Christopher Nicholls specializes in restructuring, merger and acquisitions (“M&A”), interim management, litigation support, valuation, performance improvement and due diligence. He has more than 30 years of consulting and investment banking experience and is highly experienced in advising management, boards of directors, creditors and sponsors in strategic decision making.
Since joining FTI Consulting in 2005, Mr. Nicholls has led some of FTI Consulting’s largest and most complex restructuring engagements. Mr. Nicholls has assessed the current operations and business strategies of companies in a wide range of sectors including radio, publishing, direct marketing, digital media, broadcast TV, entertainment and telecommunications. Some of the companies that Mr. Nicholls has worked with include Cumulus Media, Avaya, Spanish Broadcasting, Cenveo, Cengage, Tribune Media, Digital First, MediaNews, Morris, Journal Register, Standard Register, Reader’s Digest, Source Interlink, SFX Entertainment, Nelson Education, One Communications, Broadview, XO and Sage Telecom.
Mr. Nicholls has led over 75 restructurings, both in and out of Chapter 11. He focuses on balance sheet and operational turnarounds, litigation support, valuation and M&A. He has advised on numerous pre-packaged, pre-arranged and free-fall bankruptcies. He is an expert in all aspects of restructuring, including plan structuring and negotiation, 363 sales, exit financing, DIP loans, amendments, tenders and exchanges. His experience includes representing secured lenders, unsecured creditors and companies. He also has served as Chief Restructuring Officer and Interim CEO.
Mr. Nicholls has led a range of special situations and non-distressed investment banking engagements, including buy-side and sell-side transactions, and has rendered fairness and solvency opinions. Various transactions he has worked on include the sale of Freedom Communications in a 363 Chapter 11 process, the bidder representation for Standard Register, the sale of the Philadelphia Newspaper Group, the sale of the international direct marketing subsidiaries of Reader’s Digest and the sale of Allegiance Telecom to Carl Icahn in a 363 sale.
Expert witness testimony includes representing the $3 billion Bell Canada Bondholder group, as an expert witness in litigation matters pertaining to the larges attempted leveraged buyout in corporate history, testifying on valuation and damages. Mr. Nicholls has represented bondholders and other constituents in numerous litigations and has been qualified as an expert witness in the U.S. and Canada.
Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Mr. Nicholls spent nine years in GE Capital’s Structured Finance and Corporate Lending groups, where he helped to substantially grow investments under management and was ultimately head of the telecom risk management team. In this role, he was responsible for evaluating credit risk, pricing and underwriting loans, portfolio management and performing quarterly portfolio reviews and valuations. Mr. Nicholls managed a $1.5 billion portfolio, was responsible for making $2.5 billion in loans and equity investments, led restructurings and recapitalizations totaling over $10 billion and was a principal in many M&A transactions. He also served on the boards of directors of a number of GE’s portfolio companies.
Prior to GE, Mr. Nicholls was at Merrill Lynch as a vice president in fixed income capital markets and investment banking. In his role, he advised clients on bond and preferred stock issuance, indenture modifications, M&A and general corporate finance. Mr. Nicholls started his corporate finance career at Morgan Stanley in 1986, in the fixed income bond department.
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