Bloomberg News

Angelo Gordon, Centerbridge Said to Purchase Frans Bonhomme Debt

June 07, 2013

Angelo Gordon & Co. and Centerbridge Capital Partners LLC bought portions of loans of Frans Bonhomme SAS, the French plastic pipe company seeking to renegotiate its debt, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

The purchases helped boost the price of the debt of the Cinven Ltd.-owned company, which started talks with lenders last month after a change in French laws reduced funds available to pay down the borrowings, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Portions of the company’s 550 million euros ($722 million) of debt rose to 80.5 cents on the euro on June 6, from about 77 cents a month ago, and about 20 percent higher than in January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Officials at Angelo Gordon and Centerbridge, both of which are based in New York, declined to comment on the deal.

A 41 million-euro portion of Frans Bonhomme’s debt sold at 79 cents on the euro on May 15 and 26 million euros of loans sold at about 80 cents on 21 May, people have said previously.

Frans Bonhomme told lenders last month it won’t make a debt payment following the introduction of a new French law that changes levies on employee shareholdings and profit-sharing. The rule would lead to a one-time 10 million-euro reduction in cash flow.

Debt Ratio

The company has a leverage ratio, a measure of debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, of more than nine times, the people said previously.

Cinven bought the Joue-les-Tours, France-based company through its third fund in 2005 for 893 million euros, according to Cinven’s website. Frans Bonhomme then raised 816 million euros of loans in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The private-equity company invested 15 million euros in the business last year to help it keep within the terms of the loans.

Cinven generated a 1.4 billion-euro capital gain from its third fund, it said in its 2011 report.

A London-based spokeswoman for Cinven, who asked not to be named citing company policy, declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Miecamp in London at jmiecamp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Faris Khan at fkhan33@bloomberg.net


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