US WR Grace seeks cheaper, longer bankruptcy financing plan

19 January 2010 17:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--WR Grace offered no immediate comment on Tuesday regarding its plan to seek less-expensive, longer-term financing in order to emerge from bankruptcy.

The current debtor-in-possession (DIP) loan for the specialty chemicals maker offers a financing commitment of as much as $165m (€114m), and is set to expire on 1 April, according to court filings made on Friday. The company’s new plan would end that agreement while including a one-year cash collateralised letter of credit for $100m.

That agreement is more cost-effective and takes better advantage of the company’s substantial cash reserves, Grace said.

A hearing on that request is scheduled for 16 February.

The company filed for bankruptcy in April 2001 because of asbestos personal injury and property damage claims against the company. Grace and three former executives were acquitted last year in a related case.

Grace said in the court filing that it would likely not be able to complete its reorganisation plan by 1 April, the expiration date for the current DIP loan.

The company also asked a US bankruptcy court judge for permission to enter into exit financing discussions with lenders Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank Securities. Grace is seeking financing of up to $1.2bn, according to the filing.

Grace primarily produces construction materials and chemicals for the oil refining industry. Shares of the company rose 65 cents, or 2.5%, to $27.05 in Tuesday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange

For more on WR Grace visit ICIS company intelligence
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By: Ben DuBose
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