Columbia, magna cum laude with honors

B.S. Real Estate, University of Missouri-Columbia, magna cum laude with honors

J.D., Washington University in St. Louis, magna cum laude

Matters

Nonconfidential Lender/Fund Representation

Representing the ad hoc first-lien term loan committee in the Chapter 11 cases of Payless Holdings, Inc. and its affiliated debtors, the largest retailer of specialty family footwear in the western hemisphere.

Representing GSO Capital Partners in connection with the senior secured exit financing credit facility in the chapter 11 cases of Optima Specialty Steel, Inc., a leading independent manufactuer of specialty steel products.

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Matters

Nonconfidential Lender/Fund Representation

Representing the ad hoc first-lien term loan committee in the Chapter 11 cases of Payless Holdings, Inc. and its affiliated debtors, the largest retailer of specialty family footwear in the western hemisphere.

Representing GSO Capital Partners in connection with the senior secured exit financing credit facility in the chapter 11 cases of Optima Specialty Steel, Inc., a leading independent manufactuer of specialty steel products.

Representing a steering committee of term loan ledners under the senior secured term loan facility in favor of Vince, LLC, a global luxary brand of clothing and apparel.

Represented GSO Capital Partners as a fulcrum lender in the Chapter 11 cases of Roadhouse Holding Inc. (a/k/a Logan's Roadhouse) and its affiliated debtors, which operates or franchises more than 200 full-service casual dining steakhouses across 23 states. During the Chapter 11 cases, which lasted approximately three months, Logan's successfully optimized its restaurant portfolio and substantially deleveraged its capital structure. GSO Partners is a majority owner of the reorganized restaurant chain.

Represented Peak Rock Capital, LLC and certain of its affiliates in a three-month prearranged Chapter 11 case pursuant to which Peak Rock acquired Natural American Foods, Inc. (f/k/a Groeb Farms, Inc.), one of America’s leading producers and distributors of honey and other food products.

Nonconfidential Company Representation

Represented Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc., a majority-owned subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, in its Chapter 11 restructuring. CEOC provides casino entertainment services and owns, operates or manages 44 gaming and resort properties in 13 U.S states and in five countries primarily under the Caesars, Harrah's and Horseshoe brand names. CEOC and its debtor subsidiaries had more than $18.4 billion in funded debt obligations as of the commencement of their Chapter 11 cases.

Represented The Dolan Company and certain of its subsidiaries and affiliates in their prepackaged Chapter 11 reorganization. Pursuant to the confirmed Chapter 11 plan, Dolan restructured more than $100 million in funded debt obligations through a debt-to-equity transaction with its secured lenders and paid general unsecured creditors in full. These transactions have permitted reorganized Dolan to emerge as a stronger company with a right-sized balance sheet. Dolan litigated confirmation of its Chapter 11 plan with an Official Committee of Equity Security Holders, whose constituents' equity interests in Dolan were cancelled by the plan. Following extensive pretrial discovery and multiple days of trial, Dolan and its secured lenders struck a favorable settlement with the equity committee that permitted Dolan to exit Chapter 11 on a timely basis and preserve the value of its businesses for all stakeholders. Dolan provides diversified information management and professional services to the legal, financial and real estate sectors in the U.S.

Represented GSE Environmental, Inc., the leading global manufacturer and marketer of geosynthetic lining solutions, in its prearranged Chapter 11 cases. Prior to filing, GSE reached agreement with its secured lenders on a financial restructuring plan that would equitize approximately $170 million in funded debt and provide additional capital for GSE on a going-forward basis. GSE’s plan, which was confirmed less than three months after GSE filed its Chapter 11 cases, provided payment in full for the company’s trade vendors that agreed to return to market trade terms and provided a meaningful recovery to its remaining unsecured creditors.

Represented hibu Inc. (a/k/a Yellowbook), and its five U.S. affiliates, all subsidiaries of Yellow Pages Limited, a UK corporation and one of the world's largest providers of print and digital directory services, as U.S. restructuring counsel advising hibu on all aspects of the restructuring of its global operations and representing it in connection with Chapter 15 cases pending before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York. hibu Inc. filed the Chapter 15 cases to complement reorganization proceedings pending in the UK that sought to restructure over £2.3 billion pounds of debt. Yellow Pages Limited publishes 1,250 different directories and services over one million small business customers worldwide.

Represented ITR Concession Company LLC, the operator of the Indiana Toll Road that stretches from Chicago to Ohio, in its prepackaged Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. The plan, which secured the unanimous support of ITRCC's equity sponsors and nearly 99% of ITRCC's senior secured creditors prior to its Chapter 11 filing, restructured more than $6.01 billion of senior secured debt previously incurred in connection with privatization of the Indiana Toll Road, one of the largest public infrastructure privatization transactions on record.

Represented Platinum Energy Solutions, Inc., a Houston, Texas–based oilfield services provider specializing in premium hydraulic fracturing, coiled tubing and other pressure pumping services, in all aspects of its successful comprehensive out-of-court restructuring in which more than 98% of Platinum's secured debtholders participated. Platinum's various restructuring transactions reduced Platinum's funded debt obligations by more than 55% and eliminated more than $90 million of contingent and other liabilities based on various agreements reached with certain material contract counterparties. Participating debtholders received a share of new second-lien debt as well as a substantial majority of the shares issued by a new parent entity of Platinum. Significantly, the transaction provided for a recovery to certain of Platinum's existing shareholders in the form of the remaining new shares issued by Platinum's parent.

Represented AMF Bowling Worldwide, Inc., the world's largest owner and operator of bowling centers and a leader in the bowling industry, in connection with its Chapter 11 case in Richmond, Virginia. As part of its highly successful and fully consensual Chapter 11 plan of reorganization that raised $310 million in new financing, AMF Bowling merged with Bowlmor on July 1, 2013, becoming the largest operator of bowling centers in the world with 7,500 employees, 272 bowling centers and combined annual revenue of approximately $450 million.

Represented Friendly's Ice Cream Corporation, a leading full-service, family-oriented restaurant chain and provider of ice cream products in the eastern U.S., in Chapter 11 proceeding through which substantially all of Friendly's assets were sold pursuant to a Section 363 sale process which was consummated approximately three months post-filing.

Represented Horizon Lines, Inc., the nation's leading domestic ocean shipping and integrated logistics company, in connection with two successful out-of-court restructurings. The first, in October 2011, was a $652.8 million out-of-court financial restructuring/refinancing and securities exchange offer that provided the opportunity for significant deleveraging. This was followed by a substantial deleveraging achieved through an out-of-court restructuring in April 2012, in connection with the completion of transactions with more than 99% of Horizon's noteholders and with Ship Finance International Limited that resulted in the termination of significant vessel charter obligations related to Horizon's discontinued trans-Pacific service. The April 2012 transactions resulted in a net debt reduction of approximately $188 million, with Horizon's earnings and cash flows being further improved through the termination of $32 million in annual vessel charter obligations for leased ships and the elimination of lay-costs for idle vessels. Horizon maintains a fleet of 15 fully Jones Act–qualified vessels and is the only ocean cargo carrier serving all three noncontiguous domestic markets of Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

Represented U.S. Concrete, Inc., a leading provider of ready-mixed concrete and concrete-related products in select markets throughout the U.S., in their restructuring of approximately $315 million in funded indebtedness through a prearranged Chapter 11 restructuring. U.S. Concrete emerged from bankruptcy approximately four months after seeking Chapter 11 relief. Through the restructuring, U.S. Concrete successfully equitized approximately $285 million in bond debt, paid general unsecured claims in full, and provided existing equity with a warrant package to acquire up to 15% of the reorganized equity.

Represented SHC KSL Partners, LP, the joint venture holding the Hotel del Coronado, an iconic resort hotel opened in 1888 located in Coronado, California, in a comprehensive out-of-court restructuring of more than $590 million in funded indebtedness through a recapitalization and debt-for-equity transaction.

Represented MSR Resort Golf Course LLC in all aspects of its Chapter 11 reorganization. MS Resorts invested in, owned and operated five iconic luxury resort properties with related real estate properties and amenities, including: the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa in Maui, Hawaii; the La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West in La Quinta, California; the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona; the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami, Florida; and the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa in Berkeley, California. As of the February 1, 2011 commencement of its Chapter 11 cases, MS Resorts reported approximately $2.2 billion in consolidated assets and $1.9 billion in consolidated liabilities, including a $1.0 billion securitized mortgage loan and $525 million in aggregate principal of mezzanine loans.

Represented Innkeepers USA Trust, the owner and operator of an extensive portfolio of extended-stay and select-service hotels, in its Chapter 11 reorganization. Located in 19 states and Washington, D.C., Innkeepers operates 72 hotel properties under premium brands, including Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton and others. Through the Chapter 11 cases, Innkeepers is seeking to restructure approximately $1.4 billion in debt obligations, as well as to complete certain important capital investments to its hotel properties.

Represented Stallion Oilfield Services Ltd. in its restructuring of more than $850 million in indebtedness through a prearranged Chapter 11 restructuring. Stallion's Everything but the Rig℠ service offerings include a broad and comprehensive range of critical services to support oil and natural gas well-site operations. Stallion emerged from bankruptcy approximately 100 days after seeking Chapter 11 relief. Stallion's unanimously supported restructuring equitized nearly $550 million of unsecured funded debt and paid general unsecured claims in full, and existing equity received 2% of the reorganized equity and a warrant package to acquire additional reorganized equity.

Represented DBSD North America, Inc., a development-stage enterprise that is designing and developing an integrated mobile satellite and terrestrial services network to deliver wireless satellite communications services to mass-market consumers, in its ongoing Chapter 11 cases. DBSD North America, Inc. currently is engaged in developing a system that combines both satellite and terrestrial communications capabilities to allow the company to provide wireless voice, video, data and/or Internet service throughout the U.S. on mobile and other portable devices. DBSD North America, Inc. is seeking to restructure approximately $800 million in outstanding liabilities in its ongoing prearranged Chapter 11 cases.

Represented Tropicana Entertainment, LLC in its Chapter 11 cases currently pending in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Tropicana and its non-debtor affiliates are a leading domestic casino operator, with approximately 540,000 square feet of gaming space and more than 8,300 hotel rooms, and employ more than 11,000 individuals on a full- or part-time basis. Tropicana and its non-debtor affiliates held assets totaling approximately $2.8 billion, including interests in 11 casinos across five states, including the Tropicana Resort and Casino Las Vegas, located on the "Strip" in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Tropicana in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and liabilities exceeding more than $3.3 billion.

Represented American Color Graphics in the merger and comprehensive restructuring of American Color Graphics and Vertis Communications — two of the largest printing and pre-media companies in North America with combined assets of $715 million and combined liabilities of $1.9 billion.

Matters

Nonconfidential Lender/Fund Representation

Representing the ad hoc first-lien term loan committee in the Chapter 11 cases of Payless Holdings, Inc. and its affiliated debtors, the largest retailer of specialty family footwear in the western hemisphere.

Representing GSO Capital Partners in connection with the senior secured exit financing credit facility in the chapter 11 cases of Optima Specialty Steel, Inc., a leading independent manufactuer of specialty steel products.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Nonconfidential Lender/Fund Representation

Representing the ad hoc first-lien term loan committee in the Chapter 11 cases of Payless Holdings, Inc. and its affiliated debtors, the largest retailer of specialty family footwear in the western hemisphere.

Representing GSO Capital Partners in connection with the senior secured exit financing credit facility in the chapter 11 cases of Optima Specialty Steel, Inc., a leading independent manufactuer of specialty steel products.

Representing a steering committee of term loan ledners under the senior secured term loan facility in favor of Vince, LLC, a global luxary brand of clothing and apparel.

Represented GSO Capital Partners as a fulcrum lender in the Chapter 11 cases of Roadhouse Holding Inc. (a/k/a Logan's Roadhouse) and its affiliated debtors, which operates or franchises more than 200 full-service casual dining steakhouses across 23 states. During the Chapter 11 cases, which lasted approximately three months, Logan's successfully optimized its restaurant portfolio and substantially deleveraged its capital structure. GSO Partners is a majority owner of the reorganized restaurant chain.

Represented Peak Rock Capital, LLC and certain of its affiliates in a three-month prearranged Chapter 11 case pursuant to which Peak Rock acquired Natural American Foods, Inc. (f/k/a Groeb Farms, Inc.), one of America’s leading producers and distributors of honey and other food products.

Nonconfidential Company Representation

Represented Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc., a majority-owned subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, in its Chapter 11 restructuring. CEOC provides casino entertainment services and owns, operates or manages 44 gaming and resort properties in 13 U.S states and in five countries primarily under the Caesars, Harrah's and Horseshoe brand names. CEOC and its debtor subsidiaries had more than $18.4 billion in funded debt obligations as of the commencement of their Chapter 11 cases.

Represented The Dolan Company and certain of its subsidiaries and affiliates in their prepackaged Chapter 11 reorganization. Pursuant to the confirmed Chapter 11 plan, Dolan restructured more than $100 million in funded debt obligations through a debt-to-equity transaction with its secured lenders and paid general unsecured creditors in full. These transactions have permitted reorganized Dolan to emerge as a stronger company with a right-sized balance sheet. Dolan litigated confirmation of its Chapter 11 plan with an Official Committee of Equity Security Holders, whose constituents' equity interests in Dolan were cancelled by the plan. Following extensive pretrial discovery and multiple days of trial, Dolan and its secured lenders struck a favorable settlement with the equity committee that permitted Dolan to exit Chapter 11 on a timely basis and preserve the value of its businesses for all stakeholders. Dolan provides diversified information management and professional services to the legal, financial and real estate sectors in the U.S.

Represented GSE Environmental, Inc., the leading global manufacturer and marketer of geosynthetic lining solutions, in its prearranged Chapter 11 cases. Prior to filing, GSE reached agreement with its secured lenders on a financial restructuring plan that would equitize approximately $170 million in funded debt and provide additional capital for GSE on a going-forward basis. GSE’s plan, which was confirmed less than three months after GSE filed its Chapter 11 cases, provided payment in full for the company’s trade vendors that agreed to return to market trade terms and provided a meaningful recovery to its remaining unsecured creditors.

Represented hibu Inc. (a/k/a Yellowbook), and its five U.S. affiliates, all subsidiaries of Yellow Pages Limited, a UK corporation and one of the world's largest providers of print and digital directory services, as U.S. restructuring counsel advising hibu on all aspects of the restructuring of its global operations and representing it in connection with Chapter 15 cases pending before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York. hibu Inc. filed the Chapter 15 cases to complement reorganization proceedings pending in the UK that sought to restructure over £2.3 billion pounds of debt. Yellow Pages Limited publishes 1,250 different directories and services over one million small business customers worldwide.

Represented ITR Concession Company LLC, the operator of the Indiana Toll Road that stretches from Chicago to Ohio, in its prepackaged Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. The plan, which secured the unanimous support of ITRCC's equity sponsors and nearly 99% of ITRCC's senior secured creditors prior to its Chapter 11 filing, restructured more than $6.01 billion of senior secured debt previously incurred in connection with privatization of the Indiana Toll Road, one of the largest public infrastructure privatization transactions on record.

Represented Platinum Energy Solutions, Inc., a Houston, Texas–based oilfield services provider specializing in premium hydraulic fracturing, coiled tubing and other pressure pumping services, in all aspects of its successful comprehensive out-of-court restructuring in which more than 98% of Platinum's secured debtholders participated. Platinum's various restructuring transactions reduced Platinum's funded debt obligations by more than 55% and eliminated more than $90 million of contingent and other liabilities based on various agreements reached with certain material contract counterparties. Participating debtholders received a share of new second-lien debt as well as a substantial majority of the shares issued by a new parent entity of Platinum. Significantly, the transaction provided for a recovery to certain of Platinum's existing shareholders in the form of the remaining new shares issued by Platinum's parent.

Represented AMF Bowling Worldwide, Inc., the world's largest owner and operator of bowling centers and a leader in the bowling industry, in connection with its Chapter 11 case in Richmond, Virginia. As part of its highly successful and fully consensual Chapter 11 plan of reorganization that raised $310 million in new financing, AMF Bowling merged with Bowlmor on July 1, 2013, becoming the largest operator of bowling centers in the world with 7,500 employees, 272 bowling centers and combined annual revenue of approximately $450 million.

Represented Friendly's Ice Cream Corporation, a leading full-service, family-oriented restaurant chain and provider of ice cream products in the eastern U.S., in Chapter 11 proceeding through which substantially all of Friendly's assets were sold pursuant to a Section 363 sale process which was consummated approximately three months post-filing.

Represented Horizon Lines, Inc., the nation's leading domestic ocean shipping and integrated logistics company, in connection with two successful out-of-court restructurings. The first, in October 2011, was a $652.8 million out-of-court financial restructuring/refinancing and securities exchange offer that provided the opportunity for significant deleveraging. This was followed by a substantial deleveraging achieved through an out-of-court restructuring in April 2012, in connection with the completion of transactions with more than 99% of Horizon's noteholders and with Ship Finance International Limited that resulted in the termination of significant vessel charter obligations related to Horizon's discontinued trans-Pacific service. The April 2012 transactions resulted in a net debt reduction of approximately $188 million, with Horizon's earnings and cash flows being further improved through the termination of $32 million in annual vessel charter obligations for leased ships and the elimination of lay-costs for idle vessels. Horizon maintains a fleet of 15 fully Jones Act–qualified vessels and is the only ocean cargo carrier serving all three noncontiguous domestic markets of Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

Represented U.S. Concrete, Inc., a leading provider of ready-mixed concrete and concrete-related products in select markets throughout the U.S., in their restructuring of approximately $315 million in funded indebtedness through a prearranged Chapter 11 restructuring. U.S. Concrete emerged from bankruptcy approximately four months after seeking Chapter 11 relief. Through the restructuring, U.S. Concrete successfully equitized approximately $285 million in bond debt, paid general unsecured claims in full, and provided existing equity with a warrant package to acquire up to 15% of the reorganized equity.

Represented SHC KSL Partners, LP, the joint venture holding the Hotel del Coronado, an iconic resort hotel opened in 1888 located in Coronado, California, in a comprehensive out-of-court restructuring of more than $590 million in funded indebtedness through a recapitalization and debt-for-equity transaction.

Represented MSR Resort Golf Course LLC in all aspects of its Chapter 11 reorganization. MS Resorts invested in, owned and operated five iconic luxury resort properties with related real estate properties and amenities, including: the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa in Maui, Hawaii; the La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West in La Quinta, California; the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona; the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami, Florida; and the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa in Berkeley, California. As of the February 1, 2011 commencement of its Chapter 11 cases, MS Resorts reported approximately $2.2 billion in consolidated assets and $1.9 billion in consolidated liabilities, including a $1.0 billion securitized mortgage loan and $525 million in aggregate principal of mezzanine loans.

Represented Innkeepers USA Trust, the owner and operator of an extensive portfolio of extended-stay and select-service hotels, in its Chapter 11 reorganization. Located in 19 states and Washington, D.C., Innkeepers operates 72 hotel properties under premium brands, including Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton and others. Through the Chapter 11 cases, Innkeepers is seeking to restructure approximately $1.4 billion in debt obligations, as well as to complete certain important capital investments to its hotel properties.

Represented Stallion Oilfield Services Ltd. in its restructuring of more than $850 million in indebtedness through a prearranged Chapter 11 restructuring. Stallion's Everything but the Rig℠ service offerings include a broad and comprehensive range of critical services to support oil and natural gas well-site operations. Stallion emerged from bankruptcy approximately 100 days after seeking Chapter 11 relief. Stallion's unanimously supported restructuring equitized nearly $550 million of unsecured funded debt and paid general unsecured claims in full, and existing equity received 2% of the reorganized equity and a warrant package to acquire additional reorganized equity.

Represented DBSD North America, Inc., a development-stage enterprise that is designing and developing an integrated mobile satellite and terrestrial services network to deliver wireless satellite communications services to mass-market consumers, in its ongoing Chapter 11 cases. DBSD North America, Inc. currently is engaged in developing a system that combines both satellite and terrestrial communications capabilities to allow the company to provide wireless voice, video, data and/or Internet service throughout the U.S. on mobile and other portable devices. DBSD North America, Inc. is seeking to restructure approximately $800 million in outstanding liabilities in its ongoing prearranged Chapter 11 cases.

Represented Tropicana Entertainment, LLC in its Chapter 11 cases currently pending in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Tropicana and its non-debtor affiliates are a leading domestic casino operator, with approximately 540,000 square feet of gaming space and more than 8,300 hotel rooms, and employ more than 11,000 individuals on a full- or part-time basis. Tropicana and its non-debtor affiliates held assets totaling approximately $2.8 billion, including interests in 11 casinos across five states, including the Tropicana Resort and Casino Las Vegas, located on the "Strip" in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Tropicana in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and liabilities exceeding more than $3.3 billion.

Represented American Color Graphics in the merger and comprehensive restructuring of American Color Graphics and Vertis Communications — two of the largest printing and pre-media companies in North America with combined assets of $715 million and combined liabilities of $1.9 billion.

Credentials

B.S. Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia, magna cum laude with honors

B.S. Finance & Banking, University of Missouri-Columbia, magna cum laude with honors

B.S. Real Estate, University of Missouri-Columbia, magna cum laude with honors

J.D., Washington University in St. Louis, magna cum laude