NEW YORK, Aug. 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AlixPartners, the global business advisory firm, has once again been honored by the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), receiving the association's "Turnaround of the Year: Large Company" award for its work on behalf of Nebraska Book Company, Inc. The AlixPartners team was led by Alan Holtz, managing director in the firm's Turnaround & Restructuring Services group and co-lead of that group's Transformation & Restructuring Advisory Practice, and Robb McWilliams, a director in the firm's Informational Management Services group.
AlixPartners worked in tandem with company management and representatives from Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Rothschild Group on a consensual resolution that reduced Nebraska Book Company's indebtedness by $240 million and equitized over $100 million of secured debt. Along the way, according to the TMA's citation, the turnaround saved jobs for approximately 2,700 workers, including 1,100 full-time and 700 part-time employees and 900 temporary workers.
Said Holtz: "We've very proud of the fact that a company with such a rich history as Nebraska Book Company, and one that ultimately benefits millions of college students, was saved, along with thousands of jobs in the process. It took hard work and collaboration on all fronts – including company management and other outside professionals – to arrive at this outcome, but it proves that good things can happen if the right approaches are taken."
Said Lisa Donahue, managing director at AlixPartners and global leader of the firm's Turnaround & Restructuring Services group: "The book industry is indicative of the challenges companies in many industries face today: an overall economy that may never be what it once was, coupled with big challenges such as technology upheaval. At AlixPartners, we're proud to be recognized for helping Nebraska Book Company move to overcome its challenges, and we believe its success shows that, if proactive steps are taken, other companies can do the same."
Founded in 1915 with a single bookstore near the University of Nebraska campus, Nebraska Book Company played a key role in the earliest years of the used-textbook industry when it recognized that the supply of new textbooks could not meet the demand created by returning World War II soldiers attending college. Prior to its restructuring, the company sold textbooks through a retail and wholesale distribution network, including 280 on- and off-campus stores, located on or near college campuses, as well as through its wholesale division to third-party distributors and on the Internet. As of December 31, 2010, the company reported $657.2 million in assets and $564 million in liabilities, with annual revenues of approximately $605.5 million.
Nebraska Book Company commenced its Chapter 11 cases on June 27, 2011 to effectuate an expedited balance-sheet restructuring through a prearranged plan of reorganization, precipitated by an upheaval in the textbook industry similar to that in the book industry in general. Among other first-day relief, the company obtained $200 million in secured post-petition financing and the use of cash collateral. This relief, coupled with AlixPartners' and other professionals' continued advice to the company's management team, enabled the company to continue operating its business in bankruptcy with minimal disruption and little effect on its customers.
Within months, though, the company realized the need for a more thorough operational restructuring due to the continuing decline in the financial performance of its off-campus bookstores and the evolving price war from online textbook-distribution channels. The company and involved parties worked diligently over the next nine months to retool its business plan, focusing on more profitable on-campus book stores and closing approximately 48 unprofitable off-campus book stores. The company's operational restructuring enabled it to negotiate a consensual resolution with its secured and unsecured debt-holders as well as the official committee of unsecured creditors, including obtaining an $80 million investment from its largest secured creditor.
On June 29, 2012, Nebraska Book Company emerged from Chapter 11.
Also recognized by the TMA for their work on the Nebraska Book Company engagement were: Chad Husnick and Marc Kieselstein of Kirkland & Ellis; and Dustin L. Mondell and Todd R. Snyder of Rothschild.
The award will be presented at the TMA's 25th Annual Conference, held October 3-5 at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C.
AlixPartners, LLP is a global business advisory firm offering comprehensive services in four major areas: enterprise improvement, turnaround and restructuring, financial-advisory services and information-management services. The firm has offices around the world, and can be found on the Web at www.alixpartners.com.
About the Turnaround Management Association
The Chicago-based Turnaround Management Association has more than 9,000 members in 48 regional chapters worldwide who comprise a professional community of turnaround practitioners, attorneys, accountants, investors, lenders, venture capitalists, appraisers, liquidators, executive recruiters and consultants. Visit www.turnaround.org for more information.
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