Aug 6, 2009
Arcandor cancels August 10 meeting with bondholders
Aug 6, 2009
FRANKFURT, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Insolvent German tourism and retail group Arcandor (AROG.DE) has cancelled a meeting planned for Aug. 10 in Frankfurt with exchangeable bond creditors, the company said on Wednesday 5 August.
Arcandor said the move was due to a "surprising" statement on Tuesday 4 August by Bayerische Landesbank, which is collateral agent for the bondholders, that it transferred about 8 percent of Thomas Cook (TCG.L) shares into a trust deposit account.
"Those shares were pledged as security for the exchangeable bonds. Given the new situation the planned bondholders meeting at this point in time doesn't make sense," Arcandor said in a statement.
The company had previously held about 53 percent in Thomas Cook. With the transfer of the shares to Bayerische Landesbank, the lender is now likely responsible as trustee for any creditor meeting where bondholders would decide on what to do with the stake.
Arcandor, which filed for insolvency in June, had secured a 1.5 billion euro loan with a roughly 44 percent stake in Thomas Cook while the other 8 percent of the travel company's shares were used to back the convertible bond due to mature in 2013.
The bondholders' decision will tip the scales on a potential Thomas Cook sale. Banks of the German retail and tourism group need their backing to carry out a majority stake sale, which would be more lucrative than selling a minority stake.
(Reporting by Eva Kuehnen; editing by Karen Foster)
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