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Liwet Holding Pledges Money to Save Schmolz + Bickenbach

Steel News - Published on Tue, 03 Dec 2019

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Bloomberg reported investment holding company Liwet Holding AG, linked to Russian billionaire Mr Viktor Vekselberg, has pledged to invest as much money as necessary in Schmolz + Bickenbach AG to avert a restructuring of the ailing Swiss steelmaker’s USD 800 million debt pile. Liwet Holding AG, which holds a 26.9% stake in Schmolz, said that the pledge is conditional on there being no change in control of the company. Liwet said”It’s concerned Haefner’s offer would allow him to use the money to buy out the company’s debt rather than for Schmolz’s operational needs, if Haefner succeeded in raising his stake, a so-called change of control clause in the bonds would be triggered, allowing bondholders to redeem their principal from the company. This is not helpful for the company. Rather, it allows you, Mr Haefner, to take control of the company at a lower price by violating other stakeholders’ interests.”

The open letter is the latest salvo in a dispute between Liwet and Martin Haefner, a Swiss businessman and the company’s second-largest shareholder, over the future direction of Schmolz. Mr Haefner recently proposed to double his stake to 37.5% through a USD 326 million cash injection, but the Swiss Takeover Board rejected that proposal as insufficient and said it must offer to buy the entire company.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 03 Dec 2019
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