$179.1m write off for Metro Glass Tech as lenders take over

Date: 2 March 2012
Source: http://www.nbr.co.nz
Building glass manufacturer Metro Glass Tech has written off $179.1 million setting the stage for lenders to take control.

Creditors of the Auckland-based company enforced security held over Metro Glass Tech’s debt, forcing a restructure and transfer of the business to them on January 31, according to an Overseas Investment Offices approval summary published today.

The write-down in the company’s value gave it an enterprise value of $180 million, less than half of the $366.2 million paid by Australian equity firm Catalyst Investment Managers in 2006.

Metro Glass Tech posted a loss of $200.9 million in the 12 months ended March 31, widening the loss of $48 million a year earlier, due to the impairment charge against goodwill, according to holding company NZ Glass Holding’s financial statements lodged with the Companies Office yesterday.

As part of the restructure, the company’s lenders gave up “a large portion of their debt obligations in return for a major equity stake,” directors Trent Peterson and Andrew Bailey said.

As at March 31 last year, Metro Glass Tech had $286.4 million in bank debt coming due in less than a year, and net debt of $280.9 million, which gave it a gearing ratio of 181.8%.

It paid $33.3 million in finance costs in the 2011 financial year, down from $40.1 million in 2010.

The new owners have poured the glass manufacturer into a new holding company called MF (Finco). The group includes Australian private equity firm Crescent Capital, JP Morgan, Germany’s WestLB, Bain Capital’s Sankaty Credit Opportunities fund, among others.

As part of the deal, Metro Glass Tech’s board resigned, through the management team was retrained to operate the business.

Government figures today showed the issuance of the new building consents rose 8.3% last month, primarily off a pick-up in demand for retirement units in Canterbury.

600450 $179.1m write off for Metro Glass Tech as lenders take over glassonweb.com

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