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Bicent Power Wins Approval of Debt for Equity Swap Plan

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Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Bicent Holdings LLC, the owner of two electric power plants capable of generating 168 megawatts, won court approval of its restructuring plan swapping lenders’ debt for almost all of the reorganized company’s equity.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross in Wilmington, Delaware, approved the reorganization plan paving the way for Bicent to exit court protection in just over three months, according to court documents filed July 31.

Under the company’s restructuring plan negotiated with creditors before filing bankruptcy, lenders with a first priority of repayment, owed about $147.2 million, will get 95 percent of the reorganized company’s equity. Lenders that backstopped Bicent’s bankruptcy loan will get the remaining 5 percent of the reorganized stock.

Lenders that are second in line to be repaid, owed about $128.5 million, will get $1.5 million cash and warrants to purchase as much as 12.5 percent of the new equity, according to court documents.

The two lender groups, the only creditors that voted on the plan, unanimously accepted the proposal, Pauline K. Morgan, a lawyer representing the company told Gross at a July 30 hearing.

Unsecured creditors and mezzanine lenders won’t get any recovery under the plan, court papers show.

Bicent, based in Lafayette, Colorado, owns and operates two generating facilities: Hardin, a 120-megawatt coal-fired plant about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Billings, Montana, and San Joaquin, a 48-megawatt natural gas-fired facility about 70 miles east of San Francisco in Lathrop, California, according to court filings.

The company sought bankruptcy protection April 23 in Wilmington, Delaware. Unit Bicent Power listed more than $500 million in debt in Chapter 11 documents.

The main case is In re Bicent Holdings LLC, 12-11304, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Bathon in Wilmington, Delaware, at mbathon@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net.

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