Silicon Valley Bank Sees Bankruptcy Protection

SVB Financial has announced that it has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, one week after trading was suspended for the company and regulators took control of the holding company for Silicon Valley Bank and other subsidiaries.

As a result, SVB Financial will be able to ask the courts for permission to restart its business operations while finding purchasers for its assets, including moving through with its plans to sell SVB Securities and SVB Capital, among other things.

A portion of the holding firm’s financial situation is also being kept under wraps as part of that process by SVB Financial. The holding company had a market valuation of around $12 billion until its shares fell last Friday as a result of a run on the bank. (Trading was suspended after the market capitalization was down to around $12 billion.)

The corporation “believes it has about $2.2 billion of liquidity,” according to the statement. The financed debt, which is around $3.3 billion “in aggregate principal amount of unsecured notes,” is also mentioned. These notes only have recourse against SVB Financial Group and have no claim against SVB Capital or SVB Securities, two legally distinct businesses. Also outstanding is $3.7 billion in preferred equity, according to SVB Financial Group.

“SVB Financial Group intends to use the court-supervised process to evaluate strategic alternatives for SVB Capital, SVB Securities, and the Company’s other assets and investments,” it noted in a statement. That effort is being run by a five-member restructuring committee, with Centerview Partners LLC assisting. It added that any sale process will be conducted through the Chapter 11 proceeding and subject to court approval.

The main benefit of Chapter 11 is that, while it considers its options, SVB Financial Group may restart operations independently of the FDIC. To that aim, the holding company said that it intends to file “customary first-day motions with the Bankruptcy Court that, among other things, seek authorization to continue the activities of SVB Financial Group in the usual course of business as soon as a hearing can be arranged. Further documents pertaining to the Bankruptcy Court process will be filed in the upcoming days.”

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