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TCL repays lenders with bridge loan

Published:Wednesday | May 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Trinidad Cement Limited has repaid US$292 million of debt owed to all previous lenders at up to 20 per cent discount financed largely by a bridge loan from Citibank and Credit Suisse.

TCL said it borrowed US$245 million for nine months at Libor plus 6.25 per cent – which amounts to 6.53 per cent initially – and cobbled the rest from cash resources and proceeds from the rights issue in March.

The short loan will be replaced by new borrowings to be arranged for TCL by Citibank and Credit Suisse.

On March 30, the cement producer said it finalised a repayment plan with 59 lenders at discounts ranging between 5 per cent and 20 per cent if the debt was repaid in 90 days. The discount would be maximised if TCL could pay off the debt in half that time – 45 days – which expired May 14.

TCL said it met the earlier deadline, leading to savings of US$31 million, plus a reduction of its debt ratio from 4.2 times EBITDA to 3.5 times EBITDA..

At the end of March the company owed long-term debt of TT$2.14 billion (US$335m).

“Over the coming weeks, TCL together with Credit Suisse and Citibank will be approaching both the local and international markets to secure longer-term financing that will bring the company to the final stage of the reorganisation of the capital structure,” TCL said in a statement.