Leonard Klingbaum is a partner in Ropes & Gray’s finance group, based in New York. He focuses his practice on event-driven and opportunistic financing transactions, as well as special situations, workouts, restructurings and insolvency matters. He routinely represents participants in all aspects of the capital solutions' arena, including distressed investing, strategic lending, loan-to-own, and restructuring matters. He has represented lenders (credit funds) and borrowers in direct lending, high yield, and mezzanine transactions, from the lower middle market to large cap transactions. He also acts on behalf of public and private corporate clients as general finance counsel.
Leonard has been recognized by The Legal 500 (United States), where clients recognize him as “diligent and hardworking" and "adept at locating problems and finding solutions.” Additionally, IFLR 1000 ranks him as “highly regarded,” and he has been recognized by the Turnaround Management Association with a Transaction of the Year award.
- Centric Brands: Representing Centric Brands Inc., a leading lifestyle brands collective, and certain of its subsidiaries in their chapter 11 cases to recapitalize approximately $1.8 billion in funded indebtedness. Centric filed with a restructuring support agreement backed by its key funded debtholders, $435 million in debtor-in-possession financing, and a path to a quick and consensual emergence with a capital structure reduced by approximately $700 million.
- A direct lender in connection with its loan and warrant package for a digital mobile advertising company.
- A direct lender in connection with its loan and warrant package for a digital insurance brokerage business.
- A direct lender in several capital solutions transactions including for Merex Aircraft, PF Chang’s, and Sears' second lien DIP facility.*
- Tronox Limited – $2.15 billion term loan; $550 million asset-based revolving credit facility; $450 million 5.75% Senior Notes due 2025; $1.5 billion global term loan; $300 million global ABL; $900 million bond offering; $100 million Rand-denominated working capital facility, $615 million 6.5% Senior Notes due 2026.*
- Bybrook Capital and Morgan Stanley in debt restructuring transactions for DEMA SpA, an Italian aeronautics parts manufacturer, which included Bybrook Capital’s acquisition of a substantial majority of DEMA’s share capital, and in conjunction with Morgan Stanley, funding a new secured €60 million bond.*
- LSB Industries, Inc. – successful consent solicitation to effect certain amendments to its 7.75% Senior Secured Notes due 2019 following the company’s $364 million sale of its climate control business.*
- Morgan Stanley Senior Funding – $90 million senior secured term loan facility and $33 million senior secured term loan facility to firearms manufacturer Colt Defense LLC (named “Distressed M&A Deal of the Year ($250M to $500M)” at the 2017 M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards and “Upper Mid-Market Turnaround of the Year” at the 2016 Turnaround Atlas Awards).*
- Morgan Stanley Senior Funding – $85 million first lien exit facility to seismic data provider Global Geophysical Services, Inc.; a $60 million term loan and a $25 million revolver (named “Middle Markets Chapter 11 Restructuring of the Year” at the 2016 Turnaround Atlas Awards).*
- Beechcraft Inc. (f/k/a Hawker Beechcraft) in its bridge “rescue” $120 million loan secured by unencumbered assets, chapter 11 financing and $600 million exit ABL.*
- Charter Communications Inc. in its bid to utilize lenders’ cash collateral and subsequently reinstate its multi-billion dollar credit facilities.*
- Revel Resort and Casino in its initial chapter 11 and exit financing matters.*
- An investment firm in (a) its acquisition through bank debt of Bowe Bell & Howell and subsequent financing matters and (b) Avantair in its attempt to effect a loan-to-own.*
- Innkeepers USA Trust in its pre-chapter 11 and chapter 11 financing matters including unprecedented multiple chapter 11 financing facilities, and cash collateral use stipulation with mortgage lenders and servicers across nine tranches of debt.*
- The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P supermarkets) in its $800 million chapter 11 financing.*
- MSR Resort Golf Course LLC in its $30 million junior chapter 11 financing arrangements and cash collateral use stipulation with mortgage loan servicer.*
- The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. in its chapter 11 financing (both as counsel to the company in its first chapter 11 and then as counsel to its largest stakeholder and financing source in its second chapter 11).*
- Lear Corporation in its $500 million chapter 11 financing with embedded exit loan conversion feature.*
- Tropicana Resort and Casino in its chapter 11 financing matters.*
- TOUSA in its chapter 11 financing matters.*
- JPMorgan Chase, as lead arranger and lender to (a) Tower Automotive in its $725 million chapter 11 financing, (b) United Air Lines Inc. in its $1.3 billion chapter 11 financing, (c) Kmart Corporation in its $2 billion chapter 11 financing, (d) Oneida Ltd. In its $40 million chapter 11 financing, (e) O-Cedar Brands, Inc. in its $25 million chapter 11 financing and (f) Sleepmaster L.L.C. (a Serta brand licensee) in its $135 million Chapter 11 financing.*
- Macquarie Bank in its prepetition, chapter 11 and exit financing to Reddy Ice.*
- Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in its $30 million mortgage construction loan of a New York City hotel.*
- Sun Capital Partners in (a) Mark IV financing matters, (b) Friendlys restaurant in its restructuring and bankruptcy financing matters, (c) Berkline/Benchcraft in its financing matters, (d) Perfect Timing in acquisition and subsequent financing matters and (e) Boston Market in connection with acquisition and subsequent financing matters.*
* Experience prior to joining Ropes & Gray
- Quoted, “Glade Brook pitches 'extraordinary opportunity' in tech debt amid coronavirus,” Reuters (April 14, 2020)
- Quoted, “Firms offer ‘Bankruptcy 101’ sessions as defaults projected to skyrocket,” Reuters (April 13, 2020)
- Quoted, “‘Cash Is King Again.’ What Coronavirus Means for Mergers and Acquisitions.,” Barron’s (March 23, 2020)
- Co-author, “Credit fund lenders and the impact of covid-19 on investments,” Private Debt Investor (March 23, 2020)
- Profiled, “Ropes & Gray Adds Willkie Finance Duo In New York,” Law360 (October 9, 2019)
- Profiled, “Willkie's finance chair jumps to Ropes & Gray,” Reuters (October 7, 2019)
- Profiled, “Ropes & Gray Snags 2 Willkie Finance Partners in New York,” Law.com and New York Law Journal (October 7, 2019)
- Profiled, “Willkie Finance Chair Joins Ropes & Gray in New York,” Bloomberg Law (October 7, 2019)
- Profiled, “Litigators Join Orrick, and More,” The Deal (October 7, 2019)
- Profiled, “Ropes & Gray adds two global finance partners in New York,” Creditflux (October 9, 2019)
- Panelist, “SEO AICON Credit Panel,” 11th Annual SEO AICON Alternative Investments Conference (March 2020)
- JD, magna cum laude, Pace University School of Law, 1999; Executive Editor, Pace Law Review
- BA, University of Toronto, 1996