February 9, 2017
During the M&A Advisor’s 11th Annual Turnaround Awards, Hunton & Williams LLP’s bankruptcy practice collected four awards for its representation of Alpha Natural Resources in its bankruptcy proceedings and for its involvement in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of O.W. Bunker Holding North America, Inc.
The Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (over $5 billion) and the Sec.363 Sale of the Year (over $500 million to $1 billion) was awarded for the bankruptcy group’s representation of Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (ANRZQ), once one of the nation’s largest coal producers. Alpha, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2015, successfully emerged from bankruptcy in July 2016 as a smaller, privately held company operating 18 mines and eight preparation plants in West Virginia and Kentucky. Alpha’s larger and more valuable properties were transferred during the reorganization to Contura Energy, a new company formed by Alpha’s first-lien lenders. A multidisciplinary team from Hunton helped achieve this result. Tyler P. Brown and Henry P. “Toby” Long III represented Alpha as restructuring counsel, with Justin F. Paget, Shannon E. Daily and Nathan Kramer each providing significant contributions. Melinda R. Beres, Erick B. Carlson and William J. Van Thunen led the Hunton team that closed the exit financing for Alpha’s reorganization plan. Gregory B. Robertson represented Alpha in union negotiations that facilitated the 363 sale.
The Energy Deal of the Year (over $100 million to $500 million) and the Restructuring Deal of the Year (over $500 million to $1 billion) was given in recognition of the bankruptcy practice group’s representation of The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of O.W. Bunker Holding North America, Inc. and affiliates in the District of Connecticut. Before abruptly filing for bankruptcy after the discovery of a massive internal fraud, O.W. Bunker was one of the largest international traders of bunker fuel, with operations in 29 countries. Working closely with debtors’ counsel over the course of 13 months, Hunton was able to negotiate a complex Chapter 11 plan that elicited the full cooperation of the company’s secured creditor and resolved multiple conflicts between bankruptcy and maritime principles and proceedings, resulting in substantial distributions to unsecured creditors. The legal team was led by Peter S. Partee Sr. and Michael P. Richman, and included Andrew Kamensky and Robert A. Rich. This case earlier received M&A Advisor’s Restructuring Deal of the Year (over $100 million).