Friday 22 November 2019

Dealz owner in deal with lenders

Dealz at Wexford Retail Park.
Dealz at Wexford Retail Park.

Tiisetso Motsoeneng

Steinhoff International Holdings has won backing from its lenders for a so-called standstill on its debt, with approval from more than 75pc of its convertible bondholders - a significant step toward reaching a restructuring deal.

The beleaguered South African retailer owns discount retailer Dealz in Ireland, along with Poundland in the UK, Conforama in France and Mattress Firm in the US.

Steinhoff said it has sufficient support from holders of each of the three convertible bonds issued out of its Austrian unit, Steinhoff Finance. Those are worth a combined €2.7bn.

The company can now start a consent solicitation process to change the terms on the notes, according to a statement on Tuesday.

The winning of creditor support comes amid constant talks with lenders about how the group can manage its debt, crucial to its survival after reporting accounting irregularities late last year. The stock has crashed more than 97pc since then, and Steinhoff is working toward a target of releasing audited results by the end of the year.

The standstill request is still pending for the €5.4bn of creditors to Steinhoff Europe AG, which can earn a consent fee if they sign up by June 15, the company said.

Steinhoff, which wants to extend most of its debt maturities for three years without cash interest payments, may be able to launch a comprehensive restructuring plan before the end of the month.

Lenders in three different groups are represented by financial advisers FTI Consulting, Houlihan Lokey, and PJT Partners. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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