Bradken deal falters

A PROPOSED merger between Bradken and Sigdo Koppers subsidiary Magotteaux Group has been called off but Bradken still gets to keep $A70 million in senior debt relieving funds SK and Champ Private Equity invested in it.

Noel Dyson

In June, Bradken announced SK and Champ had agreed to invest about $70 million in it by way of redeemable convertible preference securities.

At the same time the consortium also approached Bradken’s board about a merger with SK’s wholly-owned subsidiary Magotteaux.

The RPS investment was separate of whether the merger went ahead or not.

However, Bradken announced it had received written notice from SK and Champ formally terminating those merger discussions.

On August 31, Bradken announced the consortium had informed it that it was not in a position to provide “a proposal” at this time.

Reading its announcement that day, it appears Bradken was not too disappointed.

“The company has been the subject of corporate activity for a significant amount of time,” it said.

“This has been a source of distraction for management and the board during a volatile period in the external operating environment.

“The board believes the company now needs to focus all of its resources on completing the restructuring program, growing market share, focusing on debt reduction and managing the company for the long-term benefit of all shareholders.”

Bradken’s net debt level, including the RPS was 9% higher than the previous year at $398.6 million. That was mainly due to higher working capital and the adverse translation impact on its US dollar denominated debt.

At June 30, its gearing for banking covenant purposes, which excluded the RPS, was 2.5 times.

During the 2015 financial year, Bradken’s senior lenders agreed a temporary increase in the net debt-earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation covenant from 3 to 3.5 times for the periods ending June 2015, December 2015 and 3.25 times for the period ended June 30, 2016.

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