BRUSSELS, April 3 Belgium-based television
services company Alfacam Group said on Wednesday that
its bank lenders had decided to cancel its credit lines, leaving
it scrambling to find a new investor.
Alfacam, which was granted creditor protection in October,
said in a statement that its banks had decided not to extend
suspension of debt repayments beyond March 31.
The provider of broadcast services, TV studios and Europe's
largest fleet of outside-broadcast vans signed a memorandum of
understanding in December with its banks and Indian family-owned
conglomerate Hinduja Group.
The preliminary deal was to lead to a 24 million euro ($31
million) credit facility and Hinduja providing a 6 million euro
equity injection for Alfacam, which breached its financial
covenants a year ago.
Alfacom said in December that the 24 million euro credit
facility would cover almost all of its debt.
The size of the stake Hinduja would take is under
discussion, though Alfacam's market capitalisation is less than
7 million euros after the shares tumbled 23 percent to 0.76
euros on Wednesday.
Alfacam said on Wednesday that it is continuing discussions
with Hinduja and other potential investors. Otherwise, it's
business as usual, with coverage of Belgian cycling on Wednesday
and MotoGP in Qatar at the weekend, a spokesman added.
The Belgian company sought a three-month extension of
creditor protection on Jan. 25, saying the time was needed to
allow Hinduja to carry out due diligence. A court granted this
the following month, giving it protection until May 5 with a
request for the submission of a restructuring plan by April 15.
Alfacam's net assets dropped last year to less than half of
the value of its issued capital, requiring it to hold a meeting
of shareholders to vote on dissolving the company or backing its
proposed remedies. That meeting is due on April 12.
($1 = 0.7789 euros)
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by David Goodman)