O’Keefe & Associates achieves national recognition for reograinzation and sale of Double JJ Ranch

Opinion leader and top U.S. industry publication, The M&A Advisor has recognized transactional financial consulting and turnaround management firm O’Keefe and Associates with a national Turnaround Award for the successful Chapter 11 reorganization and sale of the iconic Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, Mich. The turnaround effort was recognized as The M&A Advisor’s top real estate transaction of 2009. With offices in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. and Grand Rapids, Mich., O’Keefe & Associates is a leading firm providing transactional financial consulting to middle market companies.

Also sharing this award were members of the deal team, Thomas A. Bruinsma, Chapter 11 Trustee, Stephen B. Grow and Robert H. Skilton, from the law firm Warner Norcross & Judd, and attorney Steven L. Rayman, Rayman & Stone. The Double JJ Resort transaction was selected based on The M&A Advisors’ requirements including its importance to the real estate industry, creativity, perseverance, and resourcefulness in achieving an outstanding result with a high degree of difficulty.

The M&A Advisor announced the winners of the 2010 Turnaround Awards March 22 at the 4th Annual Turnaround Awards Gala in Palm Beach, Fla. O’Keefe & Associates, together with the other members of the deal team, achieved the highest honor in the Real Estate category. The award was presented by Bloomberg TV’s Carol Massar, host of “Street Smart.”

O’Keefe & Associates efforts were led by managing director Dave Distel, who served as financial restructuring advisor in the Chapter 11 reorganization and sale of the Double JJ Resort, home to the renowned annual Rothbury Music Festival. The deal team overcame a range of challenges to: keep the property intact; prevent it from falling into secondary insolvency; and convince Rothbury Music Festival organizers and the US Bankruptcy Court to renew the event for the July 4th weekend of 2009. After the sale was finalized in June 2009, the new owner affirmed plans to restore the property to a functioning guest ranch, in turn, rehiring hundreds of ranch employees.

Distel was responsible for day-to-day operations at the resort beginning in August 2008, shortly after the property fell into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the Chapter 11 Trustee, Thomas A. Bruinsma, was appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The difficult financing environment for resort properties following the global market collapse in the fall of 2008 impeded the sale of the Double JJ Resort.

“The award winners represent the best of the turnaround industry in the past year and earned these honors by standing out in a group of very impressive finalists,” said Roger Aguinaldo, CEO of The M&A Advisor. “Each winner should take pride in their award and the message it sends about the resilience of our industry.”

The Turnaround Awards Gala honored deal-teams, deal-makers, and firms whose activities set the standard for the industry. An independent body of experts that span the turnaround and M&A industry determined the ultimate recipients of the awards. The gala is one of the most prestigious and exclusive networking events in the turnaround industry.

“Double JJ is an example of the success that a distressed business can achieve with the right team leading the reorganization effort,” said Managing Member Patrick O’Keefe. “We’re proud to have had such a big impact in the community and it was an honor to be acknowledged among the best M&A firms in the country.”

O’KEEFE & ASSOCIATES is a transactional financial consulting firm specializing in turnaround consulting, corporate finance, debt restructuring, business valuations, litigation support, creditor and bankruptcy services, forensic accounting, and due diligence on strategic transactions. Established in Michigan in 2001, the company offers professional services to middle market businesses nationwide. Contact the O’Keefe & Associates Bloomfield Hills, Mich. office at (248) 593-4810 or its Grand Rapids, Mich. office at (616) 233-8080. For more information, visit www.okeefeandassociates.com.