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Gunmaker Remington Exits Bankruptcy in Tough Gun Climate

U.S. weapons manufacturer Remington Outdoor Co Inc. said yesterday that it had emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy with less debt and more stable financing that may help it ride out a slowing market for firearms, Reuters reported. Remington, America’s oldest gunmaker, filed for bankruptcy protection in March, weeks after a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida killed 17 people and triggered intensified campaigns for gun control by activists. Under the reorganization plan, inked two days before the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting, creditors including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Franklin Advisors will take ownership stakes in the company in exchange for forgiving more than $775 million of debt. Remington also received a $193 million new lending package funded by seven banks, including Bank of America Corp.

Rex Energy Says It Will File for Bankruptcy ‘Imminently’

Rex Energy Corp. said that it expects to file for bankruptcy “imminently” after talks with lenders and bondholders on restructuring its balance sheet outside of court protection were unsuccessful, WSJ Pro Bankruptcy reported. The State College, Pa.-based natural-gas fracking company said in a regulatory filing this week that it would seek chapter 11 protection after lenders, owed about $270 million, pulled the plug on restructuring talks and accelerated payment. Rex also has more than $600 million in bond debt outstanding. Rex Energy had entered into a forbearance agreement with lenders including Canyon Partners LLC, AllianceBernstein and TPG Specialty Lending Inc. to forestall a default arising from a missed interest payment. Like a number of other fracking companies, Rex Energy’s business has been hurt by the sustained decline in natural-gas prices caused by a glut in supply.

Tougher Payday Loan Rules to Remain in Place, for Now

Tougher rules governing the payday lending industry, finalized during the last weeks of an Obama-era appointee who led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will remain in place for now after Congress allowed a deadline to overrule them pass without action, the Associated Press reported. Despite the lack of Congressional action, the bureau, now under the control of Trump appointee Mick Mulvaney, has already announced plans to revisit the regulations, which mostly go into effect next year. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress had 60 legislative days to overrule the CFPB's new payday lending rules, which were implemented in the final weeks of Richard Cordray's tenure. The deadline expired on Wednesday without a vote in either the House or Senate. The cornerstone of the rules is a requirement that payday lenders must determine, before giving a loan, whether a borrower can afford to repay it in full, with interest, within 30 days. The rules would have also capped the number of loans a person could take out in a certain period of time.

Gawker Site Finds Bidder After Court Approves Settlement with Billionaire Thiel

The co-founder of New York-based marketing firm Didit is interested in buying gossip website Gawker Media LLC out of bankruptcy after a U.S. judge yesterday approved a settlement with the investor Peter Thiel, whose funding of a lawsuit against Gawker forced it to close in 2016, Reuters reported. A bid by Kevin Lee, co-founder and executive chairman of Didit, has set a floor price for other potential buyers in a bankruptcy auction. As part of the settlement approved yesterday by Bankruptcy Judge Stuart Bernstein, Thiel Capital LLC agreed to drop its bid to buy Gawker and its archives and also agreed to release claims against any eventual buyer. The settlement was originally proposed when Thiel abandoned his effort to buy the defunct site last month. “We remain interested in and if we prevail, (we) plan to relaunch Gawker as Gawker For Good, using ad revenues to donate to nonprofits,” said Lee, a search engine marketing expert.

Cambridge Analytica Files U.S. Bankruptcy After Data Scandal

Cambridge Analytica, overwhelmed by a scandal over how it harvested data from Facebook to influence the last U.S. election, filed for bankruptcy in New York, Bloomberg News reported. The U.K.-based political consulting firm had already said it would cease operations and wind down in its home country and the  chapter 7 petition in New York will address issues raised by U.S. creditors. The filing listed estimated liabilities of $1 million to $10 million.

New Jersey State Attorney General Calls on Education Department to Renew Investigation of For-Profit Colleges

The attorney general of New Jersey said yesterday that federal education officials had stopped cooperating on issues involving fraudulent activities at for-profit colleges, and requested that the Education Department renew its investigations into the institutions or hand them over to the state, the <em>New York Times</em> reported. Gurbir S. Grewal, who became attorney general in January, expressed frustration with the officials in a letter to Betsy DeVos, the education secretary. Grewal said that they had ignored requests from New Jersey to work with the state on behalf of students who were defrauded by Corinthian Colleges, a bankrupt for-profit chain. And he raised concerns about the status of investigations by the Education Department into large for-profit institutions like the DeVry Education Group, which paid $100 million in 2016 to settle a lawsuit alleging that it misled prospective students with ads about employment and salaries after graduation.