Amusement is the happiness of those who cannot think.

― Alexander Pope

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

  • How Blackstone can save The Cosmopolitan (Fortune): Having recently acquired The Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas at a 60% discount, Blackstone Group now has a turnaround on its hands.  The upside is considerable, though.  Comparable Vegas hotels trade at 11 – 12x TTM EBITDA, and while Blackstone’s $1.73 billion purchase price works out to approximately 15x trailing EBITDA, there is reason to believe that considerable improvement is just around the corner, with clear areas of opportunity such as G&A in excess of that of its peer group and the benefit of an owner motivated to drive improvement.
  • Hostess, Fresh From Bankruptcy, Seeks Investor OK for Sponsor Payout (Forbes): Only six months after operations resumed, Hostess is seeking to amend its credit facility to allow a $175 million payout to its investors.  The fact that the company is currently generating run-rate EBITDA of $145 million highlights the extraordinary success of a company that had been left for dead.
  • Batista shipbuilder OSX offers to pay debt in 25 years (Reuters): Bankrupt shipbuilding company OSX has presented a restructuring plan to a Brazilian judge.  The plan allows the company to seek outside capital, defer most debt service for three years, and extend payments on its $2.6 billion in debt to 25 years.
  • Bitcoin miner startup slapped with involuntary bankruptcy petition (Ars Technicha): Five suppliers to troubled Bitcoin company HashFast have forced the company into an involuntary chapter 11 filing, in hopes of forcing payment on past due accounts payable.  The move showcases the liquidity issues that startups can face, and the need to manage those issues proactively.
  • Why Cities Can’t Go Bankrupt in Canada or Germany (Governing): Understanding the approach that other developed countries have taken to the issues of municipal distress offers lessons for the U.S. as the number of troubled municipalities increases.