Thursday, January 03, 2008

Quebecor in Strife: More News

Quebecor has been given a reprieve of sorts in that lending banks have lifted some of their loan covenants for the company's fourth quarter. It may be all for naught however because in the short term the company must come up with $125mm in short term financing and refinance $500mm in debt. Failure in either case could force the company into bankruptcy. From The Toronto Star:
Quebecor World said it agreed to a requirement to obtain $125-million in new financing by Jan. 15, and also agreed to complete a "refinancing transaction" by Jan. 31. That transaction will require the company to reduce its current credit facility to $500-million by Feb. 29. In addition, the company said it must repay the full borrowing facility and terminate its North American securitization program by June 30. The company said it is in "active discussions" with financial institutions, but no firm commitments have been obtained so far "and there can be no assurance that such financing commitments will be obtained."
It is probable that the company will cover the $125mm if for no other reason than this will give their primary shareholder some breathing room to review their alternatives. Regardless, the amounts in question - quoted in the article an analyst says 'it is a lot of money' - and the present difficult market for financing Quebecor is certainly in a lot of difficulty.

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