Auto Service World
News   May 4, 2005   by Auto Service World

Federal-Mogul Lets Loan Commitments Expire

Federal-Mogul Corp. has cancelled plans for a $1.43 billion U.S. financing package that would help it exit bankruptcy protection when approval delays threatened to cost the company half a percent.
According to a Moody’s Investors Service credit officer, the company was faced with delays in getting required approvals as a result of the ongoing asbestos issues and didn’t want to incur the half-percentage-point "ticking fee" to keep the loan commitments in place.
In October, the company said it would receive a $933 million seven-year term loan and a $500 million five-year revolving credit. It has a $500 million loan to pay for operations while under court protection, according to court documents.
Standard & Poors had assigned the loans a BB- rating, three levels below investment grade, analyst Nancy Messer said. Moody’s had given the revolving credit a Ba2 rating, two levels below investment grade, and the term loan a B1 rating, which is four levels below investment grade.
The loans were arranged by Citigroup Inc. Citigroup officials didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment. Money in a revolving credit can be borrowed again once it’s repaid; in a term loan it can’t.
Federal-Mogul filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2001 following a slump in auto parts sales and a surge of lawsuits from plaintiffs who claimed asbestos-related injuries.
Investor Carl Icahn is the company’s largest creditor. Along with other bondholders he would get 49.9% of the company’s stock under a reorganization plan. Asbestos-injury claimants will get 50.1% of the company.
In order to use the exit financing, the company’s reorganization plan must be approved by court officials. A hearing to approve the plan was held on Dec. 9 in Trenton, N.J., though approvals were delayed by asbestos issues.

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