EX-99.2 3 cbl-ex992_6.htm EX-99.2 cbl-ex992_6.htm

Exhibit 99.2

 

IN THE UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
HOUSTON DIVISION

 

In re:

 

§

 

Chapter 11

 

 

§

 

 

CBL & ASSOCIATES

 

§

 

 

PROPERTIES, INC., et al.,

 

§

 

Case No. 20-35226 (DRJ)

 

 

§

 

 

Debtors.1

 

§

 

(Jointly Administered)

 

 

§

 

 

 

1

A complete list of the Debtors in these Chapter 11 Cases may be obtained on the website of the Debtors’ proposed claims and noticing agent at https://dm.epiq11.com/CBLProperties.  The Debtors’ service address for the purposes of these Chapter 11 Cases is 2030 Hamilton Place Blvd., Suite 500, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421.

 


 

 

 

 

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT FOR SECOND AMENDED JOINT CHAPTER 11 PLAN

OF CBL & ASSOCIATES PROPERTIES, INC. AND ITS AFFILIATED DebtorS

 

WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES LLP

Alfredo R. Pérez (15776275)

700 Louisiana Street, Suite 1700

Houston, Texas  77002

Telephone: (713) 546-5000

Facsimile:  (713) 224-9511

 

WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES LLP

Ray C. Schrock, P.C. (admitted pro hac vice)

Garrett A. Fail (admitted pro hac vice)

Moshe A. Fink (admitted pro hac vice)
767 Fifth Avenue

New York, New York 10153

Telephone: (212) 310-8000

Facsimile: (212) 310-8007

Counsel for Debtors and

Debtors in Possession

 

 

 

Dated: May 18, 2021
Houston, Texas

 

 

 

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT, DATED MAY 18, 2021

Solicitation of Votes on the Second Amended Joint Plan of

CBL & ASSOCIATES PROPERTIES, INC., ET AL.

 

THIS SOLICITATION OF VOTES (THE “SOLICITATION”) IS BEING CONDUCTED TO OBTAIN SUFFICIENT VOTES TO ACCEPT THE SECOND AMENDED JOINT CHAPTER 11 PLAN OF CBL & ASSOCIATES PROPERTIES, INC. AND ITS AFFILIATED DEBTORS IN THE ABOVE-CAPTIONED CHAPTER 11 CASES (COLLECTIVELY, THE “DEBTORS”), ATTACHED HERETO AS EXHIBIT A (THE “PLAN”).

 

THE VOTING DEADLINE TO ACCEPT OR REJECT THE PLAN IS 4:00 P.M. (PREVAILING CENTRAL TIME) ON JULY 26, 2021 UNLESS EXTENDED BY THE DEBTORS IN WRITING.

 

THE RECORD DATE FOR DETERMINING WHICH HOLDERS OF CLAIMS OR INTERESTS MAY VOTE ON THE PLAN IS MAY 13, 2021 (THE “RECORD DATE”).

 

RECOMMENDATION BY THE DEBTORS

 

The board of directors of CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. has unanimously approved the transactions contemplated by the Solicitation and the Plan.  The Debtors believe the Plan is in the best interests of all stakeholders and recommend that all creditors whose votes are being solicited submit ballots to accept the Plan.

 

Subject to the terms and conditions of the Restructuring Support Agreement (as defined below), the Consenting Creditors (as defined below) have already agreed to vote in favor of, or otherwise support, the Plan.

 

HOLDERS OF CLAIMS OR INTERESTS SHOULD NOT CONSTRUE THE CONTENTS OF THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT AS PROVIDING ANY LEGAL, BUSINESS, FINANCIAL, OR TAX ADVICE AND SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN ADVISORS BEFORE CASTING A VOTE WITH RESPECT TO THE PLAN.

THE ISSUANCE OF THE NEW SENIOR SECURED NOTES, NEW CONVERTIBLE NOTES (AND THE NEW COMMON STOCK ISSUABLE UPON CONVERSION THEREOF), NEW COMMON STOCK, AND NEW LP UNITS UNDER THE PLAN SHALL BE EXEMPT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 (AS AMENDED, THE “SECURITIES ACT”), ALL RULES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER, AND ANY OTHER APPLICABLE FEDERAL SECURITIES LAWS PURSUANT TO SECTION 1145 OF THE BANKRUPTCY CODE AND TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY SECTION 1145 OF THE BANKRUPTCY CODE, WITHOUT FURTHER ACT OR ACTIONS BY ANY PERSON.  

 


 

THE SECURITIES ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE PLAN HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED BY THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (THE “SEC”) OR BY ANY STATE SECURITIES COMMISSION OR SIMILAR PUBLIC, GOVERNMENTAL, OR REGULATORY AUTHORITY, AND NEITHER THE SEC NOR ANY SUCH AUTHORITY HAS PASSED UPON THE ACCURACY OR ADEQUACY OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT OR UPON THE MERITS OF THE PLAN.  ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

CERTAIN STATEMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT, INCLUDING STATEMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE, PROJECTED FINANCIAL INFORMATION, AND OTHER FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS, ARE BASED ON ESTIMATES AND ASSUMPTIONS.  THERE CAN BE NO ASSURANCE THAT SUCH STATEMENTS WILL BE REFLECTIVE OF ACTUAL OUTCOMES.  FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS SHOULD BE EVALUATED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE ESTIMATES, ASSUMPTIONS, UNCERTAINTIES, AND RISKS DESCRIBED HEREIN.

FURTHERMORE, READERS ARE CAUTIONED THAT ANY FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS HEREIN, INCLUDING ANY PROJECTIONS, ARE SUBJECT TO A NUMBER OF ASSUMPTIONS, RISKS, AND UNCERTAINTIES, MANY OF WHICH ARE BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE DEBTORS, INCLUDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN.  IMPORTANT ASSUMPTIONS AND OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT COULD CAUSE ACTUAL RESULTS TO DIFFER MATERIALLY INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, THOSE FACTORS, RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES DESCRIBED IN MORE DETAIL UNDER THE HEADING “CERTAIN RISK FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED” BELOW, AS WELL AS CERTAIN OTHER RISKS INHERENT IN THE DEBTORS’ BUSINESSES AND OTHER FACTORS LISTED IN THE DEBTORS’ SEC FILINGS.  PARTIES ARE CAUTIONED THAT THE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS SPEAK AS OF THE DATE MADE, ARE BASED ON THE DEBTORS’ CURRENT BELIEFS, INTENTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS, AND ARE NOT GUARANTEES OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE.  ACTUAL RESULTS OR DEVELOPMENTS MAY DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM THE EXPECTATIONS EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED IN THE FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS, AND THE DEBTORS UNDERTAKE NO OBLIGATION TO UPDATE OR OTHERWISE REVISE ANY FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS, INCLUDING ANY PROJECTIONS CONTAINED HEREIN, TO REFLECT EVENTS OR CIRCUMSTANCES EXISTING OR ARISING AFTER THE DATE HEREOF OR TO REFLECT THE OCCURRENCE OF UNANTICIPATED EVENTS OR OTHERWISE, UNLESS INSTRUCTED TO DO SO BY THE BANKRUPTCY COURT.

NO INDEPENDENT AUDITOR OR ACCOUNTANT HAS REVIEWED OR APPROVED THE FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS OR THE LIQUIDATION ANALYSIS HEREIN.

THE DEBTORS HAVE NOT AUTHORIZED ANY PERSON TO GIVE ANY INFORMATION OR ADVICE, OR TO MAKE ANY REPRESENTATION, IN CONNECTION WITH THE PLAN OR THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.

 


 

THE STATEMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT ARE MADE AS OF THE DATE HEREOF UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED.  THE TERMS OF THE PLAN GOVERN IN THE EVENT OF ANY INCONSISTENCY WITH THE SUMMARIES IN THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT IS BEING PROVIDED SOLELY FOR PURPOSES OF VOTING TO ACCEPT OR REJECT THE PLAN OR OBJECTING TO CONFIRMATION.  NOTHING IN THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT MAY BE USED BY ANY PARTY FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE.

ALL EXHIBITS TO THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT ARE INCORPORATED INTO, AND ARE A PART OF, THIS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT AS IF SET FORTH IN FULL HEREIN.

THE PLAN PROVIDES THAT THE FOLLOWING PARTIES, EACH IN THEIR RESPECTIVE CAPACITIES AS SUCH, ARE DEEMED TO GRANT THE RELEASES PROVIDED FOR IN THE PLAN: (i) holders of all Claims AND INTERESTS THAT vote to accept thE Plan, (ii) holders of ALL CLAIMS AND INTERESTS WHOSE VOTE TO ACCEPT OR REJECT THE PLAN IS SOLICITED BUT THAT DO NOT VOTE EITHER TO ACCEPT OR TO REJECT THE PLAN, (iii) holders of Claims AND INTERESTS THAT VOTE, OR ARE DEEMED, TO REJECT THE PLAN BUT DO NOT OPT OUT OF GRANTING THE RELEASES SET FORTH IN THE PLAN, (iv) holders of Claims and Interests AND ALL OTHER BENEFICIAL OWNERS THAT WERE GIVEN NOTICE OF THE OPPORTUNITY TO OPT OUT OF GRANTING THE RELEASES SET FORTH IN THE PLAN BUT DID NOT OPT OUT, AND (v) THE RELEASED PARTIES (AS DEFINED IN THE PLAN).

 

HOLDERS OF CLAIMS IN VOTING CLASSES (CLASSES 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, AND 14) HAVE RECEIVED A RELEASE OPT-OUT FORM ATTACHED TO THEIR BALLOT.  HOLDERS OF CLAIMS IN NON-VOTING CLASSES (CLASSES 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, AND 13) HAVE RECEIVED A RELEASE OPT-OUT FORM ATTACHED TO THEIR NOTICE OF NON-VOTING STATUS AND NOTICE OF RIGHT TO OPT OUT OF CERTAIN RELEASES.  SEE SECTION 10.7 OF THE PLAN FOR A DESCRIPTION OF THE RELEASES AND RELATED PROVISIONS.

 

 


 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

 

I.

INTRODUCTION

 

8

 

A.

Background and Overview of the Plan and Restructuring

 

8

 

B.

Summary of Plan Classification and Treatment of Claims

 

12

 

C.

Inquiries

 

19

II.

THE DEBTORS’ BUSINESS

 

19

 

A.

History and Business

 

19

 

B.

Properties and Business Operations

 

20

 

C.

Tenant Composition and Diversification

 

21

 

D.

Centralized Management and Operations

 

23

 

E.

Recent Financial Performance

 

24

III.

DEBTORS’ CORPORATE AND CAPITAL STRUCTURE

 

24

 

A.

Corporate Structure

 

24

 

B.

Corporate Governance and Management

 

25

 

C.

Prepetition Capital Structure

 

26

IV.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS LEADING TO THE CHAPTER 11 FILINGS

 

32

 

A.

Trends and Uncertainties in Retail Market

 

32

 

B.

Tenant Struggles and Rent Abatement

 

33

 

C.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

 

33

 

D.

Prepetition Operational Initiatives

 

34

 

E.

Debt Restructuring Effort and Original Restructuring Support Agreement

 

35

 

F.

Prepetition Bank Lender Actions

 

38

 

G.

Prepetition Employee Retention Programs

 

39

 

H.

Appointment of New Independent Director and Formation of a Special Committee

 

39

 

I.

Independent Investigation

 

40

V.

OVERVIEW OF CHAPTER 11 CASES

 

40

 

A.

Commencement of Chapter 11 Cases

 

40

 

B.

De Minimis Asset Sales, Claims, and Causes of Action Procedures

 

42

 

C.

Appointment of Creditors’ Committee

 

42

 

D.

Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding

 

43

 

E.

Court-Ordered Mediation

 

44

 

F.

Exclusivity

 

44

 

G.

Statements and Schedules, and Claims Bar Dates

 

44

 

H.

Motion to Extend Time to Assume or Reject Unexpired Leases

 

45

 

5

 


 

 

VI.

SUMMARY OF PLAN

 

45

 

A.

General

 

45

 

B.

Administrative Expense Claims, Fee Claims, and Priority Tax Claims.

 

46

 

C.

Classification of Claims and Interests

 

48

 

D.

Treatment of Claims and Interests

 

51

 

E.

Means for Implementation

 

57

 

F.

Distributions

 

68

 

G.

Procedures for Resolving Claims

 

75

 

H.

Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases

 

78

 

I.

Conditions Precedent to the Occurrence of the Effective Date

 

84

 

J.

Effect of Confirmation

 

86

 

K.

Retention of Jurisdiction

 

92

 

L.

Miscellaneous Provisions

 

94

VII.

TRANSFER RESTRICTIONS AND CONSEQUENCES UNDER FEDERAL SECURITIES LAWS

 

96

VIII.

CERTAIN U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES OF PLAN

 

98

 

A.

Consequences to the Debtors and Certain Unitholders

 

100

 

B.

Consequences to U.S. Holders of Certain Claims

 

105

 

C.

Consequences to U.S. Holders of Existing REIT Common Stock or Existing REIT Preferred Stock

 

116

 

D.

Consequences to Non-U.S. Holders of Certain Claims and Interests

 

116

 

E.

Consequences of the Ownership and Disposition of the New LP Units

 

119

 

F.

Consequences of the Ownership and Disposition of New Common Stock

 

122

 

G.

Information Reporting and Backup Withholding

 

129

IX.

CERTAIN RISK FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED

 

130

 

A.

Certain Bankruptcy Law Considerations

 

130

 

B.

Risks Relating to the New Common Stock and New LP Units Issued Under the Plan

 

132

 

C.

Risks Relating to the New Senior Secured Notes and the New Convertible

Notes

 

133

 

D.

Additional Risks Relating to the New Convertible Notes

 

137

 

E.

Risks Relating to the Exit Credit Facility

 

138

 

F.

Additional Risk Factors To Be Considered

 

139

6

 


 

 

 

X.

VOTING PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS

 

145

 

A.

Voting Deadline

 

145

 

B.

Voting Procedures

 

146

 

C.

Parties Entitled to Vote

 

147

 

D.

Convertible Notes Election

 

150

 

E.

Further Information, Copies of Materials

 

150

XI.

CONFIRMATION OF PLAN

 

151

 

A.

Confirmation Hearing

 

151

 

B.

Objections to Confirmation

 

151

 

C.

Requirements for Confirmation of Plan

 

153

XII.

ALTERNATIVES TO CONFIRMATION AND CONSUMMATION OF PLAN

 

158

 

A.

Alternative Plan of Reorganization

 

159

 

B.

Sale Under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code

 

159

 

C.

Liquidation under Chapter 7 of Bankruptcy Code

 

159

XIII.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

 

160

 

EXHIBITS

 

EXHIBIT A

Plan

EXHIBIT B

Organizational Chart

EXHIBIT C

RSA

EXHIBIT D

Liquidation Analysis

EXHIBIT E

Financial Projections

EXHIBIT F

Valuation Analysis

 

7

 


 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

A.

Background and Overview of the Plan and Restructuring

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (the “REIT”) and its direct and indirect subsidiaries that are debtors and debtors in possession in the above-captioned chapter 11 cases (collectively, the “Debtors” and, together with the REIT’s non-Debtor direct or indirect subsidiaries, “CBL” or the “Company”), submit this disclosure statement (as may be amended from time to time, the “Disclosure Statement”) in connection with the solicitation of votes (the “Solicitation”) on the Second Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. and Its Affiliated Debtors, dated May 18, 2021 (the “Plan”),2 attached hereto as Exhibit A.  

The purpose of this Disclosure Statement is to provide information of a kind, and in sufficient detail, to enable creditors of, and holders of interests in, the Debtors that are entitled to vote on the Plan to make an informed decision on whether to vote to accept or reject the Plan.  This Disclosure Statement contains summaries of the Plan, certain statutory provisions, events contemplated in the chapter 11 cases (the “Chapter 11 Cases”) that commenced beginning on November 1, 2020 (the “Petition Date”), and certain documents related to the Plan.  

As described in more detail below, the Debtors faced certain financial and other challenges prior to the Petition Date, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Recognizing that a comprehensive balance sheet deleveraging and restructuring was necessary, the Company, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (“Weil”) and Moelis & Company LLC (“Moelis” and, together with Weil, the “Advisors”) engaged in extensive arms’ length, good faith negotiations with an ad hoc group of the beneficial owners and/or investment advisors or managers of discretionary funds, accounts or other entities for the holders or beneficial owners of approximately 66% of the Company’s Senior Unsecured Notes (collectively, with other holders of the Senior Unsecured Notes that subsequently executed the Original Restructuring Support Agreement (as defined herein), the “Consenting Noteholders” or the “Ad Hoc Bondholder Group”), which culminated in the execution of that certain Restructuring Support Agreement dated August 18, 2020 (the “Original Restructuring Support Agreement”) pursuant to which the Consenting Noteholders agreed to, among other things, support a plan.  After the Petition Date, the Debtors and the Required Consenting Noteholders negotiated certain modifications to the terms of the restructuring, which are reflected in the original plan (Docket No. 370) (the “Original Plan”).  

Thereafter, the Debtors, the Bank Lenders (as defined below), and the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group re-engaged in negotiations, including a Court-ordered mediation (the “Mediation”) between the Debtors, Ad Hoc Bondholder Group, Bank Lenders, and the Creditors’ Committee (collectively, the “Mediation Parties”).  After several weeks of extensive good faith negotiations, the Debtors, Consenting Noteholders, and Consenting Bank Lenders agreed upon terms of a consensual restructuring and entered into an amended restructuring support agreement (the “Restructuring Support Agreement” or “RSA”) dated March 21, 2021 (the “RSA Effective Date”).

 

2

Capitalized terms used in this Disclosure Statement, but not defined herein, have the meanings ascribed to them in the Plan or the RSA, as applicable.  To the extent any inconsistencies exist between this Disclosure Statement and the Plan, the Plan shall govern.

8

 


 

 

On April 29, 2021, the Court authorized the Debtors to perform their obligations under the RSA (Docket No. 1090).  The terms of the comprehensive, tripartite settlement embodied in the RSA resolve the contentious and complicated issues at the heart of these Chapter 11 Cases, including (i) the treatment of the Bank Lenders’, Consenting Crossholders’, and Consenting Noteholders’ claims in these Chapter 11 Cases, and (ii) claims asserted by the Debtors and the Bank Lenders in the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding (as defined below).

In accordance with the RSA, including the Plan Term Sheet (as defined below) attached thereto, the Plan provides for a comprehensive restructuring of the Company’s balance sheet.  Specifically, the proposed restructuring embodied in the Plan (the “Restructuring”) contemplates, among other things:  

 

The following treatment of holders of Claims and Interests:  

 

o

Each holder of an Allowed First Lien Credit Facility Claim will receive its pro rata share of (i) the Exit Credit Facility Distribution and (ii) $100,000,000 in Cash, payable, first, from Cash deposited in the segregated account maintained by the Debtors pursuant to paragraph 11(a)(ii) of the Final Cash Collateral Order and, second, from other Cash on hand.

 

o

Each holder of an Allowed Consenting Crossholder Claim will receive its pro rata share of (based on the ratio of such holder’s Consenting Crossholder Claims to the aggregate amount of Consenting Crossholder Claims held by all Consenting Crossholders) the Consenting Crossholder Claims Recovery Pool; provided, that each Consenting Crossholder entitled to receive New Senior Secured Notes on account of its Crossholder Claim shall be entitled to make the Convertible Notes Election.

 

o

Each holder of an Allowed Ongoing Trade Claim will receive the following treatment:  (i) if a holder of an Ongoing Trade Claim executes a trade agreement (a “Trade Agreement”) with the Debtors (the form and terms of such Trade Agreement to be determined by the Debtors in consultation with the (A) Required Consenting Noteholders and the Creditors’ Committee and, (B) solely with respect to the Exit Credit Facility Subsidiaries, the Required Consenting Bank Lenders), four (4) equal cash installments, payable on a quarterly basis, which payments shall result in full payment in the Allowed amount of such Ongoing Trade Claim; or (ii) if a holder of an Ongoing Trade Claim does not execute a Trade Agreement, such holder’s Pro Rata share of the Unsecured Claims Recovery Pool in accordance with section 4.7 of the Plan.

 

o

Each Allowed Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claim will either (i) be Reinstated; (ii) remain Unimpaired; or (iii) receive such treatment as agreed upon between the Debtors and the holder of such Property-Level Guarantee Claim (with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld).  For the avoidance of doubt, any Property-Level Guarantee Claim that is not a Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claim will be treated like a General Unsecured Claim.

9

 


 

 

o

Each holder of an Allowed Unsecured Claim will receive its pro rata share of the Unsecured Claims Recovery Pool; provided, that each Consenting Noteholder (and, for the avoidance of doubt, only a Consenting Noteholder) entitled to receive New Senior Secured Notes on account of its Senior Unsecured Notes Claim shall be able to make the Convertible Notes Election; provided, however, that, if the Debtors determine that, pursuant to section 1129(a)(7)(ii), such holder would be entitled to a greater recovery than the foregoing if the Debtor against whom such holder’s Allowed Unsecured Claim is asserted were to liquidate under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, then such holder shall receive Cash in an amount necessary to satisfy section 1129(a)(7)(ii).

 

o

If Class 10 is an Accepting Class, each holder of an Existing LP Common Unit will either (A) receive a percentage of New LP Units, issued in accordance with the Restructuring Transactions, equal to the product of (1) 5.5% and (2) the percentage equal to the number of Existing LP Common Units that such holder elects to exchange for New LP Units divided by the number of Existing LP Common Units issued and outstanding immediately prior to the Plan Distributions or (B)(1) be deemed to have converted or redeemed, as applicable, such holder’s Existing LP Common Unit(s), effective the day prior to the Distribution Record Date, in exchange for Existing REIT Common Stock on terms consistent with the applicable prepetition agreements for the Existing LP Common Units and (2) receive a Pro Rata3 share of the Existing Common Equity Recovery Pool, subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable.

 

o

If Class 11 is an Accepting Class, each holder of Allowed Existing REIT Preferred Stock will receive its Pro Rata share of a percentage of the New Common Stock, issued in accordance with the Restructuring Transactions, equal to 5.5% divided by the REIT LP Ownership Percentage, subject to dilution by the Management Incentive Plan and subsequent issuances of common equity (including securities or instruments convertible into common equity) by the REIT from time to time after the Effective Date, as set forth herein, and subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable.

 

o

If Class 12 is an Accepting Class, each holder of Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock will receive its Pro Rata4 share of the Existing Common Equity Recovery Pool, subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable.

 

3

For purposes of section 4.10(a)(i)(B)(2) of the Plan, the Pro Rata amounts shall be calculated as the Pro Rata share of all Allowed Existing LP Common Units electing to receive such treatment and Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock.

4

For purposes of section 4.12(a)(i) of the Plan, the Pro Rata amounts shall be calculated as the Pro Rata share of all Allowed Existing LP Common Units electing to receive such treatment and Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock.

10

 


 

 

 

On the Effective Date, (i) the First Lien Credit Agreement will be replaced by a new credit facility in an aggregate principal amount of $883.7 million (the “Exit Credit Facility”) pursuant to the terms set forth in that certain exit credit facility term sheet (the “Exit Credit Facility Term Sheet”), a copy of which is attached to the Plan as Exhibit B; and (ii) the Senior Unsecured Notes will be replaced by new senior secured notes in an aggregate principal amount of up to $555 million (the “New Senior Secured Notes”) pursuant to the terms set forth in that certain new notes term sheet (the “New Notes Term Sheet”), a copy of which is attached to the Plan as Exhibit C; provided, the Debtors may distribute up to $100 million of New Convertible Notes (exchangeable with the New Notes Issuer for New Common Stock) in lieu of the New Senior Secured Notes on a dollar-for-dollar basis pursuant to the terms set forth in that certain term sheet (the “New Convertible Notes Term Sheet”), a copy of which is attached to the Plan as Exhibit D.

 

The Debtors’ receipt of Commitment Letters from the Commitment Parties where such parties agree to purchase, in the aggregate, $50 million of New Convertible Notes on the Effective Date.

 

The Restructuring will leave the Debtors’ operations and business intact without impairing the Property Level Debt (as defined herein).    

The Debtors believe that the Restructuring contemplated by the Plan and RSA provides the Company with a viable path forward and a framework to successfully exit chapter 11 in a timely fashion with the support of the Consenting Creditors.  As described more fully herein, the restructuring will reduce the Company’s funded indebtedness by approximately $1 billion and annual interest expenses by approximately $20 million while eliminating the Debtors’ outstanding preferred stock.  This deleveraging will enhance the Debtors’ long-term growth prospects and competitive position and will provide the Debtors with excess capital to invest in and grow their business.  Thus, the Restructuring will allow the Debtors to emerge from the Chapter 11 Cases as a stronger company, better positioned to withstand the challenges and volatility of the real estate industry and retail market.  Importantly, the Company is not currently seeking to modify or impair the Property Level Debt (as defined herein) or to make operational changes to the business, and that debt is not currently the subject of these Chapter 11 Cases.  The Consenting Creditors have played a critically important role in formulating the Restructuring and actively participated in the development and negotiation of the Plan.  

11

 


 

The effect of the Restructuring on the Operating Partnership’s (as defined below) funded indebtedness is summarized as follows (in millions):

Pre-Restructuring Capital Structure

(Approx.)

Pro Forma Post-Restructuring Capital Structure

(Approx.)

First Lien Credit Facility

$1,115.7

Exit Credit Facility             

$883.7

Senior Unsecured Notes

$1,375.0

Senior Secured Notes / New Convertible Notes

$555.0

 

 

New Money Convertible Notes                  

$50.0

Total Funded Debt

$2,490.0

Total Funded Debt

$1,488.7

The Debtors believe that upon consummation of the Plan and the transactions contemplated thereby, the post-emergence enterprise will have the ability to continue to succeed as a REIT and develop, redevelop, acquire, lease, manage, and operate regional shopping malls, open-air and mixed-use centers, outlet centers, associated centers, community centers, office buildings, and other properties.

 

B.

Summary of Plan Classification and Treatment of Claims

Pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code, only holders of claims or interests in “impaired” Classes are entitled to vote on the Plan (unless, for reasons discussed in more detail below, such holders are deemed to reject the Plan pursuant to section 1126(g) of the Bankruptcy Code).  Under section 1124 of the Bankruptcy Code, a class of claims or interests is deemed to be “impaired” unless (i) the Plan leaves unaltered the legal, equitable, and contractual rights to which such claim or interest entitles the holder thereof or (ii) notwithstanding any legal right to an accelerated payment of such claim or interest, the Plan cures all existing defaults (other than defaults resulting from the occurrence of events of bankruptcy) and reinstates the maturity of such claim or interest as it existed before the default.

Holders of Claims and Interests in the following Classes (the “Voting Classes”, and each a “Voting Class”) are, subject to section X(C)(iv) below, being solicited under, and are entitled to vote on, the Plan:

 

Class 3 — First Lien Credit Facility Claims;

 

Class 4 — Consenting Crossholder Claims;

 

Class 5 — Ongoing Trade Claims;

 

Class 7 — Unsecured Claims;

 

Class 9 — Existing LP Preferred Units;

 

Class 10 — Existing LP Common Units;

 

Class 11 — Existing REIT Preferred Stock;

 

Class 12 — Existing REIT Common Stock; and

12

 


 

 

 

Class 14 — Section 510(b) Claims.

The following table summarizes: (1) the treatment of Claims and Interests under the Plan; (2) which Classes are impaired by the Plan; (3) which Classes are entitled to vote on the Plan; and (4) the estimated recoveries for holders of Claims and Interests.5 The table is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the Plan.6   For a more detailed summary of the terms and provisions of the Plan, see Section VI — Summary of the Plan below.  A detailed discussion of the analysis underlying the estimated recoveries, including the assumptions underlying such analysis, is set forth in the valuation analysis (the “Valuation Analysis”) attached as Exhibit F hereto.

 

5

Any Claim or Interest in a Class that is considered vacant under section 3.6 of the Plan will be deemed eliminated from the Plan for purposes of voting to accept or reject the Plan, and disregarded for purposes of determining whether the Plan satisfies section 1129(a)(8) of the Bankruptcy Code with respect to such Class.

6

The summary of the Plan provided herein is qualified in its entirety by reference to the Plan.  

13

 


 

 

 

Class and
Designation

Treatment under the Plan

Impairment and
Entitlement to
Vote

Approx.
Percentage
Recovery7

Class 1:  Other Priority Claims

The legal, equitable, and contractual rights of the holders of Allowed Other Priority Claims are unaltered by the Plan.  Except to the extent that a holder of an Allowed Other Priority Claim agrees to different treatment, on the later of the Effective Date and the date that is twenty (20) days after the date such Other Priority Claim becomes an Allowed Claim, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable, each holder of an Allowed Other Priority Claim shall receive, on account of such Allowed Claim, at the option of the Reorganized Debtors (i) Cash in an amount equal to the Allowed amount of such Claim or (ii) other treatment consistent with the provisions of section 1129 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Unimpaired

(Not entitled to
vote
— presumed to accept)

100%

Class 2:  Other Secured Claims

The legal, equitable, and contractual rights of the holders of Allowed Other Secured Claims are unaltered by the Plan.  Except to the extent that a holder of an Allowed Other Secured Claim agrees to different treatment, on the later of the Effective Date and the date that is twenty (20) days after the date such Other Secured Claim becomes an Allowed Claim, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable, each holder of an Allowed Other Secured Claim shall receive, on account of such Allowed Claim, at the option of the Reorganized Debtors (i) Cash in an amount equal to the Allowed amount of such Claim, (ii) Reinstatement or such other treatment sufficient to render such holder’s Allowed Other Secured Claim Unimpaired pursuant to section 1124 of the Bankruptcy Code, or (iii) such other recovery necessary to satisfy section 1129 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Unimpaired

(Not entitled to
vote
— presumed to accept)

100%

 

Class 3:  First Lien Credit Facility Claims

 

Each holder of an Allowed First Lien Credit Facility Claim shall receive, in full and final satisfaction of such Claim its Pro Rata share of (i) the Exit Credit Facility Distribution and (ii) $100,000,000 in Cash payable, first, from Cash deposited in the segregated account maintained by the Debtors pursuant to paragraph 11(a)(ii) of the Final Cash Collateral Order and, second, from other Cash on hand.

Impaired
(Entitled to vote)

100%

 

7

The values set forth under Approximate Percentage Recovery are based on the midpoint of the range of reorganized equity value of the Debtors as described in the Valuation Analysis attached hereto.

14

 


 

Class 4: Consenting Crossholder Claims

Pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9019, in full and complete satisfaction of Consenting Crossholder Claims, each Consenting Crossholder shall agree to receive, and receive, as less favorable treatment than the First Lien Credit Facility Claims in respect of its Consenting Crossholder Claims, its Pro Rata share (based on the ratio of such holder’s Consenting Crossholder Claims to the aggregate amount of Consenting Crossholder Claims held by all Consenting Crossholders) of the Consenting Crossholder Claims Recovery Pool; provided that each Consenting Crossholder entitled to receive New Senior Secured Notes on account of its Crossholder Claim shall be entitled to make the Convertible Notes Election.

Impaired
(Entitled to vote)

96.0%

Class 5: Ongoing Trade Claims

Except to the extent that a holder of an Allowed Ongoing Trade Claim agrees to different treatment, on and after the Effective Date, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, each holder of an Allowed Ongoing Trade Claim shall receive:  (i) if a holder of an Ongoing Trade Claim executes a Trade Agreement with the Debtors (the form and terms of such Trade Agreement to be determined by the Debtors in consultation with the (A) Required Consenting Noteholders and the Creditors’ Committee and, (B) solely with respect to the Exit Credit Facility Subsidiaries, the Required Consenting Bank Lenders), four (4) equal Cash installments, payable on a quarterly basis, which payments shall result in full payment in the Allowed amount of such Ongoing Trade Claim; or (ii) if a holder of an Ongoing Trade Claim does not execute a Trade Agreement, such holder’s Pro Rata share of the Unsecured Claims Recovery Pool in accordance with section 4.7 of the Plan.

Impaired
(Entitled to vote)

100%

Class 6: Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claims

Pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9019, on and after the Effective Date, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, each Allowed Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claim shall, in accordance with the applicable settlement agreement between the Debtors and such holder of a Property-Level Guarantee Claim, either (i) be Reinstated; (ii) remain Unimpaired; or (iii) receive such treatment as agreed upon between the Debtors and the holder of such Property-Level Guarantee Claim (with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld).

Unimpaired

(Not entitled to
vote
— presumed to accept)

100%

15

 


 

 

Class 7:  Unsecured Claims

 

Except to the extent that a holder of an Allowed Unsecured Claim agrees to different treatment, on and after the Effective Date, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, each holder of an Allowed Unsecured Claim shall receive, in full and final satisfaction of such Claim, such holder’s Pro Rata share of the Unsecured Claims Recovery Pool; provided that each Consenting Noteholder (and, for the avoidance of doubt, only a Consenting Noteholder) entitled to receive New Senior Secured Notes on account of its Notes Claim shall be able to make the Convertible Notes Election; provided, however, that, if the Debtors determine that, pursuant to section 1129(a)(7)(ii), such holder would be entitled to a greater recovery than the foregoing if the Debtor against whom such holder’s Allowed Unsecured Claim is asserted were to liquidate under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, then such holder shall receive Cash in an amount necessary to satisfy section 1129(a)(7)(ii).

Impaired
(Entitled to vote)

54% 56%8

Class 8:  Intercompany Claims

On or after the Effective Date, all Intercompany Claims shall be paid, adjusted, continued, settled, reinstated, discharged, or eliminated, in each case to the extent determined to be appropriate by the Debtors (with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld) or Reorganized Debtors, as applicable; provided, that any Intercompany Claims that shall remain as liabilities of the Exit Credit Facility Borrower or any Exit Credit Facility Subsidiary shall be subject to approval by the Required Consenting Bank Lenders (and absent consent from the Required Consenting Bank Lenders, such remaining liabilities shall be reduced to zero).

Unimpaired

(Not entitled to
vote
— presumed to accept)

100%

 

Class 9:  
Existing LP Preferred Units

 

On the Effective Date, the Existing LP Preferred Units shall be cancelled (or otherwise eliminated) and shall receive no distribution under the Plan.

Impaired

(Not entitled to
vote — deemed to
reject)

0%

 

Class 10:  Existing LP Common Units

On the Effective Date, the Existing LP Common Units shall be cancelled (or otherwise eliminated).  

 

If Class 10 is an Accepting Class, on the Effective Date, each holder of an Existing LP Common Unit shall, at such holder’s election, either (A) receive a percentage of New LP Units, issued in accordance with the Restructuring Transactions, equal to the product of (1) 5.5% and (2) the percentage equal to the number of Existing LP Common Units that such holder elects to exchange for New LP Units divided by the number of Existing LP Common Units issued and outstanding immediately prior to the Plan Distributions or (B)(1) be deemed to have converted or redeemed, as applicable, such holder’s Existing LP Common Unit(s), effective the day prior to the Distribution Record Date, in exchange for Existing REIT Common Stock on terms consistent with the applicable prepetition agreements for the Existing LP Common Units and (2) receive a Pro Rata9 share of the Existing Common Equity Recovery Pool, subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable.

 

If Class 10 is not an Accepting Class, each holder of an Allowed Existing LP Common Unit shall not receive or retain any distribution on account of such Interest.  For the avoidance of doubt, if Class 10 is not an Accepting Class, the New LP Units and New Common Stock, as applicable, set forth in section 4.10(a)(i) of the Plan shall not be issued.  

Impaired
(Entitled to vote)

Up to 5.5% of New Common Stock (or equivalent New LP Units) shared with holders of Existing REIT Common Stock

 

8

The projected recovery is based upon the midpoint value set forth in the Valuation Analysis attached hereto as Exhibit F.  The projected recovery assumes total Unsecured Claims ranging from approximately $1.41 billion to approximately $1.46 billion and is based upon the Company’s books and records as of February 28, 2021 and Proofs of Claim compiled as of the General Bar Date (which are subject to final claims reconciliation).  The projected recovery range is based upon the Debtors’ assumption concerning the amount of Property-Level Guarantee Claims and General Unsecured Claims in Class 7 arising from prepetition litigation. To the extent there are additional Property-Level Guarantee Claims or General Unsecured Claims in Class 7, recoveries may be further diluted.                  

9

For purposes of section 4.10(a)(i)(B)(2) of the Plan, the Pro Rata amounts shall be calculated as the Pro Rata share of all Allowed Existing LP Common Units electing to receive such treatment and Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock.

16

 


 

Class 11:  Existing REIT Preferred Stock

On the Effective Date, the Existing REIT Preferred Stock shall be cancelled (or otherwise eliminated).  

 

If Class 11 is an Accepting Class, on the Effective Date, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, each holder of Allowed Existing REIT Preferred Stock shall receive, in full and final satisfaction of such Interest, such holder’s Pro Rata share of a percentage of the New Common Stock, issued in accordance with the Restructuring Transactions, equal to 5.5% divided by the REIT LP Ownership Percentage, subject to dilution by the Management Incentive Plan and subsequent issuances of common equity (including securities or instruments convertible into common equity) by the REIT from time to time after the Effective Date, as set forth herein, and subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable.

 

If Class 11 is not an Accepting Class, each holder of Allowed Existing REIT Preferred Stock shall not receive or retain any distribution on account of such Interest.  For the avoidance of doubt, if Class 11 is not an Accepting Class, the New Common Stock set forth in section 4.11(a)(i) of the Plan shall not be issued.

Impaired
(Entitled to vote)

Up to 5.5% of New Common Stock

Class 12:  
Existing REIT Common Stock

On the Effective Date, the Existing REIT Common Stock shall be cancelled (or otherwise eliminated).

 

If Class 12 is an Accepting Class, on the Effective Date, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, each holder of Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock shall receive, in full and final satisfaction of such Interest, such holder’s Pro Rata10 share of the Existing Common Equity Recovery Pool, subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable.

 

If Class 12 is not an Accepting Class, each holder of Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock shall not receive or retain any distribution on account of such Interest.  For the avoidance of doubt, if Class 12 is not an Accepting Class, the New Common Stock set forth in section 4.12(a)(i) of the Plan shall not be issued.

Impaired
(Entitled to vote)

Up to 5.5% of New Common Stock shared with holders of Existing LP Common Units

 

10

For purposes of section 4.12(a)(i) of the Plan, the Pro Rata amounts shall be calculated as the Pro Rata share of all Allowed Existing LP Common Units electing to receive such treatment and Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock.

17

 


 

 

Class 13: Intercompany Interests

 

On the Effective Date, all Intercompany Interests shall be treated as set forth in section 5.10 of the Plan.    

Unimpaired

(Not entitled to
vote
— presumed to accept)

100%

 

 

Class 14: Section 510(b) Claims

 

Section 510(b) Claims shall be cancelled, released, discharged, and extinguished as of the Effective Date and shall be of no further force or effect, and, to the extent such holder of a Section 510(b) Claim is not receiving a recovery on account of the security giving rise to such Claim under the Plan, each holder of an Allowed Section 510(b) Claim shall receive on account of such holder’s Allowed Section 510(b) Claim its Pro Rata share of New Common Stock, if any, issued in accordance with the Restructuring Transactions to holders of Existing LP Common Units, Existing REIT Preferred Stock, and Existing REIT Common Stock pursuant to sections 4.10(a)(i), 4.11(a)(i), and 4.12(a)(i) of the Plan.  For the avoidance of doubt, to the extent that a holder of a Section 510(b) Claim receives a recovery under the Plan on account of the security underlying such Claim, such holder shall not receive a recovery on account of such holder’s Section 510(b) Claim, if any, arising from such security.

Impaired
(Entitled to vote)

New Common Stock on Pro Rata basis shared with holders of Existing LP Common Units, Existing REIT Preferred Stock, and  Existing REIT Common Stock

18

 


 

 

 

 

C.

Inquiries

If you have any questions regarding the packet of materials you have received, please contact Epiq Corporate Restructuring, LLC (“Epiq”), the Debtors’ voting agent (the “Voting Agent”) at (i) (855) 914-4668 (US & Canada toll-free), (ii) 1 (503) 520-4416 (international), or (iii) CBLProperties@epiqglobal.com.  Additional copies of this Disclosure Statement, which includes the Plan and the Plan Supplement (when filed), are also available on the Voting Agent’s website, https://dm.epiq11.com/cblproperties. PLEASE DO NOT DIRECT INQUIRIES TO THE BANKRUPTCY COURT.

WHERE TO FIND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  The Company currently files quarterly and annual reports with, and furnishes other information to, the SEC.  Copies of any document filed with the SEC may be obtained by visiting the SEC website at http://www.sec.gov and performing a search under the “Company Filings” link.  Each of the following filings is incorporated as if fully set forth herein and is a part of this Disclosure Statement.  Reports filed with the SEC (but not furnished) on or after the date of this Disclosure Statement are also incorporated by reference herein.

 

Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the SEC on April 8, 2021 (the “10-K”); and

 

Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on March 22, 2021 (with respect to Item 1.01), April 9, 2021 (with respect to Item 2.02) and April 30, 2021.

II.
THE DEBTORS’ BUSINESS

 

A.

History and Business

CBL was founded in 1978 by Charles B. Lebovitz and five business associates.  In 1979, the Company constructed its first mall in Del Rio, Texas.  In 1987, the Company built its flagship mall, Hamilton Place, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the Company’s corporate headquarters is currently located.  When it opened in 1987, Hamilton Place was the largest shopping mall in Tennessee and among the largest in the nation.    

In 1993, CBL & Associates Properties Inc. was formed as a REIT and became a public company through an initial public offering.

Since going public in 1993, under the leadership of Charles Lebovitz and his son Stephen Lebovitz, the Company’s current chief executive officer, CBL experienced tremendous growth measured by both portfolio size and cash flow increases.  In 2005, the Debtors expanded their reach to the west coast, opening their first mall in California, Imperial Valley Mall in El Centro.  Between 2007 and 2017, the Debtors steadily grew their portfolio through joint ventures and large-scale acquisitions, including a record year in 2007 with approximately $1.6 billion in acquisitions.  The Company has also expanded existing operations into new spaces, including entry into the outlet center space in 2011 with the development of the Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City in a joint venture with a third party.  Over the years, CBL continually strengthened its portfolio with a strategy that included, among other things, active management, aggressive leasing, and profitable reinvestment in its properties with the ultimate goal of increasing shareholder value.  

19

 


 

By 2018, the Debtors had over 100 Properties (as defined below) in their portfolio, positioning them as one of the largest owners and managers of shopping centers in the southeast region of the United States and among the largest mall REITs in the country.  

 

B.

Properties and Business Operations

As of December 31, 2020, the Company’s owned and managed portfolio consisted of interests in 104 properties (the “Properties”), which total approximately 67 million square feet.  The Properties are located across 24 states primarily in the southeastern and midwestern United States.  The Company wholly owns 65 properties, owns joint venture interests in 33 properties, and manages six (6) properties for third parties.  The Company’s portfolio is comprised of various types of Properties, each of which is discussed below.  

 

i.

Shopping Malls and Outlet Centers:  

As of the Petition Date, the Company owns a controlling interest in 51 shopping malls and a non-controlling interest in 10 shopping malls (collectively, the “Malls”).  The Malls are primarily located in middle markets and generally have strong competitive positions because they are the only, or the dominant, regional mall in their respective trade areas.  The Company also owns, together with joint venture partners, five (5) outlet centers, each featuring an array of outlet shops.    

The Malls are generally anchored by two or more “Anchors,” a department store, other large format retail stores, non-retail space, or theaters greater than 50,000 square feet, or “Junior Anchors,” a retail store, non-retail space, or a theater comprising more than 20,000 square feet but less than 50,000 square feet.  Traditional retail Anchors and non-retail and theater Anchors offer an experience, service, or merchandise, as applicable, that appeals to a broad range of customers and plays a significant role in generating customer traffic and creating a desirable location for the tenants at a particular Mall.  In addition to the Anchors and Junior Anchors, the Malls contain well diversified groups of smaller retailers, offering a wide variety of products and services.  The Company has over 5,000 stores across all of the Malls.      

 

ii.

Associated Centers:  

The Company owns, or has an interest in, twenty-three (23) “Associated Centers,” which are retail properties that are adjacent to a Mall.  Associated Centers generally include one or more Anchors, or “big box” retailers, along with some smaller tenants.  The Associated Centers are typically managed by the staff at the adjacent Mall.  

20

 


 

 

iii.

Community Centers:  

The Company owns, or has an interest in, six (6) “Community Centers.”  Community Centers are properties designed to attract local and regional area customers and are typically anchored by a combination of supermarkets, or value-priced stores, which attract shoppers to a Community Center’s smaller retail shops.  The tenants at the Community Centers typically offer necessities, value-oriented merchandise, and convenience merchandise.  

 

iv.

Office Buildings and Self-Storage Facilities:  

The Company owns, or has an interest in, four (4) office buildings, including the buildings that house the Company’s corporate headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the Company has an interest in four (4) self-storage facilities.    

 

v.

Outparcels:  

The Company owns, either in whole or in part, various “Outparcels,” which is land, generally located on the periphery of another Property, used for freestanding developments, such as retail stores, banks, and restaurants.

 

vi.

Encumbered vs. Unencumbered Properties:

The Properties also can be generally classified into three broad groups based upon the debt (if any) that encumbers a particular Property.  As of December 31, 2020, approximately forty-two (42) of the Properties (the “Property Level Loan Properties”) are mortgaged to secure Property Level Debt (as defined below).  Approximately sixteen (16) Property Level Loan Properties are wholly owned by certain of the Company’s non-debtor affiliates or subsidiaries (the “Non-Debtor Affiliates”) and approximately twenty-six (26) Property Level Loan Properties are partially owned by Non-Debtor Affiliates.  Further, approximately twenty (20) of the Properties (the “Credit Facility Properties”) are mortgaged and the equity in certain of the entities directly and indirectly owning such Bank Facility Properties are pledged to secure the First Lien Credit Facility (as defined below).  The remainder of the Properties are currently unencumbered by any debt (collectively, the “Unencumbered Properties”).

 

C.

Tenant Composition and Diversification

The Company’s tenant base is well diversified from both a geographic and revenue perspective.  The top five markets for CBL, based on percentage of total revenues, were as follows for the year ended December 31, 2020:

Market

Percentage of Total Revenues

Chattanooga, TN

7.0%

St. Louis, MO

6.1%

Lexington, KY

5.1%

Laredo, TX

5.0%

Madison, WI

3.8%

 

21

 


 

 

With respect to tenant mix, national and regional retail chains (excluding local franchises), including among others, Victoria’s Secret, Footlocker, and American Eagle, leased approximately 68.7% of the occupied mall store gross leasable area as of December 31, 2020.  CBL’s top 10 tenants, based on percentage of total revenues, were as follows as of December 31, 2020:

 

#

Tenant

# Stores

Percentage of Total Revenues

1

L Brands, Inc. (e.g., Bath & Body Works, PINK, Victoria’s Secret, White Barn Candle)

117

3.96%

2

Foot Locker, Inc.

106

3.55%

3

Signet Jewelers Limited (e.g., Kay Jewelers, Jared Jewelers)

135

3.01%

4

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.

68

2.57%

5

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. (e.g., Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy, Field & Stream)

26

2.13%

6

Genesco, Inc. (e.g., Journey’s, Hat Shack, Johnston & Murphy)

98

1.78%

7

H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB

43

1.71%

8

Luxottica Group S.P.A. (e.g., Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut)

96

1.49%

9

Finish Line, Inc.

40

1.44%

10

The Gap, Inc.

49

1.42%

 

 

778

23.06%

 

22

 


 

 

 

D.

Centralized Management and Operations

CBL primarily derives revenue from two sources: (i) rental revenue from retail and non-retail tenants and (ii) income from property management, leasing, and development activities.  Rental revenues are primarily derived from leases with retail and non-retail tenants and generally include fixed minimum rents, percentage rents based on tenants’ sales volumes, and reimbursements from tenants for expenditures related to real estate taxes, insurance, common area maintenance, and other recoverable operating expenses, as well as certain capital expenditures.  CBL also generates revenues from management, leasing and development fees, sponsorships, sales of peripheral land at the Properties, and from sales of operating real estate assets when it is determined that CBL can realize an appropriate value for a particular asset.  The Company’s general near-to-midterm operational objectives are to achieve stabilization in same center net operating income (“NOI”) and reduce overall cost of debt and equity by maximizing earnings before income, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (“EBITDA”) and cash flows.  

To achieve operating efficiencies and revenue enhancement at the Properties, CBL employs a centralized management approach through CBL & Associates Limited Partnership (the “Operating Partnership”) and CBL & Associates Management, Inc. (the “Management Company”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Operating Partnership.11

CBL conducts its management and development activities through the Management Company.  Specifically, the Management Company manages all but fourteen (14) of the Properties (the “Non-Managed Properties”).12 The Management Company is also responsible for the Company’s leasing activities.  Additionally, the Management Company employs the Company’s workforce, which, as of December 31, 2020, consisted of approximately 418 full-time employees and approximately fifty-six (56) part-time employees.         

The Management Company also provides and centrally administers accounting, collections, business development, construction, contracting, design, finance, forecasting, human resources and employee benefits, insurance and risk management, property services, marketing, leasing, legal, tax, treasury, and other services for all properties under CBL’s ownership and management.  

CBL’s integrated, national business model benefits the Company in numerous ways.  The centralized leasing programs enable the Company to develop relationships with department stores and national and regional retailers and to meet retailer needs at multiple properties and locations across the Company’s portfolio.  It also facilitates a single point of contact for tenants at shopping centers across the country for both leasing and tenant-service issues.  Centralized management also enables the Company to obtain national contracts for property services (such as security, janitorial, and trash collection) in order to reduce costs and ensure uniformity and quality in services.  

 

11

The Company also utilizes this approach so as to comply with certain requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 with respect to real estate investment trusts.  

12

The Non-Managed Properties are all owned by joint ventures and are managed by a property manager that is affiliated with the third-party partner, which receives a fee for its services.  The third-party partner of each of these Properties controls the cash flow distributions, although CBL’s approval is required for certain major decisions.  

23

 


 

 

Consistent with its centralized and integrated business model, the Company has a strong infrastructure in place for cash management and treasury functions.  Each Property’s cash (receipts and disbursements) is controlled and safely transmitted through the centralized treasury platform. The Property-owning Debtors and Non-Debtor Affiliates’ personnel at the Properties are not allowed to manage cash for security purposes.  Consequently, all cash management functions are performed through the treasury platform via a centralized cash management system (the “Cash Management System”).13  

The centralized Cash Management System reduces costs associated with cash management, including bank accounts, personnel, bookkeeping, treasury, and related expenses.  The Cash Management System also serves to provide security and prevent fraud.  The Cash Management System provides management the ability to monitor and allocate liquidity to the Properties.

 

E.

Recent Financial Performance

After years of steady growth, CBL’s financial performance has been declining given the recent and ongoing struggles of the retail sector generally.  CBL had a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $332.5 million for the year ending December 31, 2020, as compared to a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $153.7 million in the prior-year period.  For the reasons discussed below, the Company’s financial performance in 2020—as exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic—declined.  

As of December 31, 2020, on a historical GAAP basis, CBL reported approximately $4.44 billion in total assets and approximately $3.91 billion in total liabilities.  For the year ending December 31, 2020, CBL reported total revenue of approximately $575.9 million.

Funds from operations (“FFO”) allocable to Operating Partnership common unitholders, as adjusted, decreased 48.2% to $140.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to $271.5 million for the prior year.  FFO allocable to common shareholders, as adjusted, for the year ending December 31, 2020, was $132.9 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, compared with $235.2 million, or $1.36 per diluted share, for the year ending December 31, 2020.

III. DEBTORS’ CORPORATE AND CAPITAL STRUCTURE

 

A.

Corporate Structure

The Company is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust.  The REIT is the 100% owner of two qualified real estate investment trust subsidiaries, CBL Holdings I, Inc. (“Holdings I”) and CBL Holdings II, Inc. (“Holdings II”).  

 

13

The Cash Management System is described in greater detail in the Emergency Motion of Debtors for Entry of Interim and Final Orders (I) Authorizing Debtors to Continue (A) Using Existing Cash Management System, Bank Accounts, and Business Forms and (B) Funding Intercompany Transactions, (II) Providing Administrative Expense Priority for Postpetition Intercompany Claims, and (III) Granting Related Relief (Docket No. 15).   

24

 


 

 

As of December 31, 2020, Holdings I and Holdings II own approximately 1.0% and 96.5%, respectively, of the outstanding common units of the Operating Partnership. Holdings I is the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership.  Third parties own approximately 2.5% of the outstanding LP Common Units.

The Company conducts substantially all of its business through the Operating Partnership. The Operating Partnership owns 100% of the equity interests of the Management Company.  Except for the REIT, Holdings I, Holdings II, and as set forth in the following sentence, the Operating Partnership owns, either directly or indirectly, 100% of the outstanding equity interests in the Debtors.  The REIT owns directly (i) 0.1% of the equity interests in CoolSprings Crossing Limited Partnership and (ii) less than 0.05% of the equity interests in Henderson Square Limited Partnership.

A chart depicting the Company’s organizational structure as of the Petition Date, is attached hereto as Exhibit B.  The following chart depicts the Company’s simplified corporate structure:    

 

 

B.

Corporate Governance and Management

The board of directors of the REIT (the “Board”) consists of nine (9) directors.  Charles Lebovitz serves as the Chairman of the Board.

In addition to Charles Lebovitz, the Company’s executive officer team consists of the following individuals:

Name

Position

Stephen D. Lebovitz

Chief Executive Officer

Michael I. Lebovitz

President

Farzana Khaleel

Executive Vice President – Chief Financial Officer

Jeffery V. Curry

Chief Legal Officer and Secretary

Katie A. Reinsmidt

Executive Vice President – Chief Investment Officer

Michael C. Harrison, Jr.

Executive Vice President – Operations

Alan L. Lebovitz

Executive Vice President – Management

 

25

 


 

 

 

C.

Prepetition Capital Structure

The following description of the Company’s capital structure is for informational purposes only and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the documents setting forth the specific terms of such obligations and their respective related agreements.

 

i.

First Lien Credit Facility.  

On January 30, 2019, certain of the Debtors entered into that certain Credit Agreement (as may be amended, restated, amended and restated, supplemented or otherwise modified from time to time, and including all related credit documents, the “First Lien Credit Agreement”), by and among the Operating Partnership, as borrower, Well Fargo Bank, National Association, as administrative agent (together with any successor administrative agent, the “Administrative Agent” or “Wells Fargo”), the lenders party thereto (the “Bank Lenders”) and certain other parties specified therein.  The First Lien Credit Agreement provides for a term loan facility (the “Term Loan”) in the original aggregate principal amount of $500 million and a revolving loan facility (the “Revolver” and, together with the Term Loan, the “First Lien Credit Facility”) in the aggregate maximum committed principal amount of $685 million (including any letters-of-credit issued thereunder).  The First Lien Credit Agreement matures in July 2023 and bears interest at a variable rate of LIBOR plus 2.25%.  

As of the Petition Date, the aggregate principal amount outstanding under the Term Loan was believed by the Debtors to be approximately $439 million.14  As of the Petition Date, the Revolver had approximately $676 million in aggregate principal amount outstanding thereunder, and no further draws are permitted.  Additionally, as of the Petition Date, there were no letters of credit outstanding.

The obligations under the First Lien Credit Agreement are secured, pursuant to, among other documents, (i) that certain Collateral Agreement, dated as of January 30, 2019, by and among certain subsidiaries of the Operating Partnership, and Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, as collateral agent (the “Collateral Agent”), (ii) that certain Pledge Agreement, dated as of January 30, 2019, by and among the Operating Partnership, the direct and indirect subsidiaries of the Operating Partnership party thereto, and the Collateral Agent, and (iii) certain mortgages granted to the Collateral Agent in respect of the Credit Facility Properties, principally by the Credit Facility Properties and by pledges of the equity interests of the entities owning such Credit Facility Properties.

The REIT is a limited guarantor of the First Lien Credit Facility, solely with respect to the payment obligations of Holdings I as the general partner of the Operating Partnership, under the First Lien Credit Facility.

 

14

   The Administrative Agent asserts that the aggregate principal amount outstanding under the Term Loan was approximately $447 million as of the Petition Date.  

26

 


 

 

 

ii.

Senior Unsecured Notes.  

The Operating Partnership, as issuer, the REIT, as limited Guarantor, and Delaware Trust Company (as successor to U.S. Bank National Association), as trustee, are parties to that certain indenture, dated as of November 23, 2013 (as amended, restated, or supplemented from time to time, the “Indenture”) governing the following three tranches of senior unsecured notes (collectively, the “Senior Unsecured Notes”):

Notes

Principal Amount

Outstanding

Rate

Maturity

2023 Notes

$450 million

5.250%

December 1, 2023

2024 Notes

$300 million

4.600%

October 15, 2024

2026 Notes

$625 million

5.950%

December 15, 2026

 

The REIT is a limited guarantor of the Senior Unsecured Notes, solely with respect to losses suffered solely by reason of fraud or willful misrepresentation by the Operating Partnership or its affiliates.

 

iii.

Property-Level Debt.  

The Company has incurred, in the aggregate, approximately $1.9 billion of property-level debt, which amount includes the Company’s share of Property Level Debt incurred together with its joint venture partners, secured by the Property Level Debt Properties, including non-recourse mortgage loans (the “Non-Recourse Loans”) and certain other loans with recourse to the general credit of the Operating Partnership, and/or the REIT, or subsidiaries thereof, including construction loans (the “Recourse Loans” and, together with the Non-Recourse Loans, the “Property Level Debt”).  The borrowers on the Property Level Debt instruments are generally non-Debtor affiliates. There are thirteen (13) loans that are recourse to a subsidiary of the Operating Partnership.       

Much of the Property Level Debt has been securitized and sold into the commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) markets and is currently being administered by primary servicers.  With the exception of two (2) Non-Recourse Loans, the Operating Partnership and/or the REIT, or a subsidiary thereof, is a non-recourse carveout guarantor and environmental guarantor on each of the Non-Recourse Loans and a guarantor under each of the Recourse Loans.  

As of December 31, 2020, the Company was current with respect to its obligations under the Property Level Debt, with the exception of the Property Level Debt on the following Properties, which were in default and not subject to a forbearance or waiver agreement with the applicable lender:  (i) Greenbrier Mall; (ii) EastGate Mall; (iii) Park Plaza (currently in receivership); and (iv) Asheville Mall (currently in receivership).  The commencement of the Chapter 11 Cases constituted an event of default or termination event, and caused the automatic and immediate acceleration of all debt outstanding under or in respect of, thirty-eight (38) of the Property Level Debt instruments. Such Property Level Debt instruments provide that, as a result of the Chapter 11 Cases, the principal and interest due thereunder shall be immediately due and payable without notice from the lenders thereunder. As discussed above, a number of Property Level Loans have matured or are about to mature and remain outstanding, including Fayette Mall, Alamance Crossing – East, Hamilton Crossing and Expansion, Parkdale Mall and Crossing, and Greenbrier Mall.  The Debtors, in connection with the settlement process, have engaged with the lenders of such Properties to negotiate an extension of the respective loans.

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iv.

REIT Preferred Stock and Operating Partnership Preferred Units.

The REIT issued depositary shares representing a 1/10th fractional share of the 7.375% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock outstanding (such depositary shares, the “Series D Preferred Stock”) and depositary shares representing a 1/10th fractional share of the 6.625% Series E Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock outstanding (such depositary shares, the “Series E Preferred Stock” and, together with the Series D Preferred Stock, the “REIT Preferred Stock”).  As of December 31, 2020, the REIT had approximately 18,150,000 shares of Series D Preferred Stock outstanding and approximately 6,900,000 shares of Series E Preferred Stock outstanding.  The Operating Partnership issues an equivalent number of preferred units (the “LP Preferred Units”) to Holdings II on behalf of the REIT in exchange for the contribution of proceeds from the REIT to the Operating Partnership when the REIT issues REIT Preferred Stock.  The LP Preferred Units generally have the same terms and economic characteristics as the corresponding REIT Preferred Stock.

 

v.

REIT Common Stock.  

As of December 31, 2020, the REIT had approximately 196,569,917 shares of common stock outstanding (the “REIT Common Stock”).  As of the Petition Date, the REIT Common Stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “CBL.”  

However, on November 2, 2020, the NYSE announced that (i) it had suspended trading in the REIT Common Stock and (ii) it had determined to commence proceedings to delist the REIT Common Stock, as well as the depositary shares representing a 1/10th fractional share of the Series D Preferred Stock and the depositary shares representing a 1/10th fractional share of the Series E Preferred Stock due to “abnormally low” trading price levels.  As a result, immediately thereafter, the REIT Common Stock and the depositary shares representing fractional interests in its Series D Preferred Stock and Series E Preferred Stock commenced trading on the OTC Markets, operated by the OTC Markets Group, Inc., under the symbols “CBLAQ”, “CBLDQ” and “CBLEQ”, respectively. On November 17, 2020, CBL submitted to the NYSE regulation staff a formal request for review of the NYSE’s decision to delist the common stock and to make an oral presentation to the committee of the board of directors of NYSE regulation staff in support of its appeal.  By communication dated February 1, 2021, the NYSE scheduled a formal review of its decision for July 15, 2021.

 

vi.

Operating Partnership Common Units.  

Partners in the Operating Partnership hold their ownership through LP Preferred Units and common and special common units of limited partnership interests in the Operating Partnership (the “LP Common Units”).  As of December 31, 2020, the Operating Partnership had approximately 201,687,773 LP Common Units outstanding. The LP Common Units and the REIT Common Stock have essentially the same economic characteristics, as they effectively participate

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equally in the net income and distributions of the Operating Partnership. For each share of REIT Common Stock, the Operating Partnership has issued a corresponding number of LP Common Units to Holdings I and Holdings II in exchange for the proceeds from the REIT Common Stock issuance.  Subject to certain limitations, each limited partner in the Operating Partnership has the right to exchange all or a portion of its LP Common Units for REIT Common Stock, or at the Company’s election, their cash equivalent. When an exchange for REIT Common Stock occurs, the REIT assumes the LP Common Units.    

As of December 31, 2020, the Operating Partnership had three series of special common units outstanding:  

 

Series S Special Common Units:  Among other rights under the Operating Partnership’s limited partnership agreement, the holders of Series S special common units (“S-SCUs”) have the right, subject to certain conditions, to a minimum annual distribution of $2.92875 per S-SCU.  Approximately 1,560,942 S-SCUs were outstanding as of December 31, 2020.

 

Series L Special Common Units: Among other rights under the Operating Partnership’s limited partnership agreement, the holders of Series L special common units (“L-SCUs”) are entitled to the same distribution rights as the holders of the common units of the Operating Partnership.  Approximately 571,700 L-SCUs were outstanding as of December 31, 2020.

 

Series K Special Common Units:  Among other rights under the Operating Partnership’s limited partnership agreement, the holders of Series K special common units (“K-SCUs”) have the right, subject to certain conditions, to an annual dividend at a rate of 6.25%, or $2.96875 per K-SCU.  Approximately 868,821 K-SCUs were outstanding as of December 31, 2020.      

During 2019, subject to further quarterly review, the Board suspended all future dividends with respect to the REIT Preferred Stock and REIT Common Stock. The Board also suspended all distributions with respect to the LP Common Units and LP Preferred Units (the “Dividend Suspension”). CBL has not paid any dividends since the Dividend Suspension.

 

vii.

Prepetition Legal Proceedings

 

(a)

Prepetition Litigation.  

Certain Debtors are named as defendants from time to time in routine litigation proceedings, including, but not limited to, personal injury and breach of contract disputes. The Debtors, however, cannot predict with certainty the outcome or effect of the resolution of Claims arising from pending or threatened litigation or legal proceedings, and the eventual outcome could materially differ from their current estimates.

 

(b)

Salon Adrian Litigation

On March 16, 2016, a class action lawsuit was brought against the Company in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida (the “Florida Court”) by Wave Lengths Hair Salons of Florida, Inc. d/b/a Salon Adrian, alleging, among other things that certain of the Company entities overcharged tenants for electricity at certain bulk-metered malls (the “Salon Adrian Litigation” or “Wave Litigation”).  In April 2019, the Company entered into a settlement agreement and release with respect to the class action (the “Salon Adrian Settlement”) whereby the Company set up a reserve to meet its settlement obligations.  In August 2019, the Florida Court approved the Salon Adrian Settlement.  For the avoidance of doubt, the Reorganized Debtors intend on satisfying their obligations under the Salon Adrian Settlement, including with respect to tenant credits, in the ordinary course following the Debtors’ emergence from these chapter 11 cases.

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In the third quarter of 2019, the Company received document requests, in the form of subpoenas, from the SEC and the Department of Justice regarding the Salon Adrian Litigation and other related matters. The Company cooperated in these matters and has been advised by the SEC and the Department of Justice that both agencies have closed their investigations.

 

(c)

Securities Litigation.  

The Company and its current and former officers and directors are parties to the following securities litigations.  

 

The Securities Class Action:  A consolidated securities class action lawsuit (the “Securities Class Action”) is pending against the Company and certain of its officers and directors (the “D&Os”) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee (the “Tennessee District Court”).  Specifically, CBL & Associates Properties, Inc, CBL & Associates Limited Partnership, Charles B. Lebovitz, Stephen D. Lebovitz, Farzana Khaleel, A. Larry Chapman , Augustus N. Stephas, and Don Sewell have been named as defendants in the Securities Class Action. The matter is stayed as against the Company pursuant to the automatic stay under section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code. The Securities Class Action, which was brought by persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the Company’s securities during a specified period of time, alleged, among other things, that (i) the Company failed to timely disclose the potential material liability that CBL faced as a result of the Salon Adrian Litigation and (ii) the Company knowingly engaged in an illegal scheme to overcharge its tenants and made false statements to its investors regarding its revenues and prospects, which were materially overstated due to the alleged underlying scheme.  The plaintiffs in the Securities Class Action allege a putative class period of July 29, 2014 to March 26, 2019, although no class has been certified by the Tennessee District Court. While the outcome of the Securities Class Action is unknown, the plaintiffs are seeking, among other things, compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees and costs. The defendants in the Securities Class Action have filed a motion to dismiss, which is currently pending.  A mediation on the Securities Class Action occurred on December 10, 2020, but it did not result in a settlement.    

On December 4, 2020, the Debtors filed a motion with the Bankruptcy Court seeking, among other things, an order authorizing: (i) certain insurers under the Debtors’ directors and officers insurance policies (the “D&O Policies”) to advance defense costs on behalf of certain of the D&Os in accordance with the D&O Policies and (ii) the potential use of D&O proceeds for settlement purposes in connection with the Securities Class Action mediation (Docket No. 298) (the “D&O Proceeds Motion”).  By order dated December 21, 2020, the Bankruptcy Court granted the D&O Proceeds Motion (Docket No. 345) (the “D&O Insurance Order”).  Additional detail concerning the D&O Policies can be found in the D&O Proceeds Motion.  Pursuant to section 8.6 of the Plan, the Debtors will not terminate or otherwise reduce coverage under any D&O Policy.

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On December 23, 2020, the plaintiffs in the Securities Class Action filed additional pleadings in the Tennessee District Court requesting that they be allowed to proceed with their claims against the D&Os.  Consequently, on January 7, 2021, the Debtors filed a motion with the Bankruptcy Court seeking an order extending the automatic stay to the D&Os (Docket No. 763) (the “D&O Stay Motion”).  By order dated January 16, 2021, the Bankruptcy Court extended the automatic stay to the D&Os through and including April 16, 2021 (the “D&O Deadline”), without prejudice to the Debtors to seek further extensions (Docket No. 819).

On March 25, 2021, the Debtors filed a motion seeking to further extend the D&O Deadline through and including the 30th day following the Bankruptcy Court’s entry of the Confirmation Order (Docket No. 992) (the “D&O Extension Motion”).  By order dated April 12, 2021, the Bankruptcy Court extended the automatic stay to the D&Os to the earlier of (i) May 27, 2021, and (ii) the date on which the Bankruptcy Court enters a separate order on the D&O Extension Motion, without prejudice to the Debtors to seek further extensions (Docket No. 1042). Pursuant to the D&O Extension Motion, the Bankruptcy Court is conducting a continued hearing on May 20, 2021, on the Debtors’ request to further extend the automatic stay to the D&Os through and including August 20, 2021.

On April 28, 2021, the plaintiffs in the Securities Class Action filed a motion for relief from the automatic stay to allow the Florida Court to rule on a separate motion to unseal certain documents in connection with the Wave Litigation (Docket No. 1088) (the “Wave Litigation Motion”).  On May 13, 2021, the Debtors filed an objection to the Wave Litigation Motion asserting that such stay relief should be denied (Docket No. 1117).  Currently, evidence that is potentially relevant to the allegations in the Securities Class Action is being held pursuant to the required Private Securities Litigation Reform Act hold.  Moreover, the sealed court filings sought by the plaintiffs in the Securities Class Action in the Florida Court remain under seal.

 

The Derivative Litigation: Certain of the Company’s current and former directors and officers have been named as defendants in nine (9) shareholder derivative lawsuits (the “Derivative Litigations” and, together with the Securities Class Action, the “Securities Litigation”).  The complaints allege, among other things, breaches of fiduciary duties, unjust enrichment, waste of corporate assets and violation of federal securities laws.  The factual allegations upon which the Derivative Litigations are based are similar to the factual allegations made in the Securities Class Action.  While the outcome of the Derivative Litigations is unknown, the plaintiffs are seeking, among other things, unspecified damages and restitution for the Company from the individual defendants, the payment of costs and attorneys’ fees, and that the Company be directed to reform certain governance and internal procedures.  On the Petition Date, the Derivative Litigations became property of the Debtors’ Estates.  Additional information concerning the Securities Litigation can be found in the 10-K.  

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IV.
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS LEADING
TO THE CHAPTER 11 FILINGS

 

A.

Trends and Uncertainties in Retail Market

CBL, as a national retail landlord, is susceptible to changes in the retail real estate markets.  Over the past several years, the retail industry has been shifting, with the closing of brick-and-mortal retail stores becoming more common as shoppers have increasingly moved towards e-commerce.  The Company anticipates that the number of traditional department stores, such as those acting as Anchors or Junior Anchors in the Malls, will continue to decline over time.  Beyond the decline in number, the market share of traditional department stores is also declining, as is their ability to drive traffic.

As new technologies emerge, the relationships between customers, retailers, and shopping centers are evolving on a rapid basis.  Commercial landlords like CBL must diversify its sources of income and types of tenants to enhance the mall experience, which demands additional capital.  Additionally, an increasing number of retailers are utilizing their stores as showrooms or as part of an omni-channel strategy (allowing customers to shop seamlessly through various sales channels, where customers’ sales occur outside the Malls).  As a result, customers may make purchases through other sales channels during or immediately after visiting the Malls, with such sales not being captured currently in the Company’s sales figures or monetized in minimum or overage rents.

The Company also faces significant challenges in the retail leasing business.  Its traditional tenant base of retailers have increasingly focused on closing stores in order to streamline store fleets and maximize profitability.  There have been very few expansions involving national retailers.  To the extent expansions have occurred, they have more frequently involved local or regional retailers.  Local or regional retailers are generally less productive, which impacts their ability to afford market rents.  These retailers also have fewer financial resources.  As a result of the challenges in the retail sector, the Company is targeting more non-retail uses for its redevelopment projects such as hotels, residential facilities, medical facilities, or offices.  While these uses can demand significant capital, the Company has utilized a number of strategies such as land sales, ground leases, and joint ventures to mitigate this need.  There is also significant competition for these users from other redevelopment projects or vacant land opportunities.     

There is also an emerging trend of certain other large mall landlords purchasing retailers in bankruptcy.  These acquisitions are generally favorable for the Company since the majority of stores purchased remain open.  However, the new owners are able to extract greater rental concessions from the Company and other non-owner landlords, which puts the Company at a competitive disadvantage.  In addition, a trend in the industry for several years is for tenants to move to gross or PIL (percent in lieu) leases, which provide that the tenant pays a single specific amount or a certain percentage of sales, with no additional payments for reimbursements of the tenant’s portion of the operating expenses.  CBL is then responsible for any increases in operating expenses or real estate taxes instead of being able to pass such increases along to retailers.

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B.

Tenant Struggles and Rent Abatement

Even before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company was suffering from the ongoing challenges in the retail environment that have resulted in store closings, tenant bankruptcies, and rental reductions for tenants with high occupancy costs.  These challenges impacted the Company’s financial performance in 2019, including a decrease in new and renewal lease rates and reduced occupancy.  Bankruptcy-related closures impacted 2019 occupancy by approximately four percent (4%) or 702,000 square feet.  Additionally, in 2019, rental revenues were negatively impacted by rent concessions for tenants with high occupancy cost levels and tenants that closed in 2019 due to bankruptcy.

These trends continued in 2020 and 2021.  During 2020, more than thirty (30) of the Company’s national tenants declared bankruptcy, including major tenants such as J.C. Penney, Ascena Retail Group, Stage Stores, and GNC.  These tenants represented more than $40 million in gross annual rent and comprised 7.2 million square feet in 2020, prior to any subsequent closures or lease modifications.  Although some of these tenants expect to continue to operate, the majority of these have announced store closures.  As negative retail trends and the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact retailer sales, the Company expects additional tenant bankruptcies to occur.

Additionally, in response to the financial challenges facing the retail market, the Company’s tenants began to request rent deferrals and/or abatements and other tenants defaulted on rent obligations.  As discussed below, the adverse impact of rent deferrals and abatements has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.            

 

C.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization classified COVID-19 as a pandemic.  The COVID-19 pandemic has acutely impacted all states where the Company’s Properties are located.  Measures taken by federal, state, and local authorities to prevent or remediate COVID-19, including “shelter-in-place” or “stay-at-home” orders or other quarantine mandates, resulted in sustained closure of many of the Properties, as well as the cessation of the operations of certain of its tenants.  This, in turn, resulted in a reduction of the revenues and cash flows generated by many of the Properties due to the adverse financial impact on its tenants, as well as reductions in other sources of income generated by the Properties.  In addition to reduced revenues, the Company’s ability to obtain sufficient financing for such Properties has been impaired, as has the Company’s ability to lease or re-lease Properties as a result of worsening market and economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Moreover, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company experienced—and continues to experience—increased levels of requests for rent deferrals and abatements, as well as defaults on rent obligations.  For the year ended December 31, 2020, the Company estimated approximately $48.2 million associated with potentially uncollectible revenues.  The Company anticipates further abatements and deferrals for 2021, based upon, among other things, active negotiations with tenants concerning deferrals and other concessions.

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Although restrictions have been relaxed in various jurisdictions and all of the Malls have reopened, the financial losses suffered by Properties in those jurisdictions will not be easily recovered.  In addition, an increase in restrictions, including mandated closures, due to the protraction of the COVID-19 pandemic would severely impact CBL’s and its tenants’ operations and financial condition going forward.  

 

D.

Prepetition Operational Initiatives

Since at least 2013, but gaining greater focus in first half of 2018, the Company has undertaken various operational and other initiatives to navigate through the challenges presented by the current retail environment.  Given the decline in traditional department stores and changing retail consumer trends, the Company has been working to transform its portfolio of traditional Malls to dynamic suburban town centers, with diverse tenant bases.  To that end, the Company has been redeveloping those spaces to attract new non-retail uses such as restaurants, entertainment, fitness centers, casinos, grocery stores, and lifestyle retailers that engage consumers and encourage them to spend more time at the Properties.  However, non-department store Anchors may demand higher tenant allowances for development or expenses than a standard mall tenant due to the nature of services and products they provide, which presents a separate challenge for the Company in redeveloping those spaces.

CBL has also adjusted its tenant mix to meet shifting consumer demand and purchasing patterns.  For example, apparel retailers have been particularly hard-hit by shifts in consumer purchasing patterns.  Consequently, the Company has been proactively reducing its exposure to apparel retailers.  

Additionally, while the Company suspended several major capital expenditures projects, the Company is pursuing cost-efficient and capital-conserving solutions for backfilling the remaining available Anchors, including joint venture partnerships, favorable lease structures, and third-party arrangements—all of which benefit the portfolio while preserving capital.    

With respect to its debt obligations, in 2020, the Company was able to achieve debt service payment deferrals for a portion of the Property Level Debt even though securitized lenders in general have shown minimal flexibility in amending loan payments.  The Company addressed nearly all of its major debt maturities in 2020 and is in discussions with existing lenders for certain 2021 secured loan maturities.  Further, as discussed above, in 2019, CBL suspended all future dividends on the REIT Common Stock and REIT Preferred Stock, as well as distributions on interests in the Operating Partnership.    

In 2020, the Company undertook additional actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In March 2020, the Company drew down approximately $280 million on the First Lien Credit Facility, which represented substantially all the remaining available balance thereunder.  The Company also implemented comprehensive programs to halt all non-essential expenditures, to reduce operating and overhead expenses, and to reduce, defer, or suspend capital expenditures, including redevelopment investments.  These programs included temporary reductions to the compensation of Board members and members of senior management, as well as a temporary salary reduction for the entire workforce.  The Company also implemented a broad-based temporary furlough program, as well as a permanent reduction in the workforce, reducing the employee base by roughly 10%, and reduced or deferred capital expenditures for 2020 by approximately $60.0 million.  The Company also (i) discontinued monthly “cash option” investments in the Company’s dividend reinvestment plan and (ii) suspended all cash dividend payments for holders of preferred stock, common stock, and special common units.

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E.

Debt Restructuring Effort and Original Restructuring Support Agreement

As discussed above, in addition to the Property Level Debt of nearly $1.9 billion, the Company has approximately $2.5 billion of outstanding funded indebtedness under the First Lien Credit Facility and the Senior Unsecured Notes.  In light of the current state of the retail rental market and the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and notwithstanding the initiatives undertaken to weather the market headwinds in the short-term, the Company’s existing capital structure is unsustainable in the long run.  

Consequently, in early 2020, the Company engaged the Advisors to explore comprehensive capital structure solutions that would, among other things, reduce overall leverage and interest expense and extend maturities on the Company’s funded indebtedness.  In May 2020, the Company, together with its legal and financial advisors, engaged with the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group and its advisors on a comprehensive capital restructuring.

To facilitate negotiations, in June 2020, CBL entered into forbearance agreements with certain members of the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group with respect to approximately $12 million and $19 million of cash interest payments that came due on June 1 and June 15, respectively, on the Senior Unsecured Notes (the “Bondholder Forbearance Agreement”).  CBL also entered into a forbearance agreement with the Bank Lenders with respect to a cross-default under the First Lien Credit Facility triggered by the missed interest payments on the Senior Unsecured Notes due 2023 and 2026 (the “Bank Forbearance Agreement,” and together with the Bondholder Forbearance Agreement, the “Forbearance Agreements”).   The Forbearance Agreements were each extended multiple times by the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group and the Administrative Agent to facilitate further negotiations.  On August 5, 2020, prior to the expiration of the Forbearance Agreements (as extended), CBL made the June 1 and June 15 interest payments on the Senior Unsecured Notes due 2023 and 2026.  Negotiations with the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group continued after the interest payments were made.  More recently, the Company decided not to make an interest payment of $6.9 million on the Senior Unsecured Notes due 2024 that was due October 15, 2020, and as such, entered the applicable 30-day grace period.        

After intense arms’ length negotiations between the Company, the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group, and their respective advisors, on August 18, 2020, the parties reached an agreement on the terms of a comprehensive restructuring transaction.  On the same day, the parties executed the Original Restructuring Support Agreement.  After the Petition Date, the Debtors and the Required Consenting Noteholders negotiated certain modifications to the terms of the proposed restructuring, which are reflected in the Original Plan.  

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Thereafter, the Debtors, the Bank Lenders, and the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group re-engaged in negotiations, including by participating in the Mediation.  The Mediation was successful.  Following extensive good faith negotiations over the course of many weeks, the Debtors, Consenting Noteholders, and Consenting Bank Lenders agreed to terms of a global settlement and entered into the RSA, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit C, along with an accompanying term sheet (the “Plan Term Sheet”) attached thereto outlining the material terms of a restructuring to be implemented through a plan of reorganization.  As discussed above, on April 29, 2021, the Court authorized the Debtors to perform their obligations under the RSA (Docket No. 1090).  The terms of the comprehensive, tripartite settlement embodied in the RSA resolve the contentious and complicated issues at the heart of these Chapter 11 Cases, including (i) the treatment of the Bank Lenders’, Consenting Crossholders’, and Consenting Noteholders’ claims in these Chapter 11 Cases, and (ii) claims asserted by the Debtors and the Bank Lenders in the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding.

As discussed above, the Plan contemplates, among other things, that:

 

the holders of Allowed First Lien Credit Facility Claims will receive their Pro Rata share of (i) the Exit Credit Facility Distribution and (ii) $100,000,000 in Cash payable, first, from Cash deposited in the segregated account maintained by the Debtors pursuant to paragraph 11(a)(ii) of the Final Cash Collateral Order and, second, from other Cash on hand;

 

the holders of Allowed Consenting Crossholder Claim will receive their Pro Rata share of (based on the ratio of such holder’s Consenting Crossholder Claims to the aggregate amount of Consenting Crossholder Claims held by all Consenting Crossholders) the Consenting Crossholder Claims Recovery Pool; provided, that each Consenting Crossholder entitled to receive New Senior Secured Notes on account of its Crossholder Claim shall be entitled to make the Convertible Notes Election;

 

the holders of Ongoing Trade Claims will receive the following treatment:  (i) if a holder of an Ongoing Trade Claim executes a Trade Agreement with the Debtors (the form and terms of such Trade Agreement to be determined by the Debtors in consultation with the (A) Required Consenting Noteholders and the Creditors’ Committee and, (B) solely with respect to the Exit Credit Facility Subsidiaries, the Required Consenting Bank Lenders), four (4) equal cash installments, payable on a quarterly basis, which payments shall result in full payment in the Allowed amount of such Ongoing Trade Claim; or (ii) if a holder of an Ongoing Trade Claim does not execute a Trade Agreement, such holder’s Pro Rata share of the Unsecured Claims Recovery Pool in accordance with section 4.7 of the Plan;

 

Each Allowed Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claim will either (i) be Reinstated; (ii) remain Unimpaired; or (iii) receive such treatment as agreed upon between the Debtors and the holder of such Property-Level Guarantee Claim (with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld). For the avoidance of doubt, any Property-Level Guarantee Claim that is not a Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claim will be treated like a General Unsecured Claim;

 

the holders of Allowed Unsecured Claims will receive their Pro Rata share of the Unsecured Claims Recovery Pool; provided, that each Consenting Noteholder (and, for the avoidance of doubt, only a Consenting Noteholder) entitled to receive New Senior Secured Notes on account of its Senior Unsecured Notes Claim shall be able to make the Convertible Notes Election; provided, however, that, if the Debtors determine that, pursuant to section 1129(a)(7)(ii), such holder would be entitled to a greater recovery than the foregoing if the Debtor against whom such holder’s Allowed Unsecured Claim is asserted were to liquidate under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, then such holder shall receive Cash in an amount necessary to satisfy section 1129(a)(7)(ii);

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If Class 10 is an Accepting Class, each holder of an Existing LP Common Unit will either (Areceive a percentage of New LP Units, issued in accordance with the Restructuring Transactions, equal to the product of (1) 5.5% and (2) the percentage equal to the number of Existing LP Common Units that such holder elects to exchange for New LP Units divided by the number of Existing LP Common Units issued and outstanding immediately prior to the Plan Distributions or (B)(1) be deemed to have converted or redeemed, as applicable, such holder’s Existing LP Common Unit(s), effective the day prior to the Distribution Record Date, in exchange for Existing REIT Common Stock on terms consistent with the applicable prepetition agreements for the Existing LP Common Units and (2) receive a Pro Rata15 share of the Existing Common Equity Recovery Pool, subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable;

 

If Class 11 is an Accepting Class, the holders of Allowed Existing REIT Preferred Stock will receive their Pro Rata share of a percentage of the New Common Stock, issued in accordance with the Restructuring Transactions, equal to 5.5% divided by the REIT LP Ownership Percentage, subject to dilution by the Management Incentive Plan and subsequent issuances of common equity (including securities or instruments convertible into common equity) by the REIT from time to time after the Effective Date, as set forth herein, and subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable; and

 

If Class 12 is an Accepting Class, the holders of Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock will receive their Pro Rata16 share of the Existing Common Equity Recovery Pool, subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable.

Further, the Debtors will receive Commitment Letters from the Commitment Parties where such parties agree to purchase, in the aggregate, $50 million of New Convertible Notes on the Effective Date.

 

15

For purposes of section 4.10(a)(i)(B)(2) of the Plan, the Pro Rata amounts shall be calculated as the Pro Rata share of all Allowed Existing LP Common Units electing to receive such treatment and Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock.

16

For purposes of section 4.12(a)(i) of the Plan, the Pro Rata amounts shall be calculated as the Pro Rata share of all Allowed Existing LP Common Units electing to receive such treatment and Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock.

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The RSA reflects, among other things, the mutual pursuit by the Debtors and their economic stakeholders of the following timeline for these Chapter 11 Cases (subject to the Court’s availability and unless otherwise extended):

 

No later than 65 days after the RSA Effective Date, the Bankruptcy Court shall have entered an order approving this Disclosure Statement;

 

No later than 180 days after the RSA Effective Date, the Bankruptcy Court shall have entered the Confirmation Order; and

 

No later than November 1, 2021, the Effective Date shall have occurred.

The RSA provides the Company with a viable path forward and a framework to successfully exit chapter 11 in a timely fashion with the support of the Company’s two largest creditor constituencies.  

 

F.

Prepetition Bank Lender Actions

Upon executing the Original Restructuring Support Agreement, the Company and the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group focused their attention on negotiations with the Bank Lenders in an effort to reach a tripartite agreement among the Company, the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group, and the Bank Lenders over the terms of a fully consensual restructuring.  Indeed, on October 13, 2020, certain members of the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group executed confidentiality agreements and became “restricted” to negotiate directly with the Bank Lenders.  On October 27, 2020, the Ad Hoc Bondholder Group’s advisors sent a restructuring term sheet to the Administrative Agent’s advisors.  

The next day, the Administrative Agent delivered to the Company various notices purporting to exercise remedies under the First Lien Credit Facility (the “Wells Fargo Notices”).  The Wells Fargo Notices stated, among other things, that (i) the Administrative Agent elected to exercise all voting rights and all other ownership rights in respect of all Credit Facility Properties; (ii) the Administrative Agent had revoked the Company’s right to collect rents and the Company had three (3) days to instruct its tenants to pay rent directly to the Administrative Agent; and (iii) the Administrative Agent removed the manager and officers from the governing boards of the Credit Facility Properties and appointed itself as manager via a joint written consent.  The joint written consents also purported to strip the governing boards of the Credit Facility Properties of the authority to file any bankruptcy petition without the consent of the Administrative Agent.  

The Company commenced these Chapter 11 Cases beginning on November 1, 2020. Contemporaneously therewith, the Debtors commenced an adversary proceeding, Adv. Proc. No. 20-03454 (DRJ) (the “Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding”), seeking, among other things, a declaratory judgment that (i) no Event of Default (as defined in the First Lien Credit Agreement) has occurred or is continuing under the First Lien Credit Agreement and/or applicable law, and (ii) the Administrative Agent’s purported exercise of remedies thereunder is null and void.  The Debtors also sought a temporary restraining order and injunctive relief enjoining the Bank Lenders from taking any further action or exercising remedies based on the alleged Events of Default pending the resolution of the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding.

 

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G.

Prepetition Employee Retention Programs

In August 2020, to retain key employees throughout the Debtors’ restructuring efforts, the Debtors, with input from their Advisors and an independent compensation consultant, adopted a two-tier key employee retention program (as amended, the “Prepetition KERP”)17 for certain key employees (the “Key Employees”), including Insiders.18  Each participating Key Employee has received or will receive a cash award (each, a “Retention Bonus”), payable in accordance with the terms of the applicable retention agreements signed by each Key Employee (each a “Retention Agreement”).  

The first tier of the KERP (the “Tier 1 Prepetition KERP”) provides certain key executives with awards designed to retain such executives through these Chapter 11 Cases.  The second tier of the KERP (the “Tier 2 Prepetition KERP”) provides for discretionary bonuses to certain non-executive, non-insider Key Employees—representing approximately 35% of the Company’s non-executive workforce (the “Non-Insider KERP Participants”)—based upon the Company’s business judgment in determining the need to retain such Non-Insider KERP Participants throughout the restructuring process.  Payments under the Tier 2 Prepetition KERP were split into two installments.  The first installment was paid upon the first regular payroll date following the effective date of the applicable Retention Agreement (in August 2020 or later).  On January 29, 2021, the Bankruptcy Court authorized the payment of the second installment under the Tier 2 Prepetition KERP (Docket No. 862) with respect to all but two (2) of the Non-Insider KERP Participants.    

Further information relating to the KERP can be found in the Emergency Motion of Debtors for Entry of Order Approving and Authorizing Payments Under Non-Insider Key Employee Retention Plan (Docket No. 803) (the “KERP Motion”).

 

H.

Appointment of New Independent Director and Formation of a Special Committee

On September 29, 2020, Michael Ashner resigned from the Board.  On October 7, 2020, the Board unanimously appointed Scott D. Vogel as an additional independent director, for an initial term expiring at the Company’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.  Mr. Vogel has extensive restructuring experience and the Board believed that Mr. Vogel’s experience would be beneficial to the Company as it navigated through the restructuring process.      

 

17

Capitalized terms used but not defined in this Section IV(G) shall have the meanings ascribed to them in the Emergency Motion of Debtors for Entry of an Order (I) Authorizing Debtors to (A) Pay Prepetition Wages, Salaries, Reimbursable Expenses, and Other Obligations on Account of Compensation and Benefits Programs and (B) Continue Compensation and Benefits Programs and (II) Granting Related Relief (Docket No. 8).

18

The Company offered the KERP in lieu of certain historical, incentive-based Compensation programs, such as the “Named Executive Officer Incentive Program.”  As a condition of receiving a Retention Bonus under the KERP, therefore, each Key Employee relinquished his or her right to participate in any such incentive-based Compensation programs with respect to 2020.

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Further, on October 14, 2020, in connection with the Company’s evaluation of strategic alternatives, the board of directors of the REIT approved the formation of a special committee (collectively, the “Special Committee”).  The Special Committee is authorized to, among other things, consider, evaluate, and approve any transactions for and on behalf of the Company in which the Chief Legal Officer or outside counsel advises that a conflict exists between the Company and its equity holders, its affiliates, and/or its managers and officers in the context of a chapter 11 restructuring case.  The Special Committee consists of two non-employee directors, Mr. Scott D. Vogel and Ms. Carolyn B. Tiffany.

 

I.

Independent Investigation

The Special Committee oversaw an investigation (the “Investigation”) into certain potential claims and causes of action that are proposed to be released pursuant to the Plan, including the Derivative Litigations. Weil, as counsel to the Special Committee, assisted in evaluating the colorability of those claims and causes of action.  The Investigation included extensive factual and legal analysis, document review, and several interviews. Weil conferred with, and reported to, the Special Committee over the course of the Investigation.  The Investigation commenced in October 2020 and concluded in April 2021.  

Based upon the information available to the Special Committee, including, but not limited to, the results of the Investigation, the Special Committee voted to approve the releases set forth in the Plan, including releases for the Company’s current and former D&Os.  The Debtors are working with the Creditors’ Committee in an effort to respond to its requests for further information regarding the Investigation, while maintaining privilege, work product or other protections that apply to the Investigation.

V.
OVERVIEW OF
CHAPTER 11 CASES

 

A.

Commencement of Chapter 11 Cases

 

i.

First Day Motions

As discussed above, beginning on November 1, 2020, the Debtors commenced the Chapter 11 Cases.  The Debtors continue to manage their properties and operate their businesses as debtors in possession pursuant to sections 1107(a) and 1108 of the Bankruptcy Code.

On or about the Petition Date, the Debtors filed multiple motions seeking various relief from the Bankruptcy Court to enable the Debtors to transition into chapter 11 and minimize any disruptions to the Debtors’ operations (the “First Day Motions”).  The Bankruptcy Court granted substantially all of the relief requested in the First Day Motions and entered various orders authorizing the Debtors to, among other things:

 

Continue the use of the Debtors’ cash management system, bank accounts, and business forms on a final basis (Docket No. 263);

 

Pay certain prepetition claims of service providers and lien claimants on a final basis (Docket No. 63);

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Continue paying employee wages and benefits on a final basis (Docket No. 69);

 

Establish procedures for utility companies to request adequate assurance of payment and to prohibit utility companies from altering or discontinuing service on an interim basis (Docket No. 61);

 

Pay certain prepetition taxes and assessments on a final basis (Docket No. 68);

 

Continue and maintain (i) various insurance policies designed to protect the Debtors’ property, assets, key personnel, and business operations and (ii) surety bonds to secure the Debtors’ payment or performance of certain obligations on a final basis (Docket No. 70);

 

Continue payment of the Debtors’ tenant obligations on a final basis (Docket No. 262); and

 

Establish procedures to protect the potential value of the Debtors’ net unrealized built-in loss, net operating loss carryforwards, and certain other tax benefits on a final basis (Docket No. 64).

 

ii.

Procedural Motions

On or about the Petition Date, the Debtors also filed various motions regarding procedural issues that are common to chapter 11 cases of similar size and complexity as these Chapter 11 Cases.  The Bankruptcy Court granted substantially all of the relief requested in such motions and entered various orders authorizing, among other things:

 

The joint administration of the Debtors’ estates (Docket Nos. 96, 206);

 

An extension of time to file the Debtors’ Schedules and Statements (as defined below) (Docket No. 67); and

 

The Debtors to file a consolidated creditor matrix and list of thirty (30) largest unsecured creditors and modifying the requirement to file a list of equity securityholders (Docket No. 66).  

 

iii.

Retention of Chapter 11 Professionals

The Debtors have filed several applications and obtained authority to retain various professionals to assist the Debtors in carrying out their duties under the Bankruptcy Code during the Chapter 11 Cases, including: (i) Weil, as counsel to the Debtors (Docket No. 743); (ii) Epiq, as claims, noticing, and solicitation agent (Docket No. 30); (iii) Moelis, as investment banker (Docket No. 744); (iv) Berkeley Research Group, LLC (“BRG”), as financial advisor (Docket No. 742);            (v) Deloitte Tax LLP, as a tax services provider (Docket No. 937); and (vi) Deloitte & Touche LLP, as an independent audit services provider (Docket No. 938).

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On December 16, 2020, the Bankruptcy Court entered the Order Authorizing Debtors to Employ Professionals Used in the Ordinary Course of Business Effective as of the Petition Date (Docket No. 328).  The Debtors reserve the right to seek and retain additional professionals.  Moreover, on December 22, 2020, the Bankruptcy Court entered the Order Establishing Procedures for Interim Compensation and Reimbursement of Expenses for Professionals (Docket No. 350).

 

iv.

Use of Cash Collateral

On or about the Petition Date, the Debtors filed a motion seeking authority to use Cash Collateral (as defined in section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code) (Docket No. 16) (the “Cash Collateral Motion”).  By order dated November 2, 2020, the Court granted the Cash Collateral Motion on an interim basis (Docket No. 65) (the “First Interim Cash Collateral Order”).

On November 16, 2020, the Administrative Agent objected to the Cash Collateral Motion (Docket No. 213) (the “Wells Fargo Cash Collateral Objection”).  On November 23, 2020, the Court held a final hearing on the Cash Collateral Motion (the “Cash Collateral Motion Final Hearing”).  After hearing oral argument on the Cash Collateral Motion, the Court continued the Cash Collateral Motion Final Hearing to a pending date to occur after the Wells Fargo Trial (as defined below) and directed the parties to submit an agreed-upon second interim order.  On December 3, 2020, the Court entered the second interim cash collateral order (Docket No. 292) (the “Second Interim Cash Collateral Order”) extending the First Interim Cash Collateral Order, with certain modifications, until the date of the Cash Collateral Motion Final Hearing.

In connection with the RSA, the Debtors, the Required Consenting Noteholders, and the Required Consenting Bank Lenders reached a consensual resolution regarding the Cash Collateral Motion.  On March 31, 2021, the Debtors filed a revised form of cash collateral order (Docket No. 1007-1) (the “Final Cash Collateral Order”).  By order dated April 2, 2021, the Court entered the Final Cash Collateral Order (Docket No. 1018).

 

B.

De Minimis Asset Sales, Claims, and Causes of Action Procedures

On November 12, 2020, the Debtors filed a motion seeking approval of procedures in connection with the sale of certain de minimis assets (Docket No. 203) (the “De Minimis Asset Sale Motion”).  By order dated November 23, 2020, the Court granted the De Minimis Asset Sale Motion (Docket No. 264). The Debtors have sold, or intend on selling in 2021, assets with an aggregate selling price of approximately $20 million pursuant to the de minimis asset sale procedures.

On February 18, 2021, the Debtors filed a motion seeking approval of procedures in connection with the settlement of certain de minimis claims and causes of action (Docket No. 895) (the “De Minimis Claims Motion”).  By order dated March 16, 2021, the Court granted the De Minimis Claims Motion (Docket No. 960).

 

C.

Appointment of Creditors’ Committee

On November 13, 2020, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (the “Creditors’ Committee”) was appointed by the Office of the United States Trustee for Region 7 (the “U.S. Trustee”) pursuant to section 1102 of the Bankruptcy Code to represent the interests of unsecured creditors in these Chapter 11 Cases (Docket No. 204).  The members of the Creditors’ Committee, as amended, are: (i) Delaware Trust Company; (ii) ERMC TN, LLC; and (iii) SecurAmerica TN, LLC.  The Creditors’ Committee has retained McDermott Will & Emery LLP, as counsel, and AlixPartners, LLP, as its financial advisor.

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D.

Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding

As discussed above, on or about the Petition Date, the Debtors commenced the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding (Adv. Proc. Docket No. 1) (the “Adversary Complaint”), seeking, among other things, a declaratory judgment that (i) no Event of Default has occurred or is continuing under the First Lien Credit Agreement and/or applicable law, and (ii) the Administrative Agent’s purported exercise of remedies is null and void.  The Debtors also moved for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to enjoin Wells Fargo’s purported exercise of remedies (Adv. Proc. Docket No. 2).      

On November 2, 2020, the Bankruptcy Court granted the Debtors’ request for a temporary restraining order on an ex parte basis, and thus enjoined Wells Fargo’s purported exercise of remedies, stayed Wells Fargo’s direction that tenants at the Credit Facility Properties remit payment to Wells Fargo, and ordered that any such payments shall be made to the Debtors in the ordinary course (Adv. Proc. Docket No. 5) (the “TRO”).  The Court scheduled a hearing on whether a preliminary injunction should issue.  

Following entry of the TRO, the parties, by and through counsel, conferred and stipulated to the entry of a standstill order pending resolution of the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding.  On November 13, 2020, the Bankruptcy Court entered the Stipulated Standstill Order (Adv. Proc. Docket No. 26) (the “Standstill Order”) pursuant to which, among other things, the Court converted the TRO to the Standstill Order until further order of the Court or fourteen (14) days following resolution by the Bankruptcy Court of the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding (including any timely filed counterclaims that the Administrative Agent may pursue), whichever occurs first.  Pursuant to the Standstill Order, the Debtors must (i) segregate the rents and revenues received from tenants at the Credit Facility Properties, subject to using those revenues during the pendency of the Standstill Order in accordance with the Second Interim Cash Collateral Order and in all events solely to pay operating expenses, required capital expenditures, and tenant allowances associated with the Credit Facility Properties and (ii) provide certain reporting concerning the Credit Facility Properties to the Administrative Agent.  

On November 18, 2020, the Administrative Agent filed its answer and counterclaims to the Adversary Complaint (Adv. Proc. Docket No. 29) (the “Wells Fargo Counterclaims”) seeking, among other things, dismissal of the Pledged Debtors’ (as defined in the Wells Fargo Counterclaims) Chapter 11 Cases and a declaratory judgment that all rents paid or owing to the Mortgage Debtors (as defined in the Wells Fargo Counterclaims) following the Administrative Agent’s revocation of the Mortgage Debtors’ license to receive those rents are not property of the Mortgage Debtors’ respective Estates, but are property of the Administrative Agent.  On November 25, 2020, the Debtors filed their answer to the Wells Fargo Counterclaims (Adv. Proc. Docket No. 31).    

The trial on the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding (the “Wells Fargo Trial”) commenced on February 3, 2021 and continued thereafter as scheduled by the Bankruptcy Court. In connection with their execution of the RSA, the parties agreed to a dismissal with prejudice of the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding and all Causes of Action asserted therein upon the Confirmation Order becoming a Final Order.  Consequently, the parties agreed to adjourn the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding pending further order of the Bankruptcy Court (Adv. Proc. Docket No. 146).

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E.

Court-Ordered Mediation

Pursuant to the Agreed Mediation Order Appointing Judge Marvin Isgur as Mediator as to Chapter 11 Plan and Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding (Docket No. 749) (as amended, the “Mediation Order”), beginning on January 7, 2021, the Mediation Parties participated in a mediation (the “Mediation”) with the goal of reaching a global settlement regarding the issues underlying the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding and plan treatment.  As discussed above, the Mediation was successful, and the Mediation Parties reached an agreement and entered into the RSA as discussed herein.

 

F.

Exclusivity

Section 1121(b) of the Bankruptcy Code provides for a period of 120 days after the commencement of a chapter 11 case during which time a debtor has the exclusive right to file a plan of reorganization (the “Exclusive Plan Period”).  In addition, section 1121(c)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that if a debtor files a plan within the Exclusive Plan Period, it has a period of 180 days after commencement of the chapter 11 case to obtain acceptances of such plan (the “Exclusive Solicitation Period,” and together with the Exclusive Plan Period, the “Exclusive Periods”).  Pursuant to section 1121(d) of the Bankruptcy Code, the Bankruptcy Court may, upon a showing of cause, extend the Exclusive Periods.  On February 22, 2021, the Debtors filed a motion (Docket No. 901) (the “Extension Motion”), seeking a 90-day extension of (i) the Exclusive Plan Period from March 1, 2021 to May 31, 2021 and (ii) the Exclusive Solicitation Period from April 30, 2021 to July 29, 2021, without prejudice to the Debtors’ right to request further extensions of the Exclusive Periods.  By order dated March 19, 2021, the Court granted the relief sought in the Extension Motion (Docket No. 976) and extended the Exclusive Periods to May 31, 2021 and July 29, 2021, respectively. The Debtors intend to file a motion to further extend the Exclusive Periods by 90 days while the Debtors seek to confirm the Plan.  

 

G.

Statements and Schedules, and Claims Bar Dates

On December 31, 2020, the Debtors filed their schedules and statement of financial affairs (collectively, the “Schedules and Statements”), detailing known claims against the Debtors (Docket Nos. 378-735).  The Debtors also filed reports required by Bankruptcy Rule 2015.3, disclosing financial information of certain entities in which the Debtors hold a controlling or substantial interest.  

On January 28, 2021, the Debtors filed a motion seeking Bankruptcy Court approval to set the following deadlines: (i) March 26, 2021, as the deadline for all creditors or other parties in interest to file proofs of Claim (the “General Bar Date”); and (ii) April 30, 2021, as the deadline for all governmental units to file a proof of Claim (Docket No. 855) (the “Bar Date Motion”).  By order dated February 23, 2021, the Court granted the Bar Date Motion (Docket No. 902).  As of March 31, 2021, over 1,500 proofs of Claim had been filed against the Debtors asserting in the aggregate approximately $60.9 billion.  The Debtors have begun to review and analyze the filed Claims, and will reconcile objections to the filed Claims as appropriate.

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Further, any counterparty to an executory contract that is rejected must file and serve a proof of Claim on the applicable Debtor that is party to the applicable executory contract to be rejected by no later than the applicable bar date governed by the Plan or the Court order governing such rejection.

 

H.

Motion to Extend Time to Assume or Reject Unexpired Leases

On February 8, 2021, the Debtors filed a motion (Docket No. 886) (the “365(d)(4) Motion”) for an extension of time to assume or reject unexpired leases (including sub-leases) of nonresidential real property by ninety (90) days, through and including May 31, 2021 (the “365(d)(4) Deadline”), without prejudice to the Debtors’ right to seek further extensions in accordance with the Bankruptcy Code.  By order dated March 8, 2021, the Court granted the 365(d)(4) Motion (Docket No. 936).  The Debtors intend to file a motion to further extend the 365(d)(4) Deadline by an additional 90 days while the Debtors seek to confirm the Plan.

VI.
SUMMARY OF PLAN

 

A.

General

This section of this Disclosure Statement summarizes the Plan, a copy of which is annexed hereto as Exhibit A. This summary is qualified in its entirety by reference to the Plan.  YOU SHOULD READ THE PLAN IN ITS ENTIRETY BEFORE VOTING TO ACCEPT OR REJECT THE PLAN.

In general, a chapter 11 plan (i) divides claims and equity interests into separate classes, (ii) specifies the consideration that each class is to receive under the plan, and (iii) contains other provisions necessary to implement the plan.  Under the Bankruptcy Code, “claims” and “equity interests,” rather than “creditors” and “shareholders,” are classified because creditors and shareholders may hold claims and equity interests in more than one class.  Under section 1124 of the Bankruptcy Code, a class of claims is “impaired” under a plan unless the plan (1) leaves unaltered the legal, equitable, and contractual rights of each holder of a claim in such class or (2) provides, among other things, for the cure of certain existing defaults and reinstatement of the maturity of claims in such class.  Classes 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, and 14 are impaired under the Plan, and holders of Claims or Interests in such Classes are entitled to vote to accept or reject the Plan unless such Classes of Claims or Interests are deemed to reject the Plan.  Ballots are being furnished herewith to all holders of Claims in Classes 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, and 14 that are entitled to vote to facilitate their voting to accept or reject the Plan.  Class 9 is deemed to reject the Plan and, therefore, Interests in such Classes will not vote on the Plan.

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B.

Administrative Expense Claims, Fee Claims, and Priority Tax Claims.

 

i.

Treatment of Administrative Expense Claims

Except to the extent that a holder of an Allowed Administrative Expense Claim agrees to a different treatment, each holder of an Allowed Administrative Expense Claim (other than a Fee Claim or Restructuring Expenses) shall receive, in full and final satisfaction of such Claim, Cash in an amount equal to such Allowed Administrative Expense Claim on, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable, the later of (i) the Effective Date and (ii) the first Business Day after the date that is thirty (30) calendar days after the date such Administrative Expense Claim becomes an Allowed Administrative Expense Claim; provided, that Allowed Administrative Expense Claims representing liabilities incurred in the ordinary course of business by the Debtors shall be paid by the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, in the ordinary course of business, consistent with past practice and in accordance with the terms and subject to the conditions of any orders or agreements governing, instruments evidencing, or other documents establishing, such liabilities.

 

ii.

Treatment of Fee Claims

(a)All Professional Persons seeking approval by the Bankruptcy Court of compensation for services rendered or reimbursement of expenses incurred through and including the Effective Date under sections 327, 328, 330, 331, 503(b)(2), 503(b)(3), 503(b)(4), 503(b)(5), or 1103 of the Bankruptcy Code shall (i) file, on or before the date that is thirty (30) days after the Effective Date, their respective applications for final allowances of compensation for services rendered and reimbursement of expenses incurred and (ii) be paid in full, in Cash, in such amounts as are Allowed by the Bankruptcy Court or authorized to be paid in accordance with the order(s) relating to or allowing any such Fee Claim.  The Debtors are authorized to pay compensation for professional services rendered and reimbursement of expenses incurred after the Confirmation Date in the ordinary course and without the need for Bankruptcy Court approval.  

(b)On or prior to the Effective Date, the Debtors shall establish and fund the Fee Escrow Account.  The Debtors shall fund the Fee Escrow Account with Cash equal to the Professional Persons’ good faith estimates of the Fee Claims, which estimate shall be provided to the Debtors at least three (3) days prior to the Effective Date.  Funds held in the Fee Escrow Account shall not be considered property of the Debtors’ Estates or property of the Reorganized Debtors, but shall revert to the Reorganized Debtors only after all Fee Claims allowed by the Bankruptcy Court have been irrevocably paid in full.  The Fee Escrow Account shall be held in trust for Professional Persons retained by the Debtors or by the Creditors’ Committee, as applicable, and for no other parties until all Fee Claims Allowed by the Bankruptcy Court have been paid in full.  Fee Claims shall be paid in full, in Cash, in such amounts as are Allowed by the Bankruptcy Court (i) on the date upon which an order relating to any such Allowed Fee Claim becomes a Final Order or (ii) on such other terms as may be mutually agreed upon between the holder of such an Allowed Fee Claim and the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable.  The Reorganized Debtors’ obligations with respect to Fee Claims shall not be limited by nor deemed limited to the balance of funds held in the Fee Escrow Account.  To the extent that funds held in the Fee Escrow Account are insufficient to satisfy the amount of accrued Fee Claims owing to the Professional Persons, such Professional Persons shall have an Allowed Administrative Expense Claim for any such deficiency, which shall be satisfied in accordance with section 2.1 of the Plan.  No Liens, claims, or interests shall encumber the Fee Escrow Account in any way.

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(c)Any objections to Fee Claims shall be served and filed (i) no later than twenty-one (21) days after the filing of the final applications for compensation or reimbursement or (ii) such later date as ordered by the Bankruptcy Court upon a motion of the Reorganized Debtors.

 

iii.

Treatment of Priority Tax Claims

Except to the extent that a holder of an Allowed Priority Tax Claim agrees to a different treatment, each holder of an Allowed Priority Tax Claim shall receive, in full and final satisfaction of such Allowed Priority Tax Claim, at the option of the Debtors (with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders, such consent not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned, or delayed) or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable (i) Cash in an amount equal to such Allowed Priority Tax Claim on, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable, the later of (A) the Effective Date, to the extent such Claim is an Allowed Priority Tax Claim on the Effective Date, (B) the first Business Day after the date that is thirty (30) calendar days after the date such Priority Tax Claim becomes an Allowed Priority Tax Claim, and (C) the date such Allowed Priority Tax Claim is due and payable in the ordinary course as such obligation becomes due; provided, that the Debtors reserve the right to prepay all or a portion of any such amounts at any time under this option without penalty or premium, or (ii) such other treatment reasonably acceptable to the Debtors (with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders, such consent not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned, or delayed) or Reorganized Debtors (as applicable) and consistent with the provisions of section 1129(a)(9) of the Bankruptcy Code.

 

iv.

Payment of Restructuring Expenses

(a)The Restructuring Expenses incurred, or estimated to be incurred, up to and including the Effective Date (or, with respect to necessary post-Effective Date activities, after the Effective Date), other than those previously paid in accordance with the Restructuring Support Agreement and the Restructuring Support Agreement Approval Order, shall be paid in full in Cash on or prior to the Effective Date (to the extent not previously paid during the course of the Chapter 11 Cases) in accordance with, and subject to, the terms of the RSA, without any requirement to file a fee application with the Bankruptcy Court, without the need for itemized time detail, or without any requirement for Bankruptcy Court review or approval.  All Restructuring Expenses to be paid on the Effective Date shall be estimated prior to and as of the Effective Date and such estimates shall be delivered to the Debtors at least three (3) days before the anticipated Effective Date; provided that such estimates shall not be considered an admission or limitation with respect to such Restructuring Expenses.  On the Effective Date, or as soon as practicable thereafter, final invoices for all Restructuring Expenses incurred prior to and as of the Effective Date shall be submitted to the Debtors.

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(b)Pursuant to the Senior Unsecured Notes Indenture, all accrued and unpaid reasonable and documented Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee Fees and Expenses incurred up to (and including) the Effective Date shall be paid in full in Cash on the Effective Date, in each case without (i) any reduction to recoveries of the Holders of Senior Unsecured Notes Claims, (ii) any requirement to file a fee application with the Bankruptcy Court, (iii) the need for itemized time detail, or (iv) any requirement for Bankruptcy Court review.  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth herein, the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee shall have the right to exercise the Senior Unsecured Notes Charging Lien against distributions to holders of the Senior Unsecured Notes Claims, respectively, for the payment of the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee Fees and Expenses.

 

v.

Statutory Fees

All Statutory Fees due and payable prior to the Effective Date shall be paid by the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors.  On and after the Effective Date, the Reorganized Debtors shall pay any and all Statutory Fees when due and payable, and shall file with the Bankruptcy Court quarterly reports in a form reasonably acceptable to the U.S. Trustee.  Each Debtor or Reorganized Debtor, as applicable, shall remain obligated to pay quarterly fees to the U.S. Trustee until the earliest of that particular Debtor’s, or Reorganized Debtor’s, as applicable, case being closed, dismissed, or converted to a case under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.

 

C.

Classification of Claims and Interests

 

i.

Classification in General

A Claim or Interest is placed in a particular Class for all purposes, including voting, confirmation, and distribution under the Plan and under sections 1122 and 1123(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code; provided, that a Claim or Interest is placed in a particular Class for the purpose of receiving distributions pursuant to the Plan only to the extent that such Claim or Interest is an Allowed Claim or Allowed Interest in that Class and such Claim or Interest has not been satisfied, released, or otherwise settled prior to the Effective Date.

 

ii.

Formation of Debtor Groups for Convenience Only

The Plan groups the Debtors together solely for the purpose of describing treatment under the Plan, confirmation of the Plan, and making Plan Distributions in respect of Claims against and Interests in the Debtors under the Plan.  Such groupings shall not affect any Debtor’s status as a separate legal entity, change the organizational structure of the Debtors’ business enterprise, constitute a change of control of any Debtor for any purpose, cause a merger or consolidation of any legal entities, or cause the transfer of any Assets; and, except as otherwise provided by or permitted under the Plan, all Debtors shall continue to exist as separate legal entities.

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iii.

Summary of Classification of Claims and Interests

The following table designates the Classes of Claims against and Interests in the Debtors and specifies which Classes are (i) Impaired and Unimpaired under the Plan, (ii) entitled to vote to accept or reject the Plan in accordance with section 1126 of the Bankruptcy Code, and (iii) deemed to accept or reject the Plan.  In accordance with section 1123(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code, Administrative Expense Claims and Priority Tax Claims have not been classified.  The classification of Claims and Interests set forth herein shall apply separately to each Debtor.

Class

Type of Claim or Interest

Impairment

Entitled to Vote

Class 1

Other Priority Claims

Unimpaired

No (Presumed to accept)

Class 2

Other Secured Claims

Unimpaired

No (Presumed to accept)

Class 3

First Lien Credit Facility Claims

Impaired

Yes

Class 4

Consenting Crossholder Claims

Impaired

Yes

Class 5

Ongoing Trade Claims

Impaired

Yes

Class 6

Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claims

Unimpaired

No (Presumed to accept)

Class 7

Unsecured Claims

Impaired

Yes

Class 8

Intercompany Claims

Unimpaired

No (Presumed to accept)

Class 9

Existing LP Preferred Units

Impaired

No (Deemed to reject)

Class 10

Existing LP Common Units

Impaired

Yes

Class 11

Existing REIT Preferred Stock

Impaired

Yes

Class 12

Existing REIT Common Stock

Impaired

Yes

Class 13

Intercompany Interests

Unimpaired

No (Presumed to accept)

Class 14

Section 510(b) Claims

Impaired

Yes

 

 

iv.

Special Provision Governing Unimpaired Claims

Except as otherwise provided in the Plan, nothing under the Plan shall affect the rights of the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, in respect of any Unimpaired Claims, including all rights in respect of legal and equitable defenses to, or setoffs or recoupments against, any such Unimpaired Claims.

 

v.

Separate Classification of Other Secured Claims

Although all Other Secured Claims have been placed in one Class for purposes of nomenclature within the Plan, each Other Secured Claim, to the extent secured by a Lien on Collateral different from the Collateral securing a different Other Secured Claim, shall be treated as being in a separate sub-Class for the purposes of voting to accept or reject the Plan and receiving Plan Distributions.

 

vi.

Elimination of Vacant Classes

Any Class that, as of the commencement of the Confirmation Hearing, does not have at least one holder of a Claim or Interest that is Allowed in an amount greater than zero for voting purposes shall be considered vacant, deemed eliminated from the Plan for purposes of voting to accept or

49

 


 

reject the Plan, and disregarded for purposes of determining whether the Plan satisfies section 1129(a)(8) of the Bankruptcy Code with respect to such Class.

 

vii.

Voting Classes; Presumed Acceptance by Non-Voting Classes

With respect to each Debtor, if a Class contained Claims eligible to vote and no holder of Claims eligible to vote in such Class votes to accept or reject the Plan, the Plan shall be presumed accepted by the holders of such Claims in such Class.

 

viii.

Voting; Presumptions; Solicitation

(a)Acceptance by Certain Impaired Classes.  Only holders of Claims and Interests in Classes 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, and 14 are entitled to vote to accept or reject the Plan.  An Impaired Class of Claims or Interests shall have accepted the Plan if (i) the holders of at least two-thirds (2/3) in amount of the Allowed Claims or Interests actually voting in such Class have voted to accept the Plan and (ii) the holders of more than one-half (1/2) in number of the Allowed Claims or Interests actually voting in such Class have voted to accept the Plan.  Holders of Claims and Interests in Classes 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, and 14 shall receive ballots containing detailed voting instructions.

(b)Presumed Acceptance by Unimpaired Classes.  Holders of Claims and Interests in Classes 1, 2, 6, 8, and 13 are conclusively presumed to have accepted the Plan pursuant to section 1126(f) of the Bankruptcy Code.  Accordingly, such holders are not entitled to vote to accept or reject the Plan.

(c)Deemed Rejection by Impaired Class.  Holders of Interests in Class 9 are deemed to have rejected the Plan pursuant to section 1126(g) of the Bankruptcy Code.  Accordingly, such holders are not entitled to vote to accept or reject the Plan.

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ix.

Non-Consensual Confirmation

If any Class is deemed to reject the Plan or is entitled to vote on the Plan and does not vote to accept the Plan, the Debtors (with the consent of the Required Consenting Creditors, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld) may (i) seek confirmation of the Plan under section 1129(b) of the Bankruptcy Code or (ii) amend or modify the Plan in accordance with the terms hereof and the Bankruptcy Code, including by (A) modifying the treatment applicable to a Class of Claims or Interests to render such Class of Claims or Interests Unimpaired to the extent permitted by the Bankruptcy Code and the Bankruptcy Rules or (B) withdrawing the Plan as to an individual Debtor at any time before the Confirmation Date.  If a controversy arises as to whether any Claims or Interests, or any Class of Claims or Interests, are Impaired, the Bankruptcy Court shall, after notice and a hearing, determine such controversy on or before the Confirmation Date.

 

x.

No Waiver

Except as otherwise expressly provided in the Plan (including sections 4.3 and 4.4 of the Plan), nothing contained in the Plan shall be construed to waive a Debtor’s or other Person’s right to object on any basis to any Claim.

 

D.

Treatment of Claims and Interests

 

i.

Class 1:  Other Priority Claims.

(a)Treatment:  The legal, equitable, and contractual rights of the holders of Allowed Other Priority Claims are unaltered by the Plan.  Except to the extent that a holder of an Allowed Other Priority Claim agrees to different treatment, on the later of the Effective Date and the date that is twenty (20) days after the date such Other Priority Claim becomes an Allowed Claim, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable, each holder of an Allowed Other Priority Claim shall receive, on account of such Allowed Claim, at the option of the Reorganized Debtors (i) Cash in an amount equal to the Allowed amount of such Claim or (ii) other treatment consistent with the provisions of section 1129 of the Bankruptcy Code.

(b)Impairment and Voting:  Allowed Other Priority Claims are Unimpaired.  In accordance with section 1126(f) of the Bankruptcy Code, the holders of Allowed Other Priority Claims are conclusively presumed to accept the Plan and are not entitled to vote to accept or reject the Plan, and the votes of such holders shall not be solicited with respect to such Allowed Other Priority Claims.

 

ii.

Class 2:  Other Secured Claims.

(a)Treatment:  The legal, equitable, and contractual rights of the holders of Allowed Other Secured Claims are unaltered by the Plan.  Except to the extent that a holder of an Allowed Other Secured Claim agrees to different treatment, on the later of the Effective Date and the date that is twenty (20) days after the date such Other Secured Claim becomes an Allowed Claim, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable, each holder of an Allowed Other Secured Claim shall receive, on account of such Allowed Claim, at the option of the Reorganized Debtors (i) Cash in an amount equal to the Allowed amount of such Claim, (ii) Reinstatement or such other treatment sufficient to render such holder’s Allowed Other Secured Claim Unimpaired pursuant to section 1124 of the Bankruptcy Code, or (iii) such other recovery necessary to satisfy section 1129 of the Bankruptcy Code.

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(b)Impairment and Voting:  Allowed Other Secured Claims are Unimpaired.  In accordance with section 1126(f) of the Bankruptcy Code, the holders of Allowed Other Secured Claims are conclusively presumed to accept the Plan and are not entitled to vote to accept or reject the Plan, and the votes of such holders shall not be solicited with respect to such Allowed Other Secured Claims.

 

iii.

Class 3:  First Lien Credit Facility Claims.

(a)Allowance: The First Lien Credit Facility Claims shall be deemed Allowed on the Effective Date in the aggregate amount of $983,700,000.

(b)Treatment:  Upon the Effective Date, each holder of an Allowed First Lien Credit Facility Claim shall receive, in full and final satisfaction of such Claim its Pro Rata share of (i) the Exit Credit Facility Distribution and (ii) $100,000,000 in Cash, payable, first, from Cash deposited in the segregated account maintained by the Debtors pursuant to paragraph 11(a)(ii) of the Final Cash Collateral Order and, second, from other Cash on hand.

(c)Impairment and Voting:  First Lien Credit Facility Claims are Impaired.  Holders of First Lien Credit Facility Claims are entitled to vote on the Plan.

 

iv.

Class 4: Consenting Crossholder Claims.

(a)Allowance: The Consenting Crossholder Claims shall be deemed Allowed in the aggregate amount of $133,000,000.  

(b)Treatment:  Pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9019, in full and complete satisfaction of Consenting Crossholder Claims, each Consenting Crossholder shall agree to receive, and receive, as less favorable treatment than the First Lien Credit Facility Claims in respect of its Consenting Crossholder Claims, its Pro Rata share (based on the ratio of such holder’s Consenting Crossholder Claims to the aggregate amount of Consenting Crossholder Claims held by all Consenting Crossholders) of the Consenting Crossholder Claims Recovery Pool; provided that each Consenting Crossholder entitled to receive New Senior Secured Notes on account of its Crossholder Claim shall be entitled to make the Convertible Notes Election.  

(c)Impairment and Voting: Consenting Crossholder Claims are Impaired.  Holders of Consenting Crossholder Claims are entitled to vote on the Plan.

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v.

Class 5: Ongoing Trade Claims.

(a)Treatment:19  Except to the extent that a holder of an Allowed Ongoing Trade Claim agrees to different treatment, on and after the Effective Date, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, each holder of an Allowed Ongoing Trade Claim shall receive:   

 

(i)

if a holder of an Ongoing Trade Claim executes a Trade Agreement with the Debtors (the form and terms of such Trade Agreement to be determined by the Debtors in consultation with the (A) Required Consenting Noteholders and the Creditors’ Committee and, (B) solely with respect to the Exit Credit Facility Subsidiaries, the Required Consenting Bank Lenders), four (4) equal Cash installments, payable on a quarterly basis, which payments shall result in full payment in the Allowed amount of such Ongoing Trade Claim; or

 

(ii)

if a holder of an Ongoing Trade Claim does not execute a Trade Agreement, such holder’s Pro Rata share of the Unsecured Claims Recovery Pool in accordance with section 4.7 of the Plan.

(b)Impairment and Voting:  Allowed Ongoing Trade Claims are Impaired.  Holders of Ongoing Trade Claims are entitled to vote on the Plan.

 

vi.

Class 6: Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claims.

(a)Treatment:  Pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9019, on and after the Effective Date, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, each Allowed Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claim shall, in accordance with the applicable settlement agreement between the Debtors and such holder of a Property-Level Guarantee Claim (with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld), either (i) be Reinstated, (ii) remain Unimpaired, or (iii) receive such treatment as agreed upon between the Debtors and the holder of such Property-Level Guarantee Claim (with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld).

(b)Impairment and Voting:  Allowed Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claims are Unimpaired.  In accordance with section 1126(f) of the Bankruptcy Code, the holders of Allowed Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claims are conclusively presumed to accept the Plan and are not entitled to vote to accept or reject the Plan, and the votes of such holders shall not be solicited with respect to such Allowed Property-Level Guarantee Settlement Claims.

 

19

      Subject to diligence regarding Ongoing Trade Claims pool.

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vii.

Class 7:  Unsecured Claims.

(a)Treatment:20  Except to the extent that a holder of an Allowed Unsecured Claim agrees to different treatment, on and after the Effective Date, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, each holder of an Allowed Unsecured Claim shall receive, in full and final satisfaction of such Claim, such holder’s Pro Rata share of the Unsecured Claims Recovery Pool; provided that each Consenting Noteholder (and, for the avoidance of doubt, only a Consenting Noteholder) entitled to receive New Senior Secured Notes on account of its Notes Claim shall be able to make the Convertible Notes Election; provided, however, that, if the Debtors determine that, pursuant to section 1129(a)(7)(ii), such holder would be entitled to a greater recovery than the foregoing if the Debtor against whom such holder’s Allowed Unsecured Claim is asserted were to liquidate under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, then such holder shall receive Cash in an amount necessary to satisfy section 1129(a)(7)(ii).

(b)Impairment and Voting:  Unsecured Claims are Impaired.  Holders of General Unsecured Claims are entitled to vote on the Plan.

 

viii.

Class 8: Intercompany Claims.

(a)Treatment:  On or after the Effective Date, all Intercompany Claims shall be paid, adjusted, continued, settled, reinstated, discharged, or eliminated, in each case to the extent determined to be appropriate by the Debtors (with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld) or Reorganized Debtors, as applicable; provided that any Intercompany Claims that shall remain as liabilities of the Exit Credit Facility Borrower or any Exit Credit Facility Subsidiary shall be subject to approval by Required Consenting Bank Lenders (and absent consent from the Required Consenting Bank Lenders, such remaining liabilities shall be reduced to zero).

(b)Impairment and Voting:  All Allowed Intercompany Claims are deemed Unimpaired.  In accordance with section 1126(f) of the Bankruptcy Code, the holders of Allowed Intercompany Claims are conclusively presumed to accept the Plan and are not entitled to vote to accept or reject the Plan, and the votes of such holders shall not be solicited with respect to such Allowed Intercompany Claims.

 

ix.

Class 9: Existing LP Preferred Units.

(a)Treatment:  On the Effective Date, the Existing LP Preferred Units shall be cancelled (or otherwise eliminated) and shall receive no distribution under the Plan.  

 

20

     Subject to diligence regarding General Unsecured Claims pool.

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(b)Impairment and Voting:  The Existing LP Preferred Units are Impaired by the Plan, and the holders thereof are conclusively deemed to have rejected the Plan pursuant to section 1126(g) of the Bankruptcy Code.  Holders of Existing LP Preferred Units are not entitled to vote to accept or reject the Plan and the votes of such holders shall not be solicited with respect to such Allowed Existing LP Preferred Units.

 

x.

Class 10: Existing LP Common Units.

(a)Treatment:  On the Effective Date, the Existing LP Common Units shall be cancelled (or otherwise eliminated).

(i)If Class 10 is an Accepting Class, on the Effective Date, each holder of an Existing LP Common Unit shall, at such holder’s election, either (A) receive a percentage of New LP Units, issued in accordance with the Restructuring Transactions, equal to the product of (1) 5.5% and (2) the percentage equal to the number of Existing LP Common Units that such holder elects to exchange for New LP Units divided by the number of Existing LP Common Units issued and outstanding immediately prior to the Plan Distributions or (B)(1) be deemed to have converted or redeemed, as applicable, such holder’s Existing LP Common Unit(s), effective the day prior to the Distribution Record Date, in exchange for Existing REIT Common Stock on terms consistent with the applicable prepetition agreements for the Existing LP Common Units and (2) receive a Pro Rata21 share of the Existing Common Equity Recovery Pool, subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable.

(ii)If Class 10 is not an Accepting Class, each holder of an Allowed Existing LP Common Unit shall not receive or retain any distribution on account of such Interest.  For the avoidance of doubt, if Class 10 is not an Accepting Class, the New LP Units and New Common Stock, as applicable, set forth in section 4.10(a)(i) of the Plan shall not be issued.

(b)Impairment and Voting:  Existing LP Common Units are Impaired by the Plan.  Holders of Existing LP Common Units are entitled to vote on the Plan.

 

xi.

Class 11: Existing REIT Preferred Stock.

(a)Treatment:  On the Effective Date, the Existing REIT Preferred Stock shall be cancelled (or otherwise eliminated).

 

21

For purposes of section 4.10(a)(i)(B)(2) of the Plan, the Pro Rata amounts shall be calculated as the Pro Rata share of all Allowed Existing LP Common Units electing to receive such treatment and Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock.

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(i)If Class 11 is an Accepting Class, on the Effective Date, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, each holder of Allowed Existing REIT Preferred Stock shall receive, in full and final satisfaction of such Interest, such holder’s Pro Rata share of a percentage of the New Common Stock, issued in accordance with the Restructuring Transactions, equal to 5.5% divided by the REIT LP Ownership Percentage, subject to dilution by the Management Incentive Plan and subsequent issuances of common equity (including securities or instruments convertible into common equity) by the REIT from time to time after the Effective Date, as set forth herein, and subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable.

(ii)If Class 11 is not an Accepting Class, each holder of Allowed Existing REIT Preferred Stock shall not receive or retain any distribution on account of such Interest.  For the avoidance of doubt, if Class 11 is not an Accepting Class, the New Common Stock set forth in section 4.11(a)(i) of the Plan shall not be issued.

(b)Impairment and Voting:  Existing REIT Preferred Stock are Impaired.  Holders of Existing REIT Preferred Stock are entitled to vote on the Plan.

 

xii.

Class 12: Existing REIT Common Stock.

(a)Treatment:  On the Effective Date, the Existing REIT Common Stock shall be cancelled (or otherwise eliminated).

(i)If Class 12 is an Accepting Class, on the Effective Date, or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, each holder of Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock shall receive, in full and final satisfaction of such Interest, such holder’s Pro Rata22 share of the Existing Common Equity Recovery Pool, subject to reduction in accordance with section 4.14(a) of the Plan, if applicable.    

(ii)If Class 12 is not an Accepting Class, each holder of Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock shall not receive or retain any distribution on account of such Interest.  For the avoidance of doubt, if Class 12 is not an Accepting Class, the New Common Stock set forth in section 4.12(a)(i) of the Plan shall not be issued.    

 

22

For purposes of section 4.12(a)(i) of the Plan, the Pro Rata amounts shall be calculated as the Pro Rata share of all Allowed Existing LP Common Units electing to receive such treatment and Allowed Existing REIT Common Stock.

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(b)Impairment and Voting:  Existing REIT Common Stock are Impaired.  Holders of Existing REIT Common Stock are entitled to vote on the Plan.

 

xiii.

Class 13:  Intercompany Interests.

(a)Treatment:  On the Effective Date, all Intercompany Interests shall be treated as set forth in section 5.12 of the Plan.

(b)Impairment and Voting:  Allowed Intercompany Interests are Unimpaired.  In accordance with section 1126(f) of the Bankruptcy Code, the holders of Allowed Intercompany Interests are conclusively presumed to accept the Plan and are not entitled to vote to accept or reject the Plan, and the votes of such holders shall not be solicited with respect to such Allowed Intercompany Interests.

 

xiv.

Class 14:  Section 510(b) Claims.

(a)Treatment:  Section 510(b) Claims shall be cancelled, released, discharged, and extinguished as of the Effective Date and shall be of no further force or effect, and, to the extent such holder of a Section 510(b) Claim is not receiving a recovery on account of the security giving rise to such Claim under the Plan, each holder of an Allowed Section 510(b) Claim shall receive on account of such holder’s Allowed Section 510(b) Claim its Pro Rata share of New Common Stock, if any, issued in accordance with the Restructuring Transactions to holders of Existing LP Common Units, Existing REIT Preferred Stock, and Existing REIT Common Stock pursuant to sections 4.10(a)(i), 4.11(a)(i), and 4.12(a)(i) of the Plan.  For the avoidance of doubt, to the extent that a holder of a Section 510(b) Claim receives a recovery under the Plan on account of the security underlying such Claim, such holder shall not receive a recovery on account of such holder’s Section 510(b) Claim, if any, arising from such security.

(b)Impairment and Voting:  Section 510(b) Claims are Impaired by the Plan.  Holders of Section 510(b) Claims are entitled to vote on the Plan.

 

E.

Means for Implementation

 

i.

Compromise and Settlement of Claims, Interests, and Controversies

Pursuant to section 363 and 1123(b)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code and Bankruptcy Rule 9019 and in consideration for the distributions and other benefits provided pursuant to the Plan, the provisions of the Plan shall constitute a good faith compromise of all Claims, Interests, and controversies relating to the contractual, legal, and subordination rights that a creditor or an Interest holder may have with respect to any Allowed Claim or Interest or any distribution to be made on account of such Allowed Claim or Interest.  The entry of the Confirmation Order shall constitute the Bankruptcy Court’s approval of the compromise or settlement of all such Claims, Interests, and controversies, as well as a finding by the Bankruptcy Court that such compromise or settlement is in the best interests of the Debtors, their Estates, and holders of such Claims and Interests, and is fair, equitable, and reasonable.

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ii.

Continued Corporate Existence; Effectuating Documents; Restructuring Transactions

(a)Except as otherwise provided in the Plan or the Plan Documents, the Debtors shall continue to exist after the Effective Date as Reorganized Debtors as a separate corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other form of entity, as the case may be, with all the powers of a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other form of entity, as the case may be, in accordance with the applicable laws of the respective jurisdictions in which they are incorporated or organized and pursuant to the respective certificate of incorporation and bylaws (or other analogous formation documents) in effect before the Effective Date or the New Corporate Governance Documents and the Exit Credit Facility Borrower Corporate Governance Documents, as applicable, except to the extent such certificate of incorporation or bylaws (or other analogous formation, constituent or governance documents) is amended by the Plan or otherwise, and to the extent any such document is amended, such document is deemed to be amended pursuant to the Plan and requires no further action or approval (other than any requisite filings required under applicable state or federal law).  

(b)On and after the Effective Date, all actions contemplated by the Plan shall be deemed authorized and approved by the Bankruptcy Court in all respects without any further corporate or equityholder action (or any other party, including, without limitation, securityholders, members, limited or general partners, managers, directors, or officers of the Debtors or Reorganized Debtors, as applicable), including (i) the adoption, execution, and/or filing of the New Corporate Governance Documents and the Exit Credit Facility Borrower Corporate Governance Documents; (ii) the selection of the directors, managers, and officers for the Reorganized Debtors, including the appointment of the New Board; (iii) the authorization, issuance, and distribution of the Exit Credit Facility, the New Senior Secured Notes, the New Convertible Notes, the New Common Stock, and the  New LP Units, and the execution, delivery, and filing of any documents pertaining thereto, as applicable; (iv) the rejection, assumption, or assumption and assignment, as applicable, of executory contracts; (v) the implementation of the Restructuring Transactions; (vi) the adoption of the Management Incentive Plan by the New Board; and (vii) all other actions contemplated by the Plan (whether to occur before, on, or after the Effective Date). Upon the Effective Date, all matters provided for in the Plan involving the corporate structure of the Reorganized Debtors, and any corporate, partnership, limited liability company, or other governance action required by the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors in connection with the Plan shall be deemed to have occurred and shall be in effect, without any requirement of further corporate or other action by any security holders, members, directors, or officers of the Debtors or Reorganized Debtors, as applicable.

(c)On or after the Effective Date, each Reorganized Debtor may, in its sole discretion, without supervision or approval by the Bankruptcy Court and free of any restrictions of the Bankruptcy Code or Bankruptcy Rules take such action as permitted by applicable law and the New Corporate Governance Documents and the Exit Credit Facility Borrower Corporate Governance Documents, as applicable, as such Reorganized Debtor may determine is reasonable and appropriate, including causing (i) a Reorganized Debtor to be merged into another Reorganized Debtor or an affiliate of a Reorganized Debtor; (ii) a Reorganized Debtor to be dissolved, wound down, converted, or liquidated; (iii) the legal name of a Reorganized Debtor to be changed; or (iv) the closure of a Reorganized Debtor’s Chapter 11 Case on the Effective Date or any time thereafter, and such action and documents are deemed to require no further action or approval (other than any requisite filings required under applicable state, provincial, federal, or foreign law).

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(d)Following the Confirmation Date, the Debtors may take all actions consistent with the Plan and the Restructuring Support Agreement as may be necessary or appropriate in the Debtors’ discretion, with the consent, not to be unreasonably withheld, conditioned, or delayed, of the parties entitled to consent thereunder, prior to the Effective Date, and thereafter in the Reorganized Debtors’ discretion, to effect any transaction described in, approved by, contemplated by, or necessary to effectuate the Restructuring Transactions (as defined in this section 5.2 of the Plan) under and in connection with the Plan and consistent with the Restructuring Support Agreement.  The Restructuring Transactions shall be subject to the consent, not to be unreasonably withheld, conditioned, or delayed, of the applicable parties entitled to consent under the Restructuring Support Agreement prior to the Effective Date, and thereafter, consummated in the Reorganized Debtors’ discretion, and shall be structured in a manner that ensures that the Reorganized Debtors receive favorable and efficient tax treatment, given the totality of the circumstances, but in all events consistent with the Restructuring Support Agreement.

(e)On or before the Effective Date or as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable, the Reorganized Debtors may take all actions as may be necessary or appropriate to effect any transaction described in, approved by, or necessary or appropriate to effectuate the Plan, pursuant to section 1123(a)(5)(D) of the Bankruptcy Code, including (i) the consummation of the transactions provided for under or contemplated by the Plan, the Restructuring Support Agreement, the Exit Credit Facility Term Sheet, the New Senior Secured Notes Term Sheet, the New Convertible Notes Term Sheet and the Restructuring Transaction Steps, (ii) the execution and delivery of appropriate agreements or other documents (including the Plan Documents) containing terms that are consistent with or reasonably necessary to implement the terms of the Plan, the Restructuring Support Agreement, the Exit Credit Facility Term Sheet, the New Senior Secured Notes Term Sheet, the New Convertible Notes Term Sheet and the Restructuring Transaction Steps and that satisfy the requirements of applicable law, (iii) the execution and delivery of appropriate instruments (including the Plan Documents) of transfer, assignment, assumption, or delegation of any property, right, liability, duty, or obligation on terms consistent with the terms of the Plan, the Restructuring Support Agreement, the Exit Credit Facility Term Sheet, the New Senior Secured Notes Term Sheet, the New Convertible Notes Term Sheet and the Restructuring Transaction Steps, (iv) the formation of the Exit Credit Facility Borrower and New Notes Issuer, (v) the execution and delivery of appropriate instruments (including the Plan Documents) to effectuate the transfer, assignment, assumption, or delegation of any property, right, liability, duty, or obligation required for the Exit Credit Facility Borrower to become the direct or indirect owner of the Exit Credit Facility Subsidiaries, (vi) the execution and delivery of appropriate instruments (including the Plan Documents) to effectuate the transfer, assignment, assumption, or delegation of any property, right, liability, duty, or obligation required for the New Notes Issuer to become the owner of the direct and indirect subsidiaries of Reorganized LP other than the Exit Credit Facility Borrower and the Exit Credit Facility Subsidiaries and (vii) all other actions that the Debtors or Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, determine are necessary or appropriate and consistent with the Plan, the Restructuring Support Agreement, the Exit Credit Facility Term Sheet, the New Senior Secured Notes Term Sheet, the New Convertible Notes Term Sheet and the Restructuring Transaction Steps (collectively, together with the transaction in section 5.2(f) of the Plan, the “Restructuring Transactions”).  The authorizations and approvals contemplated in this section 5.2 of the Plan shall be effective notwithstanding any requirements under non-bankruptcy law.

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(f)With respect to the New Common Stock to be distributed to holders of Classes 4, 7, 10, 11, 12, and 14 as part of the Restructuring Transactions, the New Common Stock shall first be issued and contributed by the REIT to Holdings II and Holdings I in proportion to their respective interests in the LP, and then contributed by Holdings II and Holdings I to the LP in exchange for interests in the LP, and then distributed (in addition to any other consideration) to such holders.

(g)With respect to the New Common Stock to be distributed to holders of the New Convertible Notes upon an exchange of such notes, the Reorganized REIT will contribute (or cause to be contributed) to the New Notes Issuer (with appropriate adjustments to the ownership of the Reorganized LP to reflect such contribution), as needed from time to time, any New Common Stock required for a subsequent exchange of the New Convertible Notes.

(h)On the Effective Date, the New Corporate Governance Documents and the Exit Credit Facility Borrower Corporate Governance Documents shall be adopted automatically by the applicable Reorganized Debtors (or any applicable subsidiary created pursuant to the Plan Documents), and shall be amended or amended and restated, as applicable, as may be required to be consistent with the provisions of the Plan and the Restructuring Support Agreement, and shall be deemed to be valid, binding, and enforceable obligations.  To the extent required by section 1123(a)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code, the New Corporate Governance Documents and the Exit Credit Facility Borrower Corporate Governance Documents shall include a provision prohibiting the issuance of non-voting equity securities.  To assist in maintaining the status of the REIT as a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the New Corporate Governance Documents for the REIT will generally prohibit (similar to other real estate investment trusts) the ownership of more than a specified percentage of the outstanding shares of the REIT’s capital stock by any single stockholder (taking into account the Internal Revenue Code’s attribution rules) determined by vote, value and number of shares, as applicable, other than the ownership of any capital stock acquired pursuant to, or as contemplated by, the Plan and the Restructuring Support Agreement or otherwise approved by the Reorganized Debtors in accordance with the New Corporate Governance Documents (provided such ownership would not jeopardize the REIT’s qualification as a real estate investment trust unless approved in accordance with the New Corporate Governance Documents).  The percentage in the REIT’s current articles of incorporation is generally 6%.  After the Effective Date, the Reorganized Debtors may amend and restate their respective New Corporate Governance Documents and the Exit Credit Facility Borrower Corporate Governance Documents, as applicable, and other constituent documents in accordance with the terms thereof, as permitted by the laws of their respective states, provinces, or countries of organization and their respective New Corporate Governance Documents and Exit Credit Facility Borrower Corporate Governance Documents, as applicable.

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iii.

Plan Funding

Plan Distributions of Cash shall be funded from (i) proceeds of the issuance of the New Money Convertible Notes and (ii) the Debtors’ Cash on hand as of the applicable date of such Plan Distribution.

 

iv.

Cancellation of Existing Securities, Agreements, and Security Interests.

(a)On the Effective Date, except to the extent otherwise provided in the Plan:  (i) the obligations of the Debtors (A) under each organizational document (including certificates of designation, bylaws, or certificates or articles of incorporation), certificate, share, note, bond, indenture, purchase right, option, warrant, call, put, award, commitment, registration rights, preemptive right, right of first refusal, right of first offer, co-sale right, investor rights, or other instrument or document, directly or indirectly, evidencing or creating any indebtedness or obligation of or ownership interest in the Debtors or giving rise to any Claim or Interest shall be automatically extinguished, cancelled and of no further force or effect and the Debtors and the Reorganized Debtors shall not have any continuing obligations thereunder, and (B) under each agreement evidencing or creating any right to receive or to be eligible to receive any Interest (including any right of an employee under any agreement to participate in any incentive or compensation plan that provides for the issuance or grant of any Interests or to receive or to be eligible to receive any Interests) shall be automatically extinguished, cancelled and of no further force and effect and the Debtors and the Reorganized Debtors shall not have any continuing obligations thereunder; and (ii) the obligations of the Debtors pursuant, relating, or pertaining to any instrument, certificate, agreement or document described in clause (i) above evidencing or creating any indebtedness or obligation of the Debtors shall be released and discharged; provided that notwithstanding confirmation of the Plan or the occurrence of the Effective Date, any such indenture, agreement, note, or other instrument or document that governs the rights of the holder of a Claim or Interest shall continue in effect solely for purposes of (A) enabling the holder of such Claim or Interest to seek allowance, and receive distributions on account of such Claim or Interest under the Plan as provided herein; (B) allowing holders of Claims to retain their respective rights and obligations vis-à-vis other holders of Claims pursuant to any applicable loan documents; (C) allowing the First Lien Credit Facility Administrative Agent and the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee to enforce their rights, claims, and interests vis-à-vis any party other than the Debtors; (D) allowing the First Lien Credit Facility Administrative Agent and the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee to make the distributions in accordance with the Plan (if any), as applicable; (E) preserving any rights of the First Lien Credit Facility Administrative Agent and the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee to payment of fees, expenses, and indemnification obligations as against any money or property distributable to the holders of Senior Unsecured Notes Claims or First Lien Credit Facility Claims and Consenting Crossholder Claims, respectively; (F) allowing the First Lien Credit Facility Administrative Agent and the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee to enforce any obligations owed to them under the Plan and perform any rights or duties, if any, related thereto; (G) allowing the First Lien Credit Facility Administrative Agent and the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee to appear in the Chapter 11 Cases or in any proceeding in the Bankruptcy Court or any other court; and (H) permitting the First Lien Credit Facility Administrative Agent and the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee to perform any functions that are necessary to effectuate the foregoing; provided, further, that the preceding proviso shall not affect the discharge of Claims or Interests pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code, the Confirmation Order, or the Plan or result in any expense or liability to the Reorganized Debtors, except to the extent set forth in or provided for under the Plan; provided, further, that notwithstanding confirmation of the Plan or the occurrence of the Effective Date, except to the extent otherwise provided in the Plan, any agreement described in clause (i)(B) above

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shall, if assumed and assigned to the Reorganized Debtors, otherwise remain in full force and effect and the Reorganized Debtors shall be bound to all other provisions thereunder; provided, further, that nothing in this section shall effect a cancellation of any Intercompany Interests or Intercompany Claims.  For the avoidance of doubt, the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee shall be entitled to assert its Senior Unsecured Notes Charging Lien arising under and in accordance with the Senior Unsecured Notes Indenture, and any ancillary document, instrument, or agreement to obtain payment of the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee Fees and Expenses.

(b)Except for the foregoing, on and after the Effective Date, all duties and responsibilities of the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee shall be fully discharged (i) unless otherwise specifically set forth in or provided for under the Plan, the Plan Supplement, or the Confirmation Order, and (ii) except with respect to such other rights of the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee that survive termination pursuant to the Senior Unsecured Notes Indenture.

(c)Upon the full payment or other satisfaction of an Allowed Other Secured Claim, or promptly thereafter, the holder of such Allowed Other Secured Claim shall deliver to the Debtors or Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, any Collateral or other property of a Debtor held by such holder, together with any termination statements, instruments of satisfaction, or releases of all security interests with respect to its Allowed Other Secured Claim that may be reasonably required to terminate any related financing statements, mortgages, mechanics’ or other statutory Liens, or lis pendens, or similar interests or documents.

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v.

Officers and Boards of Directors

(a)On the Effective Date, the New Board shall consist of seven (7) members, which shall include the following:  (i) the Chief Executive Officer, (ii) five (5) members selected by the Required Consenting Noteholders, and (iii) one (1) member selected by the Debtors and reasonably acceptable to the Required Consenting Noteholders (it being understood that Charles Lebovitz is acceptable to the Required Consenting Noteholders); provided that there shall not be an Executive Chairman or similar role designated or otherwise provided for in connection with the Debtors’ emergence from chapter 11.  The composition of the boards of directors or board of managers of each Reorganized Debtor, as applicable, shall be disclosed prior to the Confirmation Hearing in accordance with section 1129(a)(5) of the Bankruptcy Code.

(b)Except as otherwise provided in the Plan Supplement, the officers of the respective Reorganized Debtors immediately before the Effective Date, as applicable, shall serve as the initial officers of each of the respective Reorganized Debtors on and after the Effective Date.  After the Effective Date, the selection of officers of the Reorganized Debtors shall be as provided by their respective organizational documents.

(c)Except to the extent that a member of the board of directors or a manager, as applicable, of a Debtor continues to serve as a director or manager of such Debtor on and after the Effective Date, the members of the board of directors or managers of each Debtor prior to the Effective Date, in their capacities as such, shall have no continuing obligations or duties to the Reorganized Debtors on or after the Effective Date and each such director or manager shall be deemed to have resigned or shall otherwise cease to be a director or manager of the applicable Debtor on the Effective Date.  Commencing on the Effective Date, each of the directors and managers of each of the Reorganized Debtors shall be appointed in accordance with the Plan and the New Corporate Governance Documents and the Exit Credit Facility Borrower Corporate Governance Documents, as applicable, and serve pursuant to the terms of the applicable organizational documents of such Reorganized Debtor and may be replaced or removed in accordance with such organizational documents.

 

vi.

Management Incentive Plan

On or after the Effective Date, the Reorganized Debtors shall adopt the Management Incentive Plan.  The form, allocation, and any limitations on the Management Incentive Plan shall be determined by the New Board (or a committee thereof).

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vii.

Exit Credit Facility

On the Effective Date, the Exit Credit Facility Agreement shall be executed and delivered by the Exit Credit Facility Obligors substantially in the form contained in the Exit Credit Facility Term Sheet, and the Exit Credit Facility Obligors shall be authorized to execute, deliver, and enter into such documents without further (i) notice to or order or other approval of the Bankruptcy Court, (ii) act or action under applicable law, regulation, order, or rule, (iii) vote, consent, authorization, or approval of any Person, or (iv) action by the holders of Claims or Interests.  The Exit Credit Facility Documents shall constitute legal, valid, binding, and authorized joint and several obligations of the applicable Exit Credit Facility Obligors, enforceable in accordance with their terms, and such obligations shall not be enjoined or subject to discharge, impairment, release, avoidance, recharacterization, or subordination (including equitable subordination) under applicable law, the Plan, or the Confirmation Order and shall not constitute preferential transfers, fraudulent conveyances, or other voidable transfers under the Bankruptcy Code or any applicable non-bankruptcy law.

Confirmation of the Plan shall be deemed (i) approval of the Exit Credit Facility, and all transactions contemplated thereby, and all actions to be taken, undertakings to be made, and obligations to be incurred by the Exit Credit Facility Obligors in connection therewith, including the payment of all fees, indemnities, and expenses as and when due provided for by the Exit Credit Facility Documents and (ii) authorization to enter into and perform under the Exit Credit Facility Documents.

On the Effective Date, all Liens and security interests granted pursuant to, or in connection with the Exit Credit Facility, (i) shall be deemed to be approved and shall, without the necessity of the execution, recordation, or filing of mortgages, security agreements, control agreements, pledge agreements, financing statements, or other similar documents, be valid, binding, fully perfected, fully enforceable Liens on, and security interests in, the property described in the Exit Credit Facility Documents, with the priorities established in respect thereof under applicable non-bankruptcy law, and (ii) shall not be enjoined or subject to discharge, impairment, release, avoidance, recharacterization, or subordination (including equitable subordination) for any purposes whatsoever and shall not constitute preferential transfers, fraudulent conveyances, or other voidable transfers under the Bankruptcy Code or any applicable non-bankruptcy law, the Plan, or the Confirmation Order.  

The Debtors and Reorganized Debtors and the Persons granted Liens and security interests under the Exit Credit Facility are authorized to make all filings and recordings and to obtain all governmental approvals and consents necessary to establish and perfect such Liens and security interests under the provisions of the applicable state, provincial, federal, or other law (whether domestic or foreign) that would be applicable in the absence of the Plan and the Confirmation Order (it being understood that perfection shall occur automatically by virtue of the entry of the Confirmation Order without the need for any filings or recordings) and will thereafter cooperate to make all other filings and recordings that otherwise would be necessary under applicable law to give notice of such Liens and security interests to third parties.

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viii.

Authorization and Issuance of New Senior Secured Notes and the New Convertible Notes

On the Effective Date, the New Notes Issuer shall issue the New Senior Secured Notes and the New Convertible Notes on the terms set forth in the Plan and the New Senior Secured Notes Documents or the New Convertible Notes Documents, as applicable.  

On the Effective Date, the New Senior Secured Notes Documents and the New Convertible Notes Documents shall be executed and delivered.  The Reorganized Debtors shall be authorized to execute, deliver, and enter into and perform under the New Senior Secured Notes Documents and the New Convertible Notes Documents (including the issuance of New Common Stock upon conversion of the New Convertible Notes) without the need for any further corporate or limited liability company action and without further action by the holders of Claims or Interests. Each of the New Senior Secured Notes Documents and the New Convertible Notes Documents shall constitute legal, valid, binding, and authorized joint and several obligations of the applicable New Senior Secured Notes Credit Parties and New Convertible Notes Credit Parties, enforceable in accordance with their terms, and, except as provided for thereunder, such obligations shall not be enjoined or subject to discharge, impairment, release, avoidance, recharacterization, or subordination (including equitable subordination) under applicable law, the Plan, or the Confirmation Order and shall not constitute preferential transfers, fraudulent conveyances, or other voidable transfers under the Bankruptcy Code or any applicable non-bankruptcy law.

Confirmation of the Plan shall be deemed (i) approval of each of the New Senior Secured Notes Documents and the New Convertible Notes Documents, and all transactions contemplated thereby, and all actions to be taken, undertakings to be made, and obligations to be incurred by the New Senior Secured Notes Credit Parties and New Convertible Notes Credit Parties in connection therewith, including the payment of all fees, indemnities, and expenses as and when due provided for by the New Senior Secured Notes Documents and the New Convertible Notes Documents and (ii) authorization to enter into and perform under the New Senior Secured Notes Documents and the New Convertible Notes Documents.

On the Effective Date, all Liens and security interests granted pursuant to, or in connection with the New Senior Secured Notes Documents and the New Convertible Notes Documents (i) shall be deemed to be approved and shall, without the necessity of the execution, recordation, or filing of mortgages, security agreements, control agreements, pledge agreements, financing statements, or other similar documents, be valid, binding, fully perfected, fully enforceable Liens on, and security interests in, the property described in the New Senior Secured Notes Documents and the New Convertible Notes Documents, with the priorities established in respect thereof under applicable non-bankruptcy law, and (ii) shall not be enjoined or subject to discharge, impairment, release, avoidance, recharacterization, or subordination (including equitable subordination) for any purposes whatsoever and shall not constitute preferential transfers, fraudulent conveyances, or other voidable transfers under the Bankruptcy Code or any applicable non-bankruptcy law, the Plan, or the Confirmation Order.

The Reorganized Debtors and the Persons granted Liens and security interests under the New Senior Secured Notes Documents and the New Convertible Notes Documents are authorized to make all filings and recordings and to obtain all governmental approvals and consents necessary to establish and perfect such Liens and security interests under the provisions of the applicable state, provincial, federal, or other law (whether domestic or foreign) that would be applicable in the absence of the Plan and the Confirmation Order (it being understood that perfection shall occur automatically by virtue of the entry of the Confirmation Order without the need for any filings or recordings) and will thereafter cooperate to make all other filings and recordings that otherwise would be necessary under applicable law to give notice of such Liens and security interests to third parties.

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ix.

Convertible Notes Election

Each (i) Consenting Crossholder entitled to receive New Senior Secured Notes on account of its Consenting Crossholder Claim and (ii) each Consenting Noteholder entitled to receive New Senior Secured Notes on account of its  Senior Unsecured Notes Claim, may, at its option, elect, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, to substitute its allocated share of the New Senior Secured Notes for New Convertible Notes; provided that the amount of New Convertible Notes that may be issued in lieu of the New Senior Secured Notes pursuant to the Convertible Notes Election (inclusive of the Convertible Notes Election available for Consenting Crossholders on account of Consenting Crossholder Claims and Consenting Noteholders on account of Senior Unsecured Notes Claims) shall be subject to a maximum principal amount of $100,000,000 in the aggregate; provided, further, that the Consenting Crossholders shall be entitled to the first $10,000,000 of New Convertible Notes on account of their Consenting Crossholder Claims on a Pro Rata basis; provided, further, that, with respect to the remaining amount of New Convertible Notes available subject to the Convertible Notes Election, the Consenting Crossholders shall receive New Convertible Notes on a Pro Rata basis with the Consenting Noteholders that exercise the Convertible Notes Election (with such Pro Rata allocation being determined by the electing holder’s allocation of New Senior Secured Notes (on account of both Consenting Crossholder Claims and Senior Unsecured Notes Claims) as the numerator and the total amount of New Senior Secured Notes available to be received by electing holders (on account of both Consenting Crossholder Claims and Senior Unsecured Notes Claims) as the denominator).

 

x.

Authorization and Issuance of New LP Units

On and after the Effective Date, if applicable, the Reorganized LP is authorized to issue, or cause to be issued, and shall issue the New LP Units in accordance with the terms of the Plan without the need for any further corporate, limited liability company, or shareholder action.  All of the New LP Units distributable under the Plan shall be duly authorized, validly issued, and fully paid and non-assessable.  All of the New LP Units distributable under the Plan will be entitled to economically equivalent distribution and liquidation rights and will be the only units outstanding with respect to the Reorganized LP upon emergence.

 

xi.

New Common Stock; Listing

On and after the Effective Date, the Reorganized REIT is authorized to issue, or cause to be issued, and shall issue the New Common Stock in accordance with the terms of the Plan without the need for any further corporate, limited liability company, or shareholder action (or action of any other party, including, without limitation, securityholders, members, limited or general partners, managers, directors, or officers of the Debtors or Reorganized Debtors, as applicable).  All of the New Common Stock distributable under the Plan, including New Common Stock that may be issued upon conversion of the New Convertible Notes in accordance with the terms of the New Convertible Notes Indenture, shall be duly authorized, validly issued, and fully paid and non-assessable.    

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On the Effective Date, the Registration Rights Agreement shall be executed and delivered.  The Reorganized Debtors shall be authorized to execute, deliver, and enter into and perform under the Registration Rights Agreement without the need for any further corporate or limited liability company action and without further action by the holders of Claims or Interests (or action of any other party, including, without limitation, securityholders, members, limited or general partners, managers, directors, or officers of the Debtors or Reorganized Debtors, as applicable).

Upon the Effective Date, the Reorganized Debtors anticipate that they will continue to be a reporting company under the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78(a)–78(pp), subject to receiving the approval from the Required Consenting Noteholders.  If approved by the Required Consenting Noteholders, the Reorganized Debtors shall use commercially reasonable efforts to have the New Common Stock listed on the NYSE, NASDAQ, or another nationally recognized exchange, as soon as reasonably practicable, subject to meeting applicable listing requirements following the Effective Date; provided, that, regardless of the foregoing obligations, the Reorganized Debtors will use commercially reasonable efforts to qualify the New Common Stock for trading in the OTC Markets (formerly known as the Pink Sheets) or otherwise qualify the New Common Stock as “regularly traded” as defined in Treas. Reg. Section 1.897-9T(d) before the end of the calendar year that includes the Effective Date.

 

xii.

Intercompany Interests

On the Effective Date and without the need for any further corporate action or approval of any board of directors, board of managers, managers, management, or shareholders of any Debtor or Reorganized Debtor, as applicable, the certificates and all other documents representing the Intercompany Interests shall be deemed to be in full force and effect unless otherwise required in accordance with the Restructuring Transactions.

 

xiii.

No Substantive Consolidation

Notwithstanding the combination of separate plans of reorganization for the Debtors set forth in the Plan for purposes of economy and efficiency, the Plan constitutes a separate chapter 11 plan for each Debtor, and the Plan is not premised upon the substantive consolidation of the Debtors with respect to the Classes of Claims or Interests set forth in the Plan.  Accordingly, if the Bankruptcy Court does not confirm the Plan with respect to one or more Debtors, it may still confirm the Plan with respect to any other Debtor that satisfies the confirmation requirements of section 1129 of the Bankruptcy Code.

 

xiv.

Closing of Chapter 11 Cases

After an Estate has been fully administered, the Debtors or Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, shall seek authority from the Bankruptcy Court to close the applicable Chapter 11 Case(s) in accordance with the Bankruptcy Code and Bankruptcy Rules.

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xv.

Notice of Effective Date

As soon as practicable, but not later than three (3) Business Days following the Effective Date, the Reorganized Debtors shall file a notice of the occurrence of the Effective Date with the Bankruptcy Court.

 

F.

Distributions

 

i.

Distributions Generally

The Disbursing Agent shall make all Plan Distributions to the appropriate holders of Allowed Claims and Allowed Interests in accordance with the terms of the Plan.

 

ii.

No Postpetition Interest on Claims

Except as otherwise specifically provided for in the Plan, the Confirmation Order, or another order of the Bankruptcy Court, postpetition interest shall not accrue or be paid on any Claims, and no holder of a Claim shall be entitled to interest accruing on such Claim on or after the Petition Date.

 

iii.

Date of Distributions

Unless otherwise provided in the Plan, any distributions and deliveries to be made under the Plan shall be made on the Effective Date or as soon as practicable thereafter; provided, that the Reorganized Debtors may implement periodic distribution dates to the extent they determine them to be appropriate.

 

iv.

Distribution Procedures

(a)As of the close of business on the Distribution Record Date, the various lists of holders of Claims in each Class, as maintained by the Debtors or their agents, shall be deemed closed, and there shall be no further changes in the record holders of any Claims after the Distribution Record Date.  Neither the Debtors nor the Disbursing Agent shall have any obligation to recognize any transfer of a Claim occurring after the close of business on the Distribution Record Date.  In addition, with respect to payment of any Cure Amounts or disputes over any Cure Amounts, neither the Debtors nor the Disbursing Agent shall have any obligation to recognize or deal with any party other than the non-Debtor party to the applicable executory contract or unexpired lease, even if such non-Debtor party has sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred its Claim for a Cure Amount.

(b)Notwithstanding anything in the Plan to the contrary, Plan Distributions will be distributed through the facilities of DTC to the extent practicable, whether in exchange for old securities held through DTC or otherwise, or, if such treatment is not eligible for distribution through DTC, will be distributed on the books and records of the respective agent for such instrument, and Reorganized LP, Reorganized REIT, and New Notes Issuer, as applicable, shall take all such reasonable actions as may be required to cause the distribution of the New Senior Secured Notes, New Convertible Notes, New Common Stock, and New LP Units under the Plan.  All New Senior Secured Notes, New Convertible Notes, New Common Stock, and New LP Units to be distributed under the Plan shall be issued on the Effective Date regardless of when the distribution of such instrument actually occurs.  Notwithstanding anything in the Plan to the contrary, DTC and any transfer agent, trustee, notes registrar or similar agent shall be required to accept and conclusively rely upon the Plan or Confirmation Order in lieu of a legal opinion regarding the validity of any transaction contemplated by the Plan, including, whether the initial

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sale and delivery of the New Senior Secured Notes, New Convertible Notes, New Common Stock (including New Common Stock issuable upon exercise of the New Convertible Notes), and New LP Units, is exempt from registration under the Securities Act and/or eligible for DTC book-entry delivery, settlement and depositary services, and no person (including for the avoidance of doubt, DTC nor any transfer agent, trustee, notes registrar or similar agent) may require a legal opinion with respect thereto.

 

v.

Distributions after Effective Date

Distributions made after the Effective Date to holders of Disputed Claims that are not Allowed Claims as of the Effective Date but which later become Allowed Claims shall be deemed to have been made on the Effective Date.

 

vi.

Disbursing Agent

All distributions under the Plan shall be made by the Disbursing Agent on and after the Effective Date as provided in the Plan.  The Disbursing Agent shall not be required to give any bond or surety or other security for the performance of its duties.  The Reorganized Debtors shall use all commercially reasonable efforts to provide the Disbursing Agent (if other than the Reorganized Debtors) with the amounts of Claims and the identities and addresses of holders of Claims, in each case, as set forth in the Debtors’ or Reorganized Debtors’ books and records.  The Reorganized Debtors shall cooperate in good faith with the applicable Disbursing Agent (if other than the Reorganized Debtors) to comply with the reporting and withholding requirements outlined in section 6.19 of the Plan.

 

vii.

Delivery of Distributions

Subject to section 6.4(a) of the Plan, the Disbursing Agent will issue or cause to be issued, the applicable consideration under the Plan and, subject to Bankruptcy Rule 9010, will make all distributions to any holder of an Allowed Claim as and when required by the Plan at: (i) the address of such holder on the books and records of the Debtors or their agents or (ii) at the address in any written notice of address change delivered to the Debtors or the Disbursing Agent, including any addresses included on any transfers of Claim filed pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 3001.  In the event that any distribution to any holder is returned as undeliverable, no distribution or payment to such holder shall be made unless and until the Disbursing Agent has been notified of the then-current address of such holder, at which time or as soon thereafter as reasonably practicable such distribution shall be made to such holder without interest.    

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Except as otherwise provided in the Plan, all distributions to holders of First Lien Credit Facility Claims shall be governed by the First Lien Credit Agreement and shall be deemed completed when made to the First Lien Credit Facility Administrative Agent, which shall be deemed to be the holder of all First Lien Credit Facility Claims for purposes of distributions to be made hereunder.  The First Lien Credit Facility Administrative Agent shall hold or direct such distributions for the benefit of the holders of Allowed First Lien Credit Facility Claims, as applicable.  As soon as practicable in accordance with the requirements set forth in this provision, the First Lien Credit Facility Administrative Agent shall arrange to deliver such distributions to or on behalf of such holders of Allowed First Lien Credit Facility Claims.

Except as otherwise provided in the Plan, all distributions to holders of Senior Unsecured Notes Claims shall be governed by the Senior Unsecured Notes Indenture and, except as otherwise reasonably requested by the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee, shall be deemed completed when made to the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee, which shall be deemed to be the holder of all Senior Unsecured Notes Claims for purposes of distributions to be made hereunder.  The Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee shall hold or direct such distributions for the benefit of the holders of Allowed Senior Unsecured Notes Claims, as applicable.  As soon as practicable in accordance with the requirements set forth in this provision, the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee shall arrange to deliver such distributions to or on behalf of such holders of Allowed Senior Unsecured Notes Claims.  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Plan, the distribution of the New Senior Secured Notes, the New Convertible Notes, the New LP Units, and the New Common Stock shall be made through the facilities of DTC in accordance with the customary practices of DTC for a mandatory distribution, as and to the extent practicable, and the Distribution Record Date shall not apply.  In connection with such distribution, the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee shall deliver instructions to DTC instructing DTC to effect distributions on a Pro Rata basis as provided under the Plan with respect to the Senior Unsecured Notes Claims on the Effective Date.  If the Senior

Unsecured Notes Trustee is unable to make, or consents to the Reorganized Debtors making, such distributions, the Reorganized Debtors, with the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee’s cooperation, shall make such distributions to the extent practicable to do so. The Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee shall have no duties or responsibility relating to any form of distribution that is not DTC eligible and the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, shall seek the cooperation of DTC so that any distribution on account of an Allowed Senior Unsecured Notes Claim that is held in the name of, or by a nominee of, DTC, shall be made through the facilities of DTC on the Effective Date or as soon as practicable thereafter.  Notwithstanding the preceding, the Debtors may elect (with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders) to use any other book entry delivery, settlement and depositary service in lieu of DTC as it deems efficient and appropriate (an “Alternative Service”) solely to the extent the New Senior Secured Notes, New Convertible Notes, New Common Stock, or New LP Units are not eligible for deposit through DTC, provided, that delivery of the New Senior Secured Notes, New Convertible Notes (and the New Common Stock issued upon conversion thereof), New Common Stock, or New LP Units through Alternative Service shall not be mandatory.

 

viii.

Unclaimed Property

One (1) year from the later of: (i) the Effective Date and (ii) the date that is ten (10) Business Days after the date of a Claim distribution on an Allowed Claim, all distributions payable on account of such Claim that are undeliverable or otherwise unclaimed shall be deemed unclaimed property under section 347(b) of the Bankruptcy Code and shall revert to the Reorganized Debtors or their successors or assigns, and all claims of any other Person (including the holder of a Claim in the same Class) to such distribution shall be discharged and forever barred.  The Reorganized Debtors and the Disbursing Agent shall have no obligation to attempt to locate any holder of an Allowed Claim other than by reviewing the Debtors’ books and records and the Bankruptcy Court’s filings.

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ix.

Satisfaction of Claims

Unless otherwise provided in the Plan, any distributions and deliveries to be made on account of Allowed Claims under the Plan shall be in complete and final satisfaction, settlement, and discharge of and exchange for such Allowed Claims.

 

x.

Manner of Payment under Plan

Except as specifically provided in the Plan, at the option of the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, any Cash payment to be made under the Plan may be made by a check or wire transfer or as otherwise required or provided in applicable agreements or customary practices of the Debtors.

 

xi.

Claims Paid or Payable by Third Parties

Claims Paid by Third Parties.  A Claim may be reduced in full, and such Claim may be Disallowed, to the extent that the Holder of such Claim receives payment in full on account of such Claim from a party that is not a Debtor, the Reorganized Debtors, or the Disbursing Agent.  To the extent a Holder of a Claim receives a distribution on account of such Claim and receives payment from a party that is not a Debtor, the Reorganized Debtors, or the Disbursing Agent on account of such Claim, such Holder shall repay, return or deliver any distribution held by or transferred to the Holder to the Debtor, the Reorganized Debtors, or the Disbursing Agent to the extent the Holder’s total recovery on account of such Claim from the third party and under the Plan exceeds the amount of such Claim as of the date of any such distribution under the Plan.  In the event such Holder fails to timely repay or return such distribution, the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors may pursue any rights and remedies against such Holder under applicable law.

Claims Payable by Insurance Carriers.  No distributions under the Plan shall be made on account of an Allowed Claim that is payable pursuant to one of the Debtors’ Insurance Policies until the Holder of such Allowed Claim has exhausted all remedies with respect to such Insurance Policy.  To the extent that one or more of the Debtors’ Insurers agrees to satisfy in full or in part a Claim (if and to the extent adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction or otherwise settled), then immediately upon such Insurers’ satisfaction, such Claim may be expunged to the extent of any agreed upon satisfaction on the Claims Register without a Claim objection having to be filed and without any further notice to or action, order, or approval of the Bankruptcy Court.

Applicability of Insurance Policies.  Except as otherwise provided in the Plan, payments to Holders of Claims shall be in accordance with the provisions of any applicable Insurance Policy and subject to the terms thereof.  Nothing contained in the Plan shall constitute or be deemed a waiver of any Cause of Action that the Debtors or any Entity may hold against any other Entity, including insurers under any Insurance Policies, nor shall anything contained herein constitute or be deemed a waiver by such Insurers of any rights or defenses, including coverage defenses, held by such Insurers.

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xii.

Fractional Shares and Notes

No fractional shares of New Common Stock or New LP Units shall be distributed.  When any distribution would otherwise result in the issuance of a number of shares of New Common Stock or New LP Units that is not a whole number, the New Common Stock, or New LP Units, as applicable, subject to such distribution shall be rounded to the next higher or lower whole number as follows: (i) fractions equal to or greater than 1/2 shall be rounded to the next higher whole number, and (ii) fractions less than 1/2 shall be rounded to the next lower whole number.  The total number of shares of New Common Stock or New LP Units to be distributed on account of Allowed Claims shall be adjusted as necessary to account for the rounding provided for herein.  No consideration shall be provided in lieu of fractional shares that are rounded down.  Neither the Reorganized Debtors nor the Disbursing Agent, as applicable, shall have an obligation to make a distribution pursuant to the Plan that is less than one (1) share of New Common Stock, less than one (1) New LP Unit, or less than $100.00 in Cash.  Fractional shares of New Common Stock or New LP Units that are not distributed in accordance with this section shall be returned to, and ownership thereof shall vest in, Reorganized REIT.

The New Senior Secured Notes and New Convertible Notes each shall be issued in denomination of $1.00 and integral multiples of $1.00 and any other amounts shall be rounded down.

 

xiii.

No Distribution in Excess of Amount of Allowed Claim

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Plan, no holder of an Allowed Claim shall receive, on account of such Allowed Claim, Plan Distributions in excess of the Allowed amount of such Claim (plus any postpetition interest on such Claim solely to the extent permitted by section 6.2 of the Plan).

 

xiv.

Allocation of Distributions Between Principal and Interest

Except as otherwise provided in the Plan and subject to section 6.2 of the Plan or as otherwise required by law (as determined by the Reorganized Debtors), distributions with respect to an Allowed Claim shall be allocated first to the principal portion of such Allowed Claim (as determined for United States federal income tax purposes) and, thereafter, to the remaining portion of such Allowed Claim, if any.

 

xv.

Exemptions from Securities Laws; Listing

The offering, issuance of, and the distribution under the Plan of the New Senior Secured Notes, New Convertible Notes (and the New Common Stock issued upon conversion thereof), New Common Stock, and New LP Units shall be exempt, without further act or actions by any Entity, from registration under the Securities Act, and all rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, and any other applicable securities laws to the fullest extent permitted by section 1145 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Pursuant to section 1145 of the Bankruptcy Code, the New Senior Secured Notes, the New Convertible Notes (and the New Common Stock issued upon conversion thereof), the New Common Stock, and the New LP Units may be resold without registration under the Securities Act or other federal securities laws by the recipients thereof, subject to (i) the provisions of section 1145(b)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code relating to the definition of an underwriter in section 2(a)(11) of the Securities Act, (ii) compliance with, or the limitations of, any rules and regulations of the SEC, if any, applicable at the time of any future transfer of such securities, (iii) the restrictions, if any, on the transferability of such securities under the terms of the New Senior Secured Notes Indenture, the New Convertible Notes Indenture, or the New Corporate Governance Documents, as applicable, and (iv) applicable regulatory approval. In addition, such section 1145 exempt securities generally may be resold without registration under state securities laws pursuant to various exemptions provided by the respective laws of the several states.

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Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Plan, no entity (including, for the avoidance of doubt, DTC, or any Alternative Service) shall be entitled to require a legal opinion regarding the validity of any transaction contemplated by the Plan, including, for the avoidance of doubt, whether the initial sale and delivery by the issuer to the holders of New Senior Secured Notes, New Convertible Notes (and the New Common Stock issued upon conversion thereof), New Common Stock, or New LP Units is exempt from registration and/or eligible for DTC (or any Alternative Service) book-entry delivery, settlement, and depository services.  The Confirmation Order shall provide that DTC (or any Alternative Service) shall be required to accept and conclusively rely upon the Plan or Confirmation Order in lieu of a legal opinion regarding whether the New Senior Secured Notes, New Convertible Notes (and the New Common Stock issued upon conversion thereof), New Common Stock, or New LP Units is exempt from registration and/or eligible for DTC (or any Alternative Service) book-entry delivery, settlement, and depository services.

 

xvi.

Setoffs and Recoupments

Each Reorganized Debtor, or such entity’s designee as instructed by such Reorganized Debtor, may, pursuant to section 553 of the Bankruptcy Code or applicable nonbankruptcy law, set off or recoup against any Allowed Claim, other than a Senior Unsecured Notes Claim, First Lien Credit Facility Claim, or Consenting Crossholder Claim, and the distributions to be made pursuant to the Plan on account of such Allowed Claim, any and all claims, rights, and Causes of Action of any nature whatsoever that a Reorganized Debtor or its successors may hold against the holder of such Allowed Claim after the Effective Date; provided, that neither the failure to effect a setoff or recoupment nor the allowance of any Claim hereunder shall constitute a waiver or release by a Reorganized Debtor or its successor of any claims, rights, or Causes of Action that a Reorganized Debtor or its successor or assign may possess against the holder of such Claim.

 

xvii.

Rights and Powers of Disbursing Agent

The Disbursing Agent shall be empowered to (i) effect all actions and execute all agreements, instruments, and other documents necessary to perform its duties hereunder, (ii) make all applicable distributions or payments provided for under the Plan, (iii) employ professionals to represent it with respect to its responsibilities, and (iv) exercise such other powers as may be vested in the Disbursing Agent by order of the Bankruptcy Court (including any Final Order issued after the Effective Date) or pursuant to the Plan, or as deemed by the Disbursing Agent to be necessary and proper to implement the provisions hereof.

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xviii.

Expenses of Disbursing Agent

Except as otherwise ordered by the Bankruptcy Court and subject to the written agreement of the Reorganized Debtors, the amount of any reasonable fees and expenses incurred by the Disbursing Agent on or after the Effective Date (including taxes) and any reasonable compensation and expense reimbursement Claims (including for reasonable attorneys’ fees and other professional fees and expenses) made by the Disbursing Agent shall be paid in Cash by the Reorganized Debtors in the ordinary course of business.

 

xix.

Withholding and Reporting Requirements

(a)Withholding Rights.  In connection with the Plan, any party issuing any instrument or making any distribution described in the Plan shall comply with all applicable withholding and reporting requirements imposed by any federal, state, or local taxing authority, and all distributions pursuant to the Plan and all related agreements shall be subject to any such withholding or reporting requirements.  In the case of a non-Cash distribution that is subject to withholding, the distributing party may withhold an appropriate portion of such distributed property and either (i) sell such withheld property to generate Cash necessary to pay over the withholding tax (or reimburse the distributing party for any advance payment of the withholding tax), or (ii) pay the withholding tax using its own funds and retain such withheld property.  Any amounts withheld pursuant to the preceding sentence shall be deemed to have been distributed to and received by the applicable recipient for all purposes of the Plan; provided, that in the case of any payments with respect to the Senior Unsecured Notes Claims, the Reorganized Debtors shall use commercially reasonable efforts to provide the payment recipient with reasonable advance notice of any withholding that it, or its agents, intend to make on any such payment, and shall use its commercially reasonable efforts to cooperate, or direct it agents to cooperate, with such payment recipient to minimize any applicable withholding.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, each holder of an Allowed Claim or any other person that receives a distribution pursuant to the Plan shall have responsibility under applicable law for any taxes imposed by any governmental unit, including, without limitation, income, withholding, and other taxes, on account of such distribution.  Any party issuing any instrument or making any distribution pursuant to the Plan has the right, but not the obligation, to not make a distribution until such holder has made arrangements reasonably satisfactory to such issuing or disbursing party for payment of any such tax obligations.

(b)Forms.  Any party entitled to receive any property as an issuance or distribution under the Plan shall, upon request, deliver to the Disbursing Agent or such other person designated by the Reorganized Debtors (which person shall subsequently deliver to the Disbursing Agent any applicable IRS Form W-8 or Form W-9 received) an appropriate Form W-9 or (if the payee is a foreign person) applicable Form W-8.  If such request is made by the Reorganized Debtors, the Disbursing Agent, or such other person designated by the Reorganized Debtors or Disbursing Agent and the holder fails to comply before the earlier of (i) the date that is one hundred and eighty (180) days after the request is made and (ii) the date that is one hundred and eighty (180) days after the date of distribution, the amount of such distribution shall irrevocably revert to the applicable Reorganized Debtor and any Claim in respect of such distribution shall be discharged and forever barred from assertion against such Reorganized Debtor or its respective property.

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G.

Procedures for Resolving Claims

 

i.

Allowance of Claims

Except as expressly provided in the Plan (including as provided in sections 4.3 and 4.4 of the Plan) or in any order entered in the Chapter 11 Cases before the Effective Date (including the Confirmation Order), no Claim shall become an Allowed Claim unless and until such Claim is deemed Allowed pursuant to the Plan or a Final Order, including the Confirmation Order (when it becomes a Final Order), Allowing such Claim.  On and after the Effective Date, each of the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, shall have and retain any and all rights and defenses with respect to any Claim immediately before the Effective Date.

 

ii.

Objections to Claims

(a)Except as otherwise expressly provided in the Plan and notwithstanding any requirements that may be imposed pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9019, after the Effective Date, the Reorganized Debtors, shall have the authority (i) to file, withdraw, or litigate to judgment objections to Claims; (ii) to settle or compromise any Disputed Claim without any further notice to or action, order, or approval by the Bankruptcy Court; and (iii) to administer and adjust the Debtors’ claims register to reflect any such settlements or compromises without any further notice to or action, order, or approval by the Bankruptcy Court.

(b)Any objections to a Claim shall be filed on or before the date that is the later of (i) one hundred eighty (180) days after the Effective Date and (ii) such later date as may be fixed by the Bankruptcy Court, after notice and a hearing, upon a motion by the Reorganized Debtors, as such deadline may be extended from time to time; provided, that the expiration of such period shall not limit or affect the Debtors’ or the Reorganized Debtors’ rights to dispute Claims asserted in the ordinary course of business other than through a Proof of Claim.

 

iii.

Estimation of Claims

Before or after the Effective Date, the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, may at any time request that the Bankruptcy Court estimate any Disputed Claim or Disputed Interest that is contingent or unliquidated pursuant to section 502(c) of the Bankruptcy Code for any reason, regardless of whether any party previously has objected to such Claim or Interest or whether the Bankruptcy Court has ruled on any such objection, and the Bankruptcy Court shall retain jurisdiction to estimate any such Claim or Interest, including during the litigation of any objection to any Claim or Interest or during the appeal relating to such objection.  In the event that the Bankruptcy Court estimates any Disputed, contingent, or unliquidated Claim or Interest, that estimated amount shall constitute a maximum limitation on such Claim or Interest for all purposes under the Plan (including for purposes of distributions), and the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, may elect to pursue any supplemental proceedings to object to any ultimate distribution on such Claim or Interest.  Notwithstanding section 502(j) of the Bankruptcy Code, in no event shall any holder of a Claim or Interest that has been estimated pursuant to section 502(c) of the Bankruptcy Code or otherwise be entitled to seek reconsideration of such estimation unless such holder has filed a motion requesting the right to seek such reconsideration on or before twenty-one (21) calendar days after the date on which such Claim or Interest is estimated.  

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iv.

Disputed Claims Reserve

On or before the Effective Date, the Debtors (with the reasonable consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders) or Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, shall establish one or more reserves with respect to amounts that would otherwise be distributable to holders of Unsecured Claims and Section 510(b) Claims that are Disputed Claims as of the Distribution Record Date (for the avoidance of doubt, deducting such amounts, if any, from the recoveries set forth in sections 4.7(a) and 4.14(a) of the Plan, respectively), which reserves shall be administered by the Debtors, the Reorganized Debtors, or the Distribution Agent, as applicable.  After the Effective Date, the Reorganized Debtors or the Distribution Agent shall hold such assets in such reserve(s) in trust for the benefit of those holders, if any, of Unsecured Claims and Section 510(b) Claims that are Disputed Claims as of the Distribution Record Date that are determined to be Allowed after the Distribution Record.  The Reorganized Debtors or the Distribution Agent shall distribute such amounts (net of any expenses, including any allocable taxes incurred or payable by the Disputed Claims reserve, including in connection with such distribution), as provided in the Plan, as such Claims are resolved by a Final Order or agreed to by settlement, and such amounts will be distributable on account of such Claims as such amounts would have been distributable had such Claims been Allowed Claims as of the Effective Date under Articles IV and VI of the Plan solely to the extent of the amounts available in the applicable reserve(s).

At such time as all Unsecured Claims and Section 510(b) Claims that are Disputed Claims as of the Distribution Record Date have been resolved, any remaining assets in the Disputed Claims reserve (net of any expenses, including any allocable taxes incurred or payable by the Disputed Claims reserve, including in connection with such distribution) shall be distributed to holders of Allowed Unsecured Claims and Allowed Section 510(b) Claims in accordance with the terms of Article IV of the Plan.

Subject to definitive guidance from the Internal Revenue Service or a court of competent jurisdiction to the contrary, or the receipt of a determination by the Internal Revenue Service, the Debtors, the Reorganized Debtors or the Distribution Agent, as applicable, shall treat the Disputed Claims reserve(s) established under section 7.4 of the Plan as one or more “disputed ownership funds” governed by Treasury Regulation section 1.468B-9 and, to the extent permitted by applicable law, report consistently with the foregoing for state and local income tax purposes.  All parties (including the Debtors, the Reorganized Debtors, the Distribution Agent, and the holders of Disputed Claims) shall be required to report for tax purposes consistently with the foregoing.  The Reorganized Debtors or the Distribution Agent, as applicable, may request an expedited determination of taxes under section 505(b) of the Bankruptcy Code for all returns filed for or on behalf of the Disputed Claims reserve(s) for all taxable periods through the date on which final distributions are made.

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Each Disputed Claims reserve shall be responsible for payment, out of the assets of such reserve, of any taxes imposed on the Disputed Claims reserve or its assets.  In the event, and to the extent, any Cash in the Disputed Claims reserve is insufficient to pay the portion of any such taxes attributable to the taxable income arising from the assets of such reserve (including any income that may arise upon the distribution of the assets in such reserve) or other expenses, assets of the Disputed Claims reserve (e.g., the New Common Stock) may be sold to pay such taxes or other expenses.

 

v.

Adjustment to Claims Register Without Objection

Any duplicate Claim or Interest or any Claim or Interest that has been paid or satisfied, or any Claim that has been amended or superseded, may be adjusted or expunged on the Claims Register by the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, upon agreement between the parties in interest without a Claims objection having to be filed and without any further notice to or action, order, or approval of the Bankruptcy Court.

 

vi.

Disallowance of Claims

Any Claims (other than any Claims that are expressly deemed Allowed Claims pursuant to the Plan) held by Entities from which property is recoverable pursuant to a Cause of Action under section 542, 543, 550, or 553 of the Bankruptcy Code or that is a transferee of a transfer avoidable pursuant to a Cause of Action under section 522(f), 522(h), 544, 545, 547, 548, 549, or 724(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, shall be deemed Disallowed pursuant to section 502(d) of the Bankruptcy Code, and holders of such Claims may not receive any distributions on account of such Claims until such time as such Causes of Action against that Entity have been settled or a Bankruptcy Court order with respect thereto has been entered and all sums due, if any, to the Debtors by that Entity have been turned over or paid to the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable.

 

vii.

Claim Resolution Procedures Cumulative

All of the objection, estimation, and resolution procedures in the Plan are intended to be cumulative and not exclusive of one another.  Claims may be estimated and subsequently settled, compromised, withdrawn, or resolved in accordance with the Plan without further notice or Bankruptcy Court approval.

 

viii.

No Distributions Pending Allowance

If an objection, motion to estimate, or other challenge to a Claim is filed, no payment or distribution provided under the Plan shall be made on account of such Claim unless and until (and only to the extent that) such Claim becomes an Allowed Claim.

 

ix.

Distributions after Allowance

To the extent that a Disputed Claim ultimately becomes an Allowed Claim, distributions (if any) shall be made to the holder of such Allowed Claim in accordance with the provisions of the Plan.  As soon as practicable after the date on which the order or judgment of the Bankruptcy Court allowing any Disputed Claim becomes a Final Order, the Disbursing Agent shall provide to the holder of such Claim the distribution (if any) to which such holder is entitled under the Plan as of the Effective Date, without any interest to be paid on account of such Claim unless required by the Bankruptcy Code.

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H.

Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases

 

i.

General Treatment

(a)As of and subject to the occurrence of the Effective Date and the payment of any applicable Cure Amount, all executory contracts and unexpired leases to which any of the Debtors are parties shall be deemed assumed, unless such contract or lease (i) was previously assumed or rejected by the Debtors, pursuant to a Final Order of the Bankruptcy Court, (ii) previously expired or terminated pursuant to its own terms or by agreement of the parties thereto, (iii) is the subject of a motion to reject filed by the Debtors on or before the Confirmation Date, or (iv) is specifically designated as a contract or lease to be rejected on the Schedule of Rejected Contracts.

(b)Subject to (i) satisfaction of the conditions set forth in section 8.1(a) of the Plan, (ii) resolution of any disputes in accordance with section 8.2 of the Plan with respect to the contracts or leases subject to such disputes, and (iii) the occurrence of the Effective Date, entry of the Confirmation Order by the Bankruptcy Court shall constitute approval of the assumptions or rejections provided for in the Plan pursuant to sections 365(a) and 1123 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Each executory contract and unexpired lease assumed pursuant to the Plan shall vest in and be fully enforceable by the applicable Reorganized Debtor in accordance with its terms, except as modified by the provisions of the Plan, any Final Order of the Bankruptcy Court authorizing and providing for its assumption, or applicable law.

(c)To the maximum extent permitted by law, to the extent any provision in any executory contract or unexpired lease assumed pursuant to the Plan restricts or prevents, or purports to restrict or prevent, or is breached or deemed breached by, the assumption of such executory contract or unexpired lease (including any “change of control” provision), then such provision shall be deemed modified such that the transactions contemplated by the Plan shall not entitle the non-Debtor party thereto to terminate such executory contract or unexpired lease or to exercise any other default-related rights with respect thereto.

(d)The Debtors reserve the right, subject to the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders and, solely with respect to the Exit Credit Facility Subsidiaries, the Required Consenting Bank Lenders, in each case, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld, on or before 5:00 p.m. (prevailing Central Time) on the date that is seven (7) days before the Confirmation Hearing, or such other time as may be agreed in writing between the Debtors and the applicable counterparty, to amend the Schedule of Rejected Contracts to add or remove any executory contract or unexpired lease; provided that if the Confirmation Hearing is adjourned or continued, such amendment right shall be extended to 5:00 p.m. (prevailing Central Time) on the date that is seven (7) days before the rescheduled or continued Confirmation Hearing, and this proviso shall apply in the case of any and all subsequent adjournments and continuances of the Confirmation Hearing; provided, further that the Debtors may amend the Schedule of Rejected Contracts to add or delete any executory contracts or unexpired leases after such date to the extent agreed with the relevant counterparties and entry of an order of the Bankruptcy Court.

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ii.

Determination of Assumption and Cure Disputes; Deemed Consent

(a)The Debtors shall file, as part of the Plan Supplement, the Schedule of Rejected Contracts.  At least ten (10) days before the deadline to object to confirmation of the Plan, the Debtors shall serve a notice on parties to executory contracts or unexpired leases to be assumed, assumed and assigned, or rejected reflecting the Debtors’ intention to potentially assume, assume and assign, or reject the contract or lease in connection with the Plan and, where applicable, setting forth the proposed Cure Amount (if any).  Any objection by a counterparty to an executory contract or unexpired lease to the proposed assumption, assumption and assignment, or related Cure Amount must be filed, served, and actually received by the Debtors within seven (7) days of the service of the assumption notice, or such shorter period as agreed to by the parties or authorized by the Bankruptcy Court.  Any counterparty to an executory contract or unexpired lease that does not timely object to the notice of the proposed assumption of such executory contract or unexpired lease shall be deemed to have assented to assumption of the applicable executory contract or unexpired lease notwithstanding any provision thereof that purports to (i) prohibit, restrict, or condition the transfer or assignment of such contract or lease; (ii) terminate or modify, or permit the termination or modification of, a contract or lease as a result of any direct or indirect transfer or assignment of the rights of any Debtor under such contract or lease or a change, if any, in the ownership or control to the extent contemplated by the Plan; (iii) increase, accelerate, or otherwise alter any obligations or liabilities of any Debtor or any Reorganized Debtor, as applicable, under such executory contract or unexpired lease; or (iv) create or impose a Lien upon any property or Asset of any Debtor or any Reorganized Debtor, as applicable.  Each such provision shall be deemed to not apply to the assumption of such executory contract or unexpired lease pursuant to the Plan and counterparties to assumed executory contracts or unexpired leases that fail to object to the proposed assumption in accordance with the terms set forth in section 8.2(a) of the Plan, shall forever be barred and enjoined from objecting to the proposed assumption or to the validity of such assumption (including with respect to any Cure Amounts or the provision of adequate assurance of future performance), or taking actions prohibited by the foregoing or the Bankruptcy Code on account of transactions contemplated by the Plan.    

(b)If there is an Assumption Dispute pertaining to assumption of an executory contract or unexpired lease (other than a dispute pertaining to a Cure Amount), such dispute shall be heard by the Bankruptcy Court prior to such assumption being effective, provided, that the Debtors (with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld and, solely with respect to the Exit Credit Facility Subsidiaries, the Required Consenting Bank Lenders, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld) or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, may settle any dispute regarding the Cure Amount or the nature thereof without any further notice to any party or any action, order, or approval of the Bankruptcy Court.

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(c)To the extent an Assumption Dispute relates solely to the Cure Amount, the Debtors may assume and/or assume and assign the applicable executory contract or unexpired lease prior to the resolution of the Assumption Dispute; provided, that the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, reserve Cash in an amount sufficient to pay the full amount reasonably asserted as the required cure payment by the non-Debtor party to such executory contract or unexpired lease (or such smaller amount as may be fixed or estimated by the Bankruptcy Court or otherwise agreed to by such non-Debtor party and the applicable Reorganized Debtor).

(d)Subject to resolution of any dispute regarding any Cure Amount, all Cure Amounts shall be satisfied by the Debtors or Reorganized Debtors, as the case may be, upon assumption of the underlying contracts and unexpired leases.  Assumption of any executory contract or unexpired lease pursuant to the Plan, or otherwise, shall result in the full release and satisfaction of any Claims or defaults, subject to satisfaction of the Cure Amount, whether monetary or nonmonetary, including defaults of provisions restricting the change in control or ownership interest composition or other bankruptcy-related defaults, arising under any assumed executory contract or unexpired lease at any time before the effective date of the assumption.  Any proofs of claim filed with respect to an executory contract or unexpired lease that has been assumed or assigned shall be deemed disallowed and expunged, without further notice to or action, order or approval of the Bankruptcy Court or any other Entity, upon the deemed assumption of such contract or unexpired lease.

 

iii.

Rejection Damages Claims

Unless otherwise provided by an order of the Bankruptcy Court, proofs of claim with respect to Claims arising from the rejection of executory contracts or unexpired leases, if any, must be filed with the Bankruptcy Court by the later of thirty (30) days from (i) the date of entry of an order of the Bankruptcy Court approving such rejection, (ii) the effective date of the rejection of such executory contract or unexpired lease, and (iii) the Effective Date.  Any Claims arising from the rejection of an executory contract or unexpired lease not filed within such time shall be Disallowed pursuant to the Confirmation Order or such other order of the Bankruptcy Court, as applicable, forever barred from assertion, and shall not be enforceable against, as applicable, the Debtors, the Estates, the Reorganized Debtors, or property of the foregoing parties, without the need for any objection by the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, or further notice to, or action, order, or approval of the Bankruptcy Court or any other Entity, and any Claim arising out of the rejection of the executory contract or unexpired lease shall be deemed fully satisfied, released, and discharged, notwithstanding anything in the Schedules, if any, or a Proof of Claim to the contrary.  Claims arising from the rejection of the Debtors’ executory contracts or unexpired leases shall be classified as General Unsecured Claims and may be objected to in accordance with the provisions of section 7.2 of the Plan and applicable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code and Bankruptcy Rules.  

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iv.

Survival of the Debtors’ Indemnification Obligations

(a)All Indemnification Obligations shall be deemed and treated as executory contracts to be assumed by the Debtors under the Plan and shall continue as obligations of the Reorganized Debtors on terms reasonably acceptable to the Debtors and Required Consenting Noteholders; provided, that the Indemnification Obligations assumed pursuant to the Plan shall be on terms and conditions reasonably acceptable to the Debtors and the Required Consenting Noteholders.  Any claim based on the Debtors’ Indemnification Obligations that are assumed under the Plan shall not be a Disputed Claim or subject to any objection in either case by reason of section 502(e)(1)(B) of the Bankruptcy Code.

(b)In accordance with the foregoing, the Reorganized Debtors shall cooperate with current and former officers, directors, members, managers, agents, or employees in relation to the Indemnification Obligations assumed under the Plan, including responding to reasonable requests for information and providing access to attorneys, financial advisors, accountants and other professionals with knowledge of matters relevant to any such claim covered by an Indemnification Obligation assumed under the Plan, including any claim or Cause of Action arising under any state or federal securities laws.

 

v.

Employment Arrangements

(a)All Employment Arrangements shall be treated as executory contracts under the Plan and deemed assumed on the Effective Date pursuant to sections 365 and 1123 of the Bankruptcy Code (which assumption shall include any modifications to such employments agreements, including, without limitation, modifications to the terms of any retention or incentive agreements for senior executives of the Debtors, as requested by the Required Consenting Noteholders).  Any assumption of the Employment Arrangements hereunder shall not trigger any applicable change of control, immediate vesting, termination, or similar provisions therein. No participant shall have rights under the Benefit Plans and Employment Arrangements assumed pursuant to the Plan other than those existing immediately before such assumption.  

(b)Any amounts outstanding under the Debtors’ two-tier key employee retention program for certain key employees shall be paid no later than the Effective Date.  

(c)Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Plan, the Reorganized Debtors shall continue to honor all retiree benefits in accordance with section 1129(a)(13) of the Bankruptcy Code, and the obligations thereunder shall be paid in accordance with the terms thereof.

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vi.

Insurance Policies

(a)In addition, after the Effective Date, the Reorganized Debtors shall not terminate or otherwise reduce the coverage under any D&O Policy, and all members, managers, directors, and officers who served in such capacity at any time before the Effective Date shall be entitled to the full benefits of any such policy for the full term of such policy regardless of whether such members, managers, directors, and/or officers remain in such positions after the Effective Date, in each case, to the extent set forth in such policies.

(b)Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Plan, Plan Supplement, any claims bar date notice or claim objection, or any other document related to any of the foregoing:  (i) each of the Debtors’ Insurance Policies are treated as Executory Contracts under the Plan, and unless otherwise provided in the Plan, on the Effective Date, each Insurance Policy to which the Debtors are a party as of the Effective Date shall be assumed by the Reorganized Debtors in their entirety pursuant to sections 105 and 365 of the Bankruptcy Code unless such Insurance Policy (A) was rejected by the Debtors prior to the Effective Date pursuant to a Bankruptcy Court order or (B) is the subject of a motion to reject pending on the Effective Date; (ii) nothing in the Plan, Plan Supplement, or any other order of the Bankruptcy Court (including any other provision that purports to be preemptory or supervening) (A) alters, modifies, or otherwise amends the terms and conditions of (or the coverage provided by) any of the Insurance Policies or (B) alters or modifies the duty, if any, that the Insurers have to pay claims covered by such Insurance Policies and their rights, if any, to seek payment or reimbursement from the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors or draw on any collateral or security therefor; (iii) nothing shall alter, modify, amend, affect, impair, or prejudice the legal, equitable or contractual rights, obligations, and defenses of the Insurers, insureds, Debtors, and the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, under the Insurance Policies in any manner, and such Insurers, insureds, Debtors, and the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, shall retain all rights and defenses under such Insurance Policies, and such Insurance Policies shall apply to, and be enforceable by and against, the insureds and the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, in the same manner and according to the same terms and practices applicable to the Debtors, as existed prior to the Effective Date; and (iv) the automatic stay set forth in section 362(a) of the Bankruptcy Code and the injunctions set forth in Article X of the Plan, if and to the extent applicable, shall be deemed lifted without further order of the Bankruptcy Court, solely to permit:  (A) claimants with valid workers’ compensation claims or direct action claims against an Insurer under applicable non-bankruptcy law to proceed with their claims; and (B) the Insurers to administer, handle, defend, settle, and/or pay, in the ordinary course of business and without further order of the Bankruptcy Court, (I) workers’ compensation claims, (II) claims where a claimant asserts a direct claim against any Insurer under applicable non-bankruptcy law, or an order has been entered by the Bankruptcy Court granting a claimant relief from the automatic stay or the injunctions set forth in Article X of the Plan, if and to the extent applicable, to proceed with its claim, and (III) all costs in relation to each of the foregoing.

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vii.

Tax Agreements

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Plan Documents, the Plan, the Plan Supplement, any claims bar date notice or claim objection, and any other document related to any of the foregoing, any written tax sharing agreements to which the Debtors are a party (of which the principal purpose is the allocation of taxes) in effect as of the date of the Confirmation Order shall be deemed and treated as executory contracts pursuant to the Plan and, to the extent the Debtors determine, with the consent of the Required Consenting Noteholders and, solely with respect to the Exit Credit Facility Subsidiaries, the Required Consenting Bank Lenders (in each case, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld) that such agreements are beneficial to the Debtors, shall be assumed by the Debtors and Reorganized Debtors and shall continue in full force and effect thereafter in accordance with their respective terms, unless any such tax sharing agreement (of which the principal purpose is the allocation of taxes) otherwise is specifically rejected pursuant to a separate order of the Bankruptcy Court or is the subject of a separate rejection motion filed by the Debtors in accordance with section 8.1 of the Plan.  Unless otherwise noted hereunder, all other written tax sharing agreements to which the Debtors are a party (of which the principal purpose is the allocation of taxes) shall vest in the Reorganized Debtors and the Reorganized Debtors may take all actions as may be necessary or appropriate to ensure such vesting as contemplated herein.

 

viii.

Modifications, Amendments, Supplements, Restatements, or Other Agreements

Unless otherwise provided in the Plan or by separate order of the Bankruptcy Court, each executory contract and unexpired lease that is assumed shall include any and all modifications, amendments, supplements, restatements, or other agreements made directly or indirectly by any agreement, instrument, or other document that in any manner affects such executory contract or unexpired lease, without regard to whether such agreement, instruments, or other document is listed in any notices of assumed contracts.

 

ix.

Reservation of Rights

(a)Neither the exclusion nor the inclusion by the Debtors of any contract or lease on any exhibit, schedule, or other annex to the Plan or in the Plan Supplement, nor anything contained in the Plan, shall constitute an admission by the Debtors that any such contract or lease is or is not an executory contract or unexpired lease or that the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors or their respective affiliates has any liability thereunder.

(b)Except as explicitly provided in the Plan, nothing in the Plan shall waive, excuse, limit, diminish, or otherwise alter any of the defenses, claims, Causes of Action, or other rights of the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors under any executory or non-executory contract or unexpired or expired lease.

(c)Nothing in the Plan shall increase, augment, or add to any of the duties, obligations, responsibilities, or liabilities of the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, under any executory or non-executory contract or unexpired or expired lease.

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(d)If there is a dispute regarding whether a contract or lease is or was executory or unexpired at the time of its assumption under the Plan, the Debtors or Reorganized Debtors, as applicable, shall have thirty (30) days following entry of a Final Order resolving such dispute to alter their treatment of such contract or lease.

 

I.

Conditions Precedent to the Occurrence of the Effective Date

 

i.

Conditions Precedent to Effective Date

The Effective Date shall not occur unless all of the following conditions precedent have been satisfied or waived in accordance with the Plan:

 

(a)the Plan Supplement has been filed;

(b)the Bankruptcy Court has entered the Confirmation Order and such Confirmation Order has not been stayed, modified, or vacated;

(c)the RSA shall be in full force and effect and binding on all parties thereto and not be (i) identified on the Schedule of Rejected Contracts or (ii) subject of a pending motion to reject executory contracts, all conditions shall have been satisfied thereunder, and no default shall exist thereunder that has not otherwise been cured or waived;

(d)the conditions to the effectiveness of the Exit Credit Facility Documents, New Senior Secured Notes Documents, and New Convertible Notes Documents have been satisfied or waived in accordance with the terms thereof, and the Exit Credit Facility Documents, New Senior Secured Notes Documents, and New Convertible Notes Documents are in full force and effect and binding on all of the respective parties thereto;

(e)the Debtors shall have implemented the Restructuring Transactions and all other transactions contemplated by the Plan and the RSA in a manner consistent in all material respects with the Plan and RSA and otherwise reasonably acceptable to the parties entitled to consent thereunder;

(f)all outstanding Restructuring Expenses incurred, or estimated to be incurred, through the Effective Date (or, with respect to necessary post-Effective Date activities, after the Effective Date), to the extent invoiced before the Effective Date, shall have been paid in full in Cash by the Debtors in accordance with, and subject to, the terms of the RSA;

(g)all governmental approvals, including Bankruptcy Court approval, necessary to effectuate the Restructuring Transactions shall have been obtained and all applicable waiting periods have expired;

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(h)all actions, documents (including the Plan Documents), and agreements necessary to implement and consummate the Plan shall have been effected or executed and binding on all parties thereto, in form and substance consistent in all respects with the RSA and reasonably acceptable to the relevant parties under the RSA (other than the New Corporate Governance Documents, which shall be acceptable to the Required Consenting Non-Crossholders and the Required Consenting Crossholders in their sole discretion as provided for in the Plan), and shall not have been modified in a manner inconsistent with the RSA;   

(i)the New Corporate Governance Documents, in form and substance acceptable to the Required Consenting Noteholders, and Exit Credit Facility Borrower New Corporate Governance Documents, in form and substance acceptable to the Required Consenting Noteholders and Required Consenting Bank Lenders, shall have been adopted and (where required by applicable law) filed with the applicable authorities of the relevant jurisdictions of organization and shall have become effective in accordance with such jurisdiction’s corporate, limited liability company, or alternative comparable laws, as applicable;

(j)the Debtors shall have sufficient Cash on hand to make all Cash payments required to be made on the Effective Date pursuant to the Plan;

(k)the issuance of the New Convertible Notes shall be approved by the Bankruptcy Court on terms substantially similar to the terms set forth in the Plan Documents; and

(l)the Fee Escrow Account shall have been established and funded with Cash in accordance with section 2.2(b) of the Plan.

 

ii.

Waiver of Conditions Precedent

(a)Each of the conditions precedent to the occurrence of the Effective Date may be waived in writing by (i) solely with respect to the condition precedent to the occurrence of the Effective Date set forth in section 9.1(l) of the Plan, the Debtors, the Required Consenting Noteholders, and the Creditors’ Committee and (ii) with respect to all other conditions precedent to the occurrence of the Effective Date, in each case, the Debtors and the parties holding applicable consent rights pursuant to the Plan or RSA, as applicable, with respect to such condition precedent without leave of or order of the Bankruptcy Court.  If any such condition precedent is waived pursuant to this section and the Effective Date occurs, each party agreeing to waive such condition precedent shall be estopped from withdrawing such waiver after the Effective Date or otherwise challenging the occurrence of the Effective Date on the basis that such condition was not satisfied, the waiver of such condition precedent shall benefit from the “equitable mootness” doctrine, and the occurrence of the Effective Date shall foreclose any ability to challenge the Plan in any court.  If the Plan is confirmed for fewer than all of the Debtors, only the conditions applicable to the Debtor or Debtors for which the Plan is confirmed must be satisfied or waived for the Effective Date to occur.

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(b)Except as otherwise provided herein, all actions required to be taken on the Effective Date shall take place and shall be deemed to have occurred simultaneously and no such action shall be deemed to have occurred prior to the taking of any other such action.

(c)The stay of the Confirmation Order pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 3020(e) shall be deemed waived by and upon the entry of the Confirmation Order, and the Confirmation Order shall take effect immediately upon its entry.

 

iii.

Effect of Failure of a Condition

If the conditions listed in section 9.1 of the Plan are not satisfied or waived in accordance with section 9.2 of the Plan on or before the Effective Date, the Plan shall be null and void in all respects and nothing contained in the Plan or this Disclosure Statement shall (i) constitute a waiver or release of any Claims by or against or any Interests in the Debtors, (ii) prejudice in any manner the rights of any Person, or (iii) constitute an admission, acknowledgement, offer, or undertaking by the Debtors, any of the Consenting Creditors, or any other Person.

 

iv.

Substantial Consummation

“Substantial Consummation” of the Plan, as defined in section 1101(2) of the Bankruptcy Code, shall be deemed to occur on the Effective Date.

 

J.

Effect of Confirmation

 

i.

Binding Effect

Except as otherwise provided in section 1141(d)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code, and subject to the occurrence of the Effective Date, on and after entry of the Confirmation Order, the provisions of the Plan shall bind every holder of a Claim against or Interest in any Debtor and inure to the benefit of and be binding on such holder’s respective successors and assigns, regardless of whether the Claim or Interest of such holder is Impaired under the Plan and whether such holder has accepted the Plan.

 

ii.

Vesting of Assets

Except as otherwise provided in the Plan or any Plan Document, on and after the Effective Date, pursuant to sections 1141(b) and (c) of the Bankruptcy Code, all Assets of the Estates, including all claims, rights, and Causes of Action and any property acquired by the Debtors under or in connection with the Plan, shall vest in each respective Reorganized Debtor free and clear of all Claims, Liens, encumbrances, charges, and other interests.  Subject to the terms of the Plan, on and after the Effective Date, the Reorganized Debtors may operate their businesses and may use, acquire, and dispose of property and prosecute, compromise, or settle any Claims (including any Administrative Expense Claims) and Causes of Action without supervision of or approval by the Bankruptcy Court and free and clear of any restrictions of the Bankruptcy Code or the Bankruptcy Rules other than restrictions expressly imposed by the Plan or the Confirmation Order.  Without limiting the foregoing, the Reorganized Debtors may pay the charges that they incur on or after the Effective Date for Professional Persons’ fees, disbursements, expenses, or related support services without application to or order of the Bankruptcy Court.  For the avoidance of doubt, to the extent confirmation of the Plan is revoked and the Chapter 11 Cases subsequently are converted to cases under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, the applicable provisions of chapter 7 and chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, as applicable, shall apply.

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iii.

Discharge of Claims Against and Interests in Debtors

Upon the Effective Date and in consideration of the distributions to be made under the Plan, except as otherwise expressly provided in the Plan or in the Confirmation Order, each holder (as well as any trustee or agents on behalf of each holder) of a Claim or Interest and any affiliate of such holder shall be deemed to have forever waived, released, and discharged the Debtors, to the fullest extent permitted by section 1141 of the Bankruptcy Code, of and from any and all Claims, Interests, rights, and liabilities that arose prior to the Effective Date.  Except as otherwise provided in the Plan, upon the Effective Date, all such holders of Claims and Interests and their affiliates shall be forever precluded and enjoined, pursuant to sections 105, 524, and 1141 of the Bankruptcy Code, from prosecuting or asserting any such discharged Claim against or terminated Interest in any Debtor or Reorganized Debtor, or any of their Assets or property, whether or not such holder has filed a Proof of Claim and whether or not the facts or legal bases therefor were known or existed prior to the Effective Date.

 

iv.

Pre-Confirmation Injunctions and Stays

Unless otherwise provided in the Plan or a Final Order of the Bankruptcy Court, all injunctions and stays arising under or entered during the Chapter 11 Cases, whether under sections 105 or 362 of the Bankruptcy Code or otherwise, and in existence on the date of entry of the Confirmation Order, shall remain in full force and effect until the later of the Effective Date and the date indicated in the order providing for such injunction or stay.

 

v.

Injunction against Interference with Plan

Upon entry of the Confirmation Order, all holders of Claims and Interests and all other parties in interest, along with their respective present and former affiliates, employees, agents, officers, directors, and principals, shall be enjoined from taking any action to interfere with the implementation or the occurrence of the Effective Date.

 

vi.

Plan Injunction

(a)Except as otherwise provided in the Plan or in the Confirmation Order, as of the entry of the Confirmation Order but subject to the occurrence of the Effective Date, all Persons who have held, hold, or may hold Claims against or Interests in any or all of the Debtors and other parties in interest, along with their respective present or former employees, agents, officers, directors, principals, and affiliates, are permanently enjoined after the entry of the Confirmation Order from (i) commencing, conducting, or continuing in any manner, directly or indirectly, any suit, action, or other proceeding of any kind (including any proceeding in a judicial, arbitral, administrative, or other forum) against or affecting, directly or indirectly, a Debtor, a Reorganized Debtor, or an Estate or the property of any of the foregoing, or any direct or indirect transferee of any property of, or direct or indirect successor in interest to, any of the foregoing Persons mentioned in this subsection (i) or any property of any such transferee or successor, (ii) enforcing, levying, attaching (including any prejudgment attachment), collecting, or otherwise recovering in any manner or by any means, whether directly or indirectly, any judgment, award, decree, or order against a Debtor, a Reorganized Debtor, or an Estate or its property, or any direct or indirect transferee of any property of, or direct or indirect successor in interest to, any of the foregoing Persons mentioned in this subsection (ii) or any property of any such transferee or successor, (iii) creating, perfecting, or otherwise enforcing in any manner, directly or indirectly, any encumbrance of any kind against a Debtor, a Reorganized Debtor, or an Estate or any of its property, or any direct or indirect transferee of any property of, or successor in interest to, any of the foregoing Persons mentioned in this subsection (iii) or any property of any such transferee or successor, (iv) acting or proceeding in any manner, in any place whatsoever, that does not conform to or comply with the provisions of the Plan, and the Plan Documents, to the full extent permitted by applicable

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law, and (v) commencing or continuing, in any manner or in any place, any action that does not comply with or is inconsistent with the provisions of the Plan and the Plan Documents.

(b)By accepting distributions pursuant to the Plan, each holder of an Allowed Claim or Interest shall be deemed to have affirmatively and specifically consented to be bound by the Plan, including the injunctions set forth in section 10.6 of the Plan.

 

vii.

Releases

(a)Releases by Debtors.  As of the Effective Date, except for the rights and remedies that remain in effect from and after the Effective Date to enforce the Plan and the obligations contemplated by the Plan Documents or as otherwise provided in any order of the Bankruptcy Court, for good and valuable consideration, the adequacy of which is hereby confirmed, including the service of the Released Parties to facilitate the reorganization of the Debtors and the implementation of the Restructuring Transactions, on and after the Effective Date, the Released Parties shall be deemed conclusively, absolutely, unconditionally, irrevocably, and forever released and discharged, to the maximum extent permitted by law, by the Debtors, the Reorganized Debtors, and the Estates, in each case on behalf of themselves and their respective successors, assigns, and representatives and any and all other Persons that may purport to assert any Cause of Action derivatively, by or through the foregoing Persons, from any and all claims and Causes of Action (including any derivative claims, asserted or assertable on behalf of the Debtors, the Reorganized Debtors, or the Estates, which include, for the avoidance of doubt, all claims and Causes of Action asserted or assertable in the Securities Class Action), whether liquidated or unliquidated, fixed or contingent, matured or unmatured, known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen, existing or hereinafter arising, in law, equity, contract, tort, or otherwise, by statute, violations of federal or state securities laws or otherwise that the Debtors, the Reorganized Debtors, the Estates, or their affiliates would have been legally entitled to assert in their own right (whether individually or collectively) or on behalf of the holder of any Claim or Interest or other Person, based on or relating to, or in any manner arising from, in whole or in part, the Debtors, the Chapter 11 Cases, the Restructuring Transactions, the Restructuring, the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding, the purchase, sale, or rescission of the purchase or sale of any Security of the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors, the subject matter of, or the transactions or events giving rise to, any Claim or Interest that is treated in the Plan, the business or contractual arrangements between any Debtor and any Released Party, the restructuring of Claims and Interests before or during the Chapter 11 Cases, the negotiation, formulation, preparation, or consummation of the Plan, the RSA, the Plan Documents or related agreements, instruments, or other documents relating thereto, or the solicitation of votes with respect to the Plan, in all cases based upon any act or omission, transaction, agreement, event, or other occurrence taking place on or before the Effective Date; provided, that nothing herein shall be construed to release any Released Party from Claims or Causes of Action arising out of or related to any act or omission of a Released Party that is a criminal act or constitutes intentional fraud, gross negligence or willful misconduct as determined by a Final Order.

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Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, as of the Effective Date, all claims and Causes of Action arising under chapter 5 of the Bankruptcy Code that exist or may exist against the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee, the holders of Senior Unsecured Notes Claims, the First Lien Credit Facility Administrative Agent, the holders of First Lien Credit Facility Claims, or Consenting Crossholders shall be released and discharged to the maximum extent permitted by law.

Entry of the Confirmation Order by the Bankruptcy Court shall constitute the Bankruptcy Court’s approval, pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9019, of the releases in section 10.7(a) of the Plan (the “Debtor Releases”), which includes by reference each of the related provisions and definitions under the Plan, and further, shall constitute the Bankruptcy Court’s finding that the Debtor Releases are:  (i) in exchange for the good and valuable consideration provided by the Released Parties, (ii) a good faith settlement and compromise of the released Claims released by the Debtors, the Reorganized Debtors, and the Estates, as applicable, (iii) in the best interests of the Debtors, the Estates, and all holders of Claims and Interests, (iv) fair, equitable and reasonable, (v) given and made after due notice and opportunity for hearing, and (vi) a bar to any of the Debtors, the Reorganized Debtors, and the Estates, as applicable, asserting any Claim or Cause of Action released pursuant to the Debtor Releases.

(b)Releases by Holders of Claims or Interests.  As of the Effective Date, except for the rights that remain in effect from and after the Effective Date to enforce the Plan and the Plan Documents and the obligations contemplated by the Restructuring Transactions, for good and valuable consideration, the adequacy of which is hereby confirmed, including the service and contribution of the Released Parties to facilitate the reorganization of the Debtors and the implementation of the Restructuring Transactions, on and after the Effective Date, the Released Parties shall be deemed conclusively, absolutely, unconditionally, irrevocably, and forever released and discharged, to the maximum extent permitted by law, by the Releasing Parties, in each case from any and all claims and Causes of Action whatsoever (including any derivative claims, asserted or assertable on behalf of the Debtors, the Reorganized Debtors, or their Estates), whether liquidated or unliquidated, fixed or contingent, matured or unmatured, known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen, asserted or unasserted, accrued or unaccrued, existing or hereinafter arising, whether in law or equity, whether sounding in tort or contract, whether arising under federal or state statutory or common law, or any other applicable international, foreign, or domestic law, rule, statute, regulation, treaty, right, duty, requirement or otherwise, that such holders or their estates, affiliates, heirs, executors, administrators, successors, assigns, managers, accountants, attorneys, representatives, consultants, agents, and any other Persons claiming under or through them would have been legally entitled to assert in their own right (whether individually or collectively) or on behalf of the holder of any Claim or Interest or other Person, based on or relating to, or in any manner arising from, in whole or in part, the Debtors, the Reorganized Debtors, or their Estates, the Chapter 11 Cases, the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding, the purchase, sale, or rescission of the purchase or sale of any Security of the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors (including, for the avoidance of doubt, all claims and Causes of Action asserted or assertable in the Securities Class Action), the subject matter of, or the transactions or events giving rise to, any Claim or Interest that is treated in the Plan, the business or contractual arrangements or interactions between any Debtor and any Released Party, the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding, the Restructuring Transactions, the restructuring of any Claim or Interest before or during the Chapter 11 Cases, the Plan Documents, and related agreements, instruments, and other documents, and

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the negotiation, formulation, preparation, or implementation thereof, the solicitation of votes with respect to the Plan, or any other act or omission; provided, that nothing herein shall be construed to release any Released Party from Claims or Causes of Action arising out of or related to any act or omission of a Released Party that is a criminal act or constitutes intentional fraud, gross negligence or willful misconduct as determined by a Final Order.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, as of the Effective Date, all claims and Causes of Action arising under chapter 5 of the Bankruptcy Code that exist or may exist against the Senior Unsecured Notes Trustee, the holders of Senior Unsecured Notes Claims, the First Lien Credit Facility Administrative Agent, the holders of First Lien Credit Facility Claims, or Consenting Crossholders shall be released and discharged to the maximum extent permitted by law.

Entry of the Confirmation Order by the Bankruptcy Court shall constitute the Bankruptcy Court’s approval, pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9019, of the releases in section 10.7(b) of the Plan (the “Third-Party Releases”), which includes by reference each of the related provisions and definitions under the Plan, and further, shall constitute the Bankruptcy Court’s finding that the Third-Party Releases are:  (i) consensual, (ii) essential to the confirmation of the Plan, (iii) given in exchange for the good and valuable consideration provided by the Released Parties, (iv) a good faith settlement and compromise of the Claims released by the Third-Party Releases, (v) in the best interests of the Debtors and their Estates, (vi) fair, equitable and reasonable, (vii) given and made after due notice and opportunity for hearing, and (viii) a bar to any of the Releasing Parties asserting any Claim or Cause of Action released pursuant to the Third-Party Releases.

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viii.

Exculpation

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, no Exculpated Party shall have or incur, and each Exculpated Party is hereby released and exculpated from, any Claim, Interest, obligation, suit, judgment, damage, demand, debt, right, Cause of Action, loss, remedy, or liability for any claim in connection with or arising out of the administration of the Chapter 11 Cases; the negotiation and pursuit of the Exit Credit Facility, the New Senior Secured Notes, the New Convertible Notes, the New Common Stock, the New LP Units, the Management Incentive Plan, the Disclosure Statement, the Restructuring Support Agreement, the Restructuring Transactions, and the Plan (including the Plan Documents), or the solicitation of votes for, or confirmation of, the Plan; the funding of the Plan; the occurrence of the Effective Date; the Wells Fargo Adversary Proceeding; the administration of the Plan or the property to be distributed under the Plan; the issuance of securities under or in connection with the Plan; the postpetition purchase, sale, or rescission of the purchase or sale of any Security of the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors; or the transactions in furtherance of any of the foregoing; other than Claims or Causes of Action arising out of or related to any act or omission of an Exculpated Party that is a criminal act or constitutes intentional fraud, gross negligence, or willful misconduct as determined by a Final Order, but in all respects the Exculpated Parties shall be entitled to reasonably rely upon the advice of counsel.  The Exculpated Parties have acted in compliance with the applicable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code with regard to the solicitation and distribution of securities pursuant to the Plan and, therefore, are not, and on account of such distributions shall not be, liable at any time for the violation of any applicable law, rule, or regulation governing the solicitation of acceptances or rejections of the Plan or such distributions made pursuant to the Plan, including the issuance of securities thereunder.  This exculpation shall be in addition to, and not in limitation of, all other releases, indemnities, exculpations, and any other applicable law or rules protecting such Exculpated Parties from liability.

 

ix.

Injunction Related to Releases and Exculpation

The Confirmation Order shall permanently enjoin the commencement or prosecution by any Person, whether directly, derivatively, or otherwise, of any Claims, obligations, suits, judgments, damages, demands, debts, rights, Causes of Action, losses, or liabilities released pursuant to the Plan, including the claims, obligations, suits, judgments, damages, demands, debts, rights, Causes of Action, and liabilities released or exculpated in the Plan or the Confirmation Order.

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x.

Subordinated Claims

The allowance, classification, and treatment of all Allowed Claims and Interests and the respective distributions and treatments thereof under the Plan take into account and conform to the relative priority and rights of the Claims and Interests in each Class in connection with any contractual, legal, and equitable subordination rights relating thereto, whether arising under general principles of equitable subordination, sections 510(a), 510(b), or 510(c) of the Bankruptcy Code, or otherwise.  Pursuant to section 510 of the Bankruptcy Code, the Debtors reserve the right to reclassify any Allowed Claim or Interest in accordance with any contractual, legal, or equitable subordination relating thereto.

 

xi.

Retention of Causes of Action and Reservation of Rights

Except as otherwise provided in the Plan, including sections 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9 of the Plan, nothing contained in the Plan or the Confirmation Order shall be deemed to be a waiver or relinquishment of any rights, claims, Causes of Action, rights of setoff or recoupment, or other legal or equitable defenses that the Debtors had immediately prior to the Effective Date on behalf of the Estates or of themselves in accordance with any provision of the Bankruptcy Code or any applicable nonbankruptcy law, including any affirmative Causes of Action against parties with a relationship with the Debtors.  The Reorganized Debtors shall have, retain, reserve, and be entitled to assert all such claims, Causes of Action, rights of setoff or recoupment, and other legal or equitable defenses as fully as if the Chapter 11 Cases had not been commenced, and all of the Debtors’ legal and equitable rights in respect of any Unimpaired Claim may be asserted after the Confirmation Date and Effective Date to the same extent as if the Chapter 11 Cases had not been commenced.

 

xii.

Ipso Facto and Similar Provisions Ineffective

Any term of any prepetition policy, prepetition contract, or other prepetition obligation applicable to a Debtor shall be void and of no further force or effect with respect to any Debtor to the extent that such policy, contract, or other obligation is conditioned on, creates an obligation of the Debtor as a result of, or gives rise to a right of any Entity based on (i) the insolvency or financial condition of a Debtor, (ii) the commencement of the Chapter 11 Cases, (iii) the confirmation or consummation of the Plan, including any change of control that shall occur as a result of such consummation, or (iv) the Restructuring Transactions.

 

K.

Retention of Jurisdiction

 

i.

Retention of Jurisdiction

On and after the Effective Date, the Bankruptcy Court shall retain exclusive jurisdiction, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1334 and 157, over all matters arising in or related to the Chapter 11 Cases for, among other things, the following purposes:

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(a)to hear and determine motions and/or applications for the assumption or rejection of executory contracts or unexpired leases and any disputes over Cure Amounts resulting therefrom;

(b)to determine any motion, adversary proceeding, application, contested matter, and other litigated matter pending on or commenced after the entry of the Confirmation Order;

(c)to hear and resolve any disputes arising from or related to (i) any orders of the Bankruptcy Court granting relief under Bankruptcy Rule 2004 or (ii) any protective orders entered by the Bankruptcy Court in connection with the foregoing;

(d)to ensure that distributions to holders of Allowed Claims are accomplished as provided in the Plan and the Confirmation Order and to adjudicate any and all disputes arising from or relating to distributions under the Plan;

(e)to consider Claims or the allowance, classification, priority, compromise, estimation, or payment of any Claim;

(f)to enter, implement, or enforce such orders as may be appropriate in the event that the Confirmation Order is for any reason stayed, reversed, revoked, modified, or vacated;

(g)to issue and enforce injunctions, enter and implement other orders, and take such other actions as may be necessary or appropriate to restrain interference by any Person with the consummation, implementation, or enforcement of the Plan, the Confirmation Order, or any other order of the Bankruptcy Court;

(h)to hear and determine any application to modify the Plan in accordance with section 1127 of the Bankruptcy Code to remedy any defect or omission or reconcile any inconsistency in the Plan, this Disclosure Statement, or any order of the Bankruptcy Court, including the Confirmation Order, in such a manner as may be necessary to carry out the purposes and effects thereof;

(i)to hear and determine all Fee Claims;

(j)to resolve disputes concerning any reserves with respect to Disputed Claims or the administration thereof;

(k)to hear and determine disputes arising in connection with the interpretation, implementation, or enforcement of the Plan, the Confirmation Order, any transactions or payments in furtherance of either, or any agreement, instrument, or other document governing or related to any of the foregoing;

(l)to take any action and issue such orders, including any such action or orders as may be necessary after entry of the Confirmation Order or the occurrence of the Effective Date, as may be necessary to construe, enforce, implement, execute, and consummate the Plan;

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(m)to determine such other matters and for such other purposes as may be provided in the Confirmation Order;

(n)to hear and determine matters concerning state, local, and federal taxes in accordance with sections 346, 505, and 1146 of the Bankruptcy Code (including any requests for expedited determinations under section 505(b) of the Bankruptcy Code);

(o)to hear and determine any other matters related to the Chapter 11 Cases and not inconsistent with the Bankruptcy Code or title 28 of the United States Code;

(p)to resolve any disputes concerning whether a Person had sufficient notice of the Chapter 11 Cases, this Disclosure Statement, any solicitation conducted in connection with the Chapter 11 Cases, any claims bar date established in the Chapter 11 Cases, or any deadline for responding or objecting to a Cure Amount, in each case, for the purpose for determining whether a Claim or Interest is discharged hereunder or for any other purposes;

(q)to hear, adjudicate, decide, or resolve any and all matters related to ARTICLE X of the Plan, including the releases, discharge, exculpations, and injunctions issued thereunder;

(r)to hear and determine any rights, Claims, or Causes of Action held by or accruing to the Debtors pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code or pursuant to any federal statute or legal theory;

(s)to recover all Assets of the Debtors and property of the Estates, wherever located; and

(t)to enter a final decree closing each of the Chapter 11 Cases.

 

L.

Miscellaneous Provisions

 

i.

Exemption from Certain Transfer Taxes

Pursuant to section 1146 of the Bankruptcy Code, (i) the issuance, transfer or exchange of any securities, instruments or documents, (ii) the creation of any Lien, mortgage, deed of trust or other security interest, (iii) all sale transactions consummated by the Debtors and approved by the Bankruptcy Court on and after the Confirmation Date through and including the Effective Date, including any transfers effectuated under the Plan, (iv) any assumption, assignment, or sale by the Debtors of their interests in unexpired leases of nonresidential real property or executory contracts pursuant to section 365(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, (v) the grant of Collateral under the Exit Credit Facility Documents, the New Senior Secured Notes Documents, and the New Convertible Notes Documents and (vi) the issuance, renewal, modification, or securing of indebtedness by such means, and the making, delivery or recording of any deed or other instrument of transfer under, in furtherance of, or in connection with, the Plan, including the Confirmation Order, shall not be subject to any document recording tax, stamp tax, conveyance fee or other similar tax, mortgage tax, real estate transfer tax, mortgage recording tax, Uniform Commercial Code filing or recording fee, regulatory filing or recording fee, sales tax, use tax or other similar tax or governmental assessment.  Consistent with the foregoing, each recorder of deeds or similar official for any county, city or Governmental Unit in which any instrument hereunder is to be recorded shall, pursuant to the Confirmation Order, be ordered and directed to accept such instrument without requiring the payment of any filing fees, documentary stamp tax, deed stamps, stamp tax, transfer tax, intangible tax or similar tax.

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ii.

Request for Expedited Determination of Taxes

The Debtors shall have the right to request an expedited determination under section 505(b) of the Bankruptcy Code with respect to tax returns filed, or to be filed, for any and all taxable periods ending after the Petition Date through the Effective Date.

 

iii.

Dates of Actions to Implement Plan

In the event that any payment or act under the Plan is required to be made or performed on a date that is not a Business Day, then the making of such payment or the performance of such act may be completed on or as soon as reasonably practicable after the next succeeding Business Day but shall be deemed to have been completed as of the required date.

 

iv.

Amendments

(a)Plan Modifications.  The Plan may be amended, modified, or supplemented by the Debtors in accordance with the terms of the Restructuring Support Agreement and with the consent of the parties entitled to consent thereunder, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld, and upon consultation with the Creditors’ Committee, and in the manner provided for by section 1127 of the Bankruptcy Code or as otherwise permitted by law, without additional disclosure pursuant to section 1125 of the Bankruptcy Code, except as otherwise ordered by the Bankruptcy Court.  In addition, after the Confirmation Date, so long as such action does not materially and adversely affect the treatment of holders of Allowed Claims pursuant to the Plan, the Debtors, with consent of the parties entitled to consent thereunder, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld, and upon consultation with the Creditors’ Committee, may remedy any defect or omission or reconcile any inconsistencies in the Plan or the Confirmation Order with respect to such matters as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of effects of the Plan, and any holder of a Claim or Interest that has accepted the Plan shall be deemed to have accepted the Plan as amended, modified, or supplemented.

(b)Certain Technical Amendments.  Prior to the Effective Date, the Debtors may make appropriate technical adjustments and modifications to the Plan with consent of the Required Consenting Creditors, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld, and upon consultation with the Creditors’ Committee, without further order or approval of the Bankruptcy Court; provided, that such technical adjustments and modifications do not adversely affect in a material way the treatment of holders of Claims or Interests under the Plan.

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v.

Revocation or Withdrawal of Plan

Subject to the terms of the RSA, the Debtors reserve the right to revoke or withdraw the Plan prior to the Effective Date as to any or all of the Debtors.  If, with respect to a Debtor, the Plan has been revoked or withdrawn prior to the Effective Date, or if confirmation or the occurrence of the Effective Date as to such Debtor does not occur on the Effective Date, then, with respect to such Debtor (i) the Plan shall be null and void in all respects, (ii) any settlement or compromise embodied in the Plan (including the fixing or limiting to an amount any Claim or Interest or Class of Claims or Interests), assumption or rejection of executory contracts or unexpired leases affected by the Plan, and any document or agreement executed pursuant to the Plan shall be deemed null and void, and (iii) nothing contained in the Plan shall (A) constitute a waiver or release of any Claim by or against, or any Interest in, such Debtor or any other Person, (B) prejudice in any manner the rights of such Debtor or any other Person, or (C) constitute an admission of any sort by any Debtor or any other Person.

 

vi.

Severability

If, prior to the entry of the Confirmation Order, any term or provision of the Plan is held by the Bankruptcy Court to be invalid, void, or unenforceable, the Bankruptcy Court, at the request of the Debtors, shall have the power to alter and interpret such term or provision to make it valid or enforceable to the maximum extent practicable, consistent with the original purpose of the term or provision held to be invalid, void, or unenforceable, and such term or provision shall then be applicable as altered or interpreted.  Notwithstanding any such holding, alteration, or interpretation by the Bankruptcy Court, the remainder of the terms and provisions of the Plan shall remain in full force and effect and shall in no way be affected, Impaired, or invalidated by such holding, alteration, or interpretation.  The Confirmation Order shall constitute a judicial determination and shall provide that each term and provision of the Plan, as it may have been altered or interpreted in accordance with this section, is (i) valid and enforceable pursuant to its terms, (ii) integral to the Plan and may not be deleted or modified without the consent of the Debtors or the Reorganized Debtors (as the case may be) and the Required Consenting Creditors, and (iii) nonseverable and mutually dependent.

VII.
TRANSFER RESTRICTIONS AND
CONSEQUENCES UNDER FEDERAL SECURITIES LAWS

Section 1145 of the Bankruptcy Code generally exempts from registration under the Securities Act the offer or sale pursuant to a chapter 11 plan of a security of the debtor, of an affiliate participating in a joint plan with the debtor, or of a successor to the debtor under a plan, if such securities are offered or sold in exchange for a claim against, or interest in, the debtor or such affiliate, or principally in such exchange and partly for cash.  In reliance upon this exemption, the issuance and distribution of the New Senior Secured Notes, New Convertible Notes (and the New Common Stock issuable upon conversion thereof), New Common Stock, and New LP Units to holders of Senior Unsecured Notes Claims, Existing LP Common Units, Existing REIT Preferred Stock, and Existing REIT Common Stock, as applicable, under the Plan (including the New Convertible Notes issued pursuant to the Commitment Letters) shall be exempt, pursuant to section 1145 of the Bankruptcy Code, without further act or action by any Person, from registration under (i) the Securities Act and (ii) any applicable state or local law requiring registration for the issuance or distribution of securities.  The New Senior Secured Notes, New Convertible Notes (and the New Common Stock issuable upon conversion thereof), New Common Stock, and New LP Units issued pursuant to section 1145(a) of the Bankruptcy Code may be resold without registration under the Securities Act or other federal securities laws pursuant to the exemption provided by section 4(a)(1) of the Securities Act, unless the holder is an “underwriter” with respect to such Securities, as that term is defined in section 1145(b) of the Bankruptcy Code.  In addition, such section 1145

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exempt Securities generally may be resold without registration under state securities laws pursuant to various exemptions provided by the respective laws of the several states.

Section 1145(b) of the Bankruptcy Code defines “underwriter” for purposes of the Securities Act as one who, except with respect to ordinary trading transactions, (i) purchases a claim with a view to distribution of any security to be received in exchange for the claim, (ii) offers to sell securities issued under a plan for the holders of such securities, (iii) offers to buy securities issued under a plan from persons receiving such securities, if the offer to buy is made with a view to distribution, or (iv) is an issuer, as used in Section 2(a)(11) of the Securities Act, with respect to such securities, which includes control persons of the issuer.

“Control,” as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act, means the possession, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of a Person, whether through the ownership of voting securities, by contract, or otherwise.  The legislative history of Section 1145 of the Bankruptcy Code suggests that a creditor who owns 10% or more of a class of voting securities of a reorganized debtor may be presumed to be a “controlling person” and, therefore, an underwriter.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, control person statutory underwriters may be able to sell securities without registration pursuant to the resale limitations of Rule 144 under the Securities Act, which permits the resale of securities received by such statutory underwriters pursuant to a chapter 11 plan, subject to applicable volume limitations, notice and manner of sale requirements, and certain other conditions.  Parties who believe they may be statutory underwriters as defined in section 1145 of the Bankruptcy Code are advised to consult with their own counsel as to the availability of the exemption provided by Rule 144.

Upon the Effective Date, the Reorganized Debtors anticipate that they will continue to be a reporting company under the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78(a)–78(pp), subject to receiving the approval from the Required Consenting Noteholders.  If approved by the Required Consenting Noteholders the Reorganized Debtors shall use commercially reasonable efforts to have the New Common Stock (and the New Common Stock issuable upon exchange of the New Convertible Notes) listed on the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, or another nationally recognized exchange, as soon as reasonably practicable, subject to meeting applicable listing requirements following the Effective Date; provided, that, regardless of the foregoing obligations, the Reorganized Debtors will use commercially reasonable efforts to qualify the New Common Stock for trading in the OTC Markets (formerly known as the Pink Sheets) or otherwise qualify the New Common Stock as “regularly traded” as defined in Treas. Reg. Section 1.897-9T(d) before the end of the calendar year that includes the Effective Date.

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BECAUSE OF THE COMPLEX SUBJECTIVE NATURE OF THE QUESTION OF WHETHER A PARTICULAR PERSON MAY BE AN UNDERWRITER OR AN AFFILIATE AND THE HIGHLY FACT-SPECIFIC NATURE OF THE AVAILABILITY OF EXEMPTIONS FROM REGISTRATION UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT, INCLUDING THE EXEMPTIONS AVAILABLE UNDER SECTION 1145 OF THE BANKRUPTCY CODE AND RULE 144 UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT, NONE OF THE DEBTORS OR THE REORGANIZED DEBTORS MAKE ANY REPRESENTATION CONCERNING THE ABILITY OF ANY PERSON TO DISPOSE OF THE SECURITIES TO BE ISSUED UNDER OR OTHERWISE ACQUIRED PURSUANT TO THE PLAN. THE DEBTORS RECOMMEND THAT POTENTIAL RECIPIENTS OF THE SECURITIES TO BE ISSUED UNDER OR OTHERWISE ACQUIRED PURSUANT TO THE PLAN CONSULT THEIR OWN COUNSEL CONCERNING WHETHER THEY MAY FREELY TRADE SUCH SECURITIES AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THEY MAY RESELL SUCH SECURITIES.

VIII.
CERTAIN U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES OF PLAN

The following discussion summarizes certain United States (“U.S.”) federal income tax consequences of the implementation of the Plan to the Debtors (including, for purposes of this discussion, the Reorganized Debtors) and holders of Claims or Interests entitled to vote on the Plan.  

This summary is based on the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Tax Code”), the U.S. Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder (the “Treasury Regulations”), judicial decisions, and published administrative rules and pronouncements of the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”), all as in effect on the date hereof.  Changes in the rules or new interpretations of the rules may have retroactive effect and could significantly affect the U.S. federal income tax consequences described below.  

The U.S. federal income tax consequences of the Plan are complex and subject to significant uncertainties.  The Debtors have not requested any ruling or determination from the IRS or any other taxing authority, nor have the Debtors requested an opinion of counsel, with respect to the tax consequences discussed herein, and the discussion below is not binding upon the IRS or the courts.  No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert, or that a court would not sustain, a different position than any position discussed herein.  

This summary does not address non-U.S., state or local income tax consequences of the Plan (including such consequences with respect to the Debtors) nor does it purport to address all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation that may be relevant to a holder in light of its individual circumstances or to a holder that may be subject to special tax rules, such as persons who are related to the Debtors within the meaning of the Tax Code, persons liable for alternative minimum tax or the base erosion and anti-abuse tax, persons subject to special tax accounting rules as a result of any item of gross income with respect to the Claims or Interests being taken into account in an applicable financial statement (as defined in section 451 of the Tax Code), persons whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar, U.S. expatriates, broker-dealers, banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, small business investment companies, regulated investment companies, tax exempt organizations, controlled foreign corporations, passive foreign investment companies, partnerships (or other entities treated as partnerships or other pass-through entities), beneficial owners of partnerships (or other entities treated as partnerships or other pass-through entities), subchapter S corporations, persons who hold Claims or Interests as part of a straddle, hedge, conversion transaction, or other integrated investment, persons using a mark-to-market method of accounting, persons who are themselves in bankruptcy, and persons who own more than 10 percent of any class of stock (including warrants to acquire such stock) of the REIT.  Additionally, this discussion does not address any U.S. federal taxes other than income taxes.  The discussion is also not intended to apply to any person that acquires any of the New Common Stock in the secondary market.

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This discussion assumes that a U.S. Holder (as defined below) of a Claim or Interest holds only Claims or Interests in a single Class, has held such Claims or Interests only as “capital assets” (within the meaning of section 1221 of the Tax Code) and will hold the Exit Credit Facility, New Senior Secured Notes, New Convertible Notes, New Common Stock, and New LP Units as capital assets.  This discussion also assumes that the various debt and other arrangements to which the Debtors are parties will be respected for U.S. federal income tax purposes in accordance with their form.

For purposes of this discussion, a “U.S. Holder” is a holder of a Claim or Interest that is: (1) an individual citizen or resident of the United States for U.S. federal income tax purposes; (2) a corporation (or other entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) created or organized under the laws of the United States, any state thereof or the District of Columbia; (3) an estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of the source of such income; or (4) a trust (A) if a court within the United States is able to exercise primary jurisdiction over the trust’s administration and one or more United States persons (within the meaning of section 7701(a)(30) of the Tax Code) have authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (B) that has a valid election in effect under applicable Treasury Regulations to be treated as a United States person.  For purposes of this discussion, a “Non-U.S. Holder” is any holder of a Claim or Interest that is neither a U.S. Holder nor a partnership (or other entity treated as a partnership or other pass-through entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes).

If a partnership (or other entity treated as a partnership or other pass-through entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes) is a holder of a Claim or Interest, the tax treatment of the partner (or other beneficial owner) generally will depend upon the status of the partner (or other beneficial owner) and the activities of the partnership and the partner. Partnerships and partners (or other beneficial owners) of such partnerships (or other entities treated as partnerships or other pass-through entities) that are holders of Claims or Interests should consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the Plan.

THE FOLLOWING SUMMARY OF CERTAIN U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR CAREFUL TAX PLANNING AND ADVICE BASED UPON THE INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES PERTAINING TO A HOLDER OF A CLAIM OR INTEREST. ALL HOLDERS OF CLAIMS OR INTERESTS ARE URGED TO CONSULT THEIR OWN TAX ADVISORS AS TO THE FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL, NON-U.S., NON-INCOME, AND OTHER TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE PLAN.

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A.

Consequences to the Debtors and Certain Unitholders

The Operating Partnership is a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.  The REIT owns common units and preferred units issued by the Operating Partnership through two qualified REIT subsidiaries—Holdings I and Holdings II, both of which are treated as disregarded entities for U.S. federal income tax purposes.  The remaining common units and special common units are issued to non-debtor entities and individuals (the “Other Unitholders” and together with the REIT, the “Unitholders”).  Because the Operating Partnership is a partnership (a pass-through entity) for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the U.S. federal income tax consequences of consummating the Plan generally will not be borne by the Operating Partnership, but by the REIT and the Other Unitholders.  

Real estate investment trusts generally are required to distribute at least 90% of their ordinary taxable income on an annual basis (in cash or, in part, in stock) in order to retain their tax status for U.S. federal income tax purposes.  Any tax attributes which reduce taxable income also reduce the distribution requirement to which the real estate investment trust is subject.  As of December 31, 2020, the REIT had approximately $90 million of federal net operating losses (“NOLs”), approximately $20 million of capital loss carryforwards and a net unrealized built-in loss in its assets (i.e., the amount by which the Debtors’ adjusted tax basis in their assets exceeds the fair market value of the assets) of approximately $2.0 billion.  Any NOLs and net unrealized built-in loss remaining upon implementation of the Plan may be able to offset future taxable income, thereby reducing the REIT’s future distribution obligations.  

 

i.

COD Income to the REIT and Other Unitholders

In general, absent an exception, a taxpayer will realize and recognize cancellation of indebtedness income (“COD Income”) upon satisfaction of its outstanding indebtedness for total consideration less than the amount of such indebtedness.  The amount of COD Income, in general, is the excess of (a) the adjusted issue price of the indebtedness satisfied over (b) the sum of the amount of cash paid, the issue price of any new indebtedness of the taxpayer issued, and the fair market value of any other consideration.  

 

In connection with the Plan, the Operating Partnership will recognize COD Income for U.S. federal income tax purposes.  The ultimate amount of COD Income will depend on, among other things, the adjusted issue price of new indebtedness, the final amount of cash, and the fair market value of the new equity and other consideration distributed to holders of Claims.  Certain of these figures cannot be known with certainty until after the Effective Date.  Accordingly, the amount of COD Income the Operating Partnership will incur is uncertain.  However, it is expected that the amount of COD Income arising to the Operating Partnership from the consummation of the Plan will be significant.

 

As described above, because the Operating Partnership is a pass-through entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the REIT and the Other Unitholders will be treated as recognizing their respective allocable shares of COD Income from the Operating Partnership.  Certain statutory or judicial exceptions potentially can apply to limit the amount of COD Income required to be included in income by the Unitholders, depending on the holders’ circumstances.  In particular, exceptions are available that would allow COD Income to be excluded from gross income if the COD Income is taken into account by a taxpayer that is insolvent (but only to the extent of insolvency) or in bankruptcy.  These exceptions apply at the “partner” level and thus depend on whether the partner, i.e., the Unitholders to whom the COD Income is allocated, is itself insolvent or in bankruptcy.  The fact that the Operating Partnership is insolvent and in bankruptcy is not relevant for that purpose.  Because the REIT is a debtor in bankruptcy, its share of the COD Income will be excluded from income by reason of the bankruptcy exception and it will be required to reduce its tax attributes accordingly, as discussed below.  For purposes of determining a Unitholder’s insolvency (measured immediately prior to the Effective Date), the holder is treated

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