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Valuation Challenges in the Current Environment

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 70 minutes
Recorded Date: May 13, 2021
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  • Case Study: Quorum Health Corp.
  • How Do We Assess Business Worth in Such Unusual Times?
  • Hypothetical Case Study: Olfax, Inc.
  • Strategic Options
Runtime: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Recorded: May 13, 2021


This panel will focus on the impact of government funding and other recovery programs on valuation in health care, life sciences and other industries. The panelists also will discuss how traditional methods of valuation are being challenged by the current situation, and the programs that have emerged to address the resulting distress.

This program was recorded as part of the American Bankruptcy Institute's Virtual VALCON 2021 held on May 13th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute
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Felicia Gerber Perlman

McDermott Will & Emery

Felicia Gerber Perlman is a partner in the Chicago office of McDermott Will & Emery, where she focuses her practice on complex business reorganizations, debt restructurings and insolvency matters. She also is the global co-head of the firm’s Restructuring and Insolvency Practice Group.

Ms. Perlman advises debtors, creditors, lenders, investors, sellers, purchasers and other parties-in-interest in all stages of restructuring transactions, from chapter 11 reorganizations to out-of-court negotiations, workouts and acquisitions. She frequently presents on bankruptcy topics and is featured in several notable publications.

Ms. Perlman is a frequent speaker and has been recognized in Turnarounds & Workouts as one of the nation’s “Outstanding Young Bankruptcy Lawyers,” and she has repeatedly has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, she received the 2017 Flex Success Award from The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance for her commitment and success in creating and working in a flexible environment. She also was named by Crain’s Custom Media as one of Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers in 2018.

Ms. Perlman has been a member of the boards of directors of the Women in Law Empowerment Forum and the Chicago Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law Firms, and she is a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy. She received her B.A. and B.S.E. in 1989 from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, and her J.D. in 1992 from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

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Ben Pickering

Principal, Restructuring Advisory Services Group
Ernst & Young

Ben Pickering is a principal in Ernst & Young’s Restructuring Advisory Services group in New York and leads its U.S. Restructuring Life Sciences team. He has 30 years of professional experience addressing special situations and distressed matters for a wide variety of constituents.

Mr. Pickering has in-court and out-of-court experience addressing such issues as business planning, alternatives and execution, strategic alternatives, enterprise restructuring, recovery alternatives and analysis, negotiation and resolution with various stakeholders, liquidity analysis and financial constraints resolution, cash flow and financial modeling under steady state and alternative operating scenarios, and financial reporting and monitoring.

Immediately prior to joining EY, Mr. Pickering served as the interim CFO of a distressed pharmaceutical company. In this role, he led the negotiations with its sponsor and lenders, as well as other key stakeholders. He also reorganized the accounting and treasury functions, and implemented cash-flow and financial forecasting for use in business planning and negotiations with key stakeholders and restructured operations. He also prepared and negotiated the potential financing options required to support the company, and led the preparations for a potential chapter 11 filing and, ultimately, the sale of the business via a creative mechanism.

In addition, Mr. Pickering has also advised clients on crisis resolution and rapid cost takeout, operational alternatives and related impacts, including strategic assessment and options analysis, the restructuring of operations, divisional consolidation/ rationalization, business divestitures and debt restructuring. His international experience includes matters in the U.S. and Canada, Trinidad, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the U.K., Cyprus, Greece, Ivory Coast, Liberia, China (including Hong Kong and Macau before the handovers) and Thailand.

Mr. Pickering received his B.A. in commerce from the University of Toronto.

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Michael O'Hara

Managing Director, Debt Advisory & Restructuring Group
Jefferies LLC

Michael O’Hara is co-head of the U.S. and a managing director in the Debt Advisory and Restructuring Group of Jefferies LLC in New York. He provides investment banking advisory services on a variety of restructuring and special-situation assignments for companies, creditors, corporate board committees, and acquirers and sellers of distressed assets.

Mr. O’Hara’s notable company/debtor assignments include AbitibiBowater, Akorn Pharmaceuticals, American Axle & Manufacturing, AIG, Ascent Resources Marcellus, Brock Group, Energy Future Holdings, EXCO Resources, Fusion Connect, Mallinckrodt, MoneyGram, Mrs. Fields, Quad Graphics (re: Vertis), RockPile Energy Services, Samson Resources, Southland Royalty Co., Taro Pharmaceutical, Travelport, Triangle Petroleum and Washington Mutual, among others. His creditor assignments have included Chaparral Energy, Dana, Delphi, Eastman Kodak, EP Energy, Extraction, Gulfport, Hostess Brands, Intrawest, Jupiter Resources, Lehman, Preferred Sands, Quicksilver Resources, Ultra Petroleum and Vanguard Natural Resources, among others.

Mr. O’Hara has worked on several sovereign situations, including Argentina (Enron/Azurix), Greece and Iceland (Kaupthing). He has served as a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Booth School, Columbia Business School and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, among others, and has participated in many restructuring industry conferences.

Before joining Jefferies, Mr. O’Hara was a partner in the Restructuring and Special Situations Group of PJT Partners (formerly Blackstone). He also previously worked in the M&A groups at Wasserstein Perella & Co. and Stephens Inc.

Mr. O’Hara received his B.S. in finance from Georgetown University and his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

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Christopher J. Kearns

Managing Director, Corporate Finance Group
Berkeley Research Group, LLC

Christopher J. Kearns, CPA, CFA, CTP, CIRA is co-head of Berkeley Research Group, LLC’s Corporate Finance practice in New York, where he specializes in financial restructuring advisory services, crisis management and expert testimony in the troubled-company and corporate finance environment. He has represented parties in interest in numerous complex, multinational matters and has served as CEO, CRO, responsible officer, receiver and trustee. Mr. Kearns has rendered expert testimony in multiple jurisdictions on matters involving valuation, lost profits, solvency, credit analysis, liquidation and recovery analysis, and other issues in distressed situations. He also has advised major investment banks and potential purchasers on acquisition strategies and post-merger integration.

Before co-founding Capstone Advisory Group, LLC, Mr. Kearns was a senior managing director at the Policano & Manzo legacy practice of FTI Consulting and was also with the predecessor firm Kahn Consulting. Previously, he spent three years with Bristol-Myers Squibb in assignments that included assistant corporate controller. He also spent 10 years in the mergers and acquisitions group and the audit practice of a major international public accounting firm.

Mr. Kearns is a member of AICPA, the New York State Society of CPAs and the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors. He served as president of the New York chapter of the Turnaround Management Association. Mr. Kearns received his B.B.A. in accounting from Iona College.

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Robert J. Stark

Partner, Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Practice Group
Brown Rudnick LLP

Robert J. Stark is a partner with Brown Rudnick LLP in New York and the practice group leader for the firm’s Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Practice Group in the U.S. He focuses his practice on complex corporate restructuring, including in-court chapter 11 cases and out-of-court workouts. He also has extensive experience representing debtors/borrowers, secured and unsecured creditors, official creditor/equity committees, and other significant parties-in-interest in large corporate insolvency matters.

Mr. Stark’s case experience includes the representation of an official or significant adhoc creditor/equity committee in the restructuring of American Safety Razor, CEDC, Colt Defense, Delta Petroleum, The Dolan Co., Endeavour International, Energy Conversion Devices, Evergreen International Aviation, Falcon Products, Fedders, Flying J/Big West Oil, Forest Oil, Green Field Energy Services, Green Valley Ranch Hotel and Casino, Hawkeye Renewables, Hayes Lemmerz International, InSight Health Services, Le-Nature’s, Lionel Trains, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Motor Coach Industries, Newark Group, NV Broadcasting, Oakwood Homes Corp., Oneida, Owens Corning, Patriot Coal, Refco Capital Markets, Renewable Biofuels, Riverstone Networks, School Specialty, Spansion, Synagro Technologies, TOUSA, Tropicana Entertainment, Visteon, Washington Mutual and York Research. His debtor/borrower engagements include Keys Resort Investors and Wells Dairy (Blue Bunny Ice Cream), the principal owner of Centrix Financial, and the special committee of the board of directors of Allied Systems Holdings.

Mr. Stark has been cited in The Best Lawyers in America, Benchmark Litigation, Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Global M&A Network: Top 100 Restructuring Professionals, Legal 500, Litigation Counsel of America (Fellow), Super Lawyers and PLC Which Lawyer, among others. He has published extensively on bankruptcy and restructuring topics, and was the lead editor of the 400-page legal treatise Contested Valuation in Corporate Bankruptcy (Matthew Bender 2011), part of the Collier on Bankruptcy monograph series.

Mr. Stark is admitted to the Bars of New York and New Jersey, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the District of New Jersey and the Eastern District of Michigan, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He received his B.A. in 1992 from Lafayette College and his J.D. in 1995 from Vanderbilt University Law School.

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