‘We’re Back, Baby!’

SFX has emerged from bankruptcy with a new name and a new lease on life after shedding $400 million in debt. 

“We’re back, baby!” said “Disco” Donnie Estopinal, explaining to The Real that the parent company to Disco Donnie Presents is pressing forward after spending much of 2016 in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.

“There’s nowhere to go but up at this point,” he said. “A few projects were put on hold during the bankruptcy and we’ve been getting the green light to start growing again. As a promoter, that’s what keeps you going.”

SFX has been rebranded LiveStyle and is now under the leadership of former AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips. The company is owned by its senior creditors Axar Capital Management and Allianz Global Investors and its board includes former Tribune Broadcasting CEO Nils Larsen, former Global Entertainment CFO Charles Ciongoli and SFX holdover Jason Barr.

Shedding the SFX name also means shedding ties with former CEO Bob F.X. Sillerman, who is subject to a number of a lawsuits including a complaint filed by longtime friend and former SFX board member Mitchell Slater.

According to court documents, Slater loaned Sillerman $2.5 million in April 2015 and Sillerman signed a promissory note to repay the loan (plus interest) upon demand by Slater. Earlier this year, Slater sent a letter to Sillerman demanding repayment. Sillerman ignored the letter so Slater took him to court and is asking a New York judge to enforce the promissory note.

Sillerman is also facing a lawsuit from angry investors who accuse him of falsely pumping up SFX’s share price and deceiving shareholders about the company’s liquidity issues.

That case, led by Altimeo Asset Management, investor Ed Gutman and a number of other equity funds is set to go to nonbinding mediation in February. If a settlement is not reached, the two sides will be back in court in the spring.

Meanwhile, LiveStyle is still dealing with a few holdouts who haven’t given up on recouping the money they lost on SFX.

Shareholder Denis Brisson is making a last-ditch effort to overturn LiveStyle’s emergence from bankruptcy and wants a judge to appoint an equity committee so that it can audit LiveStyle and find revenues for investors.

The bankruptcy judge overseeing the case rejected Brisson’s request, but Brisson appealed the decision and has filed a stay to stop the company’s reorganization efforts, pending his appeal.

Fore more, visit Amplify at www.ampthemag.com