Monday, May 13, 2013

Cengage On the Verge of Chapter 11 Filing?

Third quarter revenues at Cengage improved to 5% better than last year and adjusted EBITDA was up a healthy 30% but YTD numbers remain off due to a bad first quarter and the real story behind Cengage's numbers is when, rather than if, the company will go into a pre-arranged bankruptcy so to re-negotiate their outstanding loan obligations.  Here is CEO Michael Hansen's prepared comments on the issue:
As you know, in March of this year, we retained restructuring, financial and legal advisors to assist the company as we review a range of options to strengthen our balance sheet and position our company for long-term growth and success.We are preparing to engage in discussions with our major financial stakeholders about constructive ways to reduce Cengage Learning’s debt obligations and improve its capital structure. Our goal is to put the Company on a stronger financial footing that allows us to support our strategic plan and invest in our future growth.We will seek to negotiate the terms of a comprehensive restructuring transaction with our key creditor constituents and quickly implement the restructuring plan. We may need to utilize the Chapter 11 process to help us implement such a plan.As numerous companies have demonstrated, the Chapter 11 process can be an effective way of achieving a fast and efficient debt restructuring with minimal disruption to the business, particularly where agreement is reached with key financial stakeholders on a plan, or the outlines of a plan, prior to the filing.No decision has been made yet.We are confident that whatever path we take with respect to our capital structure, it will not impact the quality and reliability of our product offerings and our high level of service.
Investor presentation (pdf)
Prepared executive comments (pdf)

The company also took a goodwill impairment charge and here is CFO Durbin on that one:
Second, in connection with the development of our strategic plan we performed a comprehensive revision of our short- and long-term operating projections, including, but not limited to, key assumptions associated with forecasted industry trends and Company-specific forecasted revenue growth rates and operating margins. The revised forecast was completed and approved by our Board of Directors on April 18, 2013. The plan indicated a substantial reduction in projected revenues, operating profit and cash flows. Consequently, we determined that this constituted a trigger event for goodwill impairment purposes, and we initiated the test pursuant to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Given the timing of the revised projections and the complexity of the required impairment test, we have not yet finalized our analysis. However,we recorded a preliminary goodwill impairment estimate of $2.8 billion during the third quarter.We expect to finalize the analysis during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, and any adjustment to the estimated impairment charge will be recorded during that period.

No comments: