Death spiral financing
Death spiral financing is a process where convertible financing used to fund primarily small cap companies can be used against it in the marketplace to cause the company’s stock to fall dramatically and can lead to the company’s ultimate failure.
Many small companies rely on selling convertible debt to large private investors to fund their operations and growth. This convertible debt, often convertible preferred stock or convertible debentures, can be converted to the common stock of the issuing company often at steep discounts to the market value of the common stock.
Under the typical “death spiral” scenario the holder of the convertible debt initially shorts the issuer’s common stock which often causes the stock price to decline at which time the debt holder converts some of the convertible debt to common shares with which he then covers his short position. The debt holder continues to sell short and cover with converted stock which along with selling by other shareholders alarmed by the falling price continually weakens the share price making the shares unattractive to new investors and can severely limit the company’s ability to obtain new financing if the need arises.
An important characteristic of this kind of convertible debt is that it often carries conditions like a quarterly or semi-annual reset of the conversion price to keep the conversion price more or less close to the actual stock price. But a lower conversion price also increases the number of shares that a bond holder gets in exchange for one bond, increasing the dilution of existing shareholders. A lower price reset can also force investors that have set up a long CB/short stock position to sell more stock (“adjust the delta”), creating a vicious cycle, hence the nickname death spiral.
The companies that are willing to agree to financing on these terms are often desperate and could not obtain funding through any other means. The terms, though viewed by some as onerous, give the lender a potential way to recover their debt regardless of what happens to the shares of the company. The lender would have a potentially greater gain if the shares were to increase in value but if they do decrease in value, there is some protection. If this were not the case they would probably not be willing to lend the money given the poor risk profiles of the companies interested in this type of financing.
Toxic Loan Relief
The firms legal focus is in toxic loan relief. Companies can contact our firm for either representation in the state of their incorporation or in a state where they do business, or a state where they are being sued by toxic loan lenders. If you are such a company contact the firm at the Las Vegas Office and discuss with one of our representatives the possible retention of the firm to represent your company and protect your rights. The companies should be a small cap public company, who has borrowed money on a convertible debt basis and wishes to be informed of their rights, prior to or after receipt of conversion notices from the lenders. There will be no fee for the first consultation, but no representation will be assumed until a formal written retainer letter is entered into executed by one of our attorneys.
DEBT RESTRUCTURING AND REORGANIZATION
Private- There are several diverse ways the firm recommends achieving the result of restructuring.
A plan devised privately by debt counselors or attorneys and the voluntary cooperation with creditors. This is rarely used but can be effective. This is a prerequisite for individuals to file bankruptcy or Chapter 11. ). In addition, no individual may be a debtor under chapter 11 or any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code unless he or she has, within 180 days before filing, received credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency either in an individual or group briefing. 11 U.S.C. §§ 109, 111. There are exceptions in emergency situations or where the U.S. trustee (or bankruptcy administrator) has determined that there are insufficient approved agencies to provide the required counseling. If a debt management plan is developed during required credit counseling,
Public Companies- Using SEC code 3a10- swapping debt for securities that automatically become free trading.
Individuals and Companies- A chapter 11 debtor can proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. People in business or individuals can also seek relief in chapter 11.
A case filed under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is frequently referred to as a "reorganization" bankruptcy.
An individual cannot file under chapter 11 or any other chapter if, during the preceding 180 days, a prior bankruptcy petition was dismissed due to the debtor's willful failure to appear before the court or comply with orders of the court, or was voluntarily dismissed after creditors sought relief from the bankruptcy court to recover property upon which they hold liens. 11 U.S.C. §§ 109(g), 362(d)-(e)it must be filed with the court.
How Chapter 11 Works
A chapter 11 case begins with the filing of a petition with the bankruptcy court serving the area where the debtor has a domicile or residence. A petition may be a voluntary petition, which is filed by the debtor, or it may be an involuntary petition, which is filed by creditors that meet certain requirements. 11 U.S.C. §§ 301, 303. A voluntary petition must adhere to the format of Form 1 of the Official Forms prescribed by the Judicial Conference of the United States. Unless the court orders otherwise, the debtor also must file with the court: (1) schedules of assets and liabilities; (2) a schedule of current income and expenditures; (3) a schedule of executory contracts and unexpired leases; and (4) a statement of financial affairs. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1007(b). If the debtor is an individual (or husband and wife), there are additional document filing requirements. Such debtors must file: a certificate of credit counseling and a copy of any debt repayment plan developed through credit counseling; evidence of payment from employers, if any, received 60 days before filing; a statement of monthly net income and any anticipated increase in income or expenses after filing; and a record of any interest the debtor has in federal or state qualified education or tuition accounts.11 U.S.C. § 521. A husband and wife may file a joint petition or individual petitions. 11 U.S.C. § 302(a).
The voluntary petition will include standard information concerning the debtor's name(s), social security number or tax identification number, residence, location of principal assets (if a business), the debtor's plan or intention to file a plan, and a request for relief under the appropriate chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. Upon filing a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 or, in an involuntary case, the entry of an order for relief, the debtor automatically assumes an additional identity as the "debtor in possession." 11 U.S.C. § 1101. The term refers to a debtor that keeps possession and control of its assets while undergoing a reorganization under chapter 11, without the appointment of a case trustee. A debtor will remain a debtor in possession until the debtor's plan of reorganization is confirmed, the debtor's case is dismissed or converted to chapter 7, or a chapter 11 trustee is appointed. The appointment or election of a trustee occurs only in a small number of cases. Generally, the debtor, as "debtor in possession," operates the business and performs many of the functions that a trustee performs in cases under other chapters. 11 U.S.C. § 1107(a).
Generally, a written disclosure statement and a plan of reorganization must be filed with the court. 11 U.S.C. §§ 1121, 1125. The disclosure statement is a document that must contain information concerning the assets, liabilities, and business affairs of the debtor sufficient to enable a creditor to make an informed judgment about the debtor's plan of reorganization. 11 U.S.C. § 1125. The information required is governed by judicial discretion and the circumstances of the case. In a "small business case" (discussed below) the debtor may not need to file a separate disclosure statement if the court determines that adequate information is contained in the plan. 11 U.S.C. § 1125(f). The contents of the plan must include a classification of claims and must specify how each class of claims will be treated under the plan. 11 U.S.C. § 1123. Creditors whose claims are "impaired," i.e., those whose contractual rights are to be modified or who will be paid less than the full value of their claims under the plan, vote on the plan by ballot. 11 U.S.C. § 1126. After the disclosure statement is approved by the court and the ballots are collected and tallied, the court will conduct a confirmation hearing to determine whether to confirm the plan. 11 U.S.C. § 1128.