Bankruptcy court confirms GSE reorganization plan

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New York Stock Exchange GSE Environmental Inc. during a Feb. 2012 visit to the New York Stock Exchange when it rang the closing bell.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., has confirmed the reorganization plan for geomembranes maker GSE Environmental Inc.

Private equity firms Littlejohn & Co. and Strategic Value Partners will become the new GSE owners when they convert their first lien debt to equity after GSE’s original stock is canceled. GSE said July 28 that it expects the plan “to become effective shortly, once all closing conditions have been met.”

GSE’s first lien of debt is worth about $172 million. Tennenbaum Opportunities Partners V LP also was originally slated to be part owner of reorganized GSE, but it has sold its position.

GSE first announced details of the plan on May 5, a day after it voluntarily filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

“We expect to emerge as an even more competitive and well capitalized company, with excellent liquidity and greater financial flexibility to accelerate our growth and continue to meet the evolving needs of our customers,” stated GSE CEO Chuck Sorrentino in a news release.

The plan eliminates a large amount of debt and provides capital for GSE’s future needs. GSE suppliers will be paid in full if they agree to return to normal trade credit terms. Other unsecured creditors will be compensated but GSE did not spell out terms.

GSE’s products include liners and geonets sold to industrial and infrastructure markets. Its U.S. plants are in Houston, its headquarters, and in Spearfish, S.D., and Kingstree, S.C.

GSE’s foreign subsidiaries — in China, Chile, Germany, Egypt and Thailand — are not part of the reorganization but they too will be owned by Littlejohn and Strategic Value Partners.