/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED
HALIFAX, June 8 /CNW/ - (TSX:CLR.UN, CLR.DB, CLR.DB.A):
- Management reaches agreement for successful refinancing of maturing
debt facilities with $60 million revolving asset backed debt facility
and $59.5 million in new term debt
Today, Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership ("Clearwater") reported
that working with GE Capital Markets (Canada) Ltd. and GE Capital Markets,
Inc. (collectively, "GECM") it has received commitments for the refinancing of
its near-term debt facilities.
The new $60 million revolving debt facility has a three-year term and
will be fully underwritten by GE Capital in Canada. The facility will bear
interest at market rates, which will be set at closing with interest to be
paid monthly. The facility is secured by a first charge on trade receivables
Clearwater previously announced $57 million in new term debt on June 1,
2009. This debt facility has been increased to $59.5 million based on an
additional commitment from Export Development Canada ("EDC") who has approved
a total loan of $15 million versus the $12.5 million previously announced.
This facility also includes GE Capital, The Business Development Bank of
Canada ("BDC"), and the Province of Nova Scotia, through the Industrial
Expansion Fund. The facility will bear interest at market rates, which will be
set at closing.
Closing of both these new facilities are conditional upon certain
conditions precedent being met, including completion of GE Capital's final due
diligence and the negotiation, execution and delivery of definitive
documentation. These loan commitments expire on June 26, 2009.
The facilities being repaid, which approximate CDN $93 million as of June
8, 2009 will be settled on or before June 15, 2009 with the proceeds from the
above facilities. The outgoing lenders have granted an extension from June 8,
2009 to June 15, 2009 to provide additional time to finalize documentation and
close the new facilities.
Both of these new facilities contain positive covenants, including
without limitation, minimum earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization levels to debt levels and additional negative covenants,
including without limitation, restrictions on capital spending and asset
dispositions, restrictions on incurring additional indebtedness and limitation
on the payment of distributions. There are also provisions for cash sweeps
that, depending on annual cash flows, could result in additional payments
being made on the term debt.
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 for underwriting the working
capital line and leading the syndicate in the term debt component. We again
would like to express our appreciation for the leadership shown by the
Province of Nova Scotia, BDC and EDC."
"In a period where the credit markets remain challenged, we are pleased
to provide Clearwater a solid source of financing flexibility for their
ongoing operations through our asset-based credit facility. Where refinancing
is top of mind for many Canadian companies, having credit available is
essential and GE Capital's ability to provide it at this time illustrates its
financial strength and commitment to the Canadian market," commented Ellis
Gaston, Managing Director for Corporate Finance at GE Capital in Canada.
Mr. MacDonald concluded, "We will build on this success over the next
several years by focusing on reducing our leverage and the absolute amount of
our debt. This will come from a combination of improved earnings levels, which
will improve trailing EBITDA levels, and from using the positive cash flow of
the business to reduce debt."
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.