Restructuring deal will result in 100% stake in wind-energy company for billionaire’s private investment firm
Noble Environmental Power LLC, a wind-energy company backed by billionaire Michael Dell, filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday in a debt-for-equity restructuring deal.
Noble entered chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., with a restructuring deal that gives sole control of the Centerbrook, Conn., energy company to Dell Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Dell’s investment operation, MSD Capital.
MSD Capital, which already owns 54% of Noble, will take a 100% stake in the reorganized wind-energy company. In exchange the investment company will forgive about 10%, or $21.5 million, of the $215 million in debt it’s owed, said Kay McCall, Noble’s chief executive, in court papers.
MSD Capital is a private investment firm that was established in 1998 to exclusively manage the money of Michael Dell and his family.
Mr. Dell, who took his namesake computer company private in 2013 for $25 billion, has a personal net worth of $19.9 billion and is No. 20 on Forbes magazine’s list of the richest Americans. Dell Inc., meanwhile, recently completed its $60 billion deal to acquire EMC Corp., the largest technology merger in history.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which owns about a 29% stake in the wind-farm company, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, a Canadian pension fund that owns 14.3%, won’t receive any equity ownership as part of the deal.
Representatives of Noble Environmental couldn’t be reached for comment. A spokesman for MSD Capital declined to comment.
Founded in 2004, Noble is a holding company for seven wind parks in New York and Texas, capable of generating 726 megawatts of energy. The wind-power company’s subsidiaries, which own and operate the seven wind farms, didn’t file for bankruptcy.
Among Noble Environmental’s most valuable assets, according to court papers, are $691 million in so-called net operating losses, which a reorganized company can use to offset future taxes.
The company is hoping for a quick trip through bankruptcy. It expects to be finished with its chapter 11 case by the end of the year.
The law firms of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP are handling the chapter 11 case. The case number is 16-12055.
Noble Environmental is slated to make its bankruptcy debut Friday at 9 a.m. in Wilmington before Judge Kevin L. Gross.