Mirant Corporation (“Mirant” or the “Company”) is an international merchant power producer that owned or controlled more than 21,800 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the United States, the Philippines and the Caribbean.
Mirant’s credit rating was downgraded by several rating agencies beginning in late 2001 following the Enron bankruptcy filing. Like many merchant power producers, Mirant had significant trading positions with third parties, including positions in electricity, natural gas and coal, which were backed by Mirant’s investment grade credit rating. Following the ratings downgrade, Mirant experienced substantial collateral requirements by trading counterparties which significantly reduced the Company’s liquidity. At the same time, Mirant faced lower power prices and higher natural gas prices, combining to put downward pressure on “spark spreads” and gross margins. These factors, combined with an impending maturity of more than $1.1 billion of debt, forced the Company to file for Chapter 11 protection in July 2003.
Blackstone assisted management in the development of a detailed business plan and ten-year financial forecast. As part of this process, Blackstone evaluated and executed asset sales to maximize overall value. Blackstone also advised the Company on alternative capital structure scenarios as well as an overall restructuring plan. In addition, Blackstone acted as the key negotiator among all parties in interest, including various debt holders, creditors and shareholders, to structure and implement an overall plan of reorganization. Near the completion of the restructuring, Blackstone served as the Company’s expert witness in Bankruptcy Court to seek approval of a contested plan of reorganization. Finally, Blackstone assisted the Company in raising approximately $2.4 billion to fund operations while in and following Chapter 11.
Mirant successfully emerged from Chapter 11 protection in January 2006, and its stock now trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol MIR.