Stephen D. Zide represents a diverse range of clients in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and out-of-court restructuring matters. Mr. Zide has led numerous high-profile restructurings across a number of industries and his clients include both official and ad hoc creditor and equity committees, debtors, bondholders, investors and secured lenders.

On the creditor side, Mr. Zide advises on clients on distressed and bankrupt companies with complex corporate and capital structures. He provides incisive analysis and advice leveraging his extensive experience investigating and litigating fraudulent conveyance, fiduciary duty, intercreditor and valuation disputes; developing, negotiating and confirming Chapter 11 plans; negotiating and litigating cash collateral orders, debtor-in-possession financing, and equity commitment agreements; and developing and implementing rights offerings. Mr. Zide’s practice representing creditors is complimented by his experience representing distressed companies, and assisting debtors in navigating the complex legal, financial and operational issues that arise in Chapter 11.

Described as “very smart and commercial” and an “exceptionally talented and creative restructuring lawyer,” who “crafts creative deals and comes up with cutting-edge ideas” Mr. Zide is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA for bankruptcy/restructuring. M&A Advisor recognized him as “Legal Advisor of the Year” in 2020, and in 2019, he was named one of Turnaround and Workouts' “Outstanding Restructuring Lawyers.” He was previously regarded as a rising star for bankruptcy by some of the most prominent legal and industry publications, including Turnaround and Workouts, Law360 and M&A Advisor. He is also recognized as a New York Super Lawyer for 2019-21 and was a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for 2014-2017.

Key Matters

  • Caliber Midstream in connection with the bankruptcy filing of Nine Point Energy in the District of Delaware in March 2021. Caliber is a midstream service provider that provided materials and services to NPE, an oil and gas exploration and production company operating in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana. The representation includes litigation over NPE’s effort to reject or terminate the contract with Caliber and Caliber’s assertion of a statutory lien in damages.
  • Dolphin Drilling in connection with the bankruptcy case of Seadrill, the owner and operator oil drillships, semisubmersible rigs, and jack-up rigs. Seadrill filed for bankruptcy relief in February 2021 with approximately US$5.6 billion in financial debt, and Dolphin, an offshore oil well driller that operates primarily in the North Sea, sought to acquire certain assets of Seadrill in bankruptcy. As part of that effort, Dolphin joined a consortium with two other parties to bid on all of Seadrill’s assets. 
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Gulfport Energy Corporation, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas on Nov. 13, 2020.
  • An ad hoc group of bondholders of Valaris plc, one of the largest oil rig owning companies in the world.  Valaris filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 19, 2020, in the Southern District of Texas with over US$7 billion of financial debt, including approximately US$6.5 billion in bond debt and an approximately US$600 million drawn revolver. The bondholder group, which held over US$3.7 billion of bond debt, negotiated and agreed with Valaris prior to the bankruptcy filing on a Restructuring Support Agreement providing for the conversion of all Valaris’ debt to equity pursuant to a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization, in a deal supported by over 70 percent of Valaris’ bond debt. The bondholder group also agreed to provide US$500 million in DIP Financing, which was approved by the Bankruptcy Court following a contested two-day trial.
  • An ad hoc group of bondholders of Noble Corp. plc., a leading owner and operator in the offshore drilling industry.  Noble filed for bankruptcy on July 31, 2020, in the Southern District of Texas with roughly US$4 billion of financial debt, including approximately US$3.5 billion in bond debt and an approximately US$545 million drawn revolver. The bondholder group, which held over US$695 million of bond debt, negotiated and agreed with Noble prior to the bankruptcy filing on a Restructuring Support Agreement providing for the conversion of all Noble’s debt to equity pursuant to a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization, in a deal supported by all of Noble’s key creditor constituencies. The Restructuring Support Agreement also contemplates a rights offering for the issuance of US$200 million of new second lien notes upon Noble’s emergence from bankruptcy, a portion of which will be backstopped by the bondholder group. 
  • Bluestem Group Inc., the non-debtor parent company and largest unsecured creditor of Bluestem Brands, Inc. (BBI) in connection with BBI’s bankruptcy filing in the District of Delaware on March 9, 2020. BBI was an online and catalog retailer with more than US$1.7 billion in sales in 2019. BBI’s restructuring was accomplished through a global settlement among BBI, BGI, and other key constituencies, which resulted in the successful sale of substantially all of the debtors’ assets to BBI’s prepetition secured lenders pursuant to a plan of reorganization that went effective on August 28, 2020.  
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy cases of RAIT Funding LLC, a real estate investment trust. The five-member Creditors’ Committee is comprised of the Bank of New York Mellon Trust, Wells Fargo, UMB Bank, Rangeley Capital and Matthew Page. The company (which has over US$167 million in funded debt) sought Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on August 30, 2019.  
  • Holders of US$278 million 12 percent senior secured notes issued by MZ Funding LLC, a special purpose affiliate of MBIA Insurance Corp. The notes were issued to refinance existing notes issued by MZ Funding in 2017 to provide MBIA with financing to pay claims on its policy insuring notes issued by certain Zohar entities. MBIA Insurance Corp. issued financial guaranty insurance policies covering interest and principal on the new MZ Funding Notes. MZ Funding’s obligations are secured by its claims against certain Zohar entities.
  • An ad hoc group of first lien term lenders of Payless Inc., the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere, with approximately 3,400 stores in more than 40 countries. Payless filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Eastern District of Missouri in February 2019. The ad hoc group provided Payless with approximately US$25 million of DIP financing in connection with the bankruptcy filing.
  • Certain holders of preferred shares of Ambac, a subsidiary of Ambac Financial Group Inc. (AFG), in connection with an exchange of approximately US$660 million aggregate liquidation preference of Ambac preferred shares for senior surplus notes of Ambac and cash and warrants from AFG.

Includes matters handled at Dechert and prior to joining the firm.

    • Hildene Capital Management in connection with the bankruptcy of Scottish Annuity & Life Insurance Co. and Scottish Holdings Inc., two subsidiaries of Scottish Re Group Ltd. (SRGL). SRGL is a life reinsurer with operations in multiple countries including a U.S.-based, Delaware-domiciled reinsurance affiliate, Scottish Re (U.S.) Inc., which has approximately US$1.68 billion in assets.
    • An ad hoc group of first lien lenders and bondholders of Westmoreland Coal Company, the sixth largest North American coal producer. Westmoreland filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of Texas in October 2018 after entering into a US$110 million bridge loan facility and restructuring support agreement with the ad hoc group. Westmoreland’s chapter 11 plan, which became effective in March 2019, restructured approximately US$1 billion of financial debt, OPEB and other legacy liabilities.
    • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy cases of Toys “R” Us, the world’s leading toy and baby products retailer, with nearly 65,000 employees and approximately 1,900 locations in 38 countries. The company sought Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Sept. 18, 2017. The nine-member committee consists of LEGO Systems Inc., Mattel Inc., Huffy Corp., The Bank of New York Mellon, Simon Property Group Inc., KIMCO Realty, Evenflo Co. Inc., Veritiv Operating Co. and Euler Hermes North America Insurance Co.
    • Elliott Management Corp. and Aurelius Capital Management LP, as holders of more than US$1 billion of secured and unsecured claims, in the Chapter 11 case of Peabody, the world’s largest publicly traded, private-sector coal company. Elliott and Aurelius participated in Peabody’s DIP financing, and a mediation that achieved agreement across Peabody’s capital structure on the terms of a Chapter 11 plan. The foundation of the plan, which was supported overwhelmingly by every class of creditors, was a US$1.5 billion equity raise backstopped by Elliott, Aurelius and other creditors. Peabody’s Chapter 11 plan, which became effective in April 2016, restructured debt of approximately US$8.8 billion.
    • MBIA Insurance Corp.’s surplus noteholders and the purchasers of US$328.25 million senior secured notes, issued by MZ Funding LLC, a special-purpose entity affiliate of MBIA. The proceeds of the MZ Funding notes were loaned to MBIA to pay claims on its policy insuring notes issued by the Zohar II collateralized loan obligation. MBIA issued financial guaranty insurance policies covering interest and principal on the MZ Funding notes.
    • Luxor Capital Group LP, as the largest unsecured creditor in the bankruptcy case of RCS Capital Corp. On May 23, 2016, RCS emerged from bankruptcy under a new moniker, Aretec Group Inc., with a network of 9,100 independent retail investment advisers, who provide financial advice to approximately 2.5 million clients and have approximately US$220 billion in assets under administration. Under the Chapter 11 plan, RCS transferred certain litigation claims to a trust for the benefit of unsecured creditors and funded the trust with US$15 million in cash and warrants for 10 percent of Aretec.
    • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of NII Holdings Inc. in the bankruptcy of one of the leading providers of mobile communication services operating under the Nextel brand in Latin America. Through its Chapter 11 plan NII restructured approximately US$8 billion of debt.
    • Bank of New York Mellon as indenture trustee for approximately US$120 million in municipal bonds issued by ACR Energy Partners LLC, the largest unsecured creditor of the Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City.
    • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy of Residential Capital (ResCap). ResCap was a wholly owned subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC) that serviced more than 2.4 million domestic residential mortgage loans with a value of approximately US$374 billion. The committee played a key role in the sale of ResCap’s servicing and origination business and loan portfolio and led the negotiation of a US$2.1 billion settlement between AFI, ResCap and ResCap’s major creditor constituencies, which resolved numerous contested issues in the bankruptcy cases, including RMBS “put-back” litigation.
    • A group of noteholders and other creditors with more than US$600 million in unsecured claims in the bankruptcy case of Eastman Kodak Co., one of the world’s leading material science companies. The group served as backstop parties in connection with Kodak’s US$400 million equity rights offering, forming the cornerstone of Kodak’s reorganization.
    • American Capital Ltd., in the bankruptcy cases of one of the nation’s largest catalog retailers. American Capital and other lenders provided a US$140 million debtor-in-possession financing and negotiated the terms of a plan of reorganization that substantially deleveraged Orchard.
    • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc., a leading manufacturer of fluid handling, body sealing, and noise and vibration control components, systems and modules in passenger vehicles and light trucks. Cooper filed for bankruptcy with more than US$1.1 billion in funded debt and, in a period of less than ten months, confirmed a fully consensual Chapter 11 plan with a rights offering that eliminated more than US$600 million in debt.
    • A group of state environmental authorities and water districts with substantial claims for a contaminated site located in Henderson, NV, in connection with the bankruptcy cases of Tronox. The group’s opposition to Tronox’s original Chapter 11 plan led to a modified plan that tripled the cash consideration distributed to fund the clean-up of the site.
    • The Official Committee of Equity Security Holders of Vermillion Inc., a developer of medical devices and diagnostic tests. Vermillion, confirmed a consensual Chapter 11 plan after nine months, providing its creditors with payment in full and the reinstatement of the company’s equity interests.
    • The holders of bonds issued by ASARCO LLC, an integrated copper-mining, smelting and refining company that was one of the leading producers of copper and nonferrous metal in the United States. The bondholders prosecuted their own plan of reorganization while opposing any plan that paid creditors less than in full, resulting in competing plans that paid unsecured creditors in full plus post-petition interest and compensation for prepayment. 
    • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Dana Corp., a leading supplier of automotive parts to every major vehicle producer in the world. The committee played a lead role in addressing issues which facilitated Dana’s reorganization, including the large-scale divestitures of unprofitable business segments, pension and other post-employment benefits, collective bargaining agreements, intercompany claims, preservation of Dana’s net operating losses, potential asbestos liabilities, negotiations with customers and suppliers, and a rights offering and plan sponsor.
    • The second lien agent and lender in the bankruptcy of Premier Leasing, a provider of semitrailer rentals for the midmarket segment of the transportation industry.
    • Plainfield Asset Management LLC as the largest secured creditor in the bankruptcy case of Wolverine Tube, a global manufacturer of copper and copper alloy tube and metal joining products.
    • A substantial equity holder in the bankruptcy case of Visteon, a global automotive supplier.
    • Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd., an international dry bulk shipping company, in restructuring US$1.4 billion of debt through a pre-packaged plan of reorganization that allowed Genco to convert more than US$1 billion of secured debt and US$125 million of unsecured bonds into new equity, amend and restate two separate loan facilities aggregating US$250 million, unimpair trade creditors, obtain US$100 million in capital through a rights offering, and provide a gift of warrants to old equity holders. Genco’s plan was confirmed in less than three months over the objection of an official equity committee after a hotly contested valuation trial.
    • General Maritime Corp., one of the largest shipping companies in the world, in the seventh largest bankruptcy filing of 2011. General Maritime filed for bankruptcy amid the worst downturn in the shipping industry in decades, with a US$75 million debtor-in-possession facility and a restructuring support agreement that contemplated a US$175 million new capital infusion, obtained approval of a disclosure statement over the objection of the creditors’ committee within three months, and ultimately reached an agreement on the terms of a fully consensual plan of reorganization, emerging from bankruptcy after eliminating approximately US$600 million of financial debt and US$42 million in annual interest expense.
    • Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, a prominent health care system with operations throughout New York City and surrounding counties, in Chapter 11 cases involving complex issues affecting the preservation and disposition of substantial assets (including the debtors’ Manhattan real estate formerly used to operate the hospital), ongoing patient care subject to regulatory oversight by various agencies, and a diverse group of creditors (including various classes of secured, union, pension and medical malpractice creditors), which resulted in a fully consensual Chapter 11 plan.
    • Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp., one of the largest full-service commercial operators of fitness centers in North America, in the restructuring of the company’s operations (including more than 300 fitness clubs), the securing of exit financing, the negotiation of a consensual disclosure statement and plan of reorganization, and its emergence from bankruptcy with a substantially restructured operational footprint and its debt burden reduced from approximately US$800 million to US$75 million.
    • Ascendia Brands Co. Inc., a national leader in the manufacture and sale of blended and private label health and beauty care products, in a bankruptcy that involved marketing and selling the company’s portfolio of nationally and internationally recognized brands such as Baby Magic, Binaca, Mr. Bubble, Calgon, Ogilvie and Lander.
    • Berry-Hill Galleries, a world-class art gallery operated by members of the Hill family for more than 100 years, in obtaining confirmation of a plan of reorganization that provided for payment in full, plus interest, of allowed claims, and the stabilization of a fragile business that was beset by litigation on multiple fronts and confronted with significant liquidity concerns.

    Includes matters handled at Dechert and prior to joining the firm.

    • Bankruptcy/Restructuring – New YorkChambers USA (2021 – 2022)
    • Legal Advisor of the YearM&A Advisor (2020)
    • Outstanding Restructuring LawyersTurnarounds & Workouts (2019)
    • United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York, Honorable Jerome Feller