Naf Naf Owner Vivarte Said to Seek Loan Waiver After Sales Slump

Vivarte SAS is seeking to waive terms on a 535 million-euro ($585 million) loan after the Paris terror attack dented the French fashion retailer’s earnings late last year, two people familiar with the matter said.

Lenders have been asked to prolong until November the waiver on quarterly minimum-earnings tests due to expire this month in order to avoid breaching loan covenants, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The request would extend an amendment agreed to in December 2014, according to one of the people who said creditors will vote on the proposal on Friday.

The owner of brands including Kookai and Naf Naf suffered a 15 percent drop in like-for-like sales in November amid the fallout from the terrorist attacks and a spell of warmer weather, according to one of the people. The company, already feeling the pinch from a stagnant economy and high unemployment, was taken over by creditors in 2014 after they agreed to restructure 2.8 billion euros of loans.

A spokesman for the Paris-based company declined to comment on the loan-waiver request and financial results. 

Vivarte is offering an additional 50 basis-points of interest as an inducement for lenders to agree to the waiver, one of the people said. The so-called super-senior loan was obtained after the restructuring. The retailer plans to set new covenants as part of a three-year business plan that will be unveiled in July, according to the person.

Vivarte has about 1.4 billion euros of gross debt, or 945 million euros of net borrowings when accrued interest and 410 million euros of cash is taken into account, according to the same person.

November like-for-like earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were 8 million euros, 64 percent lower than the company target, according to the same person. Even so, earnings rose 34 percent in the three months through November to 63 million euros.

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