ZURICH (Reuters) – Swissport has secured 300 million euros ($354.5 million) of extra liquidity from senior secured creditors that will support operations while it revamps amid the pandemic crisis, in a move that could squeeze out Chinese owner HNA Group.
“The agreement ‘in principle’ on a comprehensive restructuring includes significant deleveraging and a new 500 million euros long term debt facility, which will replace the interim facility,” the airport ground services group said without naming the creditors.
Reuters reported in May that a trio of distressed securities investors led by Apollo Global Management had bought debt of Swissport and were holding talks with the company as it seeks cash to ride out the COVID-19 crisis.
The latest cash injection will add to the more than 200 million euros of liquidity Swissport had on Aug. 18, it said. The restructuring is expected to be completed in late 2020.
“The 300 million clearly is very important to give us the liquidity to confidently trade through the COVID pandemic for the next months or year to come, and also clearly gives us the liquidity to bridge the restructuring process,” Chief Financial Officer Peter Waller told journalists on a call. “That is a committed facility, only subject to final documentation. We actually expect to receive funds in due course in coming days.”
Executives declined to comment on whether HNA would remain owner, saying detailed terms of the restructuring were expected to be released within days.
“I think you’re familiar with how restructurings typically turn out,” Waller said.
Swissport said it had managed the market disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic with stronger trading results and better liquidity than originally anticipated. Revenue for the three months to June 30 fell 70% to 235.5 million euros, with an uptick in volumes since the end of June.
It swung to an operating EBITDA loss of 67 million euros for the second quarter but in July managed to record positive EBITDA from better revenue, cost reductions and state assistance.
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