MATTHEW A. CLEMENTE is a partner in the Chicago office. Matthew has a broad range of experience representing debtors, debt syndicates, bondholder groups, purchasers, sellers, equity holders and individual creditors in all aspects of restructurings (both in court and out of court) and distressed asset dispositions and acquisitions. Matthew is listed in The International Who’s Who for Restructuring & Insolvency Lawyers and according to The Legal 500 US 2010, Matthew is “extremely knowledgeable and experienced in handling complex bankruptcy.” He is recognized as a “Best Lawyer” in The Best Lawyers in America 2015–2019 editions in Litigation-Bankruptcy.
- Dynegy Holdings, LLC (Chapter 11; Client—Debtor).
- Matthew represented Dynegy Holdings and certain of its subsidiaries in connection with their chapter 11 proceedings. Dynegy Holdings and its affiliates had approximately $6.2 billion in liabilities.
- Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Chapter 11; Client—Debtor).
- Matthew represented Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation and its affiliated debtors in their chapter 11 and Canadian CCAA proceedings. Smurfit-Stone converted approximately $2.9 billion in debt to equity through its restructuring proceedings, which involved joint main proceedings for Smurfit-Stone’s Canadian subsidiaries under chapter 11 and the CCAA. The Smurfit-Stone restructuring was named the 2010 Large Turnaround of the Year by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association.
- Merisant Worldwide, Inc. (Chapter 11; Client—Debtor).
- Matthew represented Merisant Worldwide and its subsidiaries, the maker of Equal and other products, in their chapter 11 cases. Merisant emerged from chapter 11 in less than one year and removed approximately $500 million in debt from its balance sheet. Merisant funded its chapter 11 proceeding through a combination of cash collateral usage and a unique second lien debtor-in-possession financing facility. The Merisant restructuring received an Atlas Award as Corporate Turnaround of the Year ($500 million plus category).
- Budget Group, Inc./Budget Rent-a-Car (Chapter 11; Client—Debtor).
- Matthew represented Budget Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries in their chapter 11 cases. At the time of the chapter 11 filing, Budget Group and its affiliates operated the third largest vehicle rental system in the world. Budget negotiated a sale of substantially all of its assets to an affiliate of the Cendant Corporation. The sale was approved pursuant to Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code and formed the basis of Budget’s chapter 11 plan which was confirmed in 2004.
- Zenith Industries, Inc. (Chapter 11; Client—Debtor).
- Matthew represented Zenith Industries, Inc. in its chapter 11 case. Zenith was a tier 1 and tier 2 automotive supplier of stamped metal products.
Creditors and Committees:
- Edison Mission Energy (Chapter 11; Client—Co-Chair of Unsecured Creditors Committee).
- Matthew represents Commonwealth Edison and Exelon in its capacity as the co-chair of the unsecured creditors committee.
- Allied Systems Holdings (Chapter 11; Client—Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors).
- Matthew represents the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Allied System’s chapter 11 proceedings. Allied Systems has approximately $275 million of senior secured debt and the proceedings involve significant litigation against and among Allied’s private equity sponsors.
- Orchard Brands/Appleseed’s (Chapter 11; Client—Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Holders).
- Matthew represented the ad hoc group of holders of Appleseed’s $325 million first lien secured notes in Appleseed’s prenegotiated chapter 11 case. Appleseed’s is a leading multi-channel marketer of apparel and home products focused on serving the needs of women and men over the age of 55. Appleseed’s successfully restructured approximately $725 million in funded debt pursuant to its confirmed chapter 11 plan in less than 90 days.
- Wolverine Tube, Inc. (Chapter 11; Client—Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Holders).
- Matthew represents the ad hoc group of holders of Wolverine Tube’s $131 million first lien notes. Wolverine Tube, with its affiliates, is a global manufacturer of copper and copper alloy tube and metal joining products.
- Outboard Marine Corporation (Chapter 11 and Chapter 7; Client—Senior Debt Syndicate).
- Matthew represented the Senior Debt Syndicate in the chapter 11 and chapter 7 cases of Outboard Marine Corporation and its affiliates. Outboard Marine was the maker of Johnson and Evinrude boat motors along with Chris Craft, Four winns, Lowes and other boats. Outboard Marine sold substantially all of its assets in a sale under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.
- Venture Holdings Company LLC (Chapter 11 and Chapter 7; Client—Senior Debt Syndicate).
- Matthew represents the Senior Debt Syndicate that was owed in excess of $430 million on the petition date in Venture Holdings and its affiliates chapter 11 and subsequent chapter 7 cases. Venture Holdings and its affiliates sold substantially all of their assets to the Senior Debt Syndicate in a credit bid that was approved pursuant to Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code and thereafter converted their chapter 11 cases to chapter 7 cases.
- Deluxe Pattern Corporation (Chapter 11; Client—Senior Debt Syndicate).
- Matthew represents the Senior Debt Syndicate that was owed in excess of $430 million on the petition date in Deluxe Pattern and affiliates chapter 11 cases. Deluxe Pattern and its affiliates sold substantially all of their assets to the Senior Debt Syndicate in a credit bid approved pursuant to Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.
- Verdant Brands Inc. (Out of Court; Client—Senior Secured Lender).
- Matthew represented the Senior Secured Lender to Verdant Brands and its affiliates, a Minneapolis based pest-control and fertilizer manufacturer.
Purchasers and Equity Holders:
- Dana Corporation (Chapter 11; Client—Purchaser of Coupled Products Division).
- Matthew represented the Purchaser of Dana’s Coupled Products Division in a sale under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.
- Florida Coast Paper Company (Chapter 11; Client—50% Equity Holder).
- Matthew represented a 50% equity holder in Florida Coast’s chapter 11 case.
- Intermet Corporation (Chapter 11; Client—Board of Directors);
- American Home Mortgage Corporation, et. al. (Chapter 11; Client—Party to Bilateral Gestation Facility);
- Iron Age Shoe (Exchange Offer; Client—Largest Noteholder);
- LifeTime Capital Corporation (Federal Court Receivership; Client—Purchaser of $140 million face value of viaticals and life settlements).
Recognitions and Speaking Engagements:
Matthew is listed in The International Who’s Who of Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers and in The Legal 500 US and has received awards from the Turnaround Management Association and the Atlas Awards. He is also recognized in the 2015–2017 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Bankruptcy Litigation and Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.
Matthew is a frequent speaker on restructuring topics and his speaking engagements include the 7th Annual Distressed Debt Investing Forum—West where he was a panelist for the segment titled “Sector Focus: Automotive Industry Bankruptcies” and “Smurfit-Stone: The Story from Inside the Box” at the May 2011 Turnaround Management Associate Chicago/Midwest Awards Presentation.
Admissions & Certifications
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
- U.S. District Court, N.D. of Illinois - General
- U.S. District Court, E.D. of Michigan
- University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1998 (summa cum laude, Order of the Coif)
- Northern Illinois University, B.S., 1995 (magna cum laude)