Daily News: September 4, 2013

Neal Gerber Eisenberg Receives Turnaround of the Year Award

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg said its Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy Practice Group received the Turnaround Management Association’s (TMA) 2013 Small Company Turnaround of the Year Award. The firm was instrumental in helping turnaround Sugar Grove, Ill-based R&M Aviation (d/b/a AeroCare Medical Transport System), which was forced into bankruptcy.

Despite bleak prospects at the outset, Neal Gerber Eisenberg’s Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy Practice Group helped AeroCare to develop a solution that allowed them to emerge from Chapter 11 less than a year after filing for bankruptcy. The financial and operational restructuring not only allowed the company to maintain its mission of air ambulance and organ procurement services, but it also saved more than 100 jobs.

With corporate value on the line, jobs at stake and time as the enemy, the Small Company Turnaround of the Year Award recognizes individuals who have “orchestrated the most successful turnaround” in a company with revenue of up to $50 million by establishing effective operations, implementing solid management, improving cash-flow and increasing production. Neal Gerber Eisenberg partner Mark A. Berkoff led AeroCare’s restructuring team, with day-to-day management of the case provided by partner Nicholas M. Miller and associate Kevin G. Schneider.

“This started as a very difficult case. We were fighting with our senior secured lender and had no choice but to hastily file a free-fall Chapter 11 bankruptcy. To be able to achieve unanimous support from all of our creditor constituents and restructure/reorganize the AeroCare businesses and save most of the jobs was both a challenge and an achievement of which we are extremely proud,” said Berkoff.

Miller also reflected on the importance of the award and significance of saving AeroCare. “This is the most prestigious award in the restructuring industry, so we obviously are honored to have the recognition. But beyond the accolades, we get the most satisfaction knowing that our work has had a direct and positive impact on people’s lives. Through this case, sick patients received uninterrupted access to life saving flights, more than 100 jobs were saved, and we were able to preserve the owner’s stake in his company – his life’s work – built over the course of nearly 20 years.”

Joseph D. Cece, AeroCare’s chief executive officer, who labeled the restructuring counsel as the “best of the best,” added, “I am so proud of the entire team for pulling together, working extremely hard and surviving this very difficult process. What an honor to be part of this organization as we continue to save lives and make a positive impact on our patient’s lives on a daily basis. This was a company worth saving, and I know that you all recognized that.”

This is Neal Gerber Eisenberg’s second national TMA award and second award since 2010. The group will be recognized at TMA’s 2013 Annual Meeting, taking place October 3-5, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

Neal Gerber Eisenberg is a Chicago-based law firm whose lawyers share a culture of teamwork and devotion to personalized client service to advance clients’ business interests throughout the U.S. and beyond.