Griffin’s Foods Ltd., New Zealand’s biggest maker of biscuits, is expected to respond to banks as early as this week as it seeks to refinance a loan due June, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The company, which is owned by private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners Pty, signed a NZ$270 million facility in 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Some NZ$250 million of that facility is due in June, the data show.
Banks including Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., Westpac Banking Corp., Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd., Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Bank of New Zealand, Rabobank International and General Electric Capital Corp. submitted refinance proposals to Griffin’s Foods, two of the people said.
As Pacific Equity Partners last year tried unsuccessfully to sell Griffin’s and may still seek a buyer, banks are offering a tenor for the new loan of three years or less, the people said.
Pacific Equity bought Griffin’s in June 2006 from Paris- based Danone for 194 million euros ($256 million). Its brands include Huntley & Palmers crackers as well as Eta and Nice & Natural snacks, according to its website.
A telephone call to Griffin’s head office in Auckland seeking comment on the refinancing went unanswered outside of normal business hours in New Zealand.
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