Category Archives: Case Studies

Bay Country Communications

The Company

Bay Country Communications

This Maryland-based cable television provider serving Dorchester County.

The Challenge

The company was forced into bankruptcy due to a technical default with the lender on a separate investment property. Stock in the company had been used as collateral on the loan and as a result of the default, Bay Country filed bankruptcy as a means to hold off the creditor from foreclosing on the company.

The Process

Equity Partners was retained to quickly market the company for a sale or to facilitate a restructuring of existing debt. Shortly after going to market, we generated interest in the opportunity from over 40 groups, including larger national and regional cable providers.

The Solution

Through discussions with interested groups, Equity Partners validated that the proceeds from a sale would likely never go beyond the debt of the company and therefore not flow through to the outside lender. With this information in hand, the owner negotiated a settlement with the lender for a fraction of the original debt and Bay Country was able to exit bankruptcy and resume business as usual.

Biodiesel of Mississippi

The Company

Biodiesel of Mississippi

A shutdown biodiesel refinery in Mississippi.  In Chapter 11 for 5 months when Equity Partners was retained.

The Challenge

The refinery was shut down and facing a conversion to Chapter 7.  There was no real documentation regarding prior production, there were significant challenges with the MS Dept. of Environmental Quality, and we could not demonstrate any current production capability.

The Process

Our retention prevented a conversion to a Chapter 7 liquidation and the court allowed us a short window to pursue going concern offers. While the debtor failed to demonstrate any real production capacity, Equity Partners still generated over 100 interested prospects.

The Solution

We quickly obtained a going concern offer that far exceeded any liquidation estimate.  The sale was approved, the business sold, and operations restarted.

Broadband Networks, Inc.

The Company

Broadband Networks, Inc.

Indiana-based provider of broadband access, focused on un-served and underserved small and rural markets in Indiana and Ohio.

The Challenge

A group of investors (Broadband Networks) had bought the predecessor’s assets through a Chapter 11 reorganization and operated for about a year. The legal costs related to the bankruptcy were much higher than anticipated and made it nearly impossible for the company to be profitable.

The Process

Equity Partners was retained to explore strategic options for the company and quickly completed a 45 day marketing process. There was significant going concern interest in the company and a stalking horse bidder was selected in preparation of an auction among qualified bidders.

The Solution

After 25 rounds of competitive bidding, an offer for the entire network was selected and, after a very short transition period, closing occurred with minimal interruption to operations. Shareholders received a significant return on their investment as well as a 3 year earn out from the ongoing business.

BTH Quitman Hickory LLC

The Company

BTH Quitman Hickory LLC

Mississippi based white wood and torrefied pellet mill. Since coming online in 2009, the facilty produced 75,000 tons of torrefied material and was the first commercial scale torrefaction facility located in the US.

The Challenge

While torrefied wood pellets are an immediate and practical replacement for coal, white wood pellets are a more common replacement in coal fired operations. Because of this, in 2014, management decided to focus on producing white wood pellets and to sell into that market while continuing to develop the torrefied product and market. Due to oversupply, the price per ton for white wood pellets continued to decline forcing operation to close in March of 2016 and the file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Process

Equity Partners was retained and conducted an exhaustive marketing process. Through our process, over 30 companies signed confidentiality agreements and considered investing in or acquiring the facility.

The Solution

Following in-depth negotiations on behalf of the seller, Equity Partners HG was able to put together a transaction with Mohegan Renewable Energy that practically doubled their initial offer. We also and worked with five creditors groups establishing a distribution of funds agreeable to all. A sale to Mohegan Renewable Energy was approved by the court and closed shortly after.

C&D Fruit and Vegetable Co.

The Company

C&D Fruit and Vegetable Co.

Grower, packer, and shipper of fresh fruits and vegetables located in Bradenton, FL.

The Challenge

C&D discovered that its then bookkeeper had embezzled over $1,500,000. The bookkeeper was terminated, charged, and prosecuted, but the magnitude of this loss was crippling. In order to meet upcoming planting schedules, the company had to borrow a substantial amount of money which further impacted cash flow. Ultimately after an unsuccessful attempt to sell the company, ownership decided to file for Chapter 11 protection.

The Process

The secured creditor was prepared to liquidate the assets, but agreed to give Equity Partners 60 days to market the company and solicit bids. An extensive process was conducted leading to multiple offers and culminating with an auction among qualified bidders.

The Solution

Through competition the total bid value increased over 15% and the land and equipment assets were sold to separate bidders, far exceeding liquidation estimates. The bankruptcy court approved the sale and closing occurred immediately afterwards, maximizing recovery for the estate.

Cains Pickles, Inc.

The Company

Cains Pickles, Inc.

A $50 million per year pickle manufacturer in Massachusetts with the number one retail brand in New England and a foodservice business. Acquired two years earlier by Gedney Pickles out of Minnesota, the business was losing money rapidly and was threatening to take Gedney down with it.

The Challenge

Gedney announced a plant closing scheduled for 60 days out.  However, it hoped to preserve the Cains retail brand and move it to Minnesota.  Conducting a liquidation would leave them significantly short of their secured debt, and with a ten-year lease obligation on a brand new distribution facility. Without the employees, who were sure to start looking for jobs, the business was worthless.  Furthermore, it was time for the farmers to plant the cucumbers that supplied the plant, but they didn’t want to make that huge investment for fear that the manufacturing plant would not be open to purchase the cucumbers.

The Process

Equity Partners was retained and immediately met with two key groups, the cucumber growers, and the plant’s employees.  Both groups were asked to have faith that the plant would in fact stay open. Within two weeks, Equity Partners generated two offers to keep the plant open. With offers and deposits in hand, Equity Partners was able to get the growers to plant their cucumber seeds, and convince employees that the plant would stay open. Equity Partners encouraged the growers to take control of their destiny by acquiring the plant.

The Solution

After several rounds of negotiations with bidders, economic development groups, landlords, and creditors, a transaction closed.  The growers, along with a past Cains President, acquired the manufacturing business, plant and foodservice business, and retained all employees.  Gedney was able to retain the Cains retail pickle business and moved that production to Minnesota.

Cardinal Homes, Inc.

The Company

Cardinal Homes, Inc.

A fifty-year-old, Virginia based manufacturer of made-to-order, modular building components for building contractors engaged in residential, hospitality and light commercial construction projects.

The Challenge

With sales declining, the company was losing money and in technical default on its secured loan. They also lacked working capital to take on and win new business.

The Process

SC&H was retained and conducted an exhaustive marketing process. Through our process, over 40 companies signed confidentiality agreements and considered investing in or acquiring the business.

The Solution

Following in-depth negotiations on behalf of the seller, SC&H was able to put together a transaction with a subsidiary of The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians through which all of the secured debt was paid in full, the shareholder was released from all personal guarantees, employees were retained, and now properly capitalized, the company continues to operate today.

Ceramaspeed, Inc.

The Company

Ceramaspeed, Inc. 

This manufacturer of electric radiant heating solutions for the glass ceramic appliance market, purchased and moved a German manufacturer of  gas burners used in high end cooking appliances to Knoxville, TN.  Soon after the move the company lost supply agreements with the majority of their key customers.  The company was hoping to find a buyer that would be able to use the existing equipment and take over the lease of the facility.

The Challenge

The equipment installed at the facility was specific to the products currently being  manufactured and  there were significant cost and logistic involved to retrofit to be able to manufacture other products.

The Process

Equity Partners quickly identified 5 groups interested in purchasing the equipment and worked with the local economic development professionals to find a group that would take over the lease.

The Solution

Within 7 weeks, Equity Partners conducted an auction that more than doubled the initial offers for the equipment and brokered a sublease agreement for the facility.

The China Inn, Inc.

The Company

The China Inn, Inc

Washington DC based restaurant property, owned by Ocwen Federal FSB of West Palm Beach, FL.

The Challenge

Prior to turning the project over to Equity Partners, the bank utilized its own marketing process and received one offer in writing, after several months.

The Process

Equity Partners identified prospects utilizing its marketing process and scheduled 12 site visits resulting in 4 offers.

The Solution

Negotiations resulted in a closing of at 2.5 x the prior offer.

Christine Taylor Collection

The Company

Christine Taylor Collection

Pennsylvania-based, full service leader in retail visual merchandising.

The Challenge

Sales in 2016 declined rapidly and this 27 year old company found themselves suddenly losing money. The owner had considered an exit strategy for a few years, but the immediate slowdown in retail pushed her to fully explore a sale of the business. Overhead was substantial and without adequate sales to support the fixed costs, the viability of the company was in doubt.

The Process

Equity Partners quickly completed a 45 day marketing process that generated a number of visitors interested in keeping the business alive. Equity Partners narrowed the field of interested prospects and chose Bunzl Corporation as the most logical buyer of the business.
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The Solution

After several rounds of negotiations, an entirety offer was selected which allowed the owner to sell all of the assets free and clear, satisfy all liabilities, and provide her an employment agreement which included her continued management of the business. The business continues to operate under new ownership without a single day of interruption for clients or employees.