Pan-Canadian Committee Reports Further Progress in Restructuring Process

    Canadian Banks Confirm Participation in Third-Party ABCP Restructuring

    TORONTO, Feb. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Pan-Canadian Investors Committee
reported today further progress in the implementation phase of the
restructuring plan for third-party asset backed commercial paper previously
announced on December 23, 2007.
    The Investors Committee now expects that complete information on the Plan
and details on the approval process by noteholders will be available toward
the end of February. The objective of the Investors Committee remains to
complete the restructuring process by March 31, 2008. Committee members and
dealer bank asset providers have agreed to a further extension of the
Standstill Agreement to February 22, 2008.
    The extension also applies to Devonshire Trust, which was not part of the
restructuring plan announced in December. The sole dealer bank asset provider
involved with Devonshire Trust and certain key investors in Devonshire Trust
have been in active discussions regarding the restructuring of Devonshire
Trust and believe that substantial progress has been made in achieving a
viable plan for its separate restructuring.
    The Investors Committee also announced that the Bank of Montreal, CIBC,
Royal Bank, Scotiabank have each agreed in principle, subject to the
satisfaction of certain conditions, to join National Bank, certain members of
the Investors Committee and certain dealer bank asset providers, and
participate as lenders in the margin call funding facility. The margin call
funding facility is a key component of the restructuring plan and is intended
to further enhance the stability of affected assets and support those which
may require additional collateral in the future. As previously announced, the
Investors Committee has made arrangements for any additional required
commitments to be in place prior to closing of the restructuring for the
margin funding facility to aggregate $14 billion.
    "We are making substantial progress on the implementation details of the
restructuring proposal announced in late December," said Purdy Crawford,
Chairman of the Investors Committee. "The support of the major Canadian banks
is an important component of the plan, and we are pleased to confirm their
participation, which further reflects the spirit of compromise and goodwill
that has prevailed throughout this process."
    In addition, following a request for proposals process, the Investors
Committee has determined that BlackRock be appointed administrator and asset
manager for the proposed restructuring vehicles. BlackRock is a premier
provider of global investment management services and one of the world's
largest fixed-income managers with over USD 1.3 trillion in assets under
management. In addition, a growing number of institutional investors use
BlackRock's investment system, risk management and financial advisory
services. "BlackRock's reputation, expertise and technology capabilities will
ensure noteholders are well-served in terms of asset management and
administration", Chairman Crawford noted.
    Under the terms of the restructuring plan, which deals with 20 of the
trusts covered by last summer's Montreal Accord, and approximately $33 billion
of the $35 billion of outstanding third-party ABCP in Canada, most noteholders
can expect to receive full principal repayment if they hold the new
restructured notes to maturity. They will also benefit from reduced risk that
external events affecting credit markets will adversely impact the new notes.
    The restructuring has been approved in principle by the Investors
Committee, certain dealer bank asset providers, and the sponsors of each of
the trusts.
    The Chairman of the Investors Committee and the Committee's financial and
legal advisors continue to meet with noteholders who wish to do so, on an
ongoing basis, and expect to hold roadshows for investors once the
documentation is available.
    The implementation of the restructuring, including the appointment of
BlackRock, will be subject to a number of conditions, including execution of
definitive legal documentation, satisfactory due diligence, receipt of
internal approvals by dealer bank asset providers and participating Schedule I
banks and receipt of the requisite approvals of holders of ABCP. A variety of
consents and other approvals will be necessary or desirable in connection with
the restructuring, including certain governmental, regulatory and court

For further information:

For further information: Media: NATIONAL Public Relations: Toronto: Greg
Bewsh, (416) 848-1709, Cell: (416) 806-2938; Montreal: Mark Boutet, (514)
843-2385; Investors: Pierre Laporte, Ernst & Young Inc., (514) 874-4383; For
additional information about BlackRock, please visit their website at

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