20/07/2017 - 14:13

Bis in $1bn debt-for-equity deal

20/07/2017 - 14:13

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Bis Industries, one of the major transport players in Western Australia, will come under new ownership after a $1 billion debt-for-equity swap deal was struck with its major lenders.

Bis in $1bn debt-for-equity deal
Brad Rogers says the deal will open up a range of new opportunities for the business. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Bis Industries, one of the major transport players in Western Australia, will come under new ownership after a $1 billion debt-for-equity swap deal was struck with its major lenders.

Carlyle Group, Metrics Credit Partners, Varde Partners and other creditors will take ownership in the logistics business from private equity group KKR, with the debt-for-equity deal to reduce Bis’s total debt by about 80 per cent.

Bis chairman Charles Lenegan said the restructuring would reposition the company to take advantage of future growth opportunities, while continuing to support existing customers.

Chief executive Brad Rogers said the proposed capital structure was a generational reset of Bis’s balance sheet.

Bis has always been a strong operator with a resilient business model and long-term, blue-chip customers, but our capital structure wasn’t suited to the market conditions we’ve seen in the past few years,” he said.

“Having now addressed our capital structure, we’ll be in great shape to deal with whatever challenges and opportunities come our way.

“The future owners of the business bring deep international experience and capability, and we’re excited about the opportunity to work with them.”

Mr Rogers said a revitalised balance sheet would create options for the business that didn’t exist previously.

“After a long process, the future prospects are very exciting for all involved,” he said.

The restructure is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of the year.

The Bis deal comes just days after Australian Road Express – a Perth-based transport subsidiary of Rivet Group (formerly known as McAleese Group) – fell into the hands of receivers.

McAleese negotiated its own debt-for-equity swap last year to deal with its heavy debt load.

 

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