CHARLES PERSONS’ practice focuses on debtor and creditor representations in complex domestic and cross-border Chapter 11 cases, out-of-court reorganizations and refinancings, distressed acquisitions, debtor-in-possession financing, and a variety of bankruptcy litigation matters, including appellate litigation.
Since joining Sidley, Charles has been involved in the Chapter 11 debtor representations of publicly traded oil and gas company Legacy Reserves, Inc. in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas; artificial intelligence designer Wave Computing, Inc. in the Northern District of California; and the Boy Scouts of America in its Chapter 11 restructuring. His creditor-side engagements since joining Sidley have included the representation of Ares Capital Corporation as secured lender agent and DIP agent in the Vista Proppants Chapter 11 in the Northern District of Texas and Presidio Petroleum in its acquisition of Templar Energy out of Chapter 11. He has also been involved in the representation of New Residential Investment Corp. in its US$574 million stalking horse bid for mortgage-related businesses of debtor mortgage servicing and origination company Ditech Holding, as well as several out-of-court distressed oil and gas acquisitions.
In addition to his experience with multinational restructurings in the retail, aviation, automobile, and manufacturing industries, Charles has considerable experience advising clients in the oil and gas industry on restructuring matters and has published several articles and appeared on podcasts discussing the intersection of oil and gas law and restructuring law.
Charles has been recognized by New York Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in restructuring in 2017 and 2018, by Texas Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in restructuring from 2014-2017 and 2020, by Best Lawyers in America in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law in 2022, and has been selected as a barrister in the Hon. John C. Ford American Inn of Court for restructuring practitioners.
Representative Debtor Engagements
- Wave Computing Inc. – Currently representing Wave Computing, Inc., an artificial intelligence IP developer, in its Chapter 11 sale to an affiliate of Tallwood Venture Capital in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. This restructuring was recognized as the “Information Technology Deal of the Year” at The M&A Advisor’s 15th annual Turnaround Awards in 2021.
- Legacy Reserves Inc. – Represented publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production company Legacy Reserves in the restructuring of its US$1.4 billion of funded debt in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
- Westinghouse Electric Company – Represented Westinghouse and its affiliated global debtors in the successful US$4.6 billion sale of substantially all of the company’s assets in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Westinghouse provides design and engineering services and other critical operations to over half of the nuclear power plants in the world.
- Pacific Drilling, S.A. – Represented publicly traded Pacific Drilling in the refinancing of its US$3.1 billion of funded debt and negotiation of US$1.0 billion of exit financing and US$460 million rights offering in Chapter 11. Pacific Drilling is a global enterprise that owns and operates high-specification ships designed for offshore drilling.
- Boy Scouts of America – Represented Boy Scouts of America in its negotiations and contested court hearings regarding use of contested cash collateral in the Chapter 11 cases in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
- AMR Corp. (American Airlines) – Represented American Airlines in its successful US$11 billion stock swap merger with U.S. Airways Group, effectuated through its Chapter 11 cases in the District of Delaware. Upon emergence from Chapter 11, the merger made American Airlines the largest airline in the world.
- Chrysler LLP – Represented Chrysler in the US$6.6 billion sale of its assets to Fiat S.p.A. and the U.S. government in its groundbreaking Chapter 11 case in the Southern District of New York.
- The Brock Group, Inc. – Represented Brock in the out-of-court restructuring of its US$800 million of funded debt and takeover by American Industrial Partners. Houston, Texas-based Brock was a leading supplier of scaffolding and related construction materials.
- SemGroup LP – Represented SemGroup LP in the Third Circuit appeal of an adversary proceeding brought by lienholders and in the master limited partnership’s chapter 11 cases that reorganized approximately US$7.0 billion of funded debt. SemGroup transported oil, natural gas and other products across North America.
- Texas Rangers Baseball Partners – Represented the Texas Rangers in the Chapter 11 auction and eventual US$539 million mid-season sale of the Major League Baseball franchise in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas in less than 75 days.
- Dallas Stars L.P. – Represented the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars in their Chapter 11 auction and eventual sale through a plan of reorganization in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
- Blockbuster LLC – Represented iconic home movie rental giant Blockbuster in its US$407 million section 363 sale in Chapter 11 in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to Dish Network.
- Azure Midstream Partners – Represented Azure in the successful auction and sale of its midstream assets for US$189 million, representing a 26% increase to the stalking horse bid. Process completed in its Chapter 11 cases in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas and ultimately provided for repayment in full to creditors and a recovery to equity holders.
- Electrical Components International (ECI) – Represented ECI in the restructuring of approximately US$370 million in funded debt through a prepacked Chapter 11 plan of reorganization in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. St. Louis-based ECI is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electrical wiring components for appliances.
- Golfsmith International Holdings, Inc. – Represented retailer Golfsmith in its section 363 auction and sale of its U.S. stores and inventory to Dick’s Sporting Goods, as well as the sale of its Canadian stores to a group led by Fairfax Financial Holdings.
- Halcón Resources Corp. – Represented publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production company Halcón in its US$2.9 billion prepackaged financial restructuring in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
- Endeavour International Corp. – Represented Endeavour in its pre-negotiated Chapter 11 proceedings in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Endeavour filed for Chapter 11 protection with more than US$1.2 billion in outstanding funded debt and operations in the U.S. and North Sea.
Representative Creditor Engagements
- Vista Proppants and Logistics – Represented Ares Capital Corporation as agent in its US$380 million prepetition secured credit facility, and its capacity as DIP Lender, plan proponent, and exit facility provider in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas.
- Templar Energy – Represented Presidio Petroleum and its sponsor Morgan Stanley Energy Partners in their successful US$92 million acquisition of the assets of Templar Energy pursuant to a section 363 auction in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
- Ditech Holding – Represents New Residential Investment Corp. as stalking horse in its US$574 million bid to purchase mortgage-related businesses of Ditech Holding in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
- SunEdison, Inc. – Represented the Unsecured Creditors Committee in the US$16.1 billion Chapter 11 cases of SunEdison in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, including negotiations surrounding the eventual formation of the SunEdison liquidation trust. At the time of its filing, SunEdison was the world’s largest renewable energy company.
- Energy & Exploration Partners – Represented the ad hoc group of secured lenders as plan sponsor of the US$1.2 billion ENXP in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The plan provided substantially all of the equity in reorganized ENXP to the ad hoc group via a rights offering and debt-for-equity swap.
- Magnum Hunter Resources – Represented the ad hoc group of secured lenders as co-plan sponsor of the US$1.1 billion Magnum Hunter in the group’s takeover of the oil and gas exploration and production company through a rights offering and debt-for-equity swap in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
- Cobalt International Energy – Represented certain existing unsecured bondholders in an out-of-court exchange of US$715 million for secured debt and additional secured financing of US$500 million. Cobalt was an offshore drilling company with its primary assets on the west coast of Africa.
- Golden County Foods – Represented private equity sponsor Brazos Equity Partners in the section 363 sale of its portfolio company Golden County Foods. The successful auction and sale resulted in full repayment to secured creditors, including Brazos as a subordinated secured lender.
- Synagro Technologies – Represented EQT Infrastructure Fund as purchaser and plan sponsor in its US$465 million acquisition of Synagro Technologies through a plan of reorganization. Synagro was the largest recycler of biosolids and organic residuals in the United States at the time of its filing.
- Reddy Ice Holdings – Represented Macquarie Capital (USA), Inc. as largest unsecured creditor in the Reddy Ice Chapter 11 case filed in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas.