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Elan Ben-Avi

Managing Director

Photograph of Elan Ben-Avi

485 Lexington Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10017

+1.212.818.1555 Main
+1.646.968.3686 Direct

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Elan Ben-Avi is a Managing Director at Ankura, based in New York. With more than 20 years of experience in restructuring, private equity investing, investment banking and consumer/retail executive management, Elan guides stakeholders through complex situations, from periods of severe distress and business model transformations to opportunities for major growth and access to capital. He brings expertise in financial analysis and diligence, building and implementing operational plans, and is highly skilled at developing and negotiating transactions and business structures that bridge divergent perspectives on a deal. 

Experience

Elan has served as financial advisor to companies and investor constituents in engagements that have included financial and operational restructurings for debtors and creditors both in and outside court, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and raising capital via public offerings and private markets. Prior to joining Ankura, Elan was a partner at a NY-based private-equity firm focused on value-oriented buyouts and structured-equity investments in the lower middle market. 

Earlier in his career, Elan served as a director with Getzler Henrich, a restructuring firm based in New York, handling restructurings and workouts on behalf of debtors, sponsors, secured lenders, and unsecured creditor committees. This work included turnarounds, refinancings, asset dispositions, out-of-court sales, 363 sales, and liquidations across a wide range of industries and sectors. His prior investment banking positions include, as vice president, managing the private placement group at SFK Leader International and working as an investment banking analyst at Punk Ziegel & Company. In addition to his financial advisory positions, Elan has held executive leadership roles in the retail and consumer sector. He has served as chief operating officer and board member of a national fitness company, interim CEO and executive chairman of a national beauty retailer, chairman of a global accessories brand, and interim CEO of a personal care business. 

Elan’s turnaound, restructuring and financial advisory experience has included:

  • Served as financial advisor to a global consumer products manufacturer and distributor and their sponsor immediately prior to and following their acquisition. Our role included assisting in the negotiation and closing of an ABL revolver required to complete the purchase, and developing and implementing new worldwide cashflow forecasting templates, liquidity and variance analytics and cash management tools. 
  • Brooks Brothers (“BBG”): Served as financial advisor to this storied apparel retailer. Our role included leading negotiations among stakeholders and advising the Special Committee on various restructuring and sale alternatives; assisted BBG’s investment bankers in arranging emergency pre-petition and DIP financing; Prepared BBG for its chapter 11 filing and oversaw all post-petition bankruptcy related activities; oversaw the 363 sale process, including via development of forecast models, supporting buyer diligence, and negotiations and deal structuring; developed and negotiated a Liquidating Plan; improved GUC recoveries through negotiations with the ABL lender, the PBGC and with various asserted 100% recovery claimaints; and post-emergence support Trustee to the Liquidation Trust to recover and distribute final proceeds to creditors pursuant to the Plan of Liquidation..
  • Payless ShoeSource: Served as financial advisor to this specialty retailer in its Chapter 11 proceeding. Our role included overseeing liquidity forecasting, cashflow management, operations management, bankruptcy preparation and management, plan and disclosure statement development, business plan development, lender and creditor negotiations, financing support, and post emergency transition services.
  • Diamond and Jewelry Wholesaler and Retailer: Guided the global, vertically integrated company in its pre-filings and throughout the bankruptcy process, including crisis management, forbearance negotiation, business plan development, operational restructuring, bankruptcy preparation and management, and the sale and liquidation of multiple business lines.
  • National Fitness Business: Provided interim management, business assessment, liquidity management, and strategic advisory services. Elan also implemented operational improvements and advised on secured debt and equity financing.
  • National Radio Station and Radio Network Operator: Worked on the restructuring, including forbearance negotiations, secured debt refinancing, business and strategy assessments, and operational improvements.
  • Independent Record Label, Publisher and Distributor: Provided crisis and bankruptcy management services, acted as financial advisor and investment banker in the proceedings, and oversaw a section 363 sale.
  • Financial Services Electronic Communication Network (ECN): Advised the unsecured creditors’ committee, conducting financial diligence, analysis, and provided testimony to facilitate estate recoveries.
  • Direct Marketing and Fulfillment Business: Advised the company’s financial sponsor on crisis management, liquidity assessment, and profitability analysis. Elan also instituted cash-flow management tools and controls and supported a secured debt refinancing.
  • Fabricated Aluminum Producer: Served as financial advisor to the indenture trustee, analyzing inter-creditor claims and supporting the negotiation of a reorganization plan.
  • Fast Food Franchisor: Served as interim management in an out-of-court workout. Elan instituted cash-flow management processes and developed a business strategy, which led to the business’ sale.
  • Technology Magazine and Online Publisher: Advised on crisis management and business strategy, implemented cash-flow management and controls, and developed an out-of-court workout with secured lenders and major vendors.
  • Manufacturer of Private Label and Branded Chocolates and Nutritional Bars: As the restructuring advisor to the secured lender, assessed liquidity, profitability, and business strategy, leading to the sale of a business line.
  • Manufacturer and Wholesaler of Low-Carb Foods and Snacks: Financial advisor handling crisis management, the out-of-court workout, multiple business-asset sales, and an orderly liquidation.
  • Designer, Manufacturer and Distributor of Decorative Fabrics: Served as interim management, provided liquidity and profitability assessments, and advised on the out-of-court workout.
  • Pediatric Physician Practices and Specialty Pharmacy Operator: Assessed segment and location profitability, instituted liquidity tools, and advised on debt refinancing.
Education
  • BS, Finance, State University Of New York At Albany
Certifications
  • Certified Turnaround Professional (Expired)
  • Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor (Expired)
Affiliations
  • Turnaround and Management Association (Audit Committee Member, former Pro Bono Committee Member)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute

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