Netherlands

Dutch retailer Hema’s senior secured noteholders (SSNs) are set to take over the business through a debt-for-equity swap, as more than 80% of noteholders agreed to a debt restructuring, banking sources said, Reuters reported. On June 15 the company entered lock-up, as 100% of its RCF lenders and 62% of its €600m, 2022 SSNs agreed to the restructuring. However, a threshold of 75% of SSN support was needed before the deal could be implemented. Around 80% of SSNs now support the deal, meaning it can go ahead, one of the sources said.

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Seeking to explain the appeal of Dutch retailer Hema’s brand to consumers outside the Netherlands, CEO Tjeerd Jegen compares it to a mix of Marks and Spencer Group Plc and John Lewis, “on steroids”. But just as the British stores have faced their own financial difficulties of late, so Hema has had its own problems, starting with an oversized debt pile, Bloomberg News reported. And this week’s restructuring plan -- which will cut its liabilities from 750 million euros ($842 million) to 300 million -- still raises questions over its future ownership.

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Deutsche Lufthansa AG Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr said the airline is in “intense” talks with Airbus SE and Boeing Co. about postponing plane deliveries as he set out plans for surviving the coronavirus storm, Bloomberg News reported. Facing shareholders at the German company’s annual general meeting -- held online because of the pandemic -- executives said they couldn’t answer questions about negotiations for a government bailout, but that it’s in noone’s best interests to see a collapse. “The future of Lufthansa is being decided in these days,” Spohr told the meeting.

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Commodity trader Trafigura has reached an agreement to buy and then sell on a stake in Puma Energy from a retired Angolan general, aiding the efforts of the debt-laden fuel supplier to attract more lenders and investors, the Financial Times reported. Under a complex deal announced on Monday, Cochan Holdings, an investment vehicle controlled by Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento — widely known as “General Dino” — will reduce its stake in Puma from 15 per cent to less than 5 per cent.

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Cboe Global Markets said today that it would take full control of EuroCCP, Europe’s largest clearing house for stock trades, to bolster its post-Brexit base in Amsterdam and diversify into derivatives, Reuters reported. It is the latest deal in a rapidly consolidating market where the Swiss Exchange has bid for its Madrid counterpart and the London Stock Exchange (LSE.L) is buying financial market data company Refinitiv. Cboe, the biggest pan-European share trading platform, already owns 20 percent of EuroCCP.
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Louis Dreyfus Company is making sweeping cost cuts, starting with travel, entertainment, hiring and salaries, as the 168-year-old agricultural commodities firm tries to revive dwindling profits, Reuters reported. Global trade tensions and the African Swine Fever epidemic in Asia have piled pressure on grain trading firms as they try to emerge from a period of falling margins. Family-owned LDC, known as Dreyfus, is the “D” of the ‘ABCD’ quartet of global traders that also includes Archer Daniels Midland Co, Bunge Ltd and Cargill Inc.

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The Dutch government is throwing its weight behind challenging London’s position as Europe’s legal hub for the lucrative business of restructuring the debt of struggling companies, Bloomberg News reported. With Britain due to leave the European Union by the end of January, the Netherlands is bidding to chip away at the legal business that runs through English courts with a proposed reform of insolvency laws set to be approved by parliament early next year. This outlines a new bankruptcy code taking elements of U.S.

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United Group, the private-equity backed cable company, has struck a €1.2bn deal to acquire Bulgaria’s former state owned telecoms operator Vivacom, the Financial Times reported. The sale is one of the largest deals struck by United, owned by BC Partners, to consolidate the Balkan media and communications industry. It agreed to buy Tele2 Croatia for €220m in May and has so far rolled up about 100 Balkan businesses. It comes in spite of a long-running ownership dispute around Vivacom, which is still rumbling through the courts.

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TVT Media, a London-headquartered provider of media localization and end-to-end content services, filed for insolvency on October 21, 2019, according to regulatory filings, Slator reported. TVT’s operations in the UK generated revenues of nearly GBP 10m (USD 12.6m) in 2017 (the most recent year for which numbers are available), but the company’s global size is likely a multiple of the figure given that it operates large subsidiaries in the US, the Netherlands, Poland, Australia, Singapore, and Japan.

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