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Distressed M&A: Market Drivers, Asset Opportunities, Deal Returns

Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 1 p.m. EST


As the global economy limps along, the pressure on companies to sell underperforming assets or restructure operations and debt to avoid in-court restructuring is increasing. U.S. economic uncertainty, the ever-evolving Eurozone crisis and contracting emerging market growth leave the volume of distressed opportunities for LBO shops and strategic acquirers poised to increase.

How should distressed investors be planning to take advantage of these opportunities? Which regions and sectors look set to offer the best returns and why? Which factors will impact the pricing and distressed valuation of assets? What asset attributes should distressed dealmakers look for to ensure the best return?

For answers, The Deal and SmartRoom will host an interactive webcast discussion on March 7th to explore how distressed dealmakers can take advantage of these opportunities. Combining the in-depth perspective and expertise of the panelists with real-life case study examples, we'll get an understanding of the key criteria dealmakers should adopt to ensure success in sourcing, valuing and executing distressed transactions in this environment.


MattMiller_153.pngMatt Miller
The Deal

As editor-at-large at The Deal, Matt Miller has written feature stories investigating the successes and struggles of major metropolitan areas like Cleveland, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, San Diego and Boston, and covered the bankruptcies of Catholic dioceses around the country resulting from incidents of sexual abuse by priests.

Miller has spent more than 25 years in business journalism, with much of that time based in Asia for The Wall Street Journal Asia. He opened The Wall Street Journal Asia's New Delhi bureau, was bureau chief in Manila and an investigative reporter based in Hong Kong, where he broke stories on a number of major financial scandals. He also was the Pacific Rim correspondent for The San Diego Union-Tribune and has contributed to the BBC, NPR, Institutional Investor, the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Los Angeles Times.


John Buck
Versa Capital Management 

Mr. Buck is a Principal at Versa Capital Management, a Philadelphia-based private equity firm with $1.2 billion of assets under management focused on executing a special situation control-oriented investment strategy. Mr. Buck is responsible for originating investment opportunities and secondary debt trades, and arranging loans to support Versa's investments. He is a director of Civitas Media LLC, a community newspaper chain concentrated in Ohio and North Carolina.

Prior to joining Versa in 2006, Mr. Buck was Vice President at Cerberus Capital Management, where he led middle-market deal origination efforts, and supported the underwriting of numerous investments in a diverse set of industries. He was a co-founder of TenX Capital, a partnership that focused on control investments in underperforming technology, telecommunications, and business services companies.

Mr. Buck is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Fox Graduate School of Business. He is actively involved with the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), and Commercial Finance Association (CFA), and is a board member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the TMA and member of the CFA Advocacy Committee. Mr. Buck has participated on numerous panels addressing topics on distressed investing, turnarounds, and credit markets on behalf of TMA, CFA, ACG, the Wharton School of Business, and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Adam Dunayer
Managing Director
Houlihan Lokey 

Mr. Dunayer is a Managing Director in Houlihan Lokey's Dallas office, where he is a member of the Financial Restructuring Group. He leads the firm's regional financial restructuring and distressed-company M&A efforts. He has over two decades of experience consummating transactions and providing strategic advice to companies and creditors in connection with in- and out-of-court financial restructurings, mergers, acquisitions and dispositions. He also has extensive experience raising debt and equity capital in public and private markets.

Mr. Dunayer's experience spans industries including consumer products, food, healthcare, building products, energy, general industrial, telecom and technology. His recent engagements include Spansion (secured creditors); American Safety Razor (secured creditors); Innovative Communication (company); Heartland Automotive (secured creditors); Pilgrim's Pride (equity committee) and Global Home Products (company). He speaks frequently on trends and issues in restructuring, distressed M&A and other topics. He has also testified as an expert witness on a variety of bankruptcy and restructuring issues.

Before joining Houlihan Lokey, Mr. Dunayer was a managing director with Bear, Stearns & Co. He was also an executive vice president and chief financial officer with Miller Industries, where he also served as president of the company's largest subsidiary.

Mr. Dunayer holds a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Turnaround Management Association. He is registered with FINRA as a General Securities Principal (Series 7, 24 and 63) and a Limited Representative - Investment Banking (Series 79).


Brandon Farley
Managing Director

Brandon Farley has led SmartRoom for BMC Group since 2005. He has spent his career in leadership roles with companies that deliver technology to improve processes. Prior to BMC, he served in a variety of management positions, including Regional DataSite Director for Merrill Corp., Regional Sales Manager at Macromedia Inc., and Vice President of Sales for He holds degrees in Communications and English from Stanford University.


Adam Harris
Schulte Roth & Zabel 

Adam C. Harris is a partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel, where he is chair of the Business Reorganization Group and a member of the Executive Committee. He practices in the areas of corporate restructurings, workouts and creditors' rights litigation, with a particular focus on representing investment funds and financial institutions in distressed situations. Adam represents a variety of clients in connection with distressed acquisitions by third-party investors or existing creditors through "credit bid" or similar strategies, as well as in court-supervised and out-of-court restructurings. Additionally, Adam represents Chapter 11 debtors, as well as portfolio companies, in out-of-court exchange offers, debt repurchases and other capital restructurings.

Adam's recent representations include advising a group of private equity funds, in their capacity as term loan holders, in connection with the "credit bid" acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Real Mex Restaurants Inc. and its affiliates. Adam also advised on The Innkeepers USA Trust Chapter 11 reorganization and sale to Cerberus Capital Management LP and Chatham Lodging Trust, which was named the "Special Situation M&A Deal of the Year" (above $750 million) at the Turnaround Atlas Awards. Adam received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. from Emory University.

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