UPDATE 1-Ineos wins approval for easier debt terms

Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:23am EDT

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LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) - British petrochemicals company Ineos [INEOSP.UL] secured the overwhelming support of lenders for new terms on its debt, the company said on Thursday.

The proposals, which include an easing of its financial covenants and a new business plan, were backed by 96 percent of loan holders, the company said.

"The covenant reset provides the necessary headroom and flexibility to progress our current strategy," said Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos's chairman.

In exchange for giving the company additional breathing space on its loans, lenders will receive a one-off fee and higher interest rates.

This week's lender vote brings to a conclusion months of talks between Ineos and its lenders triggered by difficult trading conditions in the last quarter of 2008.

Ineos has debts of about 7.5 billion euros ($10.6 billion) built up through acquisitions of petrochemical assets sold off by major oil companies. (Reporting by Tom Freke; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=.7099 Euro)

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