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Opportunistic Times

It’s a particular pleasure to be guest editor for the March issue of the Journal of Corporate Renewal this year. The Journal continues to produce cutting-edge thinking and leading scholarship on opportunities arising from disruption in the U.S. economy and the world. The realm of corporate distress continues to evolve, and the Journal remains at the forefront of analyzing the evolution across all sectors. 

In that spirit, this issue takes a broad look at current developments affecting corporate distress. Instead of following a single theme, the collective group of authors here produced a work painted with a broad brush (or, at literary expense to avoid mixing metaphors, written with a thick pencil). 

Our opening article takes on a personal favorite among corporate topics, that of the highly regulated healthcare industry. Sam Maizel and his colleagues take us on a tour of healthcare sales in their exploration of the "Extent of State’s Power at Issue in Nonprofit Hospital’s Asset Sale.” Next up is my colleague, Jeremy Johnson, reviewing recent decisions under the Trust Indenture Act in “2nd Circuit: Out-of-Court Restructurings Are Safe…for Now.”

Moving on to the ever relevant topic of distress sales, Jeffrey Varsalone walks us through the delicate question of “Balancing Competing Interests in Insider Sales.” Then David Zietsma and Danielle Ng-See-Quan from Jackman give us the inside scoop on the drug store that is always my favorite when I’m in New York, writing “From the ‘Critical List’ to Reinvention: The Turnaround of Duane Reade.” 

Next, Kenneth Rosen and Michael Papandrea explore whether 503(b)(9), the section meant to stop restructuring abuses, is itself being abused through neglect in “Are Section 503(b)(9) Claims Being Taken Seriously?” Holly Felder Etlin, CTP, and Spencer Ware, CTP, give us an in-depth look at developing trends and best practices in the retail industry in “Closing Time: Pruning Underperforming Stores in a Competitive Retail Environment.”

Finally, Rick Frimmer and Tom Buck assess the difficulties and opportunities presented with tax-exempt bonds in distress scenarios in their article “Considerations in Middle Market Tax-Free Bond Restructurings.” 

Almost 10 years on from The Great Recession, these are interesting times in the U.S. political and economic environments. “Interesting times,” of course, is a euphemism that we in the West use for “unpredictable.” Unpredictability creates the potential for disruption, and “disruption”, of course, is simply a euphemism for opportunity. So, these must be opportunistic times. Be brave, and carpe diem.

Bobby Guy

Frost Brown Todd LLC

Bobby Guy is an attorney with the law firm of Frost Brown Todd LLC in Nashville, Tennessee, and specializes in fixing, buying, and selling struggling companies. He is the co-founder of the FBT/TrBK Distress Indices (distressindex.com), and is certified as a specialist in business bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification. He can be reached at 615-251-5557 or bguy@fbtlaw.com.

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