Guardian Digital’s Lenders Back $2.85 Billion Debt ExtensionJulie Miecamp and Abigail Moses
Guardian Digital Communications Ltd. won backing from lenders to extend 1.73 billion pounds ($2.85 billion) of loans used to buy the U.K.’s emergency services communications network.
The owner of Airwave Solutions Ltd. got support to push back the maturity of the financing due next month by as much as five years, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The company’s plan, part of a ‘scheme of arrangement’ process overseen by a London court, required the support of 75 percent of debt holders.
Guardian Digital, owned by a fund controlled by Macquarie Group Ltd., needed to reach agreement with lenders on the extension plan before March 31, according to a filing presented to a London court last month. The company wanted the deal in place before the contracts of Slough, England-based Airwave begin expiring in 2016.
The company’s loans will be extended by three years with an option to push the maturity back by a further two years, according to the filing. Creditors were offered a fee of as much as 1 percent to consent to the deal, as well as the right to appoint two directors to the company’s board, it said.
Karen Smith, a London-based spokeswoman for Macquarie, declined to comment on the financing.
Guardian Digital has a 1.48 billion-pound term loan A and 250 million-pound term loan B, according to the company’s court filing. It also has a 50 million-pound revolving credit facility, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The company also owed 260 million pounds at the end of last year because of interest-rate swaps linked to the loans, according to the filing. Liabilities associated with the contracts, which it will terminate as part of the extension plan, rank at the same level as the rest of the group’s debt, it said.