Daily News: July 13, 2012

Carl Marks Advises Northern Berkshire in Chapter 11 Reorg Plan


Northern Berkshire Healthcare Inc., a nonprofit healthcare system located in North Adams, MA, has completed a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. The investment banking group of Carl Marks Advisory Group served as financial advisor to the system.

Northern Berkshire Healthcare operates Northern Adams Regional Hospital Inc., a full-service community hospital with 109 beds and 12 bassinets located in North Adams, in addition to a visiting nurses association and physicians practice. The hospital was founded in 1884 and has been an integral part of the community for more than 125 years. Due to an over-leveraged balance sheet, losses associated with the acquisition, expansion and subsequent sale of a continuing care retirement community, and a decline in revenues due to national and local economic factors, the healthcare system was unable to support its approximately $43 million in secured bond debt and significant legacy obligations.

Carl Marks managed Northern Berkshire Healthcare’s restructuring and bankruptcy process, rightsizing the capital structure to improve future liquidity for the system. Carl Marks and Ropes & Gray, counsel to Northern Berkshire, worked to forge a complex, multi-party consensual plan of reorganization with its secured noteholders, municipal bond insurer, indenture trustee and unsecured creditors, including the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. As a result of the restructuring, Northern Berkshire Healthcare will continue to provide healthcare to a community of approximately 43,000 people.

“We are honored to have served Northern Berkshire Healthcare in its successful reorganization, which preserves its mission of providing continuing healthcare services to the community,” said Mark L. Claster, partner of Carl Marks Advisory Group and president of its parent company, Carl Marks & Co. “The healthcare industry is experiencing unprecedented challenges economically due to severe curtailment of government support. Nonetheless, the need for quality healthcare is essential. We are pleased to have facilitated this outcome.”

“Carl Marks’ leadership and experience was crucial to negotiating a successful resolution with multiple constituencies,” said William Frado Jr., chief executive officer and president of the board of trustees of Northern Berkshire Healthcare. “We are thankful for their role and assistance.”

The Carl Marks team was led by Mark Claster, Christopher Wu, Scott Webb and Matt McInerney. Steven Hoort, James Wright and Jonathan Lackow of Ropes & Gray served as counsel to the debtor.

Carl Marks Advisory Group provides a wide array of investment banking and financial, operational, real estate and healthcare advisory services to the middle market, including mergers and acquisitions advice, sourcing of capital, financial restructuring plans, strategic business assessments, improvement plans and interim management.