RLPC-Douglas seeks to focus debt on perfumes business-sources

LONDON Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:21pm EDT

LONDON Aug 13 (Reuters) - German books to cosmetics retailer Douglas is asking lenders to approve a change of terms on its 1.1 billion euros ($1.47 billion) of loans to focus on its perfumeries business, banking sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Private equity firm Advent International and the Kreke family acquired multi-channel retailer Douglas in 2012 which at the time consisted of Douglas Perfumeries, Thalia Bookstores, Christ Jewellery stores, AppelrathCüpper Fashion stores and Hussel Confectioneries.

Douglas bought French perfumery chain Nocibe last year and earlier this year sold its confectioneries business Hussel. ID:nL5N0IB1IX]

With a combined 625 stores and 4,000 employees, the acquisition of Nocibe made Douglas the second largest perfumery chain operator in France behind LVMH's Sephora in terms of revenue.

Now Douglas is seeking an amendment to terms from lenders to allow its existing 1.1 billion euros of loans to sit solely on its perfumeries business, if a sale of any of its other businesses takes place, the bankers said.

This would enable Douglas to avoid using the proceeds of any sale to repay debt, they added.

No one at Advent or Douglas was immediately available to comment.

JP Morgan would be handling any sale process of its fashion, jewellery and book stores, according to the bankers.

At the same time, Douglas is looking to reprice its existing debt on more favourable terms by reducing interest margins by 0.5 percentage points, the bankers said.

A call took place with lenders on Wednesday who have been asked to commit to the deal by August 29. Lenders are being offered a 0.25 percent consent fee, the bankers said.

JP Morgan and UniCredit are handling the amendment and repricing, they said.

If approved, a 450 million-euro term loan B and a 470 million-euro term loan C will both pay 4 percentage points over Euribor instead of 4.5 percentage points. A 185 million-euro revolving credit and capital expenditure facility will pay 3.75 percentage points over Euribor instead of 4.25 percentage points, they said. (1 US dollar = 0.7483 euros) (Editing by Shadia Nasralla, Greg Mahlich; )

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