NEW YORK, Jan 13 (IFR) - Irish packaging firm Ardagh said on
Monday that it would repay the USD1.6bn-worth of high-yield
bonds it issued to finance its purchase of Verallia North
America (VNA) after failing to meet a crucial deadline with US
regulators on the acquisition.
The company had hoped to reach a deal with the US Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) by January 13 in order to avoid the
redemption at a price of 101. It will now likely have to issue
new debt to wrap up the financing that could be more costly.
Ardagh raised the bonds to finance the acquisition of bottle
maker VNA from St. Gobain, but the US regulator has thus far
refused to approve the transaction on antitrust concerns.
Ardagh is currently negotiating a settlement with the FTC
regarding the antitrust complaint on the basis of proposals made
by Ardagh on 11 December 2013.
"These proposals involve Ardagh divesting six former Anchor
Glass plants together with the former Anchor headquarters and
infrastructure at Tampa, Florida," Ardagh said in a statement.
"The settlement negotiations with the FTC are progressing
satisfactorily. However, it has not proven possible to conclude
these settlement negotiations in time for Ardagh to complete the
acquisition of Verallia North America ("VNA") by 13 January
The bonds, issued around a year ago, have remained in escrow
Ardagh launched a consent solicitation in October, asking
bondholders to extend the deadline by six months. The majority
of investors rejected the proposal, however, preferring a
potential 101 payout on bonds that were then languishing below