The financial restructuring of McAleese’s debts in the wake of its recent financial problem could see lenders taking big losses. United States-based Anchorage Capital Group is reported to, possibly, be about to make a deal with McAleese’s lenders which would see them taking a substantial loss.
The debt is estimated to be $205.5 million, but the deal is yet to receive final approval. Reports in the financial press talk about the two options open to those organising the attempted refinancing of McAleese. It can either continue as a transport operation and look to merge or do a deal with other operations in the sector to consolidate, or simply go to liquidation.
Negotiations with Hong Kong’s SC Lowy funding group are scheduled to continue until April 15. Trading in McAleese shares is under suspension for up to a further month as negotiations continue. Two other possible fund providers are waiting in the wings, if the current negotiations fail.
McAleese is reported to have, what is called, a current asset deficiency of $163.2 million. However, the interest in a restructuring does hold out some hope of the operation being able to continue in some form, at the expense of creditors.
The transport operation reported a $97.4 million net loss in the second half of 2015 , this saw the value of shares in McAleese fall from $1.47 a share two years ago to just 5.8 cents a share before trading was suspended.
McAleese’s problem are traced back to the double fatality in an accident in Mona Vale NSW involving a Cootes fuel tanker, which led to many trucks in the fleet being grounded by the authorities. This event triggered the loss of fuel distribution contracts for the resources sector of the McAleese business, at the same time as the heavy haulage sector was experiencing the effects of the mining industry’s slowdown.
Mark Rowsthorn, McAleese CEO, owns 31 per cent of the transport group. He has been largely silent on the subject of any restructuring, as the company tries, desperately, to find a solution, which doesn’t involve a complete shutdown of the operation.