/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED
HALIFAX, June 1 /CNW/ - (TSX:CLR.UN, CLR.DB, CLR.DB.A):
- Clearwater's management continues to work on securing the funding to
repay debt facilities due on June 8, 2009
- Clearwater announces an agreement has been reached with a term
financing syndicate for a $57 million, three-year term loan
representing an important component of the June 8, 2009 refinancing
Today, Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership ("Clearwater") reported
that it has reached an agreement for a three-year $57 million term debt
facility with a syndicate of lenders as part of a debt refinancing scheduled
for June 8, 2009. The syndicate which includes GE Capital, is being arranged
by GE Capital Markets (Canada) Ltd. and GE Capital Markets, Inc.
(collectively, "GECM") as co-arranger, The Business Development Bank of Canada
("BDC"), Export Development Canada ("EDC") and the Province of Nova Scotia,
through the Industrial Expansion Fund.
This new term debt facility will bear interest at market rates and be
secured by mortgages and charges on all property, vessels and interest in
licenses of Clearwater and certain of its wholly owned subsidiaries and is
structured in two tranches. GE Capital, BDC and EDC will participate in
Tranche A in the amount of $15 million, $12.5 million and $12.5 million
respectively and will have a first security position on tangible and
intangible assets and a second charge on licenses and quotas. The Province of
Nova Scotia and BDC will participate in Tranche B, in the amount of $15
million and $2 million respectively, which will have a first security interest
on Clearwater's commercial fishing licenses and quotas and a second charge on
all other tangible and intangible assets. Both tranches will have a second
charge on Clearwater's inventories and receivables. Tranche A will be
amortized monthly on the basis of an 8 year period with the balance payable in
full at maturity in three years, Tranche B will be repayable in full at
maturity in three years. The proceeds from the two facilities will be used as
part of the funds needed to repay debt that matures on June 8, 2009. Closing
is conditional on certain conditions precedent being met, including completion
of GE Capital's final due diligence, the negotiation, execution and delivery
of definitive documentation and refinancing of Clearwater's existing working
capital revolver. This loan commitment expires June 26th, 2009.
Clearwater currently has outstanding approximately Canadian $95 million
of debt facilities. Clearwater is confident the debt will be settled at
maturity on June 8, 2009 with the proceeds from this new term facility and an
asset-based revolving facility arranged by GECM. While the syndication of the
asset-based facility is in process, Clearwater remains highly confident that
it will be able to secure sufficient funds to complete this refinancing.
Closing of the Asset-Based facility is conditional on certain conditions
precedent being met, including completion of GE Capital's final due diligence,
the negotiation, execution and delivery of definitive documentation and
closing the term debt facility.
Colin MacDonald, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented "The
completion of this agreement in what has been one of the toughest credit
markets in recent history speaks to the ongoing strength of Clearwater's
business model. We wish to express our appreciation to GE Capital in Canada
for their commitment to the organization and in particular would like to
express our appreciation for the leadership shown by the Province of Nova
Scotia, BDC and EDC to ensure successful Nova Scotia based companies continue
to have access to capital and support to be competitive and sustainable. We
appreciate this support and look forward to concluding this refinancing on
June 8, 2009".
David Surrette, Regional Vice President, Atlantic Canada for EDC added
"Clearwater is an excellent example of a strong Canadian company that could be
helped by EDC's capacity to undertake domestic financing. EDC is happy to be
able to bring this much needed capacity to Canadian companies like Clearwater
to help alleviate the effects of the credit crunch."
Clearwater has operations employing more than 1,200 employees throughout
Nova Scotia and is recognized for its consistent quality, wide diversity and
reliable delivery of premium seafood, including scallops, lobster, clams,
coldwater shrimp, crab and ground fish.
Since its founding in 1976, Clearwater has invested in science, people,
technology, resource ownership and resource management to preserve and grow
its seafood resource. This commitment has allowed it to remain a leader in the
global seafood market.
For further information:
For further information: Robert Wight, Chief Financial Officer,
Clearwater, (902) 457-2369; Tyrone Cotie, Director of Corporate Finance and
Investor Relations, Clearwater, (902) 457-8181.