Alston & Bird has been recognized for its role in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy sale that was named “Healthcare Services Turnaround of the Year” by Global M&A Network at the 7th Annual Turnaround Atlas Awards, which honors excellence in the restructuring and turnaround communities worldwide.
The firm was highlighted 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.
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. It 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.
As counsel to the creditors’ committee, 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.
Representing the creditors’ committee was an Alston & Bird team led by partners Martin Bunin and Craig Freeman of the firm’s Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring Practice, with assistance from associate William Hao.
This is the second time that Alston & Bird has been recognized for advising on the St. Francis-Westchester Medical transaction. In November 2014, the firm was honored for its role with The M&A Advisor’s 2014 “Restructuring Deal of the Year Award (Between $10MM and $100MM).”