Trailer Bridge Unveils Plan to Exit Chapter 11

Trailer Bridge Unveils Plan to Exit Chapter 11

Trailer Bridge said its majority bondholders have agreed on a restructuring plan that could allow the U.S.-Puerto Rico carrier to seek to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the end of March.

The company said Seacor Holdings and Whipporwill Associates, which represent more than 90 percent of Trailer Bridge’s 9.25 percent senior secured notes, agreed to finance a plan that will issue new debt and give existing bondholders 91 percent of company stock.

Under the plan submitted to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Jacksonville, Fla., bondholders would receive a pro rata share of a newly issued $65 million debt instrument in addition to shares in the restructured company.

Seacor would become Trailer Bridge’s largest shareholder. Seacor owns and operates marine and industrial assets primarily serving the oil and gas, industrial aviation and marine transportation industries.

Seacor “intends to use its extensive maritime transportation experience to assist the company in implementing its strategy to return it to sustainable and profitable operations,” Trailer Bridge said in an announcement. Trailer Bridge filed for Chapter 11 protection after failing to refinance the $82.5 million in senior notes, which came due Nov. 15.

If the reorganization plan wins bankruptcy court approval, secured creditors and contract parties will receive full payment on their pre-filing claims and unsecured creditors will receive their pro rata distribution from the newly issued exit financing, Trailer Bridge said.

Current stockholders could receive a share of 9 percent of the reorganized company’s stock or a cash payment of 15 cents a share. Trailer Bridge stock was trading at 19 cents a share today.

Co-CEOs William G. Gotimer Jr. and Mark A. Tanner noted that the company’s domestic trucking and intermodal barge service between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic has continued uninterrupted since the Chapter 11 filing.

“We expect to emerge from this process with a revitalized balance sheet and a stronger company,” they said.

-- Contact Joseph Bonney at Follow him on Twitter @josephbonney.