Four Seasons Health Care in talks to refinance debt, raise

Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:13am EST
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By A. Ananthalakshmi

(Reuters) - Four Seasons Health Care is not trying to sell itself, as media reports suggested, but is in talks to renegotiate debt and raise new equity, a spokeswoman for Britain's biggest care home operator told Reuters.

The Sunday Times had reported that Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing's CK Life Sciences 0775.HK may bid for the company.

Four Seasons Health Care is considering refinancing loans, raising new equity from existing and new investors, or a combination of these options, to ensure it has adequate funds before its debt matures in September.

In 2009, Four Seasons Health Care halved its debt by exchanging it for equity -- a deal that resulted in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote) taking close to a 40 percent stake in the company.

The maturity of the remaining debt -- about 780 million pounds ($1.23 billion)-- was extended to September 2012.

"We have a high level of interest being shown in the group by potential lenders and by potential new investors," the spokeswoman said.

She did not provide any detail on how much equity the company was planning to raise or who the potential investors were.

The company is being advised by Rothschild and Gleacher Shacklock.   Continued...