April 1, 2009
Excel Maritime negotiates credit facility amendments
Athens-headquartered dry bulk specialist Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd (NYSE:EXM) has entered into agreements to amend its credit facilities, agreed to an equity infusion by the company's major shareholders and set the dates for the release of the fourth quarter and full year 2008 earnings results, conference call and webcast.
Excel said that, as part of the amendments to its two credit facilities, it has secured all the appropriate covenant waivers in the Nordea Bank Syndicated Facility and the Credit Suisse Bilateral Facility, valid until the beginning of 2011.
Additionally, under the terms of the amended Nordea Bank Syndicated Facility, the company will also defer principal debt repayments of $150.5 million originally scheduled for 2009 and 2010 to the balloon payment at the end of the facility's term in 2016.
During the waiver and deferral periods, the applicable credit facility margins will increase to 2.5% and 2.25%, for the Syndicated Facility and the Credit Suisse Facility, respectively.
The Nordea Syndicated Facility and the Credit Suisse Bilateral Facility are the only two credit facilities that the Company has currently outstanding.
More details on the terms of the credit facilities amendments will be provided during the company's fourth quarter and year end 2008 earnings release and conference call. It plans to release the results after the closing of the market on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 and to host the conference call the next day, Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 10:00 A.M. EDT.
As part of the loan restructuring, the company also announced an equity infusion of $45 million by entities affiliated with the Panayotides family, the company's major shareholders. An aggregate of 25,714,285 Class A shares and 5,500,000 warrants, with an exercise price of $3.50 per warrant, are to be issued in total. The shares, the warrants and the shares issuable on exercise of the warrants will be subject to 12-month lock-ups from March 31, 2009. In this connection, the company has the option to defer, again to the balloon payment in 2016, additional principal debt repayments in an amount of up to 100% of the equity contributed by the major shareholders during 2009 and 2010.
The Chairman of the Board, Mr. Gabriel Panayotides, commented, "We are pleased to announce the successful restructuring of our loan facilities and would like to thank all 15 banks for their support and confidence in our company. We feel very positive about our company's prospects and we believe that the reduced commitments, the length of the covenant waiver period obtained along with our modern fleet and our quality time charter coverage will enable us to successfully navigate in a potentially challenging market environment over the next two years."
"In addition," he said, "the contribution via an equity injection from the main shareholders represents a clear sign of strong support and commitment to the Company, especially since it is made at a time of great uncertainty. I, along with the rest of the members of the Board of Directors and the senior management team, remain dedicated in maintaining and improving the company's leading position within the dry bulk industry as well as delivering long term shareholder value."