LONDON, March 17 (IFR) - Ardagh announced in its annual
results presentation today that it has resumed efforts to raise
equity-linked securities, as its long-stalled acquisition of US
glass maker VNA nears completion.
Ardagh stressed that "there is no assurance that any such
transaction will be completed," but it confirmed that it is
looking to raise an equity-linked instrument at an entity at or
above ARD Finance S.A.
The instrument could take the form of a mandatory
convertible security, and it is Ardagh's intention to raise
primary proceeds of more than US$500m.
ARD Finance S.A. is a direct subsidiary of Ardagh Group
S.A., and the holder, indirectly, of 100% of the share capital
of Ardagh Packaging Holdings. It was previously used in 2011 to
issue 185m and US$345m of senior payment-in-kind notes due in
2018, carrying 11.125% coupons.
As of January 2014, Ardagh's chairman Paul Coulson owned 21%
of the Ardagh Group's share capital directly through a company,
which also has a further 39% interest through its investment in
the Yeoman group of companies. Ardagh's directors and senior
management, other than Coulson, collectively own around 20% of
Ardagh was last in debt markets with its rejigged VNA
acquisition deal. Ardagh raised US$1.6bn in high-yield bonds in
January 2013 to back the deal initially, but was forced to
return this cash to bondholders a year later, after it failed to
meet a crucial deadline with US regulators.
In the rejigged acquisition debt deal raised in January
2014, Ardagh funded the senior secured portion with a US$700m
term loan B, along with US$415m of 2019 senior unsecured paper
and US$415m of 2021 senior unsecured paper.
The deal was delayed after the Federal Trade Commission
blocked the deal on antitrust grounds, but Ardagh now says it
has reached agreement on the basic terms of a proposed consent
agreement. As such, Ardagh expects to close the deal before
(Reporting by Robert Smith, editing by Alex Chambers and