Using the Bankruptcy Code in Distressed M&A Deals

West LegalEd Center


Banking + Financial Services, Business Restructuring + Insolvency, Mergers + Acquisitions, Emerging Companies + Venture Capital, and Private Equity Investments + Buyouts


Henry M. Fields and Kenneth E. Kohler

Henry M. Fields and Kenneth E. Kohler

Speaking Engagement

Henry M. Fields, Kenneth E. Kohler and Alexandra Steinberg Barrage discussed the recent ground-breaking bank recapitalization and sale of AmericanWest Bank, which used Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code in a novel and creative manner, avoiding the failure of the bank.

With the guidance of Morrison & Foerster's bank regulatory, bankruptcy, and M&A groups, AmericanWest effectively addressed various regulatory, public relations, legal and procedural issues to obtain bankruptcy court approval in 42 days and consummate the recapitalization and sale of AmericanWest Bank to a private equity-backed group.

By utilizing Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, AmericanWest Bank was able to consummate a recapitalization and sale that otherwise would likely have been thwarted by the "blocking position" of the holding company's outstanding trust preferred securities.

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