Sea Containers to Sell Ferries

Monday, May 08, 2006
Sea Containers is planning a comprehensive financial restructuring that would see a debt-for-equity swap follow the sale of its ferry operations later this year. The company is working on a business plan to sell off all group assets except its container leasing interests and the GNER east coast mainline rail business to cut its $1.3b debt burden to between $500m and $600m. Key to the plan is the sale of its Silja ferry operations in the Baltic, along with 10 other vessels. Société Générale is handling negotiations and is hopeful of a deal within weeks valuing Silja at some $630m. Sea Containers has a highly leveraged structure - its market capitalization stood at $190m at the end of last week. Last year the company invited offers from potential buyers. It subsequently had to write the business down by $415m, leading to a breach of its banking covenants. Continued losses have drained cash from the group. (Source: The Observer)
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