"The Diva of Distressed" wants the American legal system to recognize her as distressed.
Colorful New York financier Lynn Tilton has put her Zohar investment funds, a key element of her distressed-debt empire and the subject of several legal battles, into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with a goal of selling assets or refinancing debt.
Firstly "Colorful New York financier" is an apt description for Tilton if you stop at "colorful." Secondly, based on Lynn's recent "persecution" by federal authorities and ongoing litigation with...we've lost count, the timing of this Chapter 11 filing feels intriguing.
Tilton said in papers filed on Sunday night with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Del., that the filing was prompted by litigation with the funds’ current manager, restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal, and bond insurer MBIA Inc., a major creditor.
The Zohar funds were designed as collateralized loan obligations that bundled loans to troubled companies into securities, and had raised about $2.5 billion from investors.
And this being Lynn Tilton, there is no one to blame for her bankruptcy than literally anyone else. After all, she just wants to keep creating jobs at all those companies she kind of owns, even if the people at those companies would make a human sacrifice to get her to go away...
She said litigation has blocked her from selling one company and financing several others, but the funds retain “tremendous value” and are worth “billions of dollars,” and a bankruptcy would let creditors with valid claims be paid in full.
According to the bankruptcy petition, the Zohar funds have up to $10 billion of assets and up to $1 billion of debt.
“Value cannot be maximized in the litigious and charged atmosphere that currently exists,” Tilton said in a statement. “Chapter 11 is the only path forward.”
Declaring bankruptcy while bragging that you've got $10 billion in assets is the most Lynn Tilton thing to happen since her own HR people watched her demand male employees do Jello shots off of her rack at the Christmas party.
And while Lynn is the queen of subtlety, it appears that her adversaries see what she's doing...
“These bankruptcy filings are nothing more than a last grasp by Ms. Tilton to retain control of companies she does not own,” Bryan Marsal, chief executive of Alvarez & Marsal, said in a statement.
Define "own," Bryan Marsal, because Lynn is gonna try. And you will never be the same.