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Orion suffered a major explosion and fire in early 2003. The resulting damages and business interruption losses totaled more than $150 million.
As a result of the fire, Orion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2003 and emerged approximately a year later. Cypress was hired as liquidating trustee in mid-2004.
Cypress worked with refinery process engineers to counter Orion’s insurers’ arguments on the size of Orion’s claim. Cypress was able to negotiate on increase from the insurers’ offer of approximately 40% of Orion’s claim to almost 90% of the claim.
Orion had sold its refinery during the bankruptcy to Valero. In addition to cash, part of the consideration received was Valero preferred stock and an earn-out based on crack spreads. Cypress created an auction for the earn-out and sold it for $136 million. Cypress also organized the sales of blocks of the preferred shares.