5 Cell and Gene Therapy Decisions to Watch in 2024

By Ana Mulero
April 22, 2024

In 2023, cell and gene therapy saw an unprecedented surge with seven FDA approvals, and this year, an even greater number of these treatments could reach the market. So far in 2024, the regulator has given the green light to three new CGTs, and at least seven additional cell and gene therapy products are expected to receive approval by year’s end, according to a March report from the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine.

“All signs point to 2024 surpassing 2023 as a landmark year for cell and gene therapy,” David Barrett, CEO of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT), told BioSpace.

The first approval this year belonged to Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics’ Casgevy, which won the FDA’s nod in January for use in transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia. This followed the agency’s December 2023 approval of Casgevy as one of the first two cell-based gene therapies to treat patients with sickle cell disease. It also represented the first FDA approval of a therapy using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Then, in February, Iovance Biotherapeutics’ Amtagvi was approved as the first one-time cell therapy for a solid tumor and the first tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes therapy, for advanced melanoma patients who have worsened after being treated with certain other therapies failed. Finally, last month, the FDA greenlit Orchard Therapeutics’ Lenmeldy, which entered the U.S. market as the first gene therapy for children with metachromatic leukodystrophy, and the world’s most expensive drug, with a $4.25 million price tag. 

Looking forward, the FDA has upcoming PDUFA dates for several more novel CGTs, including a traditional in vivo gene therapy delivered via viral vector, a couple of gene-corrected cell therapies in which a patient’s cells are modified by gene therapy outside of the body and then reinfused, and a new CAR-T.

Two Q1 reports, from ASGCT and the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, highlight some of these regulatory actions as potential catalysts for the sector, with approvals poised to propel the CGT space. The ASGCT report includes a list of noteworthy events in Q1 2024, while ARM’s report makes the case that 2024 could be a banner year for cell therapy.

Here, BioSpace reviews five products under regulatory review that were highlighted by both organizations.

Pfizer’s Beqvez

Indication: Hemophilia B

Therapy type: In vivo gene therapy

Action date: April 27

Later this month, the FDA will rule on Pfizer’s gene therapy for hemophilia B, Beqvez. This engineered version of the factor IX coagulation gene carried by an adeno-associated virus is administered via a single infusion.

Beqvez has been approved by Health Canada to treat adults with hemophilia B based on positive data from the Phase III BENEGENE-2 study, which showed a significant reduction in bleeding rate and infusion frequency.

The Big Picture

An FDA approval would put Pfizer in competition with CSL Behring, whose gene therapy Hemgenix, which is also administered via a single intravenous infusion, became the first FDA-approved gene therapy for hemophilia B in November 2022. Pricing details for Beqvez are not yet available, but Hemgenix costs $3.5 million per dose. Chris Boshoff, Pfizer’s chief oncology officer, told BioSpace the company aims to leverage its experience to ensure smooth market entry and efficient delivery to eligible patients.

Abeona Therapeutics’ pz-cel

Indication: Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa

Therapy type: Gene-corrected cell therapy

Action date: May 25

Next up is Abeona Therapeutics’ pz-cel, which delivers a functional collagen-producing COL7A1 gene into a patient’s own skin cells using a retroviral vector, for the treatment of patients with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB). RDEB, a rare connective tissue disorder, causes severe skin wounds, pain and life-threatening complications stemming from compromised immunity due to a deficiency in the COL7A1 gene, preventing the production of functional type VII collagen.

In November 2023, the FDA granted priority review to pz-cel based on clinical data from the Phase III VIITAL study and long-term results from a Phase I/IIa study, which demonstrated sustained wound healing and pain reduction.

The Big Picture

Ira Leiderman, managing director of healthcare at Cassel Salpeter, underscored the importance of evaluating therapeutic options against the rarity and impact of the disease. A positive decision on Abeona’s pz-cel will help address the high unmet need of RDEB patients and may lead to transformative interventions in this challenging rare genetic disorder, Leiderman told BioSpace.

If approved, pz-cel would follow Krystal Biotech’s Vyjuvek, the first gene therapy approved for recessive or dominant DEB in May 2023. Abeona said in March it is actively preparing for the potential U.S. launch of pz-cel, including discussions with treatment sites and payer engagement.

Rocket Pharmaceuticals’ Kresladi

Indication: Leukocyte adhesion deficiency-1

Therapy type: Ex-vivo vector gene therapy

Action date: June 30

While Rocket Pharmaceuticals initially anticipated a decision on its gene therapy for leukocyte adhesion deficiency-I (LAD-I) by March, the FDA requested more review time and extended the deadline to June 30.

Severe LAD-I, a rare genetic disorder affecting children, is caused by mutations in the ITGB2 gene that lead to life-threatening infections. Without regular bone marrow transplants, survival beyond childhood is rare. Kresladi contains patient-derived hematopoietic stem cells genetically modified with a lentiviral vector to carry functional copies of the ITGB2 gene, crucial for leukocyte adhesion and infection-fighting.

In November 2023, the FDA accepted Rocket’s BLA for Kresladi with priority review, following positive efficacy and safety data from a global Phase I/II study, in which all nine LAD-I patients were alive 12 to 24 months post-infusion. Significant reductions in infection rates were observed compared to pre-treatment levels, along with the resolution of LAD-I–related skin lesions and restoration of wound healing capabilities.

Kresladi also holds the FDA’s Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy, Rare Pediatric, Fast Track and Orphan Drug designations.

The Big Picture

This marks Rocket’s inaugural product filing and is a notable advancement for patients, offering an alternative to bone marrow transplant, which carries significant risks and may not be readily accessible. Rocket is enhancing its commercial infrastructure in preparation for a potential product launch, including center initiation, channel strategies, education and payer engagement.

Rocket CEO Gaurav Shah told BioSpace the FDA is reallocating reviewers to focus on rare diseases and complex biologics, necessitating changes and a transition period. Shah noted that the delayed decision, based on the FDA’s request for clarity on chemistry, manufacturing and controls information submitted by Rocket, is common among CGTs and does not raise significant concerns beyond ensuring the regulator has sufficient resources for the approval process.

Adaptimmune’s afami-cel

Indication: Advanced synovial sarcoma

Therapy type: T cell receptor therapy

Action date: August 4

 

Adaptimmune is gearing up for the potential launch of its inaugural product in the sarcoma franchise, afami-cel, intended for treating advanced synovial sarcoma, with a PDUFA date set for August 4. Afami-cel received FDA priority review in January.

Synovial sarcoma, which makes up 5% to 10% of soft tissue sarcomas, typically affects individuals under 30, with a five-year survival rate of 20% for metastatic cases. Recurrence is frequent, necessitating multiple lines of therapy and potential exhaustion of treatment options. Afami-cel is a single-dose engineered T cell receptor therapy targeting MAGE-A4-posititive tumor cells. The therapy’s clinical data from the SPEARHEAD-1 trial revealed that about 39% of patients experienced clinical responses, with a median response duration of around 12 months. Median overall survival was about 17 months, contrasting with historical data of less than 12 months for those who received two or more prior lines of therapy. Some 70% of responders to afami-cel were alive two years post-treatment.

The FDA granted afami-cel Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas and Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy designation.

The Big Picture

If approved, afami-cel would become the first approved engineered T cell therapy for this type of cancer. In November 2023, the Investigational New Drug (IND) for another T cell therapy, lete-cel, was transferred from GSK to Adaptimmune for the pivotal IGNYTE-ESO clinical trial, following an interim analysis showing a 40% response rate in synovial sarcoma or myxoid/round cell liposarcoma patients.

Adaptimmune CEO Adrian Rawcliffe said that the clinical results from the pivotal trial position lete-cel as a complement to afami-cel, potentially allowing the company’s sarcoma franchise to significantly expand its reach. He noted that leveraging the same commercial infrastructure intended for afami-cel could facilitate the efficient delivery of lete-cel to the market. Afami-cel would become the first engineered T cell therapy for a solid tumor. The franchise, including both afami-cel and lete-cel, “is projected to deliver up to $400 million in U.S. peak year sales,” Rawcliffe said in March.

Autolus Therapeutics’ obe-cel

Indication: B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Therapy type: CAR-T cell therapy

Action date: November 16

In accepting Autolus Therapeutics’ BLA for its lead next-generation CAR-T therapy obe-cel for relapsed/refractory adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in January, the FDA set a PDUFA target action date of November 16.

Obe-cel, an investigational CD19 CAR-T cell therapy, is designed to enhance clinical activity and safety compared to existing therapies by incorporating a fast target binding off-rate, minimizing T cell activation. In December 2022, Autolus hailed the Phase II FELIX trial as a success, as interim analysis showcased an overall remission rate of 70% for obe-cel in leukemia patients. CAR-T cell concentration peaked and persisted at 75% in peripheral blood after a median of 166.5 days post-infusion. The trial also demonstrated positive safety findings. 

Obe-cel holds the FDA’s Orphan Drug and Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy status. Earlier this month, the company;’s obe-cel marketing application was accepted by the European Medicines Agency.

The Big Picture

The potential approval of a second cell therapy for solid tumors this year suggests breakthroughs in treating these cancers may be near, Stephen Majors, a spokesperson for the ARM, told BioSpace. There is an “increasing focus on solid tumors,” a previously elusive area for cell and gene therapy, he said.

A recent $250 million deal granted BioNTech access to obe-cel, with the partner to aid in the launch and development program expansion and receive royalties based on net sales. Autolus expects obe-cel peak sales to exceed $300 million.

Autolus could face competition from Gilead Sciences subsidiary Kite, which in 2021 gained FDA approval for its CAR-T therapy Tecartus, the first such treatment for ALL, achieving a 65% complete remission rate.

Ana Mulero is a freelance writer based in Puerto Rico. She can be reached at anacmulero@outlook.com and @anitamulero on X.

 

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Cassel Salpeter & Co. Secures Financing for Healthly LLC

MIAMI – April 23, 2024 – Cassel Salpeter & Co. (“Cassel Salpeter”), an independent investment banking firm that provides advisory services to middle market and emerging growth companies in the United States and worldwide, represented Healthly LLC (“Healthly”) in securing financing from Corbel Capital Partners. The financing has supported the strategic investment in a restricted Knox-Keene license, two independent physician associations (“IPAs”), medical centers and the continued growth of its business.

Based in Los Angeles, Healthly is a provider empowerment platform, providing a one-stop solution for physicians to assume full risk and succeed in value-based care, driving optimal outcomes for patients, providers and health plans. Healthly’s subsidiary Access Senior Healthcare operates as a restricted health service plan under the Knox-Keene Act, enabling access to full value-based economics, providing a mechanism to sustainably maximize patient outcomes.

“It was great working with Healthly’s Chief Executive Officer Ben Quirk and the rest of the Healthly team,” said Cassel Salpeter Chairman James Cassel, who led the deal. “We were excited to assist with securing funding to support not only their original transaction, but also support their future growth.” 

Cassel Salpeter helped Healthly in identifying and evaluating its financing options and assisted throughout the due diligence and closing process. Cassel Salpeter Managing Director Philip Cassel, Director Joseph Smith and Associate Charles Davis assisted with the transaction.

Healthly’s Chief Executive Officer Ben Quirk added, “James and the Cassel Salpeter team were critical to helping us find the right growth partner. Their deep healthcare knowledge and ability to provide counsel and guidance throughout the process were invaluable.” 

Healthly’s transaction efforts were assisted by Kyle Quirk, Arwin Soetanto, Erica Badran and Kegan Williams of Healthly with counsel provided by Melissa A. Borrelli of Nossaman LLP and Claire Marblestone and Frederick V. Bryant of Foley & Lardner LLP. Brian Yoon and Graham Gallaher led the Corbel Capital Partners team with counsel provided by Aytan Dahukey, Moorari Shah, Adam Barton, Lynsey Mitchel and Jason Jones of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

About Cassel Salpeter & Co.:

Cassel Salpeter & Co. LLC is an independent investment banking firm that provides advice to middle market and emerging growth companies in the United States and worldwide. Together, the firm’s professionals have more than 100 years of experience providing private and public companies with a broad spectrum of investment banking and financial advisory services, including: mergers and acquisitions; equity and debt capital raises; fairness and solvency opinions; valuations; and restructurings, such as 363 sales and plans of reorganization. Cofounded by James Cassel and Scott Salpeter, the firm provides objective, unbiased, results-focused services that clients need to achieve their goals. Personally involved at every stage of all engagements, the firm’s senior partners have forged relationships and completed hundreds of transactions and assignments nationwide. The firm’s headquarters are in Miami. Member FINRA and SIPC. More information is available at www.CasselSalpeter.com

Cassel Salpeter Facilitates Sale of Intergalactic Therapeutics Assets to Aldevron for Over 250% Premium Above Stalking Horse Bid in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

MIAMI – April 23, 2024 Cassel Salpeter & Co. (“Cassel Salpeter”), an independent investment banking firm that provides advisory services to middle market and emerging growth companies in the United States and worldwide, today announced that it has successfully facilitated the sale of substantially all of the assets of Intergalactic Therapeutics Inc. (“Intergalactic”), a developer of non-viral gene therapies initially targeting ophthalmic diseases, to Aldevron LLC (“Aldevron”), a subsidiary of Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR).

Headquartered in Boston, Intergalactic was focused on overcoming limitations of gene transfer by combining synthetic biology and precision engineering. Their technology platform enables the broad application of non-viral gene therapies by developing tunable, persistent and safe non-viral DNA in vivo and was on track to submit IND-enabling studies for its lead program in 2024.  

Based in Fargo, N.D., Aldevron is a developer of biological products, which include plasmid DNA, nucleic acids, proteins, antibodies and other related products which are used extensively in gene therapy and gene editing. These products enable companies to manufacture novel treatments for a wide range of indications, including cancer, infectious diseases and rare diseases.

“We were very pleased to maximize the value of the assets for the estate, holding an auction with over 50 bids,” said Cassel Salpeter Managing Director Philip Cassel. “The collective team effort and attention to detail allowed us to achieve this positive result.” 

The Cassel Salpeter team was led by Managing Directors Philip Cassel, Ira Leiderman and Chairman James Cassel, with the assistance of Associate Tahz Rashid.

“CS was great to work with on this engagement,” said Intergalactic President Charles Allen. “The team worked under aggressive timelines to run a thorough process with extensive outreach to prospective bidders. I am thrilled with the outcome providing a greater return to the estate.”

John Madden, a principal of Emerald Capital Advisors, served as independent director for the debtor.

Harold B. Murphy, Andrew G. Lizotte and Leah A. O’Farrell of Murphy & King PC, served as counsel for the debtor.

George W. Shuster Jr. and Benjamin W. Loveland of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, served as counsel for the buyer.

About Cassel Salpeter & Co.:

Cassel Salpeter & Co. LLC is an independent investment banking firm that provides advice to middle market and emerging growth companies in the United States and worldwide. Together, the firm’s professionals have more than 100 years of experience providing private and public companies with a broad spectrum of investment banking and financial advisory services, including: mergers and acquisitions; equity and debt capital raises; fairness and solvency opinions; valuations; and restructurings, such as 363 sales and plans of reorganization. Cofounded by James Cassel and Scott Salpeter, the firm provides objective, unbiased, results-focused services that clients need to achieve their goals. Personally involved at every stage of all engagements, the firm’s senior partners have forged relationships and completed hundreds of transactions and assignments nationwide. The firm’s headquarters are in Miami. Member FINRA and SIPC. More information is available at www.CasselSalpeter.com

Distressed Scooter Giant Bird Global Sold to Third Lane Mobility for $145 Million

By Bob Clair

Bird Global Inc., one of the largest scooter rental businesses in North America, was sold to its debtholders in a bankruptcy-led process.

Bird, which went public via SPAC in 2019, had failed to reach profitability and burned more than $650 million of cash from 2020 through 2022. In total, the company dispatched more than $1.1 billion in venture funding.

“They were very successful in raising capital for a substantial period of time, but the markets have not been as forgiving for growth companies as they were a few years ago,” said James Cassel, chairman and co-founder of Miami-based investment bank Cassel Salpeter & Co., Bird’s financial advisor.

After reaching a peak valuation of $2.5 billion in its Series D, the business was delisted in September 2023 and entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December—prompted by debtors’ desire for a Section 363 sale.

First lien holders were led by MidCap Financial, an affiliate of Apollo Global Management, while second lien holders were led by Obelysk Inc. The group provided up to $33 million in new money first lien DIP financing at a 15% interest rate (6% cash, 9% payment-in-kind), along with $6 million in new money second lien notes at an 18% PIK interest rate.

Speaking to Transacted, Cassel described a broad sale process with a mix of sponsor and strategic interest.

“We went to 137 potential purchasers, 81 that we identified as strategic parties,” Cassel said. “We talked to anybody and everybody. People like Lime and Uber and Citi Bike, as well as private equity firms that buy distressed businesses. We went to all the players, both domestic and foreign.”

Christopher Rankin, Bird’s Chief Restructuring Officer, confirmed there was interest from strategics, though declined to share how far competitors progressed in the bidding process.

When asked, Lime, the Uber-backed industry leader, said via spokesman Russell Murphy only that “we are not going to comment on Bird’s situation.”

In the absence of a competitive offer, Bird was purchased by stalking horse bidder Third Lane Mobility, an entity formed by a consortium of the company’s first and second lien holders.

“The stalking horse bidders were a related party, so that adds a fair amount of complexity to make sure the proper process was run and that we went to the proper parties. We got the cooperation of management, which, on the one hand, may be conflicted because they are part of the buyer, but on the other hand, they are part of the seller,” Cassel said.

MidCap Financial did not respond to requests for comment.

Bird’s outcome is the latest setback for the challenged scooter and bike rental industry. Once a hotbed of venture activity, unprofitable operators have shut down or consolidated in recent years – Bird itself had bought rival Spin and platform partner Bird Canada as recently as late 2023.

Cassel said he expects further consolidation, particularly among the large number of smaller regional players.

Along with scale, Cassel notes that micromobility M&A “can be a way to get into certain markets or a way to obtain certain contracts.”

As for Bird, Rankin said he doesn’t expect new owner Third Lane to be acquisitive anytime soon.

“I don’t think they’ll be making acquisitions. It’s up to them, but I don’t expect that,” Rankin said.

Bob Clair

Bob Clair is a reporter at Transacted covering private equity and investment banking. He has covered breaking M&A news for several years and is a general assignment freelance reporter for The New York Times, where he shared in a 2021 Pulitzer Prize win.

 

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Q1 2024: Tech Deal Report

Miami Investment Banking Firm Cassel Salpeter Releases Tech Industry Deal Report
South Florida firm publishes Q1 2024 Tech Investment Banking Report surveying technology deals, industry M&A, and public markets activity

Healthly

  • Background: Healthly, LLC (“Healthly”), headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, is a provider empowerment platform, providing a one-stop solution for independent physicians to assume full-risk and succeed in value-based care, driving optimal outcomes for patients, providers, and health plans.
  • Cassel Salpeter:
    • Served as financial advisor to the company
    • Ran a targeted capital raise process, identifying and contacting over 60 investors
    • Advised Healthly in evaluating its financing options and provided assistance throughout the due diligence and closing process
  • Challenges:
    • Healthly was under LOI to purchase two IPAs and a Knox-Keene license and needed to move quickly to secure the capital necessary to execute the transaction
    • Required approval from California Department of Managed Health Care on transfer of the Knox-Keene license
  • Outcome: In June 2023, Healthly received financing from Corbel Capital Partners to support its acquisition of the Knox-Keene license and IPAs and fund its growth initiatives.

 

Validus

  • Background: Validus Pharmaceuticals LLC (“Validus”), headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, is a pharmaceutical holding company focused on the acquisition, reformulation, and commercialization of prescription products.

  • Cassel Salpeter:
    • Served as financial advisor to the company
    • Ran a broad, competitive sales process, identifying and contacting strategic and financial buyers both in the U.S. and internationally
    • Successfully identified a strategic acquirer looking to expand its presence in the U.S. markets through a platform acquisition
  • Challenges:
    • Navigating the regulatory hurdles of selling to an international buyer
    • Carving out certain products in the Validus portfolio for sales to other buyers
    • Ensuring a seamless technology transfer and transition of products with existing distribution agreements
  • Outcome: In February 2024, Validus was acquired by Rubicon Research (“Rubicon”).  Rubicon is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the manufacturing of drugs across multiple dosage forms.  The acquisition of Validus will expand their presence in the U.S. market for the manufacture and sale of prescription pharmaceuticals.

Bird

  • Background: Bird Global, Inc. (“Bird”), based in Miami, FL, is a micromobility company that engages in delivering and operating on-demand electric transportation solutions such as e-scooters and e-bikes for short distances to 350 cities across the world.  In December 2023, Bird filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

  • Cassel Salpeter:
    • Served as investment banker to the company
    • Conducted a global sales process, identifying and contacting a broad set of strategic and financial parties
    • Provided assistance throughout all phases of the Chapter 11 Section 363 sales process, due diligence, and closing
  • Challenges:
    • In a niche industry facing challenging headwinds, only a handful of strategic parties had the financial resources to consider the opportunity
    • Filing Chapter 11 during the seasonal period of least demand, Bird faced cash flow issues to continue funding its operations
    • Due to the significant capital needed to avoid administrative insolvency, the sale process was completed on an expedited basis
  • Outcome: On March 6, 2024, the court approved the sale of Bird’s assets to a newly organized private company called Third Lane Mobility Inc., for approximately $145 million. 

Intergalactic

  • Background: Intergalactic Therapeutics, Inc. (“Intergalactic”), headquartered in Boston, MA, is a developer of non-viral gene therapies, focused on overcoming the major limitations of gene transfer by combining synthetic biology and precision engineering. In December 2023, Intergalactic filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • Cassel Salpeter:
    • Served as investment banker to the company
    • Conducted a deliberate sales process, identifying and contacting nearly 100 global public and private companies, focused on ophthalmology or gene therapies
    • Ran a succesful auction, resulting in a winning bid with a value over 250% greater than the stalking horse bid
  • Challenges:
    • Company mothballed operations, leaving limited staff members for diligence inquires
    • Assisting parties in expedited review of intellectual property and related patents
  • Outcome: In March 2024, the court approved the sale of certain assets to Aldevron LLC (“Aldevron”), a subsidiary of Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR).  Aldevron engages in the custom production of biological products used in the fields of gene therapy and gene editing.

Cassel Salpeter & Co. Facilitates Sale of Bird Global Inc. Assets to Third Lane Mobility Inc. For $145 Million in Micromobility Firm’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

MIAMI – April 11, 2024 Cassel Salpeter & Co., an independent investment banking firm that provides advisory services to middle market and emerging growth companies in the United States and worldwide, today announced that it has successfully facilitated the sale in a Chapter 11 363 sale process of substantially all of the assets of Bird Global Inc. (“Bird” or the “Company”), one of the largest micromobility operators in North America and abroad to Third Lane Mobility Inc. for approximately $145 million.

Bird, headquartered in Miami, Fla., is an electric vehicle company dedicated to providing affordable, environmentally-friendly transportation solutions and was the first company to deploy e-scooters and e-bikes to communities across the world. The Company’s clean, affordable, on-demand mobility solutions are available in 350 cities across the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Bird partners closely with the cities in which it operates to provide a reliable and affordable transportation option for people who live and work there.

Third Lane Mobility Inc., a newly organized private company formed by the stalking horse and winning bidder as a consortium of the second and first lien holders, acquired Bird’s assets. The second lien holder was led by John Ivan Bitove of Obelysk Inc. and supported by the first lien holder. The first lien holder was MidCap Financial Services LLC, in alliance with Apollo Investment Corporation.

“We are pleased to have collaborated closely with the Bird team and its advisors to navigate a complex Chapter 11 process on an expedited basis,” said Cassel Salpeter Chairman James Cassel. “Our collective efforts have enabled Bird to come out of bankruptcy and continue to serve communities throughout the world.”

“Cassel Salpeter conducted a thorough process, engaging a wide array of parties and realizing the highest value for the business,” said Bird Chief Restructuring Officer Christopher Rankin. “I highly recommend the Cassel Salpeter team for high-stakes situations, where their diligence and persistence can help optimize outcomes, and would welcome the opportunity to work with them again.”

The Cassel Salpeter team was led by Chairman James Cassel and Managing Director Philip Cassel, with the assistance of Director Laura Salpeter, Associate Charles Davis and Analyst Alejandro Sanchez.

Paul Steven Singerman, Jordi Guso, Clay B. Roberts and Robin J. Rubens of Berger Singerman LLP were counsel for the debtor. Harvey L. Tepner was the independent director for the debtor. James S. Feltman, Scott Lyman, Matthew Rosenberg and Marc Kirscher of Teneo Capital were restructuring advisors to Bird. 

Hugh Murtagh of Latham & Watkins LLP was counsel for the first lien holders and Paul J. Battista and Eric D. Jacobs of Venable LLP were counsel for the second lien holders and the stalking horse bidder. 

The committee of unsecured creditors was represented by David Galfus, Ron Zaidman and Robert Cohen of Berkeley Research Group LLC as financial advisors and Gordon E. Gouveia, Robert F. Elgidely and Michael A. Sweet of Fox Rothschild LLP as counsel. 

About Cassel Salpeter & Co.:

Cassel Salpeter & Co. LLC is an independent investment banking firm that provides advice to middle market and emerging growth companies in the United States and worldwide. Together, the firm’s professionals have more than 100 years of experience providing private and public companies with a broad spectrum of investment banking and financial advisory services, including: mergers and acquisitions; equity and debt capital raises; fairness and solvency opinions; valuations; and restructurings, such as 363 sales and plans of reorganization. Cofounded by James Cassel and Scott Salpeter, the firm provides objective, unbiased, results-focused services that clients need to achieve their goals. Personally involved at every stage of all engagements, the firm’s senior partners have forged relationships and completed hundreds of transactions and assignments nationwide. The firm’s headquarters are in Miami. Member FINRA and SIPC. More information is available at www.CasselSalpeter.com

 

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Editor’s note: Interviews available upon request.