Deadline looms for Ascendis


Deadline looms for Ascendis


Published Date: 2021-04-28 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Deadline looms for Ascendis

The healthcare and pharmaceuticals company has until 30 April to agree on a recapitalisation or its creditors will close in.

Ascendis Health says it still aims to reach a recapitalisation deal with its creditors by the end of the week. If it's successful, this will result in an extension to its forbearance period - which means action won't be taken against it for missing interest payments or defaulting on loans.

In March, a lender consortium including L1 Health and Blantyre Capital gave Ascendis until 30 April to reach agreement on how to recapitalise the group and reduce debt of about R7-billion. The two lenders have combined exposure to its debt of more than 75%. This means they control all waivers, deferrals and consents requiring majority lender approval under the group's Senior Facilities Agreement. Earlier this year, they ruled out the disposal of core assets including its lucrative Remedica business in Cyprus in favour of other recapitalisation options.

Any deal may result in Ascendis exchanging stakes in its underlying businesses in return for reducing net debt. If agreement is reached, shareholders will get to vote on the recapitalisation agreement.

The company has also been disposing of non-core assets in its bid to reduce debt. In the six months to December, it divested Scitec International in Hungary for R90-million and Ascendis Direct Selling for R10.5-million. In March, it sold its pharma tender and dispensing doctor business, Dezzo Trading. The disposal of the Animal Health and Biosciences businesses are also in advanced stage negotiations.

Ascendis's shares fell 1.7% to 58c on Monday.


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