Massey-Ferguson announced today a refinancing package totaling $700 million of preferred and common shares.
Of the total:
$200 million is proposed as common or preferred shares carrying a government guarantee as to a substantial portion which are to be purchased by an investor or investors acceptable to the governments of Ontario and Canada.
$150 million is convertible preferred shares to be purchased by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
$350 million is an underwritten public issue of convertible preferred shares guaranteed by the company's other lenders.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Massey's major banker in Canada, will undertake to purchase any unsold balance of the public issue up to $150 million, Massey said.
Special correspondent Irvin Lutsky reported the following from Toronto .
The refinancing plan involves $425 million of new cash and $275 million of debt converted into shares.
The Canadian and Ontario governments earlier had agreed to guarantee a portion of a planned share issue by the financially troubled farm implements manufacturer. The Toronto-based tractor company owes some $2.6 billion to a consortium of more than 200 banks worldwide. The plan as outlined by government officials would give any purchaser of new Massey shares the right, after a specified time, to return the shares to the governments and get money back if Massey does not succeed.
Trading in Massey shares was halted today on the Toronto Stock Exchange pending an announcement. The company issued no statement during the trading day. The last trade in the stock was at $7.
The company released an information circular for a shareholders meeting to be held next month at which it will seek the approval of existing shareholders for the right to issue an unlimited number of new shares.
The disclosure documents reveal the company's current financial plight. It suffered a loss in August of more than $48 million. In the latest nine months ended July 31, losses amounted to $59.8 million excluding foreign exchange and extraordinary items. And it says a substantial operating loss is anticipated for its fourth quarter.
The documents disclose that interest charges in the latest nine months rose 50 percent from the year earlier. The interest cost to the company was $20 million a month, or a total of $180 million in the nine-month period.
Massey's inability to meet certain conditions under various loan agreements has caused some lenders to either demand or threaten to demand loan repayment. The company says it is holding discussions with these lenders.
Arrears on preferred dividends amount to more than $22 million. Massey says it is exploring the possibility of a sale or disposition of the company or a "controlling interest therein as well as the possibility of joint ventures. The company also is exploring the possibility of dispositions of portions of its operations."
Victor Rice, Massey president, was in London today and would not comment on the government's aid offer. Rice's presence in Britain renewed speculation that Massey may be preparing to sell off its Perkins division in Britain.
The company says it has made no provision for costs related to reducing work forces at British plants in Coventry and Peterborough. Discussions with unions regarding terms of redundancy programs and other matters are continuing, it says. Since the costs involved cannot be determined at this time, no provision was made in its accounts.