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Debt Restructuring School: Module 2 - Distressed Debt and Restructuring

Identify the "red flags" associated with bad credit and key methods of financial restructuring
  • The Debt Restructuring School is made up of 2 individually bookable modules

    Debt Restructuring School: Module 1 - Early Warning Signals of Loan Default

    Debt Restructuring School: Module 2 - Distressed Debt and Restructuring


    Programme objectives
    By the end of this programme, delegates will:
    • Be able to recognise early warning signals arising from global, domestic, sectoral and firm-specific factors as well as market signal s and failure prediction models;
    • Be able to identify the most common forms of creative and fraudulent accounting, and make appropriate adjustments to reflect a truer view;
    • Be able to develop action plans aimed at protecting the lender’s position and restoring the borrower to the good book;
    • Be able to develop “Plan “”, “Plan B” and “Plan C” – with the first two being variants on going concern restructurings and the latter involving execution against collateral and/or insolvency;
    • Understand the circumstances where a reservation of rights letter should be issued;
    • Be aware of the need to enhance the lender’s information base and how this might be achieved via an independent business review, including the challenges with this intervention;
    • Understand that the decision on whether to enforce needs to be taken into the context of the relative strengths and wishes of other key stakeholders;
    • Be able to conduct a structured approach to exit analysis, leading to a conclusion on which option is likely to deliver the highest present value to the lender;
    • Appreciate the weakness of “extend and pretend” solutions, amounting to “kicking the can down the road” and how these can be avoided;
    • Develop a clear view on the components of a successful restructuring;
    • Be able to reach balanced judgements on whether to provide new money;
    • Be able to state the purpose of a standstill agreement, its key provisions and the challenges in participating in such agreement;
    • To be aware of the components of a structured assessment of the firm’s viability and be able to apply this to practical problems;
    • To be able to develop a financial restructuring proposal based upon the borrower’s ability to pay;
    • Understand the need to enhance the lender’s return and be able to identify techniques for this;
    • Be able to set negotiating objectives for a complex restructuring.



  • PART 2

    After completion of Part One, you will have access to the following video clips, which the trainer has developed to introduce important techniques in managing restructurings that will be necessary for successful completion of Part Two (Days Three and Four):



    • Liquidation & Outcomes Models, 3 videos with a viewing time of 10 minutes   
    • Case Study: 3-star hotel, 4 videos with a viewing time of 13 minutes  
    • Case Study: Chain of pizza restaurants, 3 videos with a viewing time of 12 minutes 
    • Each of the case study-related series contains short activities which are debriefed within the video series. These activities and the debriefs have been carefully designed to incorporate some of the most important aspects of the anatomy of a successful restructuring.


    Day 1


    Session 1 – Co-operate or “Go Legal”?

    Our decision to proceed to a financial restructuring will depend upon our assessment of the viability of the ongoing business and management’s proposed corrective actions. It will also depend upon the strength of the bank’s exit options.



    In this session, we introduce: high-level frameworks for deciding whether to waive/reschedule/restructure/divest/accept haircuts; the “Butler’s Matrix” which helps us understand whether we should adopt an out-of-court approach opposed to a more aggressive realisation/liquidation strategy, and Liquidations & Outcomes models and how these can inform our decisions.


    Group Activity: delegates apply these frameworks and models to several of our case studies, reinforcing their understanding of the principles.

    Session 2 – Assessment of viability
    In this session we provide delegates with the tools to assess which of their distressed borrowers can be returned to viability. Key elements, for which we provide analytical techniques, include:
    • Is this a case of business distress, financial distress, or both?
    • Whether and how we can overcome the problem of weak management (often cited as the leading cause of distress)
    • Who owns the problem? Are the shareholders still willing/able to support the business?
    • Root causes of the distress: if it is in a sector that has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, what are the forecasts for that sector’s recovery? Is this a sector that has been changed forever?
    • Market viability
    • Product viability
    • Competitive viability

    Group Activity: delegates review a three-page case study briefing. They analyse the external environment using PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces and SWOT techniques. They present to the full team their conclusions on whether and how this case can return to viability. They are encouraged to compare and contrast their thoughts on this case with one of the earlier case studies presented by the trainer.


    Session 3 – Assessing viability (part 2)
    We extend our analysis of viability from Session 2 to consider:
    • Management & governance
    • Operational viability
    • Financial viability

    Session 4 – Forecasting and Sensitivity Analysis in Distress
    The trainer provides a refresher on the mechanics for producing financial forecasts, then guides delegates on:
    • How to determine the model’s key drivers;
    • How to develop robust assumptions for our base case;
    • How to create a range of scenarios, by sensitising key assumptions (Best Case; Base Case; Downside Case);
    • Deciding which outcomes to focus on as guidance for the design of our restructuring;
    • Understanding how to use the different scenarios in our restructuring;
    • Applying cost-volume-profit analysis (Breakeven, Degree of Operating Leverage, Volume Sensitivity, Price Sensitivity, Cost Sensitivity)
    • Useful tools for sensitising in Excel’s “What-if-Analysis” (Goal Seek; Solver; Data Tables, and Scenario Manager) and “Data Validation”

    Group Activity: delegates apply Excel tools to sensitise the forecasts for our case study, based upon the assumptions they have developed for “Base/Base/Downside” cases

    Day 2

    On our final day, we will have firmly in mind the need of delegates to be able to guide their rehabilitated borrowers as they seek to achieve “escape velocity”. We explore structures and techniques that will support the firm’s return to growth while avoiding any risk asymmetries, which might otherwise have the effect of allowing the firm to enjoy benefits of growth and leaving the downside to the bank.


    Session 1 – Developing the Financial Restructuring (Part 1)
    Having evaluated the strategic and operational restructuring as viable and created our range of forecasts, delegates now consider how to restructure the bank’s exposure. They will develop their proposals following trainer presentation and discussion of:
    • Quick wins: use of free cash to paydown debt (alternatively, new equity, assets sales proceeds, working capital improvements);
    • The lender’s restructuring time horizon as a basis for tenor;
    • Matching the structure to the purpose;
    • Structures: fully amortising; part-amortising/part-balloon; bullet;
    • Tailoring to cash flow;
    • Use of cash waterfall techniques (involving excess cash capture mechanisms) – otherwise seen in project and leveraged finance;
    • How to structure incentives for borrower performance;
    • How to protect the bank’s position

    Group Activity: delegates propose how they would restructure the senior debt and the junior debt of a highly leveraged company in distress. The debrief allows them to compare their proposals with what was actually agreed in real life.


    Session 2 - Developing the Financial Restructuring (Part 2)
    In this session, we explore how to ensure that the bank achieves an appropriate risk-adjusted return on capital – in recognition of a central tenet of restructuring “that the lenders’ present value be maintained at all times”;
    • Higher cash interest rates;
    • Interest rate step-ups;
    • The innovative use of fees;
    • Suitability of “kickers” e.g., royalties, warrants and participation fees
    • Situations where debt relief might be appropriate;
    • Situations where debt relief is inappropriate;
    • Controls required during the restructuring period;
    • Financial covenants and other structural protections

    Group Activity: delegates first put themselves into the shoes of the private equity owners of the business in understanding the maximum amount of new equity that would be rational from their perspective. They then design reward structures for each of the lenders based upon the principles that: (i) we are entitled to an appropriate return but we should not “kill the goose that lays the golden egg”, and (ii) the absolute priority rule.


    Session 3 - Debt-for-Equity Swaps - When to use?
    • Positioning such swaps as a last resort rather than liquidation;
    • The key conditions for a debt-for-equity swap;
    • The advantages and disadvantages;
    • The ways that lenders seek to protect their positions, from equity class (e.g., preference versus ordinary) through to step-in rights;
    • The decision on how much debt should be converted for which amount of equity – valuation issues, “old money” being less valuable than “new money”, etc.;
    • How to manage the converted equity – examples from international banks

    Group Activity: delegates assess whether the junior debt of the Day Four case study would be suitable for a debt-for-equity swap and present their conclusions to the full team.


    Session 4 – Final Case Study

    Group Activity: delegates draw on the full programme to analyse and propose a restructuring solution for a single plant producer of biodiesel. In so doing, they need to work with summarised forecasts: (i) estimating the DCF value of the assets; (ii) producing a liquidation & outcomes model; (iii) identifying where the value breaks; (iv) estimating the firm’s debt capacity, and (v) proposing their solution.


    In the debrief, the trainer will present and explain the actual solution that was designed in real life, then update them as to “what happened next”.
  • Our Tailored Learning Offering

    Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company’s exact requirements? If you’d like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company’s office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course and dramatically increase your ROI.

    If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

    We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We’ll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.

  • We have a combined experience of over 60 years providing learning solutions to the world’s major organisations and are privileged to have contributed to their success. We view our clients as partners and focus on understanding the needs of each organisation we work with to tailor learning solutions to specific requirements.

    We are proud of our record of customer satisfaction. Here is why you should choose us to help you achieve your goals and accelerate your career:

    • Quality – our clients consistently rate our performance ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’. Our average overall score awarded to us by our clients is nine out of ten.
    • Track record – 10/10 of the world’s largest banks have chosen us as there training provider and we have delivered training across the largest banks and have trained over 25,000 professionals.
    • Knowledge – our 100+ strong team of industry specialist trainers are world leading financial leaders and commentators, ensuring our knowledge base is second to none.
    • Reliability – if we promise it, we deliver it. We have delivered over 25,000 events both in person and online, using simultaneous translation to delegates from over 99 countries.
    • Recognition – we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council and the CPD Certification Service. In an independent review by Feefo we scored 4.2/5 on service and 4.7/5 on Coursecheck
This course can be run as an In-house or Tailored Learning programme


  • Adrian Grant


    With more than 30 years’ experience in banking and financial services, Adrian specializes in delivering practical and interactive training programmes in the areas of credit, origination, corporate restructuring, financial analysis, and loan workout up to an advanced level. Before becoming a trainer and consultant, he worked as a regional director for the National Australia Bank Group’s corporate and institutional banking division.



The course will take place at a central London hotel. The map attached details some of our most frequently used venues.