Chris Nicholls is a senior managing director in the FTI Consulting Corporate Finance/Restructuring practice and is based in New York. Mr. Nicholls is a member of the FTI Consulting Communications, Media & Entertainment Solutions group. He is also a member of FTI Capital Advisors, an investment banking subsidiary of FTI Consulting. Mr. Nicholls has more than 24 years of strategy consulting, restructuring and corporate finance experience.
Mr. Nicholls has led a wide range of engagements, including operational turnarounds, business strategy, balance sheet restructurings, expert witness testimony, business plan diligences, business valuations, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory and merger integration. He is highly experienced in advising senior management, boards of directors, creditors and equity sponsors in strategic decision making.
Mr. Nicholls has assessed the current operations, financial models and business strategies of companies in the business of newspaper publishing, printing, broadcasting, cable, internet and telecommunications. Select clients include Tribune; MediaNews; Morris; GateHouse; Star Tribune; Sandy Alexander; Broadview Networks; One Communications; McLeod; Allegiance; XO Communications; Broadwing; Level 3; Valor; Fairpoint; Rural Cellular; Houghton Mifflin; Rodale Press; RH Donnelley and Dex.
Mr. Nicholls has led more than 35 restructurings, involving both balance sheet and operational turnarounds. He has advised on numerous pre-packaged, pre-arranged and free-fall bankruptcies and 363 sales. In addition, Mr. Nicholls has managed more than 40 debt amendments, bondholder consent solicitations and exchanges, ranging from resetting covenants to approving plans of out-of-court restructurings. Recent engagements include representing the $8 billion bank lender group of Tribune, the lenders of MediaNews, the bondholders of Morris Communications, the bondholders of Broadview Networks and representing the board of Sandy Alexander,
As an expert witness, Mr. Nicholls has testified on numerous engagements, including the $3 billion Bell Canada Bondholder group, as an expert witness in litigation matters pertaining to the largest attempted leveraged buyout in corporate history. He has represented the bondholders of Quebecor, Cadence energy and Primus Communications in various litigation matters and has been qualified as an expert witness in both Canadian and U.S. courts.
Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Mr. Nicholls worked at GE Capital’s Media Communications group, where he was instrumental in growing investments under management from $500 million to more than $5 billion and led the telecom workout and risk management teams. In addition, he managed a $1.5 billion portfolio, was responsible for making $2.5 billion in investments, led creditor committees in restructuring balance sheets totaling more than $10 billion and was a principal in many M&A transactions. Before that, Mr. Nicholls served as vice president of fixed income capital markets and investment banking at Merrill Lynch, where he was the leading underwriter of fixed income debt in North America. In his various roles, Mr. Nicholls advised industrial and utility clients on bond and preferred stock issuance, pricing, structuring, indenture modifications, as well as M&A and general corporate finance.
Mr. Nicholls holds a B.A. in economics from Boston University.