Three Weil, Gotshal & Manges clients – teen clothing retailer Aéropostale, gourmet supermarket chain Fairway and helicopter operator CHC Group – filed for Chapter 11 protection in rapid succession early last month, a remarkable series of high-profile proceedings, including, in CHC, one of the top 15 largest filings so far this year, according to bankruptcydata.com.
Failing in the face of competition from similar brands and having reported 13 straight quarters of losses, Aéropostale filed for bankruptcy in Manhattan on May 2, with Weil Business Finance & Restructuring co-chair Ray C. Schrock and partners Jacqueline Marcus and Garrett Fail advising. Brian Baxter of The American Lawyer Daily noted in the May 6 article “Lucky 33: Weil Scores a Bankruptcy Hat Trick” that the company asked for court approval to scrutinize Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm that bought a multimillion dollar stake in the retailer in 2013. Aéropostale has claimed that Sycamore’s division MGF Sourcing, a clothing supplier, has not maintained the its supply of goods.
The addition of a dozen Fairway stores in less than 10 years, all in the competitive New York area market, was behind the grocer’s bankruptcy, filed on May 2 as well. Shrock is also serving as counsel for Fairway, along with fellow Business Finance & Restructuring partner Matthew Barr.
Three days later, on May 5, Weil represented British Columbia–based CHC in its Chapter 11 suit in Dallas. According to Baxter in the same article, the company attributed its rapid decline to falling oil prices. Weil Business Finance & Restructuring partner Stephen Youngman and Business Finance & Restructuring co-chair Gary Holtzer are taking the lead. CHC has a fleet of 231 helicopters and claims $500 million in orders and options against $2.19 billion in debts on $2.17 billion in assets as of January 31.
Published June 4, 2016.