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UPDATE 2-Czech miner NWR's shares slump again after capital revamp plan revised
July 3, 2014 / 9:05 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 2-Czech miner NWR's shares slump again after capital revamp plan revised

* Stock drops by more than 50 percent over two days

* Shareholders to be heavily diluted

* Small bondholders unhappy with offered terms (Adds comments from two holders of debt, updates prices)

By Jason Hovet and Jan Lopatka

PRAGUE, July 3 (Reuters) - Shares in New World Resources (NWR) plunged again on Thursday, taking losses over two days to 55 percent after the Czech coal miner revised a capital revamp proposal and detailed the expected share dilution.

The loss-making company made a new pitch on Wednesday to get bondholders to back a capital restructuring plan that will cut debt and raise 150 million euros of new equity and include a 118 million rights issue to stave off insolvency.

As part of the plan, it said existing shares would only make up 4 percent of total shares after the equity raising, surprising markets even after NWR had already warned of a hit to shareholders who did not take up the rights issue.

Apart from the massive dilution, it was still unclear whether the new offer will get the needed number of bondholders to go along with the plans.

Its shares were down 39.1 percent at 4.05 crowns by 1323 GMT, just off record low of 3.50.

The stock has lost 85 percent since January when NWR announced a capital review to help it adjust to markets in which contracted coal prices have dropped by half in three years and demand from steelmakers remains subdued.

NWR wants to cut its 825 million euro debt load - mostly in secured and unsecured notes due 2018 and 2021 respectively - by 325 million euros.

It has yet to get the backing of bondholders. Especially unclear is the support of investors holding 275 million euros in unsecured bonds.

The company revised a 30 million euro cash tender for part of the bonds to a fixed price of 25 percent of par, which had been the maximum level before. But it also put the bondholders under pressure saying if the deal falls through, the company would sell its main operating assets, leaving unsecured debt holders exposed.

“All will depend on the stance of unsecured bondholders,” Patria Finance analyst Tomas Tomcany said. “The adjusted proposal motivates them more to take part, but it is not certain if that will bring enough support from them.”

ABYSMAL

The stance of bondholders looked far from clear on Thursday according to two small investors.

“The original offer to the senior unsecured holders was abysmal,” one holder of both secured and unsecured bonds said. “There’s no significant change in the revised offer, so I can’t see it being much more appealing.”

Another small investor who said he held unsecured bonds, Jan Martinek, said the threat to sell assets was the key element of the new offer, and he was consulting lawyers on how to proceed.

“The company is telling its investors: unless you write off a part of your investment, we will make you lose your entire investment,” he said.

As part of contingency planning, NWR said on Wednesday it was starting the process of selling its main Czech mining unit. It runs the Czech Republic’s only hard coal mines, supplying customers like ArcelorMittal and United States Steel Corp and power plants in central Europe.

The largest holder of the unsecured bonds, Ashmore Investment Management with 7.8 percent of the total, would not comment.

In the capital revamp, NWR will also get the 150 million euros in new equity, half coming from 63 percent shareholder BXR. Noteholders will also get convertible notes and contingent value rights which could be exercised if coal prices rise to predefined levels. The unsecured bond was bid at 14 cents on the dollar on Thursday.

The new terms have the backing of 62 percent of its senior secured noteholders and 37 percent of unsecured noteholders, NWR said on Wednesday. The deal must be approved by a majority in number and 75 percent by value of each class of creditor voting in person or by proxy.

The company has said it wanted to complete the restructuring at the end of September.

Reporting by Jason Hovet, Jan Lopatka, Robert Smith and Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Pravin Char, Susan Fenton and David Evans

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