The number of US bankruptcies passes the 500-mark as coronavirus takes toll

Corporate bankruptcies in the U.S. continue to grow amid the coronavirus pandemic as 22 new companies added their names to a growing list of bankruptcies in 2020 in the last two weeks, an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis shows.

A total of 509 companies have gone bankrupt this year as of Oct. 4, exceeding the number of filings during any comparable period since 2010.

S&P Global Market Intelligence’s bankruptcy analysis includes public companies or private companies with public debt. Public companies included in the list of companies with public debt must have at least $2 million in either assets or liabilities at the time of the bankruptcy filing. In comparison, private companies must include at least $10 million.

Companies that entered bankruptcy proceedings between Sept. 21 and Oct. 4 include i ndependent oil and gas producer Oasis Petroleum Inc., Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. , which operates a fleet of barges and tugs, oilfield services company FTS International Inc., film distribution company Aviron Pictures LLC, oil and gas company Lonestar Resources US Inc. and King Mountain Tobacco Company Inc., which makes cigarettes. Only three companies — Northwest Regional ASC LLC, Reata Properties LP and Continuity Logic LLC — had involuntary petitions filed against them during the period.

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Oasis, which filed a Chapter 11 petition on Sept. 30, was the only company that claimed more than $1 billion in liabilities in its bankruptcy filing during the period. The company signed a restructuring support agreement with all of the lenders in its revolving credit line and holders of 52% of its bonds on a prepackaged restructuring plan through which it aims to cut its debt by $1.8 billion.

Texas-based Lonestar on Sept. 30 filed for Chapter 11 protection, listing $560 million in total assets and $626.2 million in total liabilities.

Meanwhile, 54 companies went bankrupt in September, matching the number of filings in August.