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Carter Holt asset sale fails, seeks financing, Reuters says

Carter Holt asset sale falls over, tries refinancing $1.45B, Reuters says

Aug. 26 (BusinessDesk) – Carter Holt Harvey Ltd.’s bid to sell its pulp, paper and packaging assets has fallen over and billionaire owner Graeme Hart is looking for $1.45 billion to refinance the business, Reuters reported.

Hart’s Rank Group couldn’t find a buyer that met its price expectations, and is seeking underwriters for a new five-year deal, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the deal. Rank Group adviser Credit Suisse is arranging the refinancing in a deal split into a $1.35 billion-equivalent term loan and a $100 million-equivalent revolving credit line.

The term loan would be divided up into a $405 million term loan priced at 400 basis points above New Zealand’s base lending rate and the London Interbank Overnight Rate, Reuters said. The second tranche of $945 million would be priced at 425 over those rates, while the revolving credit would have a margin of 400 basis points, plus a commitment fee of 50% of the margin for the undrawn portion, Reuters reported.

A bank presentation was held yesterday in Sydney, inviting lenders to underwrite $200 million, and once that phase closes the deal will be launched to wider syndication in the Asia Pacific market.

Credit Suisse and Carter Holt Harvey didn’t immediately respond to BusinessDesk inquiries.

Last October, Carter Holt sold its folding carton assets in Australia and New Zealand to ASX-listed Colorpak Ltd. for a net A$5 million. As part of the deal, Colorpak entered into an agreement of at least two years to be supplied by the Whakatane Mill of Reynolds Group Holdings, Hart’s global packaging empire.

Hart bought Carter Holt Harvey in 2006 for $3.3 billion, and put a $3 billion-equivalent five-year leveraged loan to recapitalise the group. The current facility, which has deleveraged through various asset disposals, expires in December, Reuters reported.


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