Willkie represented PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc., the Canadian court-appointed monitor for Pacific.
On November 2, Pacific Exploration & Production Corporation (“Pacific”) announced that it had successfully implemented its plan of compromise and arrangement (the “CCAA Plan”) pursuant to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) (“CCAA”) in connection with a comprehensive restructuring transaction that resulted, among other things, in the conversion of approximately $5.4 billion in indebtedness to equity and provided additional liquidity to Pacific.
Pacific is a Canadian oil and gas exploration & production company with operations focused in Latin America, including Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Brazil, Guyana and Belize. According to a May 2016 Forbes article, at the time Pacific commenced its Canadian CCAA proceedings on April 27, 2016, it was the largest bankruptcy of an oil & gas producer in terms of debt since the recent downturn in commodity prices.
The restructuring was effected, in part, through simultaneous insolvency proceedings before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice Commercial List (the “Canadian Court”) pursuant to the CCAA, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Bankruptcy Court”) pursuant to chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the Colombian Superintendencia de Sociedades pursuant to Colombia’s Ley 1116 of 2006.
Representing PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc., the Canadian court-appointed monitor for Pacific, Willkie successfully navigated Pacific’s restructuring through the U.S. chapter 15 process by obtaining recognition of the Canadian CCAA proceeding as a foreign main proceeding and securing the Bankruptcy Court’s recognition of the Canadian Court’s order sanctioning the CCAA Plan on October 3. The Bankruptcy Court’s recognition order was an integral step toward the implementation of the CCAA Plan.
The matter was handled by partners Marc Abrams, Joseph Minias, Antonio Yanez and Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza; associates Weston Eguchi, Ji Hun Kim and Sudeep Paul; and former foreign law clerk Maria Cristina Vasquez Melo.