Saturday, October 2, 2010

DIC Restructuring: Difficult Discussions Over Margin and Covenants?

Asa Fitch over at The National reports that discussions between DIC and its creditors over the proposed five-year rescheduling are focused on:
  1. The margin. DIC would like 85 bp.  The lenders appear to be sensibly asking for more.  Though the precedent set by Dubai World's rescheduling is not in the lenders' favor.
  2. The lenders would like covenants triggering default if certain levels of asset sales aren't met in the second and fourth years of the restructured facility.
While Asa's sources describe the proceedings as "fierce", the Company itself sees things proceeding smoothly.  

I suspect this will end up with a cosmetic change in the margin.  Hopefully, the banks have their eyes firmly on the prize (the more important point):  covenants to force asset sales.  An extra 100 or 200 bps is going to be cold comfort, if the banks can't force the return of their principal.  

There's nothing like the reluctance of an investor who bought at the top of the market to sell when markets are depressed.  He knows there's real additional value there and he has the loans to prove it.  Plus do I need to add The Vision.

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