Fifteen months after the world’s largest renewable energy developer filed for bankruptcy, a beleaguered SunEdison is finally about to emerge in whatever its new form will be after Judge Stuart Bernstein approved its emergence plan yesterday.
In approving the deal, Bernstein dismissed the objections of two investors and other shareholders who had voted to reject the reorganization plan, saying the proposed settlement treated everyone equally. He wrote:
“… the Plan is fair and equitable and does not discriminate unfairly, as required by section 1129(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, and may be confirmed under Bankruptcy Code section 1129(b) notwithstanding such Classes’ rejection or deemed rejection of the Plan.”
The deal was brokered by Oklahoma-based BOK Financial in conjunction with a creditor’s committee.
As part of the settlement, SunEdison is authorized to issue new stock, which the judge said “was an essential part of the Plan” to discharge its debts, as well as have operating capital to fund the reconstituted company.
What the new company will look like or what its business model will be is unclear from the court documents. SunEdison has already lost a number of its businesses and assets, and as of a pending deal with Brookfield, will no longer own or sponsor its two yieldcos.
SunEdison’s stock, currently an over-the-counter security, was listed as trading at 3 cents at the close of business yesterday.
Judge Bernstein’s approval brings to a close the bankruptcy proceedings of one of the industry’s groundbreaking company’s after 15 months of complicated legal wrangling that saw SunEdison’s assets sold off piecemeal as companies swooped in to pick the meat off the company’s bones.
The light started to break through the clouds SunEdison’s bankruptcy had cast on the industry last fall, when the company entered into talks with TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global, to settle more than $3 billion in claims. The talks resulted inf a court-approved settlement between the three companies, clearing the way for the sale of the two yieldcos to Brookfield.
After that, it was a matter of SunEdison coming up with a plan that satisfied Bernstein and the majority of its shareholders, conditions that were apparently met on Tuesday.
It should be noted the emergence from bankruptcy does not shield the company from shareholder lawsuits that are still pending.
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