UK court grants Monier Group Services loan extension
Germany-based tile manufacturer Monier Group Services was granted an extension on its USD 395 million debt by London's High Court. Monier Group was able to increase the maturity of its loan until 2018. The UK court gave the reprieve after the company did not get enough support from its lenders. In a statement, Monier said the ruling was the firm's remaining realistic option to a formal insolvency.
Monier's Chief Executive Officer Pepyn Dinandt said about the court ruling, "This allows us to focus on driving operational improvements to avoid another financial restructuring." He added that the decision would ultimately benefit their lenders.
According to a Bloomberg report, this marked the third time in the past year that a European borrower sought an amendment and extension on its loans through the British courts. The report added that the legal system in the UK seemed to attracting borrowers based outside the UK that wanted to alter the terms of their debt amidst opposition from lenders. A filing revealed that Monier sought the court's approval after its request for extension only received an 80% support from its lenders. This fell short of the 90% target. However, under what is known as the scheme of arrangement, the UK court approved the extension since the scheme only required support from 75% of the lenders.
Documents obtained by Bloomberg showed that Monier posted a EUR 180 million loss last year. This was brought about by the recession which hurt the construction markets in Europe. Its sales for 2012 also decreased to EUR 1.3 billion from EUR 1.4 billion the year before. In 2008, Monier posted sales of EUR 1.6 billion.
Lafarge sold Monier to private equity firm PAI Partners in 2007. In 2009, Apollo Global Management, TowerBrook Capital Partners and York Capital Management took control of the business from PAI Partners.