ASSET – AL CORP.
Joe Cillian – Cleveland Offce – 216-573-3792
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Chuck Batson – President & CEO – 608-232-5980
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be. I have two nephews who are 5 and
3, and thinking about what’s going to be
available for them when they come of
age is hugely motivating for my brother
and me. I draw on that every day.
I also have an older sister with special
needs. She’s 37. I’ve had the unique
experience of growing up as her
younger brother and now, for all intents
and purposes, as her “older brother.”
I’m driven to perform to the best of my
abilities because she works hard to make
the most of her more limited capabilities.
Q What have been some of your most important, gratifying, or
Bear in mind that I’ve been
in restructuring for just under four years.
By no means am I a seasoned
professional, but I’ve been fortunate to
work pretty consistently on different
deals since I arrived. The one I’m
working on now is a meat distribution
company—roughly $360 million in
annual revenue. We arrived in November
2012 to try to turn the business around. It
became apparent that a turnaround really
wasn’t possible, despite our best efforts.
Because it’s a meat business, all of their
inventory is extremely perishable. Once
you make the decision that the business
is not viable, how do you maximize
proceeds to the stakeholders by getting
the inventory out the door as quickly as
possible? We sold the assets prepetition
to a major competitor. All inventory
was sold at cost, which is definitely a
big win from a financial perspective.
Now, I’m managing the collection of
the company’s remaining accounts
receivable (A/R) outside of bankruptcy.
The senior secured lender is still
owed a bit on its position, so we’re
collecting A/R to basically see that the
remaining balance of the loan is paid
in full, which we expect to do. Within
the bankruptcy process, collecting on
preference actions has been a huge
education for me and going through
the process of unwinding has been
enormously informative as well.
While it’s probably been the most
challenging engagement I’ve been on,
I have been able to see the full cycle,
from initiating turnaround strategies to
how do we act as quickly as possible to
minimize the downside and maximize
proceeds to all stakeholders? I don’t
want to inflate my position in doing
that. I was boots on the ground, but
just being able to be in the room
with decision makers as they come
to these decisions is second to none
from a learning perspective.
I feel as though you’re kind of getting a
degree in business on the ground level,
outside the academic sphere. That’s what
attracted me to Scouler in the first place.
I don’t want to do small things in my life,
I want to do big things. In restructuring
you’re really given that opportunity.
Q What did you do before you moved into restructuring?
I worked as a teacher to
children with autism at a charter school
startup in Washington, D.C. I did that for
a year. It was my first job out of school.
Because of my sister having special
needs, I worked with children with
special needs, from Down’s syndrome to
cerebral palsy—kind of every disability—
through high school and college.
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