Natra reaches unanimous agreement with its bank pool for the flexibility of its debt repayments in order to adapt them to the business and new projects in progress.
The seventeen financial institutions that make up the main bank syndicate of Natra have informed the company about their unanimous approval of the terms and conditions proposed by Natra for the novation of the current syndicated loan. This achievement will give Natra greater operational and strategic flexibility for the next three years, while it strengthens the support and confidence of its banking syndicate in the evolution of the business and the company’s management team.
In April 2010 the Natra Group (Natra and its subsidiary Natraceutical) concluded the refinancing of its bank debt, which at that time amounted to a total of 268 million euros. The transaction was structured through a single maturing loan in April 2013 for the 77.9 million euros debt in Natraceutical and various amortization tranches for the 148.4 million euros debt related to the group’s cocoa and chocolate business, with a final maturity in 2016. Additionally, the cocoa and chocolate business was allowed to maintain 41.6 million euros of "permitted debt" with other financial entities, mainly foreign banks and Spanish government agencies.
Since then, the Natra group successfully managed to fully cancel Natraceutical’s syndicated loan in December 2012 and to reduce the cocoa and chocolate’s debt to 147.4 million euros, at the end of June 2013.
The positive performance of the group's businesses and the significant financial deleveraging has allowed Natra to recently announce new international expansion projects for its cocoa and chocolate business, specifically the opening of a commercial office in Hong Kong to serve the Asian market, and the forthcoming production facility in Canada to meet growing demand from the North-American market.
All this has led Natra’s management team to propose to the company’s bank pool an adaptation of the debt repayment segments for the last three years of life of the syndicated loan, which has a current outstanding balance of 130.8 million euros. This will enable the company to continue consolidating operational improvement actions and the strategic direction that has been implemented in recent years, still keeping the final maturity of the syndicated loan in the year 2016.
The agreement of the terms and conditions proposed by Natra and unanimously accepted by the seventeen financial institutions that currently make up the main syndicate bank pool is subject to execution of contract documents, which is expected to take place during the month of September.
As this fact has taken place after the end of the semester, the balance sheet on June 30, 2013 included as short-term debt the debt repayments initially scheduled in the syndicated loan for the first half of 2014, which have been substantially reduced in the new design. The balance sheet and the annual report of 2013 year-end will reflect the new situation up to 2016, following the new intermediate debt amortization plan.
According to Mikel Beitia, CEO of Natra: "The gradual operating recovery of the company and the recently announced expansion projects make us look to the future with optimism. Being able to count in parallel with an appropriate financial structure for the current business needs is a critical element for the optimal development of the company and we thank our bank pool for their support to our project and to the management team."