April 06, 2015
The Weil Bankruptcy Blog aims to publish a substantive piece on matters of interest in the bankruptcy, ﬁnance, and restructuring world every weekday, an ambitious target that is made possible only by the dedication of our partners, associates, and support staff to the Bankruptcy Blog, and their commitment to the restructuring community at large.
With the number of bankruptcy ﬁlings in 2014 having declined approximately 12% compared to 2013, some might think that our daily publication target is no mean feat. Despite the paucity of large bankruptcy ﬁlings, 2014 was not a year to forget and still left us with plenty of topics to write about. In this Annual Review, we’ve pulled together the major themes in the restructuring world in 2014, encapsulating them in one volume for your convenience. Our introductory 2014: Bankruptcy and Restructuring Annual Review piece over the page gives you a month-by-month snapshot of the major legal and ﬁnancial themes in the restructuring world in 2014, to help you frame the restructuring events of 2014.
In case you missed them, the highlights of last year included major developments in credit bidding in Fisker Automotive in January, as well as an important decision on cramdown interest rates in Momentive Performance Materials in August.
The end of 2014 heralded the start of what may be the next large trend in the restructuring world: oil and gas, and investors are seemingly preparing for a possible uptick in restructurings going forward. Considering that energy debt accounts for 16% of the $1.3 trillion U.S. high-yield market, and that 2014 saw approximately $465 billion in lending to oil and gas companies to ﬁnance exploration and new production, distressed investors and restructuring professionals are focused on a potential restructuring pipeline building. Look out for our 2015 First Quarter Review with our series Drilling Down: A Deeper Look into the Distressed Oil & Gas Industry.
The ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 brought us an early holiday gift in December with the publication of their Final Report and Recommendations. We’ll bring you an extensive series of blog posts on the ABI report in our First Quarter Review, but if you want a preview, make sure to read them on the Bankruptcy Blog.
A look back at 2014 wouldn’t be complete without remembering Judge Burton R. Liﬂand, the senior judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Liﬂand was appointed to the bench in March 1989 and oversaw some of the most high proﬁle cases in restructuring history, including Johns-Manville, Bethlehem Steel, and Eastern Airlines, as well as the ongoing wind down of assets related to the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Judge Liﬂand passed away on January 12, 2014, and he will be fondly remembered by all members of the restructuring bar, particularly those who had the good fortune to appear before him.
On behalf of all of the Weil Bankruptcy Blog team, thank you for supporting the blog.