The NY Times reports that Colt is close to finalizing a bankruptcy plan which will give bond holders a severe “haircut” ie. Colt will owe them a lot less than they currently do. I have to admit that the specifics of this plan are to complex for me to understand. Maybe a financial guru can explain how this all works in the comments below. From NY Times …
Actually, it has announced that its first plan is to restructure its outstanding bond debt with an exchange offer. Existing bonds would be exchanged for new bonds with longer maturities and higher interest rates. Bondholders would also enjoy a rather severe haircut – the new bonds would have a face amount that was 70 percent lower. Ouch.
But because Colt has also announced that the exchange offer is conditional on receiving nearly full bondholder participation, I’m going to assume that won’t happen and move along to Plan B.
Plan B is a “prepack,” or a prepackaged bankruptcy case. An American prepack – the term has a different meaning in Britain – involves solicitation of votes on a bankruptcy plan before the bankruptcy is actually filed. Once the case is filed, the debtor can move quickly to court approval of the plan.
An exchange offer must comply with the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, which requires unanimous consent to change the core terms of a bond, but a bankruptcy plan can achieve the same result simply by compliance with the voting rules of the bankruptcy code. Fifty percent of the creditors and two-thirds of the amount owned work here.
I was hounded by investment bankers some years back. They were all trying to figure out if buying Colt junk bonds would be profitable. Ever since the early 1990s Colt has been going from one disaster to another. First it was union strife, then very poor strategic decisions leading to consumers boycotting them and now it looks to me like they were to overly reliant on military contracts. I don’t like gun industry consolidation, but maybe Remington should buy Colt? A Remington owned Colt can’t be worse than the current situation, a Colt that is almost always inches away from bankruptcy.
Thanks to Mike for the tip.