Alston & Bird was honored with The M&A Advisor’s 2014 “Restructuring Deal of the Year (Between $10MM and $100MM)” for its work representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Chapter 11 sale of the assets of St. Francis Hospital to Westchester Medical Center.
The deal was also selected as a finalist in two other categories: “M&A Deal of the Year (Over $25MM to $50MM)” and “Healthcare/Life Sciences Deal of the Year (Up to $250MM).”
A 333-bed general medical and surgical hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY, St. Francis filed for bankruptcy protection in the Southern District of New York in December 2013 and proposed to sell its assets to Health Quest Systems, Inc., the parent company of Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie and Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, NY, subject to higher and better offers.
After the creditors’ committee, through Alston & Bird, obtained an agreement to reduce the proposed breakup fee payable to Health Quest by 50 percent and change the bid procedures to permit bidding to start at a price 30 percent less than originally proposed, Westchester Medical Center, based in Valhalla, NY, entered the process. Westchester Medical submitted a significantly higher bid that would pay secured bondholders close to par and provide a substantial distribution to unsecured creditors. St. Francis accepted the Westchester Medical bid.
The Bankruptcy Court approved the sale in February 2014 and confirmed the plan of reorganization of St. Francis in April 2014. The sale to Westchester Medical closed in May 2014.
An Alston & Bird team led by partners Martin Bunin and Craig Freeman of the firm’s Bankruptcy, Workouts & Reorganization Group, with assistance from bankruptcy associates William Hao and Bethany Simmons, served as counsel to the creditors’ committee.
The award was announced at the 13th Annual M&A Advisor Awards Gala on Nov. 17. This year, more than 130 nominees, representing 600 companies, were finalists for the awards. Winners were selected by an independent judging committee of top M&A industry experts.