Dickinson Wright to Receive Three Honors at the 11th Annual Turnaround Awards

February 28, 2017
Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that it was involved in three deals that are being recognized at the 11th Annual Turnaround Awards presented by The M&A Advisor. The deals being recognized are: Dianne’s Fine Desserts for the Divestiture Deal of the Year (over $100 million); Vinnie Johnson/Irvin Automotive Acquisition for the Consumer Discretionary Deal of the Year (over $100 million); and the restructuring of Gilbert & Florence Hospital for the Healthcare/Life Sciences Deal of the Year.

The Divestiture Deal of the Year, Dianne’s Fine Desserts: Superior Capital and management invested $5.1 million of permanent capital to acquire the distressed, non-core dessert subsidiary of Heinz. The sale in June 2016 to Geneva Glen Capital yielded $81.4 million of net equity proceeds, more than 15 times Superior Capital and management’s invested capital and an IRR of 93% over a four year period. At the time of the sale, Dianne’s had become recognized as the new product innovator and had grown to become the market leader of private-label, gourmet desserts due to the Company’s No. 1 supplier position in its product categories to Sysco, US Foods, Performance Food Group and Gordon Food Service, which represent the four largest foodservice distributors in the country.

The Dianne’s acquisition and recent sale was led by Dickinson Wright Attorney Andrew MacLeod (Member, Detroit), the M&A team, along with the due diligence expertise of numerous Detroit-area firms. In addition to Superior Capital and the five firms utilized as direct advisors on the sale transaction, several other Detroit-area firms contributed to the tremendous success of the Dianne’s investment.

The Consumer Discretionary Deal of the Year, Vinnie Johnson/Irvin Automotive Acquisition: The Detroit entrepreneur Vinnie Johnson has acquired Irvin Automotive Products, creating one of the largest privately-owned automotive supplier groups in Michigan. Dickinson Wright represented Irvin Acquisition LLC as the buyer in an acquisition of the stock of Irvin Automotive Products Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of TK Holdings, Inc. (Takata). Other companies in the group include Piston Automotive, Detroit Thermal Systems and AIREA, Inc. The acquisition of Irvin Automotive is part of the company’s ongoing plan for further expansion as a global supply-chain leader.

The Dickinson Wright team that was involved in the acquisition was led by Jim Plemmons (Member, Detroit) and Rick Bolton (Member, Detroit), and included Zan Nicolli (Member, Troy), William Shield (Member, Detroit), Cynthia Moore (Member, Troy), John Perkins (Member, Detroit), Colleen Shevnock (Member, Ann Arbor), Andrew MacLeod (Member, Detroit), and Adam Wallace (Associate, Detroit).

The Healthcare and Life Sciences Deal of the Year, Restructuring of Gilbert & Florence Hospitals: Gilbert Hospital is a small emergency hospital located in Gilbert, Arizona, a metropolitan suburb of Phoenix. Florence Hospital at Anthem is a small emergency hospital located in Florence, Arizona, a rural community located 60 miles from Phoenix. The two hospitals were founded by the same physician but were run entirely separate with different management and vendors. They did have a common secured lender. Each hospital suffered from lack of capital, competition, lack of leadership and poor collections. Each filed separate Chapter 11 bankruptcies a year apart.

In an extremely unprecedented move, Gilbert Hospital and the secured creditor proposed a plan of reorganization joining the two essentially unrelated hospitals. However, under their plan, the secured creditor would receive additional collateral and ultimately be paid in full while unsecured creditors would receive a cents-on-the-dollar recovery.

Dickinson Wright Attorney Carolyn Johnsen (Member, Phoenix), representing the unsecured creditors’ committee in the Florence case, countered with a Committee plan and then orchestrated a series of negotiations among all the factions that included the lender, the hospitals’ landlords, the United States Trustee and the Court-appointed patient ombudsman. The result was a full payment to all creditors. This case ultimately was a successful and creative solution to merge a rural and a suburban hospital and combine their respective strengths and reduce their respective weaknesses. Ms. Johnsen serves as the Trustee for the payments to creditors and will achieve the 100% mark.

The 11th Annual Turnaround Awards will take place on March 23, 2017 at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla. To see the complete list of honorees for the 11th Annual Turnaround Awards, please click here.