Premier given debt reprieve
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Tuesday 08 November 2011
Premier Foods breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after its lending banks agreed to postpone a crucial covenant test until the end of March. Analysts had predicted the debt-laden group would breach the covenants, originally scheduled for the end of the year, which would have been a huge blow to the new chief executive Michael Clarke in his attempt to stabilise the company. He said yesterday's news was an "important step towards securing a longer term financial foundation".
The group, whose brands include Mr Kipling and Hovis, remains in talks with its banks about refinancing debts that mature at the end of 2013. This follows the move to restructure its management, and plans to sell non-core brands. Premier has struggled in the downturn and in October a profit-warning wiped two-thirds off its value. Its shares jumped 10 per cent to 3.7p yesterday.
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