Charterhouse Said to Ready New Amendment Plan for Bartec Debt

  • Revision follows resistance from group of loan lenders
  • Proposal expected to be presented to creditors next week

The private equity owner of Bartec GmbH will revise a plan to amend terms of the oil and gas equipment maker’s debt after investors resisted the proposal, according to two people familiar with the matter.  

Charterhouse Capital Partners will present the new plan next week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak about it. Bartec needs agreement from holders of at least 75 percent of the loans to change the debt terms in a London court. Lenders controlling about 30 percent of the debt, including Ares Management, Idinvest Partners and Partners Group Holding AG, have resisted the plan, the people said.

The company wants a waiver from debt requirements as a collapse in crude prices hammered demand for safety equipment, causing earnings to fall short of forecasts. Bartec wants to conclude a deal by early June as it seeks to cut its reliance on the energy industry, people familiar with the matter said last week.

Representatives for Bartec, Charterhouse, Ares and Partners Group declined to comment on the debt amendment proposal. Officials at Idinvest didn’t return calls and e-mails seeking comment. 

Conference Call

Bartec is holding a conference call with lenders on April 29, the people said.

In the original amendment proposal for the Bad Mergentheim, Germany-based company, debt rules would be eased for 18 months and loan maturities extended to at least 2021.  Charterhouse offered to increase loan margins by 200 basis points, which can be paid with more debt, and pledged to make a one-time payment of 50 basis points, other people with knowledge of the proposal said earlier this month. 

The firm offered to inject new funds of 20 million euros ($23 million) in equity and 30 million euros via a senior loan.

Charterhouse bought Bartec in 2012, in a deal financed with about 348 million euros of loans. The equipment maker raised another 149 million euros in 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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