Sancilio Pharmaceuticals Pursues a Bankruptcy Sale

Sancilio Pharmaceuticals Company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, June 5th, in Delaware. Sancilio is one of several pharmaceutical companies to file for chapter 11 relief in recent years. Others include Orexigen Therapeutics, Protea Biosciences, and Unilife.

Who Is Sancilio?

A Florida-based pharmaceuticals developer and manufacturer, Sancilio focuses on four business segments.

  • Its lipid technologies platform includes its lead product for treating pediatric sickle cell disease, Altemia.  This soft gelatin capsule has secured “Orphan Drug” status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. Sancilio also has a “deep” advance lipid technology pipeline of other proprietary drug candidates.  SC401 targets severe hypertriglyceridemia.  SC403 targets short bowel syndrome.  SC410 targets non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  SC4l2 targets retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.  And SC4l3 targets epilepsy.
  • Sancilio’s over the counter supplements and prenatal vitamins segment include its Ocean Blue over-the-counter and behind-the-counter supplements of highly concentrated omega-3 fatty-acid fish oil. Ocean Blue supports cardiovascular and metabolic health. The behind-the-counter supplements in the line are available from pharmacies within national and regional retail stores.  The over-the-counter supplements are nationally distributed and available through retail channels.
  • The company’s prenatal vitamins provide vitamin and nutritional supplementation.  They contain no artificial colors, flavors, sugars or dyes and are gluten and saccharin free. And the debtors’ dental health supplements are fluoride-based and intended for use as a substitute for fluoridated water. Sancilio sells these products through drug wholesalers, and directly to retail pharmacies.

Sancilio also has two non-debtor foreign affiliates based in China and India, Sancilio Medical Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. and Sancilio Pharmaceuticals Private Limited.  Sancilio states that these affiliates have limited assets will dissolve.

Why Are They in Bankruptcy?

The business requires substantial working and investment capital, along with clinical trials that often cause delays, before generating return in a market where pricing and demand of each of its business lines is highly volatile. Sancilio says that its access to capital became increasingly constrained beginning in 2017, culminating with a “liquidity crisis” by the year’s end. The company obtained a $5.5 million equity infusion in early 2018 to pay overdue trade claims and carry it through to a sale, but that sale did not materialize.  Its lenders then refused to continue funding the business and threatened foreclosure if it did not file a Chapter 11 case.

The Bankruptcy Auction.

Sancilio has filed a motion seeking approval of two “stalking horse,” or opening, bids for its business.

  • K.D. Pharma Bexbach GmbH has made a $2.5 million cash offer for the Ocean Blue line of omega-3 fish oil supplements.  KD holds about 12% of Sancilio’s equity, and the bid is a joint venture between KD and a minority group lead by John Licari and Anthony Valetutti, current Sancilio employees, managers, and former board members.
  • MidCap Funding Trust XIII has presented a credit bid of at least $15 million for most of the company’s other assets. MidCap is an affiliate of company’s lenders and holds about 1% of Sancilio’s equity.

Cassel, Salpeter & Co. is the investment banker.  Bids are due on July 16, 2018, and the auction is scheduled for July 18, 2018.

Initial overbids for the MidCap assets must exceed their bid by a 3% breakup fee and $250,000 in cash and must include a $1 million expense reimbursement.  Since the MidCap purchase price is based on a formula, estimated to equal at least $15 million, MidCap must confirm the purchase price within two business days after entry of the bid procedures order.

Initial overbids for the KD assets must exceed their bid by a $75,000 breakup fee, $100,000 expense reimbursement, and $100,000 in cash, for a total minimum overbid of $2.775 million.

All subsequent overbids at auction will be $250,000.

If a bidder offers to buy all of the assets, then the purchase price must be at a minimum the amount of the aggregate of the MidCap and KD minimum overbids. Bids may also be for another combination of assets, in which case the debtors, along with MidCap as lender, would determine whether the bid is qualifying.

How Is Sancilio Paying for This?

Sancilio is funding the sale process with $5.3 million in post-petition financing provided by MidCap Financial Trust, as agent and lender, along with Flexpoint MCLS Holdings, LLC as lender.  The court has already approved $1 million on an interim basis, and it has scheduled the hearing to approve the balance of the funding for June 28, 2018 at 2 pm EST.

To protect the lenders, Sancilio has proposed to grant them consensual, priming liens superior to its prepetition secured lenders. The financing will have superpriority administrative expense status.  And Sancilio has agreed to provide the lenders with a lien on proceeds of avoidance actions—often a source of recovery for unsecured creditors—subject to the final order.  The facility includes a $265,000 origination fee (requested on an interim basis) and a 5% termination fee.

Sancilio’s prepetition lenders have agreed to allow Sancilio to use their cash collateral. In exchange, Sancilio has agreed to provide replacement liens and superpriority administrative expense claims and to pay their professional fees and expenses.  Sancilio has also agreed to its right to seek to surcharge their collateral under Bankruptcy Code section 506(c) and 552(b).

The proposed deadline for creditors to challenge the lenders’ liens is 75 days from entry of the interim financing order.  Or if a creditors committee is formed, it will have 60 days to bring a challenge.

How Much Money Is Available for Unsecured Creditors?

Sancilio reports $10 million to $50 million in assets.  Its debts include roughly $18.1 owed to its prepetition lenders and $5 million of unsecured claims, approximately $3.6 million of which are third party vendor claims.

The company believes it is unlikely that the pending sales will generate enough cash to pay a meaningful dividend, if any, to anyone other than the prepetition lenders.

The carve-out includes $90,000 for professional fees and $40,000 to fund a wind-down.

However, Sancilio has filed a motion to pay up to $580,000 in “critical vendor” claims, $290,000 of which was approved on an interim basis.  Sancilio has also filed the following motions:

  • To pay materialmen claims (granted authority to pay up to $22,000 on a final basis)
  • To pay insurance premiums (granted on an interim basis)
  • To pay certain taxes (granted authority to pay up to $85,000 on a final basis)
  • To satisfy reclamation claims (to be heard at the “second day” hearing)
  • To provide deposits to utility companies (granted on an interim basis).
  • To continue customer programs (granted authority to continue at its discretion)

The second day hearing is scheduled for June 28, 2018 at 2 p.m. EST.

The Bankruptcy Case.

The case has been assigned to Judge Christopher Sontchi (Case No. 18-11333 (CSS)).

Mette K.

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