RLPC-UK home builder McCarthy set for sale, refinancing

LONDON Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:38am GMT

LONDON Nov 26 (Reuters) - British home builder McCarthy & Stone is set for a sale, an initial public offering (IPO) or a 500-million-pound ($800 million) loan refinancing three years after it was taken over by lenders in a debt-for-equity swap.

The company, which builds retirement homes, has appointed financial advisor Moelis & Company to conduct a strategic review of the business, McCarthy said in a statement on Monday.

The results of the review will be presented by the end of January following a consultation by Moelis with all major stakeholders, it added.

The main stakeholders include the company's lenders, which acquired McCarthy & Stone in a 2009 debt restructuring after it fell into distress.

The home builder was left unable to service its debt - taken as part of its 1.1 billion pound 2007 takeover by Bank of Scotland and entrepreneurs including Tom Hunter - after the housing market slump meant fewer elderly people were able to sell their properties to move into care homes.

Other options besides a sale or IPO include rolling over the maturity of its existing 500 million pound loans via an amendment process or allocating additional capital, either through a new public or private debt or equity issue, people familiar with the review said previously.

The 2009 debt-for-equity swap restructuring wiped out 200 million pounds of mezzanine loans, leaving 500 million pounds of senior debt in place.

Financial performance of the company improved after the restructuring was completed. McCarthy & Stone's loans also recovered in secondary markets after the group published a strong set of earnings in August 2012.

This saw senior loans rising to 92.5 percent of face value from 78 percent in August, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.

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