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Key Energy Services Expects to File for Bankruptcy

Oil-field service company Key Energy Services Inc. intends to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with a plan that would make private-equity firm Platinum Equity LLC its largest shareholder, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Under the plan, holders of senior notes, including Platinum, would own about 95 percent of the reorganized company’s common shares. Current equity holders would have about a 5 percent stake. Key Energy disclosed in June that it was in discussion with lenders about a potential bankruptcy filing. The company’s second-quarter revenue fell to $95 million from $197.5 million a year earlier. On Aug. 12, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Key Energy agreed to disgorge $5 million as part of a settlement over violations of U.S. foreign-bribery law. Key Energy expects its reorganization will reduce its debt from almost $1 billion to $250 million. Read more. (Subscription required.) 

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Stone Energy in Talks to Sell Appalachian Assets to Reduce Debt

Stone Energy Corp., an oil and natural gas producer that’s been in debt restructuring talks with note holders, said it’s negotiating to sell its Appalachian assets in a deal that could fetch $350 million, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. The potential buyer isn’t related to the group of noteholders, to which it has offered $150 million of sale proceeds, the Lafayette, Louisiana-based company said on Tuesday in a filing. Other proceeds would pay down bank debt and provide working capital, according to the filing. Expressions of interest in the assets earlier this year ranged from $250 million to $400 million.
 

Sports Authority’s Renewed Bonus Plan Provokes Protest

Top Sports Authority executives are back with demands for up to $1.5 million in bonuses to wrap up the final stages of a bankruptcy that closed hundreds of stores and cost thousands of jobs, the Wall Street Journal reported today. U.S. Trustee Andrew Vara is back, too, with a protest similar to the objection that scuttled Sports Authority’s original bonus proposal. The defunct retailer is “prioritizing insider executives above all other parties in interest, including unsecured creditors and the thousands of employees who have already lost their jobs,” Vara said. The revised bonus program for the failed Englewood, Colo., retailer and the renewed objection from Vara set the stage for round two of a battle over bonuses for top insiders in bankruptcy. Earlier this month, Judge Mary Walrath refused to sign off on a bonus package that meant up to $2.85 million in enhanced pay for four top executives, whom Sports Authority declined to name.

SEC Brings Enforcement Actions Against 71 Muni Bond Issuers

The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday announced enforcement actions against more than 70 municipal bond issuers for bond disclosure violations, part of an initiative that offers favorable settlement terms to issuers, underwriters and obligated persons who self-report breaches of federal securities laws, MorningConsult.com reported yesterday. The 71 issuers and obligated persons sold muni bonds from 2011 to 2014 with offering documents that contained false statements or omissions about continuing disclosure compliance, the SEC said. The issuers included the Carilion Clinic in Virginia, as well as Montgomery College in Maryland, according to today’s announcement. The parties settled the enforcement actions and did not admit to or deny the SEC’s findings. They also agreed to comply with current continuing disclosure requirements, establish procedures for continuing disclosure compliance, disclose the settlement in future offering documents and cooperate with subsequent SEC investigations, the agency said.

Judge Blocks Taxi King’s Abandonment of Cabs in Lender Dispute

A bankruptcy judge blocked New York taxi mogul Evgeny “Gene” Freidman from abandoning 46 taxis outside the Citigroup tower in Queens after he threatened a very public surrender to the lender he has battled since 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported today. Bankruptcy Judge Carla Craig yesterday told Freidman and his lawyers, who agreed to surrender the vehicles and their medallions in a dispute over a $34 million unpaid loan, to keep them securely in his possession until further notice. Earlier this week, Freidman said that he couldn’t refinance his debt to Citibank NA and told the judge he would surrender the medallions, which give drivers of each vehicle the right to pick up street hails in Manhattan’s lucrative central business district. The surrender marks a turning point for Freidman, who put dozens of his taxi companies in bankruptcy protection on July 22, 2015, to keep Citibank officials from taking possession of the 46 taxi medallions issued by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and owed by his companies. Citibank officials said Freidman’s companies missed a monthly loan payment on Dec. 1, 2014.

Former Chairman of Performance Sports May Bid for Hockey-Gear Maker

The former chairman of Performance Sports Group Ltd, Graeme Roustan, said that he has hired investment banks Jefferies Group LLC and Canaccord Genuity to explore a possible bid for the troubled maker of hockey gear, Reuters reported yesterday. He disclosed his plans after Reuters reported on Tuesday that the sporting equipment maker has hired investment bank Centerview Partners Holdings LLC to help it negotiate with lenders to avoid defaulting on its loans. Roustan said he believes he can turn around the money-losing company, which is under investigation by securities regulators in the U.S. and Canada. The company is conducting an internal investigation into its accounting practices, which has delayed the release of its annual report.

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