16 May 2018

Fletcher Building cuts deal with bankers

9:39 am on 16 May 2018

Fletcher Building has cut a new deal with its bankers, which will see it pay more for its lending and put the proceeds of asset sales immediately to paying back debt.

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Photo: 123RF

The agreement follows the company's breach of its lending arrangements caused by the big losses of its building and interiors business.

This resulted in the gap between its income and its borrowing blowing out, and forced the company to raise new money through a share issue, sell assets, and renegotiate its banking arrangements.

Among the terms of the new deal was a 1.25 percent rise in its interest rate for the next year, and using the proceeds of the sale of its Formica and roofing tiles businesses to repay debt.

Fletchers was also reducing its bank borrowing by about a quarter to $925 million. Its overall gross borrowings will be $1.79bn with available total debt of $2.7bn.

Meanwhile, Fletcher Building's small retail shareholders have taken up less than two-thirds of the new shares they were entitled to in the recent offer.

The company raised more than $500m from a share sale to big investment funds, and was looking to raise about $230m from its existing small shareholders.

However, the company has raised only $132m, so the 20 million shares not taken up will be offered for sale to big investors at $4.80.

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