ProfessionalsPaul M. Basta
The Paul, Weiss Bankruptcy & Corporate Reorganization Department serves as a critical advisor in almost every major, complex restructuring matter, helping companies, creditors and investors facing rapid market transformation respond to business challenges with comprehensive and innovative strategies. Diversity of matters and clients, senior-level attention and seamless delivery of multidisciplinary services distinguish the practice.
Co-chair of the Bankruptcy and Corporate Reorganization Department, Paul Basta represents debtors, creditors and investors in a broad range of restructuring matters, including chapter 11 cases, cross-border insolvency matters, out-of-court restructurings and bankruptcy-related acquisitions. Paul has represented a diverse range of clients spanning numerous industries in some of the most complex and contentious bankruptcy proceedings in recent years. Some of Paul’s significant debtor representations have included advising Sears, Barneys, A&P Supermarkets, MoneyGram, LINN Energy, Samson Resources, Sun Healthcare Group, Charter Communications, Global Crossing, Marvel Entertainment, Reader’s Digest, Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. Inc., Kerzner International, MS Resorts, TOUSA, and Tecumseh Products, among others. Paul has extensive experience representing creditors in major bankruptcies and restructuring matters, including funds such as GSO, GoldenTree, Centerbridge, Bain Capital and H Partners. He has also represented numerous private equity funds in connection with their distressed portfolio companies. Paul represented the Houston Astros in connection with the Houston Regional Sports Network chapter 11 case.
Awards and Recognitions
Paul has been consistently recognized for the past decade as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA, earning praise for being an attorney who “is among the ‘upper echelons of lawyers.’” Clients recognize that he “knows how to pull together disparate views and find the right solution,” that he has “one of the best analytical minds on the street” and that he’s “hard working, intuitive, and a great communicator.” The Legal 500 lists Paul as a “Leading Lawyer,” recommending him as “brilliant, but above all he relates to people and manages to create compromise from initially acrimonious situations.” Paul was selected as one of Law360’s “Bankruptcy MVPs” in 2012 for accomplishments including “successfully bringing warring parties to the bargaining table in out-of-court restructurings.” His representation of Charter Communications garnered recognition by the Financial Times “U.S. Innovative Lawyers Report” in 2010 and earned high praise from The Deal, which named the Charter reorganization as one of its “Deals of the Year” for 2009. Paul has also earned consistent recognition in Chambers Global, The Best Lawyers in America, and IFLR1000, which has selected Paul as a leading lawyer in Restructuring and Insolvency every year since 2008.
Paul regularly lectures and publishes articles on restructuring topics. He has written for an array of notable industry publications, including New York Law Journal and Daily Bankruptcy Review, among others, and has led numerous seminars at conferences held by leading industry organizations including the American Bankruptcy Institute, Practising Law Institute, George Washington University Law School, Turnaround Management Association, and Renaissance American Management. Paul is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a member of the Board of Directors for Her Justice. He currently teaches a course on corporate restructuring at George Washington University Law School.
CONSUMER AND RETAIL
- American Color Graphics, a printing company, in its merger with Vertis through a prepackaged chapter 11 case;
- Barneys, a luxury specialty retailer, in its successful out-of-court restructuring;
- Footstar, a shoe retailer, and thousands of its store corporations in a complicated multi-year restructuring that involved an immediate shut down of the Just-for-Feet store chain, a $300 million sale of the Footaction chain to Foot Locker and a reorganization around the company’s Kmart shoe business;
- The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P Supermarkets), an operator of 395 supermarkets throughout the U.S., in its chapter 11 cases;
- The Grand Union Company, one of the largest supermarket chains in the country, in a 60-day prepackaged chapter 11 case and, subsequently, in the wind down of its business operations;
- Leiner Health, a vitamin supplier, in its chapter 11 proceedings and the sale of its business; and
- MoneyGram, a global provider of money transfer and payment services, in its consensual out-of-court restructuring; and
- The Restructuring Sub-Committee of the Board of Directors of Sears Holdings Corporation, a leading retailer in the appliance, tool, lawn and garden, fitness equipment, automotive repair and maintenance retail sectors, in the company’s chapter 11 cases, including the investigation of potential claims and causes of action in connection with related party transactions and the court-approved $5.2 billion sale of assets.
- Flying J Corporation, a wholesaler and distributer of petroleum products, in its chapter 11 proceeding;
- LINN Energy, an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company, and its affiliates in its chapter 11 cases;
- Longview Power, one of the largest independent coal companies in North Appalachia, and certain of its affiliates in its chapter 11 cases involving the restructuring of approximately $1 billion in funded debt;
- Murray Energy, the largest coal mining company in the U.S., in connection with Foresight Energy;
- OGX, a Brazilian oil company, in Latin America’s largest bankruptcy;
- Sabine, an oil and natural gas company, in its chapter 11 case; and
- Samson Resources, an onshore oil and gas exploration and production company, in its chapter 11 restructuring.
- Olympus Healthcare, a healthcare provider, in its out-of-court restructuring;
- PHP Healthcare Corporation, a healthcare provider, in its chapter 11 wind down;
- Sun Healthcare Group, one of the largest providers of long-term subacute and respiratory healthcare services in the U.S., in the renegotiation of hundreds of leases and the development of a consensual plan of reorganization; and
- Sunrise Assisted Living, an operator of assisted living facilities for senior citizens, in its out-of-court restructuring.
MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
- Acterna Corporation, a maker of telecommunications testing equipment, in its $1 billion reorganization through a prearranged chapter 11 case that lasted less than six months, including the sale of non-core businesses;
- Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S., in one of the largest prearranged chapter 11 filings in history;
- ChoiceOne Communications, a competitive local exchange carrier, in its 60-day prepackaged chapter 11 restructuring;
- Cumulus Media Inc., the nation's second largest radio company with 446 stations spread across 90 markets, and certain of its affiliates in its chapter 11 cases;
- Global Crossing, a global communications enterprise consisting of over 80 affiliated debtors operating in 27 countries and more than 200 cities worldwide, in its massive restructuring, including its sale to a Singapore buyer through a chapter 11 plan of reorganization;
- Hawaiian Telcom Communications, Hawaii’s dominant local telecommunications provider, in its chapter 11 restructuring;
- Marvel Entertainment Group, one of the nation’s largest comic and media companies, in its chapter 11 reorganization;
- Nextwave Telecommunications, owner of wireless licenses, as corporate finance counsel in multiple financings, the sale of licenses to Cingular and the transfer of licenses to Verizon through a chapter 11 plan of reorganization;
- Reader’s Digest Association, a media and publishing company, in a prearranged bankruptcy completed in six months;
- Rhythms NetConnections, a DSL provider, in its chapter 11 restructuring, including the sale of its business to Worldcom through a section 363 bankruptcy sale;
- Verado Communications, a local exchange carrier, in the wind down of its business operations; and
- SunCom Wireless, a wireless provider, in its consensual out-of-court restructuring.
REAL ESTATE AND HOSPITALITY
- Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., a majority-owned subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, in its $18.4 billion chapter 11 restructuring;
- Kerzner International, an international developer and operator of destination resorts, casinos and luxury hotels, in its successful out-of-court restructuring of more than $3 billion of indebtedness;
- Kimball Hill Homes, a homebuilder, in its chapter 11 case;
- MS Resorts, an owner-operator of five luxury resort properties, in its chapter 11 restructuring;
- Olympia & York Companies (USA), the U.S. operations of Paul Reichmann’s United States real estate enterprise, in restructuring numerous New York properties with billions of dollars in debt, including the World Financial Center, over a five year period;
- TOUSA, a homebuilder and financial services provider, and its subsidiaries in connection with restructuring liabilities arising out of litigation involving a joint venture;
- UTGR, Inc. (Twin River), Rhode Island’s largest slot parlor and casino, and its affiliates in its chapter 11 cases; and
- 2 Broadway Associates, a single purpose entity owning the 2 Broadway office tower in New York, in its prepackaged chapter 11 case.
- Autocam Corporation, an auto parts manufacturer, in its consensual out-of-court recapitalization;
- Dura Automotive Systems, an auto systems and hardware manufacturer, in its chapter 11 reorganization;
- Hawker Beechcraft, a manufacturer of business, special mission, light attack and trainer aircraft, in its prearranged chapter 11 cases; and
- Tecumseh Products Company, a manufacturer of engines, compressors and related products, in a series of restructuring and sales transactions.
- The lender group in the restructuring of Eco-Bat Holdings, a lead battery producer;
- An ad hoc group of prepetition second lien lenders in the chapter 11 cases of FULLBEAUTY Brands Holdings Corp. and certain affiliates, which restructured more than $1.2 billion of prepetition debt through a prepackaged plan of reorganization that was approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York less than 24 hours after the company filed for chapter 11 protection, setting the record for the fastest chapter 11 case ever;
- GSO, Caspian, and Knighthead in connection with the restructuring of Roust Inc., an East European vodka distillery;
- The ad hoc committee of LuxCo noteholders in Nextel International, a mobile services communication provider;
- Lehman Brothers, as lender, in connection with the chapter 11 case of Mirant, one of the nation’s largest energy companies;
- H Partners Management LLC and other creditors converting their claims into ownership of Six Flags through a chapter 11 proceeding;
- Bondholders in the consensual restructuring of Ziff-Davis Media, a global digital-media company, through an exchange offer;
- Qwest Communications as stalking horse bidder to Allegiance Communications, a competitive local exchange carrier;
- Bondholders of Excite@Home, an owner of high-speed cable-modem technology, in the company’s chapter 11 case;
- FSA in constructing a multi-lateral trading program of derivative contracts;
- Dresdner Bank in the chapter 11 case of Pegasus Gold Corporation, including enforcement of derivative contracts;
- Numerous counterparties in connection with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers;
- Citigroup as:
- provider of debtor-in-possession financing to Service Merchandise, a retailer chain of catalog showrooms;
- provider of debtor-in-possession financing to Friedmans Jewelers, a U.S. company that owned and operated fine jewelry specialty stores;
- counterparty to repurchase agreements regarding mortgage-backed securities in chapter 11 case of Criimi Mae, a commercial mortgage broker;
- lender and counterparty to various repurchase agreements, including New Century, American Home and C-Bass;
- Credit Suisse as:
- bidder for exit financing for RCN, a telecommunications provider;
- provider of exit financing to Anchor Glass, a Florida-based manufacturer of glass products;
- agent for various lenders to Healthsouth, successfully negotiating for an early out-of-court payout in full of their loan with a premium;
- Lehman Brothers:
- in the consensual out-of-court restructuring of American Cellular, a wireless company;
- as agent to various lenders to a subsidiary of Mirant, one of the nation’s largest energy companies, in connection with Mirant’s chapter 11 case; and
- Receivables lender to Greater Southeast Community Hospital Corporation, a Washington, D.C. hospital, successfully litigating validity of the lender’s security interest.