May 5, 2016 / 2:40 PM / 3 years ago

LPC-Bartec lenders to appoint restructuring adviser

May 5 (Reuters) - Lenders to struggling German oil and gas safety tools producer Bartec are set to appoint a financial restructuring adviser by the beginning of next week, according to two sources close to the situation.

Lenders held a beauty parade on Wednesday to appoint a restructuring adviser as they push for a bigger equity injection from the company’s private equity-owner Charterhouse.

Three firms - Houlihan Lokey, Deloitte and Macquarie - are in contention, with a successful party likely to be appointed by Monday May 9, the sources said.

At the same time Charterhouse is expected to put forward a revised financial restructuring plan for the business by Friday, one of the sources said.

“There will be an all lender call on Monday to discuss the revised plan and to decide which financial adviser will be appointed,” the source said.

Charterhouse and Deloitte declined to comment. Houlihan Lokey and Macquarie did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Bartec, which has been hit by the slump in oil prices and is seeking to diversify, has around 384m of outstanding debt including a 260m term loan - which was bid at 80.4% of face value on the European secondary market on Wednesday, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.

The private equity firm had proposed supporting the business with up to an additional 50m-20m in cash via new equity and 30m via a new senior loan, in exchange for looser debt terms.

Lenders now want more of the 50m in cash via new equity instead of via a senior loan, and are also pushing back against an 18-month covenant holiday, a second source said.

The lenders want to maintain covenants, including a leverage covenant, but amend the levels based on any new business plan.

“The more cash Charterhouse is willing to put in, the less restrictions the lenders will put on the debt and the more willing they will be to agree to maturity extensions,” the first source said.

Charterhouse, which purchased Bartec from Capvis in 2012, had offered lenders a 200bp increase in margins using payment-in-kind notes and a one-time fee of 50bp.

It asked lenders for a covenant waiver requiring the business to maintain net debt at less than six times. It also wants to extend debt maturities by more than two years to at least 2021.

A small group of around 20%-30% of the company’s lenders - including Ares, Partners and Idinvest - attempted to form a steering committee last week but failed to secure enough support. This group is now being advised by law firm Kirkland & Ellis.

It is not clear if lenders will attempt to form a steering committee once a financial adviser has been appointed. (Editing by Christopher Mangham)

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