Arent Fox Recognized at 10th Annual M&A Advisor Awards
DECEMBER 14, 2011– Arent Fox was recognized as a finalist for the “Turnaround Deal of the Year Award” for the firm’s work on the acquisition of Contessa Premium Foods by Sun Capital Partners at the 10th Annual M&A Advisor Awards held on Tuesday, December 13 at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan.
Arent Fox was retained as counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors after Contessa filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2011. Arent Fox quickly identified major flaws in Contessa’s reorganization strategy, which would have left the company in the hands of equity holders with little opportunity for significant recoveries for creditors. Arent Fox successfully negotiated with Contessa and its team of advisors to create a consensual, fast-track sale process, and to engage an investment banker, endorsed by the Committee as well as the debtor, to oversee that sale process. The firm ensured that the Committee participated in the sale process and analysis of bids and served as a watchdog to prevent insider self-dealing and maintain a level playing field for interested buyers. This strategy avoided significant litigation expenses and kept operational disruptions to a minimum while ensuring that creditor concerns and wishes were taken into account and returns tocreditors were maximized.
As a result of the sale process, on June 29, 2011, the bankruptcy court approved a sale of substantially all of Contessa’s assets to an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private investment firm specializing in leveraged buyouts and investments in market-leading companies. The proceeds from the sale, as well as other estate assets, are expected to result in significant recoveries to unsecured creditors.
The Arent Fox team was headed by Douglas Flahaut and Katie Lane.
The 10th Annual M&A Advisor Awards were held as part of the two-day 2011 M&A Advisor Summit in New York City. The ceremony was hosted by Julie Hyman, Senior Markets Desk Reporter at Bloomberg TV and featured a keynote address by former Governor of Massachusetts and former Associate US Attorney General William F. Weld.