Bloomberg News

CVC’s Nine Said to Ask Lenders to Consider Debt Split Proposal

December 13, 2011

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Nine Entertainment Co., the Australian media company owned by CVC Asia Pacific Ltd., has proposed splitting its A$2.8 billion ($2.8 billion) of debt into two, according to three people familiar with the matter.

One part would be held by bank lenders and the other would be debt owned by hedge funds, said the people, asking not to be identified as the details are private. Both would have their own terms, one of the people said.

Nine Entertainment dropped a proposal last week that senior lenders extend the debt to 2015. Nine scrapped the so-called amend and extend plan after European banks sold their parts of the loans to hedge funds which are seeking to take control of the media company, the Australian Financial Review reported last week.

“CVC has proactively commenced discussions with its lenders regarding refinancing options,” CVC Asia Pacific’s London-based parent, CVC Capital Partners Ltd., said in a Dec. 9 e-mailed statement. Nine’s “senior debt matures in February 2013 and there is no current requirement to refinance this debt in advance” and the company “is not in breach of any of its financial covenants or in default under any of its banking agreements,” it said in the statement.

CVC Capital Partners didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the proposal to split the debt in two outside of normal business hours in London. Nine Entertainment spokeswoman Heidi Packer also wasn’t immediately available for comment outside of normal business hours in Sydney.

Lenders have been asked to respond to CVC’s latest proposal before Dec. 25, the person said today.

--Editors: Katrina Nicholas, Shelley Smith

To contact the reporter on this story: Katrina Nicholas in Singapore at knicholas2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shelley Smith at ssmith118@bloomberg.net


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