Acsis seeks second refinancing: Rescue plan announced as losses fall from pounds 21.7m to pounds 9.3m

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The Independent Online
ACSIS, the troubled healthcare and shop fitting group, has been forced into a second refinancing in less than three years after defaulting on pounds 12m debts owed to Midland Bank.

The rescue plans were accompanied by a reduction in taxable losses from pounds 21.7m to pounds 9.3m for the year ended 31 December, on sales down from pounds 29m to about pounds 17m.

The refinancing proposals, involving the issue of 265 million new shares, will reduce the group's debt by about pounds 9.5m. It is also raising pounds 1.6m through a placing and open offer.

The key terms include a pounds 3m equity- for-debt swap resulting in Midland Bank owning 5.3 per cent. Midland's current stake amounts to 8 per cent but is being diluted by the share issue.

Another pounds 5.3m of the group's existing bank debt is to be converted into preferred stock, and pounds 1m loan notes will be assumed by the former owners of NMS, the US healthcare business acquired by Acsis three years ago. The move will boost their stake from 11 to 33 per cent. Foreign & Colonial Ventures, the fund management group, is subscribing for 15 per cent.

About pounds 400,000 of interest-free debt, repayable from January 1996, will remain with the group.

Ephraim Barsam, chairman, said: 'Acsis Group needs a major restructuring of its debts and an injection of capital in order to continue trading. The directors intend to build a healthcare group to take advantage of the demographic changes towards a rapidly ageing population.'

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