LONDON Feb 7 German apparel maker Basler has
reduced its debt after investors agreed to large write-offs and
owner Triton injected $13.5 million cash, banking sources said
Private equity firm Triton bought Basler in 2006, at the
height of a buyout boom, backed with 215 million euros ($291.07
million) of debt according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.
Last year, an investment bank was appointed to find an
investor to organise new financing for the fashion group founded
in 1936 in Berlin.
"After the successful refinancing, Triton is no longer
looking to sell Basler," a person familiar with the deal said.
The restructuring has now reduced Basler's debt to 80
million euros of senior leveraged loans, bankers added.
Triton declined to comment.
In 2010 Triton injected 22 million euros of cash into the
ailing business, which also owns sports fashion brand Venice
Beach, but it continued to struggle with its debt, bankers said.
Junior debt holders which held around 45 million euros of
loans agreed to wipe out all their debt while senior debt
holders saw their loans reduced by around 40 percent.
Owners and lenders agreed to a new five-year financing
package until 2018 which is roughly 5.3 times Basler's
approximate 15 million euro 2012 EBITDA. Before its restructure,
the debt, which matured as early as this June, was around 12.6
times the company's EBITDA, bankers said.
FTI Consulting advised lenders on the restructuring while a
senior coordinating committee comprised of Bank of Ireland,
Commerzbank and Pemba.
Basler's senior debt has improved on Europe's secondary loan
market and was trading at 23.5 percent of face value on Thursday
compared to 20 percent of face value at the end of January.
Basler operates over 80 stores worldwide.
(Reporting by Claire Ruckin; additional reporting by Arno
Schuetze in Frankfurt; Editing by Mike Nesbit)