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Fishing group Sealord refinances NZ$147.7 million of debt with five banks

Fishing group Sealord refinances NZ$147.7 million of debt with five banks

By Gareth Vaughan

Fishing group Sealord, which had its June 2009 annual accounts tagged by its auditor Ernst & Young with a "fundamental uncertainty" comment due to reliance on continued bank support, has now refinanced its bank loans and didn't default on any of them last year.

Annual accounts for the year to June 2010, recently filed by Sealord's parent company, note Sealord's banking facility has been re-negotiated, with multi-option facilities established with a syndicate comprising the ANZ National Bank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (London Branch), Bank of New Zealand, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Rabobank.

The 2009 accounts had shown Sealord with NZ$172.9 million of bank loans from HSBC, ANZ and Rabobank due for repayment by June 30 last year.The group now has loans totaling NZ$147.7 million split into four tranches. Tranches A and B, worth a combined NZ$69.8 million, are due to expire on January 31, 2012 and January 31, 2013 respectively. it's unclear from the financial statements how much each tranche is worth.

Tranche C, worth NZ$68.4 million, expires on January 31, 2012 and tranche D, worth NZ$9.5 million, on January 31, 2013.

Sealord, which says there were no defaults on any of its bank loans during the June 2010 year, says its banking facilities include multi-currency cash advances and money market facilities to enable it to meet operational and capital expenditure requirements. The bank loans are secured over assets held by Sealord and some of its subsidiaries.

Owned by Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd and Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd, Sealord coughed up NZ$9.6 million in net financing costs during the June 2010 year. That's down from NZ$10.9 million in restated June 2009 year financial statements. Sealord's total comprehensive income net of tax for the 2010 year dropped to NZ$13.7 million from 2009's restated NZ$22.5 million.

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