“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.”

― Carl Sagan

By David Johnson | @TurnaroundDavid

  • Energy Companies Raising Debt to Repay Revolvers (Reuters): Energy companies, anticipating severe cuts in their borrowing base availability as a result of a steep decline in oil prices since last summer, have been aggressively raising junior capital to pay down their revolving lines of credit in accordance with their new, lower borrowing limits.  As the market adjusts to the reality of lower oil prices, there is an increasing bifurcation in the market between companies with strong fundamentals and those in more dire straits.
  • Einstein Noah to Close 39 Underperforming Units (Nation’s Restaurant News): Under the control of private equity firm Joh. A. Benckiser Group, Einstein Noah, which operates over 850 restaurants in 42 states, is poised to close a number of underperforming locations.  This approach is similar to that followed by Joh. A. Benckiser Group after its 2012 acquisition of Caribou Coffee, when it shuttered 80 locations and rebranded an additional 88 locations.
  • A Fair Hearing for Sovereign Debt (Project Syndicate): A recent ruling by a UK court on the issue of Argentina’s interest payments offered the hope of a return to sanity following the forced default of Argentina after a ruling by U.S. judge Thomas Griesa (which many have termed the “Griesafault”).  Despite much needed clarity on this specific issue, systemic issues remain regarding sovereign debt, and both debtors and creditors would benefit from a multinational framework for sovereign debt restructuring.
  • Once Thriving Retailers Spiral Downward (Crain’s New York): The retail landscape is littered with victims of a shifting market dynamic that has hammered retailers aiming at what was until recently a lucrative segment: the mid-tier.  As retailers serving the high and low ends of the market continue to flourish, those who had long subsisted by serving the middle are being relentlessly squeezed.
  • What will happen to the Tampa Bay Times? (Columbia Journalism Review): Does an award-winning newspaper sharing a midsized media market with a cross-town rival, operating under nontraditional governance structure, and hobbled by a slow adjustment of its business model to digital opportunities deserve to exist in 2015?  The Tampa Bay Times is seeking to answer that question while many, both in and outside the organization, hope that the answer is yes.