PRAGUE, April 13 (Reuters) - Private equity investor Arca Capital, a minority shareholder in Czech coal miner New World Resources (NWR), said on Wednesday it had offered to buy NWR’s main operating unit OKD.
NWR is rushing to convince the Czech government to provide assistance for a restructuring that would keep the firm afloat in a limited form and avert insolvency threatened by losses caused by low global coal prices.
The move by Arca, which holds 3.4 percent of NWR voting rights and an unspecified amount of further shares through other firms, follows similar offers by Czech coal trading firms this week.
Arca said it made the offer on Wednesday to NWR’s main shareholders, a group of bondholders known as AHG which holds 60 percent of voting rights and about two thirds of the company’s debt.
Arca said its offer would keep OKD mines going for at least five more years.
NWR representatives met with government ministers this week to try to reach an agreement to avoid collapse of the company, which employs around 13,000 people.
The state has said options for the firm range from insolvency to a restructuring plan which would see capital participation by the government, or a complete government takeover of the firm.
The government has been reluctant to provide aid that would benefit the firm’s shareholders but it also fears insolvency would be unpredictable and could lead to a collapse of the mining group, which would hurt the economy.
Two private Czech coal traders have also offered to take part in the process if the firm goes through an insolvency process that rids it of existing contractual obligations.
NWR, whose main asset is OKD, lost 4 million euros ($4.6 million) in 2015 on the core level of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. It ended 2015 with net debt of 298 million euros, and cash of 86 million euros. (Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Mark Potter)
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