Daily News: December 20, 2016

TMA Chicago/Midwest Presents Turnaround of the Year Awards


The Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association honored Compressor Engineering, Swishes Hygiene and Lee Steel with Turnaround of the Year Awards at its annual dinner.

Compressor Engineering Corporation (CECO), headquartered in Houston received the Large Turnaround of the Year award. CECO is a family-owned business founded in 1964 that operates in two divisions, manufacturing and pipeline services. With the turnaround team consisting of Chicago-based AEG Partners, existing management/ownership and outside counsel Hoover Slovacek, the company survived the liquidity crisis, avoided bankruptcy, improved profitability and refinanced all senior debt at par. The bank has realized a full recovery and the company will continue to be a family-owned operation.

Swisher Hygiene, which performs a hygiene and sanitation services to about 60,000 customers coast-to-coast, was named winner of Large Transaction of the Year. Faced with a liquidity crisis, the new chief operating officer approached Global Turnarounds to help release cash from excess inventories. The result was a cash positive quarter for the end of Q2/15, which enabled Swisher to be sold to Ecolab. The Swisher brand name and the majority of its people continue to operate as an autonomous unit for the new owners.

This year’s Small Transaction of the Year Award went to Lee Steel and Affiliates, a 60-year-old top-tier steel service center that provides a full range of flat rolled steel. The company had historically been a steadily growing, profitable company. However, a confluence of external factors caused the company to experience significant liquidity constraints, ultimately leading to the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

The company retained Huron Consulting Group and, working with its restructuring and turnaround practice, the investment banking team reviewed various strategic alternatives for the sale of the company’s assets. In September 2015, Lee Steel successfully completed the sale of its assets to Union Partners I, as well as Hilco Industrial and Hilco Real Estate.

The Harry Preucil Pro Bono of the Year Award went to association members Pro Bono committee co-chair Rebecca Fruchtman of Bank of America Merrill Lynch; David A. Bernal of Growth Decisions and Paul Melville of Grant Thornton for their work with Guillermo Leyva and Vilma Machin of the Alma Dance School.

Individual awards included Barbara L. Yong, Golan Christie Taglia for Outstanding Service; Ray Anderson, Huron Consulting, CTP of the Year; Alex Boerema, AlixPartners, Emerging Leader and Chris Horvay, Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer, Legend Award.