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ABL advises PIK Noteholders in Bis Industries restructure

Banking & Finance, Corporate and M&A, Taxation
BIS Industries final image v2
Arnold Bloch Leibler has acted for one of the key stakeholder groups in the recently finalised recapitalisation of resource logistics provider Bis Industries. Representing the majority of the payment-in-kind (PIK) noteholders, ABL’s role included negotiating a debt for equity swap under which the PIK noteholders received equity in the newly recapitalised holding company of the BIS group in return for their debt.

The debt for equity swap - which received creditor and court approval last month - has reduced Bis Industries’ debt by 80 per cent and will see Carlyle Group and Värde Partners replace KKR as the majority owners. Commenting on the transaction in The Australian newspaper, Bis Industries CEO, Brad Rogers, said: “This recapitalisation ensures a sustainable capital structure and significantly improved flexibility for our business.”

The cross-practice ABL team advising the PIK noteholders was led by partners Genevieve Sexton and Michael Dodge and included lawyers Ben Friis-O’toole and Anna Tallis and law graduate Simone Gould. Partner Clint Harding and lawyer Peter Scott advised on tax issues.

ABL partner, Genevieve Sexton, commented on ABL’s role in the 18 month long process: “Our team pulled together to navigate a number of complex issues and competing priorities to arrive at a fair position for all parties.  The work was completed under significant time pressure given the desire to complete the transaction before the end of the calendar year.”

Michael Dodge further commented on the outcome: “This is an excellent result - another company that was headed for insolvency remains in existence. All of Bis’s stakeholders will benefit from this. Corporate reconstructions are an essential feature of any legal system. The economy benefits from the flexibility provided to companies that find themselves in financial difficulty to restructure their affairs so that they can stay afloat.”

ABL is known for advising on some of the most complex insolvency and restructuring matters in Australia. Both Genevieve Sexton and Michael Dodge were recently involved in the complex cross-border restructure of global drilling services contractor Boart Longyear’s various debt facilities and capital structure.  The firm also recently completed the cross-border restructure of Slater and Gordon.

About Arnold Bloch Leibler 

Arnold Bloch Leibler is a premium Australian commercial law firm renowned for advising clients on their most important transactions, commercial issues and disputes. From offices in Melbourne and Sydney, the firm provides advice to a diverse range of entrepreneurial Australian listed companies, family businesses, high-net-worth individuals and international corporations. The firm also has a dedicated pro bono practice providing advice on social, environmental and cultural issues to more than 150 charitable and not-for-profit organisations.

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