Daily News: March 29, 2012

Court Confirms TBS International Plan of Reorganization

TBS International plc announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has confirmed the company’s Plan of Reorganization, paving the way for the reorganized company’s expedited emergence from Chapter 11 proceedings, less than 60 days after its February 6 filing. The plan reflects overwhelming support from its voting lenders to restructure the company’s secured debt and to pay in full in cash all allowed claims of unsecured creditors, including all vendors. As a result, the reorganized company will emerge from its pre-packaged restructuring with a healthy capital structure, including approximately $40 million in new money financing provided by its existing lenders, which will provide ample liquidity for the company and enable the company to maintain its position as a market leader in the shipping industry.

“We are very pleased with this extraordinary vote of confidence in our long term sustainability provided by our lenders,” said Joseph E. Royce, chairman, CEO and president. “We look forward to renewing our focus on growing and managing our business. As a result of this restructuring, our company will be positioned to successfully compete in our global markets.”

At emergence, the reorganized company will have reduced its debt by over $100 million since September 30, 2011. Under the plan, the debtor-in-possession financing claims and pre-petition secured debt will be restructured so as to provide new liquidity, extended maturity dates and other terms that are expected to ensure the company’s future viability.

All trade vendors will be paid in full in cash for all allowed claims. In fact, the vast majority of the company’s vendors have already been paid for all amounts due and continue to maintain positive business relations with TBS. Upon emergence from Chapter 11, the company will have eliminated any possibility of valid vessel arrest due to the bankruptcy process.

Gregg McNelis, senior EVP and chief operating officer, remarked on the loyalty of key clients throughout the restructuring process. “TBS has always put our customers first, and we have deeply appreciated their continued support as we worked with our lenders to restructure our bank facilities in the current difficult operating environment. TBS is now positioned to compete even more strongly and to meet all of our customers’ shipping logistics needs.”

Pursuant to the plan, ownership of the company’s operating subsidiaries will be transferred to a newly formed entity that will be owned principally by the company’s lenders. The company’s current equity holders will receive no distributions under the plan, and the company will cease to be a reporting public company.

TBS provides worldwide shipping solutions to a diverse client base of industrial shippers through its Five Star Service: ocean transportation, projects, operations, port services and strategic planning.

Previously on abfjournal.com:

TBS International Files Chapter 11; BofA, Others Provide DIP Loan, Tuesday, February 07, 2012