Mystery $100 Million Cash Shows Up at Platinum’s Wesco Air
(Bloomberg) -- Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. left bondholders scratching their heads this week when the struggling aerospace supplier added about $100 million of cash to its balance sheet, seemingly overnight and without much explanation.
They’re trying to parse what happened after the company, which is backed by billionaire Tom Gores’ Platinum Equity, privately informed investors about a set of transactions that depleted and then refilled Wesco’s coffers, even as it reported that third-quarter profit had shrunk.
Wesco, which operates as Incora out of Fort Worth, Texas, reported third-quarter results that showed $117.3 million of cash for the period ending Sept. 30, according to private results seen by Bloomberg. Any significant events that took place after the quarter’s closing through Nov. 14 would also be included in the private disclosure to investors.
The boost is notable for a supply-chain company that has struggled amid Covid-related pressure on the airline industry, with its chief financial officer resigning in the middle of prior quarter’s call. Wesco’s presentation showed adjusted earnings fell to $16.6 million for third quarter from $17.3 million a year earlier.
So where did all of the fresh money come from? A representative for Platinum declined to comment and Wesco didn’t immediately respond to messages. But some investors took the occasion to bid up Wesco’s 2024 secured notes to 94.5 cents on the dollar, the best level for the junk-rated debt in more than two months. The company’s unsecured notes due in 2027 still languish at about 66.5 cents, with the yield topping 20%.
On a call this week with investors, which lasted less than 10 minutes, management said Wesco raised $20 million by liquidating some inventory, according to people with knowledge of the matter. They asked not to be identified discussing confidential information.
Wesco recently hired IHS Markit to approach bondholders and ask them to disclose their holdings, the people said. Such moves sometimes precede new debt transactions, the people added.
Platinum, a private equity firm founded by Gores, is trying to raise $15 billion of capital for a new credit fund that would target the debt of struggling companies, Bloomberg previously reported.
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