Bekaert has completed the refinancing of the outstanding debt incurred by Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group (BBRG). This includes:
(1) The temporary refinancing through a financial covenant-free bridge loan with a group of banks for a maximum maturity of two years, preceding a permanent long-term funding decision;
(2) The repayment of € 294 million to the BBRG lenders' syndicate;
(3) The release of all related security interests;
(4) The elimination of the related ring-fenced debt structure; and
(5) Significantly lower interest charges on the refinanced BBRG debt.
On 26 April 2018, Bekaert announced that it had reached an agreement in principle with Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan to acquire the 33% equity share Ontario Teachers' held in BBRG. The transaction, which was subject to customary closing conditions, has been approved in all jurisdictions where regulatory approval was required. The transaction will be completed before the end of October 2018 and involves the payment by Bekaert, of the equivalent of USD 8 million as consideration for (a) the BBRG securities it does not yet own and (b) the release of any other liability to Ontario Teachers'.
The debt of BBRG has been consolidated in Bekaert's consolidated statements since the establishment of Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group. The current debt restructuring and refinancing will reduce Bekaert's consolidated net debt by € -33 million.
The refinancing fits within the strategy Bekaert is implementing to accelerate the turnaround efforts at BBRG and help it achieve its true potential.
Related press release: 26 April 2018 - Bekaert takes full ownership of BBRG