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Stemcor Said to Hire Goldman Sachs as It Seeks Loan Standstill

Stemcor Holdings Ltd., a London-based steel trader, hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to advise it on a debt refinancing and potential asset sales as the company seeks to repay a $850 million facility that matured this week, according to three people with knowledge of matter.

The bank is advising Stemcor as it discusses with lenders a so-called standstill agreement, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. The steel trader is seeking an agreement to extend and reduce the size of the debt.

The company reported a loss last year as turnover fell to about 5 billion pounds ($7.7 billion) from about 6 billion pounds a year earlier, according to a statement on its website. Reduced demand for steel in recession-hit Europe drove down the prices of hot-rolled coil, a benchmark steel product, 15 percent in the past year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Charles Armitstead, a London-based Stemcor spokesman who works for Pendomer Communications LLP, and Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Joanna Carss declined to comment on the financing or the bank’s advisory role.

The standstill, under which banks agree not to demand repayment of the loan for a specified period of time, would also apply to a one-year $225 million loan raised by Stemcor’s Asian unit Stemcor SEA Pte Ltd., one of the people said.

Stemcor was founded in 1951 and the majority of its shares are held by the Oppenheimer family, according to its website.

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