Covington-based Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc. is emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, having reorganized the business over the past four months and added more leadership — including a former Louisiana governor. 

The company has a new board of directors led by Todd M. Hornbeck as chairman, alongside Evan Behrens, Kurt M. Cellar, Kevin O. Meyers, retired Admiral John Richardson, John T. Rynd and former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Larry D. Hornbeck is now retired chairman of the company.

Hornbeck Offshore, which provides marine transportation for the U.S. military and oil field operators in the Gulf of Mexico, had filed a prepackaged bankruptcy in May. Stockholders of the company were wiped out as a result of the reorganization. 

Company executives had been negotiating with lenders for months trying to restructure debt without bankruptcy, but the bottom fell out after the coronavirus swept across the world and the price of crude oil dropped to $20 per barrel as demand dwindled. Since then oil prices have recovered somewhat but the coronavirus pandemic has lingered, triggering low fuel demand as travelers stay close to home for work and leisure. 

Hornbeck Offshore paid its general unsecured creditors, which includes its trade creditors and vendors, over the past few months during the reorganization process, according to the company. Its $1.2 billion of debt was restructured as part of the process. The largest unsecured creditor was Wilmington Trust National Association, which was owed $675 million plus interest.

Hornbeck Offshore owed more than $1 million collectively across seven businesses with headquarters in Louisiana. Those include Lafayette-based catering and staffing business Mako Unlimited; Houma-based supplier Coastal Distributors and Juneau Marine Refrigeration; welding company Marine Fab and Repair; and machine rental business Louisiana CAT. Hornbeck owed another $1.3 million to companies with Louisiana operations, such as manufacturer Schottel and navigation technology business Guidance Marine.

During the reorganization process, Hornbeck Offshore raised $100 million in cash in the form of equity led by Special Opportunities Funds, formerly known as Insured Municipal Income Fund, and Los Angeles-based investment manager Ares Management in addition to funds controlled by Minneapolis hedge fund Whitebox Advisors and New York City-based alternative investment business Highbridge Capital Management. 

"The quick completion of our reorganization and emergence from Chapter 11 is a significant achievement, particularly given the currently very challenging economic environment," said Todd Hornbeck, CEO and chairman of Hornbeck Offshore in a news release. "We will now go forward with a stronger financial foundation."  

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