Yellow Repays $700M COVID-Era Treasury Loan Plus Interest
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Yellow Corp. has repaid a $700 million loan it received from the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the pandemic-era Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the bankrupt less-than-truckload carrier said late Feb. 5.
Administrators of Yellow’s bankruptcy proceeding made the federal government one of the first creditors to receive repayment — including accrued interest — after completing an auction of Yellow’s terminals and rolling stock.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Jan. 12 approved the sale of 23 terminal leases owned by Yellow to six bidders for an aggregate $82.89 million. That followed the court’s December approval of the sale of 128 freight terminals owned by the shuttered Nashville, Tenn.-based carrier for a combined $1.88 billion. Saia Inc. — which acquired 17 of the terminals for $235.7 million — confirmed Feb. 2 that its acquisitions closed in January.
A total of 118 leased properties and 46 owned properties remain to be sold, as do about 12,700 tractors and 42,000 trailers Yellow owned at the time it filed for court protection in August.
At the time Yellow sought protection from its creditors, the company ranked No. 13 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America and No. 3 on the LTL sector list.
Treasury approved the controversial loan in July 2020 under a provision of the CARES Act earmarked for businesses deemed critical to maintaining U.S. national security. Yellow qualified because of contracts it had with the U.S. military. The carrier said it repaid the $700 million in principal and more than $151 million in interest — the entirety of its outstanding debt on the loan.
“This repayment demonstrates Yellow’s absolute commitment to fulfilling its promise to the American taxpayers that its CARES Act loan would be repaid in full with interest,” said Matthew Doheny, Yellow’s chief restructuring officer.
Treasury also received 29.6% of Yellow’s stock, totaling 15.9 million shares, in return for the support. Treasury’s equity stake is worth about $72 million, Yellow said.
Whether any other creditors have been repaid is unclear. Yellow representatives were not immediately available for comment Feb. 6.
In September, as part of the bankruptcy process, Yellow received court approval to receive $142.5 million in loans from MFN Partners and fellow hedge fund Citadel Credit Master Fund. Known as debtor-in-possession financing, the loans are meant to help keep Yellow operational through liquidation of its assets. MFN Partners is Yellow’s largest shareholder.
Alongside the sale of Yellow’s assets, the administrators also are attempting to recover funds from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, citing the union’s lack of willingness to restructure labor contracts for the company. Yellow filed suit June 27 against the Teamsters and certain affiliates in a Kansas court, alleging breach of contract and accusing the union of causing more than $137 million in damages.
Marc Kasowitz, Yellow counsel, said Feb. 5: “Just as Yellow kept its promise to the American taxpayers by repaying its CARES Act loan in full, so too will Yellow keep its promise to the 30,000 former Yellow employees who lost their good-paying jobs by seeking redress from the IBT for causing Yellow’s bankruptcy.”
Teamsters representatives were not immediately available for comment Feb. 6.
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