(Bloomberg) -- Creditors of Endo International Plc, the drugmaker facing opioid-related lawsuits, are discussing a deal that involves putting the entire company up for sale through bankruptcy, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

The drugmaker will likely file for Chapter 11 in New York, with certain first-lien lenders vying to apply their debt holdings toward a bid for the company’s assets, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Representatives for Endo didn’t respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment. A representative for the company’s financial adviser, PJT Partners Inc., declined to comment. The situation is fluid and subject to change, the people said.

Endo has been in talks with its creditor groups over the best path to address lawsuits over its role in America’s opioid epidemic, more than $8 billion of debt load and a dimmed outlook for its bestselling drugs.

A bankruptcy filing would let Endo attempt to cut a deal with government agencies and other groups suing the company for its alleged role in the opioid epidemic. While the company has settled some of the suits it faces, it has not announced the kind of global deal rivals Purdue Pharma LP and Mallinckrodt Plc reached before beginning their Chapter 11 cases. 

Last week, the company said it expects negotiations to result in an imminent, pre-arranged bankruptcy filing.

Some unsecured bondholders reiterated that a near-term bankruptcy filing is “entirely unnecessary” and that the company has vastly under-projected its performance. The lower-ranking creditors have called for out-of-court restructuring options, while senior lenders preferred a quick bankruptcy filing to preserve cash.

In late July, Endo bought itself more time to hash out a restructuring agreement with creditors by making a delayed interest payment on an unsecured note, while skipping other coupon payments due. On August 14, Endo made good on a coupon tied to 6% unsecured notes it skipped in July, according to Bloomberg-compiled data. The company had roughly $1.2 billion in unrestricted cash as of June 30.

The opioid epidemic has been blamed for nearly 500,000 deaths over two decades. States, cities and counties filed nearly 4,000 suits against more than a dozen drugmakers and distributors seeking compensation for billions spent battling the crisis.  

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