Vincent Indelicato is a voracious reader. He loves fine Italian food, plus an occasional late-night cheesesteak at Shorty’s. And in the chaotic world of corporate bankruptcy, what he likes most is being in control.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of bankruptcy is the ability for a bankruptcy lawyer to really drive a restructuring outcome,” said Indelicato, a partner in Proskauer Rose LLP’s bankruptcy and restructuring group.
Unlike attorneys in some other practices, bankruptcy attorneys can play a meaningful role in the direction of a case and become “architects of strategy” in pushing a case forward, he said. “That really excites me: listening and trying to figure out how to make a deal.”
Over the years, Indelicato has played a role in some of the largest corporate reorganizations, representing the Los Angeles Dodgers after the team filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and the creditors’ committee in Caesars Entertainment Operating Company Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in 2015 with more than $18 billion of debt.
A 2008 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Indelicato initially envisioned a practice focused on general corporate law. When the recession brought mergers and acquisitions to a grinding halt, he dove into bankruptcy instead. He joined Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, which itself declared bankruptcy in 2012, prompting his move to Proskauer.
Indelicato said one of his most meaningful bankruptcy cases was that of Breitburn Energy Partners LP, an oil and gas master limited partnership, where he represented shareholders on a statutory equity committee.
“At the beginning, many people just assumed that shareholders would get wiped out without representation,” he said. In the end, the committee not only challenged, but defeated confirmation of the company’s Chapter 11 plan, and eventually won a solution that benefited shareholders.
“We had to fight to get a seat at the table,” Indelicato said. “I often tell clients, if you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu.”
Indelicato’s innate strategic instincts were “instrumental” in recently securing a $96.4 million bid at an October bankruptcy auction for Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market and Kings Food Markets, said Chad Dale, a partner in Proskauer’s corporate department.
The $96.4 million bid from ACME Markets Inc., a division of Albertsons Companies Inc., was nearly 30% more than the starting $75 million bid from investment firm TLI Bedrock. Although still awaiting regulatory approvals, if the deal goes through as planned, ACME will also assume some of the liabilities held by the grocers’ bankrupt parent KB US Holdings Inc., including a $25 million underfunded pension fund.
“Vinnie saw a ray of light back in the summer” and pushed to find bidders who knew the industry and were familiar with its unions, Dale said. “It’s those instincts that make you a good bankruptcy attorney,” he said. “Vinnie’s got something that you cannot learn.”
Indelicato can size up a situation and quickly see the steps he needs to take to get where he wants to go, said Judy Spires, Chairman and CEO of Kings Supermarkets Inc., which also runs Balducci’s.
“His mind is automatically strategic,” Spires told Bloomberg Law. “And in tough situations, he never goes on defense. He has the ability to manage multiple personalities and temperaments to get them focused on the end game.”