October 1 - A refinancing proposal from a group of international hedge funds has been rejected by the board of Babcock & Brown Infrastructure (BBI), the majority shareholder of Luxembourg-based Euroports, writes James Graham.
On 17 September, BBI received a refinancing proposal from The Royal Bank of Scotland on behalf of an investor group comprising primarily international hedge funds. The board assessed the approach against an existing agreement with a cornerstone investor and considered it did not improve on the earlier approach.
"The RBS proposal does not fundamentally address the debt position of BBI. Of the total new funding proposed of USD1.5 billion, only USD500 million is equity. The net new equity raised after transaction costs and other payments will not materially change the current gearing levels of BBI or address near term debt maturities at the operating businesses," says BBI.
On September 28, RBS put forward a revised proposal but again the board rejected its approach.
Euroports claims to be Europe's most diversified port operator. It is focussed on the bulk and general cargo sectors and has activities in Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Finland, Bulgaria and Italy.
BBI also owns, but is seeking a buyer for PD Ports, one of the UK's biggest bulk cargo handlers.