INEOS’ covenant waiver request causes concern

Economic growth, Financial Events, Futures trading, Leverage, Oil markets

ineos.jpg

INEOS is the world’s 3rd largest chemicals company. Its €7.29bn debt burden ($9.2bn) means that it is also Europe’s largest issuer of high yield debt. This is an unfortunate combination, given today’s chemical markets.

Last month, INEOS was forced to ask its lenders for a waiver on its debt covenants. It offered to pay a 0.5% upfront fee for the waiver, plus an ongoing fee of up to 1.25%. Its lead bankers, Barclays and Merrill Lynch, offered their support immediately, but other investors have been cautious.

Bloomberg reports that INEOS has a number of US lenders, and says these are used to receiving much higher fees in return for covenant waivers. S&P data shows US companies paid an average 2.40% so far this year. And according to Reuters, “the markets’ reaction shows that investors remain unconvinced that the company will be able to solve its problems by the end of May and avoid a full balance sheet restructuring”.

Reuters adds that investors’ concerns are also shown by the fact that insurers have recently required payments of “€7m upfront to protect €10m of the company’s debt against default”. INEOS senior debt has been trading around 50% of face value, whilst its junior debt has traded below 20% of face value.

INEOS has warned of an expected €400m loss on inventory write-down, if oil is $60/bbl at year-end. It announced a management restructuring of its European Olefins and Polymers businesses, and is taking a number of measures to reduce costs and improve working capital. John Reece, INEOS CFO, has also reassured investors that “the Group as a whole can produce significant profits and cash flows even at the bottom of the cycle”.

Decision-time for the 233 members of INEOS’s banking syndicate is 9 December, when the waiver request is likely to receive majority approval. Reports suggest, however, that the company may well have to pay an extra 0.5% in fees.

PREVIOUS POST

Dow, PIC, finalise K-Dow deal

02/12/2008

INEOS is the world’s 3rd largest chemicals company. Its €7.29bn debt bur...

Learn more
NEXT POST

November US auto sales down 37%

03/12/2008

INEOS is the world’s 3rd largest chemicals company. Its €7.29bn debt bur...

Learn more
More posts
Ageing Perennials set to negate central bank stimulus as recession approaches
10/03/2019

The world’s best leading indicator for the global economy is still firmly signalling recession...

Read
Déjà vu all over again for oil markets as recession risks rise
03/03/2019

Back in 2015, veteran Saudi Oil Minister Ali  Naimi was very clear about Saudi’s need to adop...

Read
BASF prepares its UK supply chain for Brexit
24/02/2019

BASF has been working with Ready for Brexit (the online platform I co-founded last year) as part of ...

Read
Companies and investors have just 30 working days left to prepare for a No Deal Brexit
17/02/2019

Companies across the UK and EU27 are suddenly realising there are now just 30 working days until the...

Read
The BoE’s pre-emptive strike is not without risk
12/02/2019

The Financial Times has kindly printed my letter below, arguing that it seems the default answer to ...

Read
Flexible working is key to reversing today’s collapse in fertility rates
27/01/2019

Women in most parts of the world are not having enough children to replace our population. This is o...

Read
No Deal Brexit remains UK law unless MPs reverse their previous votes
20/01/2019

“That couldn’t happen” are probably the 3 most dangerous words in the English lang...

Read
CEOs need new business models amid downturn
14/01/2019

Many indicators are now pointing towards a global downturn in the economy, along with paradigm shif...

Read

Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more

Analytics

Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more