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WYG to de-list and restructure following huge loss

Consultant White Young Green will de-list from the London Stock Exchange as a result of a debt-for-equity swap and restructuring.

Banks will hold 60.5% of the company’s shares in the proposed deal and the business will re-list on the AIM market which has different rules for the trading of company shares.

In spite of the turbulent year, the consultant has posted a modest operating profit of £12M for the year, although this is overshadowed by a sizeable write-down on £141M in exceptional costs, making an overall loss of £123.7M. The company made a £22.2M profit in 2008.

White Young Green’s chief executive Paul Hamer said: “We have been through profound change in the last 12 months which has seen us look to restructure our finances, operations, processes and senior leadership team. All of this has being undertaken against the backdrop of a global recession and unpredictable conditions in the markets in which we operate.

“Despite a challenging year both in terms of the financial restructuring and general market and global economy, the business has delivered a profit of £12M, which shows the strength of our underlying business.

“The proposed refinancing will provide us with a strengthened and sustainable long term capital structure enabling us to compete more effectively in the current challenging environment.”

Under the deal, the banks will convert £50M of WYG’s debt into new shares and new preference shares in the Company. 

The remainder of the company’s debts will be refinanced into: “term debt facilities and working capital facilities including €38M of committed bonding facilities, each with a three-year term.”

Restructuring must still be approved by shareholders. If so, the company will de-list from the London Stock Exchange and apply for a listing on the AIM list.

Under the new structure, banks would own 60.5% of the new shares capital, a new employee benefit trust would own 24.5% and existing shareholders 15%.

More details on the proposals will be set-out in more detail in due course.

“With a new leadership team and a restructured balance sheet, we will be putting in place fundamental building blocks to enable us to benefit from profitable opportunities at home and internationally, while continuing to take a prudent and cautious view of the market,” he said.

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