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US: CEDC pulls stock-swap proposal as Russian Standard steps in

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Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) has abandoned its stock-swap proposal for the set of notes that expired late last week.

The US-based spirits company, which has been battling with debt in recent months, said earlier this week that last month's proposal to exchange stock for the proceeds of the 3% Convertible Senior Notes due on 15 March has been terminated. Instead, noteholders will be offered a pro-rata share of of $25m in cash and an aggregate principal amount of $30m secured notes.

Both the cash and the new secured notes are being put up by Roust Trading, a unit that is part of Roustam Tariko's Russian Standard empire. Roust Trading, which holds around $102.6m of the 2013 notes, has worked with “other beneficial owners holding an aggregate of about $85.7m” of the 2013 notes to make the offer.

“Based on this proposal,” CEDC said, “holders of 2013 notes participating in the Roust Trading exchange offer would receive an estimated recovery of 35.4% of principal amount on the 2013 notes.”

SPI Group, which owns the Stolichnaya vodka brand, holds some of the 2013 notes, although it was not immediately clear if it is part of the “other beneficial owners” group. Last week, SPI Group confirmed to just-drinks that it is mulling making a joint bid for CEDC.


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