June 27, 2018 / 10:17 AM / in 9 months

Steinhoff seeks further debt standstill from creditors

LONDON, June 27 (LPC) - Troubled retailer Steinhoff is set to announce a further three week standstill from creditors on its debt obligations on Wednesday, as a financial restructuring nears agreement, according to sources close to the situation.

On June 8 letters of support were agreed with several creditor groups, including a group representing 61% of the external financial indebtedness of Steinhoff Europe AG, a majority of the total convertible bonds issued by Steinhoff Financial Holding Co (Holding) and creditors to certain group companies to which SEAG and Holding are indebted through intra-group financing arrangements.

Under the terms of the support letters, the creditors agreed to provide SEAG and Holding with a number of interim support measures until June 30 in an attempt to stabilise the financial position of SEAG and Holding and to provide Steinhoff and its creditors with sufficient time to agree a restructuring plan.

The company has now agreed a further short extension to around July 21, according to two sources close to the negotiations.

“We expect to get 75% of creditors locked into an agreement in due course — this is just a short extension to get to that point. Everyone is working hard it is just so complicated,” one of the sources said.

A second source said: “The extension is just a technical matter. People know they are running out of time and are discussing in a constructive manner.”

Steinhoff did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Under the terms of the restructuring plan laid out so far, all debt will be reinstated at par and will be given a common maturity date of three years from completion of a restructuring agreement.

Steinhoff is fighting for survival after discovering accounting irregularities last December that triggered an 85% share price slide in the group and a raft of changes in its boardroom and leadership. (Editing by Christopher Mangham)

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