RLPC-Codere bondholders face 50 pct haircut

LONDON, June 19 Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:57am EDT

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LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) - The debt refinancing of Codere's senior credit facilities is the first stage of the gaming company's restructuring which could see the circa 1 billion euro ($1.34 billion)of bondholders face a haircut of up to 50 percent.

Last week the Spanish company, which has a significant presence in Argentina and Mexico said it has reached a deal with the debt funds Canyon Capital and GSO for a new 100 million euro six month loan paying 750 basis points over Libor plus an additional fee of 5 percent of what it borrows. This will refinance 140 million euro of credit facilities due to mature this month.

The refinanced senior credit facilities include a 60 million euro revolver, 40 million euro in letters of credit and 40 million euro of surety bonds provided by Barclays, BBVA, Credit Suisse and Houston Casualty Company.

In May, the struggling company mandated Perella Weinberg as financial advisors. According to one source with knowledge of the negotiations Perella was keen to table a proposal which would see the banks refinancing the debt. Instead the banks sold out to the funds at par.

"Perella Weinberg was trying to convince them to stay for the next six months, this would have been a cheaper option for the company," according to the source. "But the banks didn't want to be part of the deal or part of a larger restructuring going forward which could end up the wrong way for them."

Perella did not respond to requests for comment.

With immediate concerns over the refinancing of the senior credit facilities relieved the plan now focuses on tabling a consensual restructuring plan for the company's circa 1 billion euro of outstanding bondholders, which currently comprises a 760 million euro 8.25% June 2015 issue and a $300 million 9.25% February 2019 deal.

MISSED PAYMENT

Codere missed a 30 million euro payment due last Friday on the June 2015 Eurobond using a thirty day grace period. Moody's said in a note on Wednesday that even if the notes are paid before the end of the grace period the probability of a default is very high.

The restructuring plan will involve a debt for equity swap which could leave the current family founders stake in the Codere reduced from around 68 percent to between 10-20 percent, with bondholders taking a potential haircut of up to 50 percent, according to the source.

An ad hoc committee of bondholders comprising GSO, Silver Point, Monarch, Cyras Capital, Golden Tree and M&G is being advised by Houlihan Lokey.

Due to the fact that Codere is a gaming company with a large exposure to Argentina, bondholders will be under particular pressure to agree an out of court consensual deal.

"The restructuring can't involve any court process because it would lose it gaming licenses," said the source. "If it goes to court in Spain it is game over -- they need a consensual deal."

Codere's substantial exposure to Argentina has been a significant risk factor, with round 45 percent of its EBITDA coming from the Latin American country.

"The company will have value in four to five years but with the current political and currency situation in Argentina the amount of money Argentina can send to Spain will be limited," said one Madrid based restructuring adviser. "So basically Codere will lose a large chunk of cash generation from its business."

Although restructuring advisers agree the Argentine government is unlikely to expropriate Codere's interests in the country as in the case of Repsol, there is the potential threat that it could try to force a sale.

As a result it is hoped that a consensual deal can be agreed within the next two to three months.

The June 2015 bonds are trading at 65 and the February 2019s at 61, according to Tradeweb. ($1 = 0.7467 euros) (Editing by Christopher Mangham)

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