Hedge Fund Anchorage to Place Key Order in Casino Debt Refinancing

(Bloomberg) -- Anchorage Capital Group is throwing its weight behind Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA as the French retailer seeks to bolster its finances with a 3.5 billion-euros ($3.9 billion) refinancing plan.

The New York-based hedge fund placed one of the largest orders for the 750 million euro loan portion of Casino’s refinancing package set to price this week, according to three people familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. The supermarket chain received commitments for about half of the total loan amount shortly after the launch last month, the people said.

Read more: Casino Gives Guarantees to Lure Banks Into Refinancing Plan

Strengthened finances at Casino may spur profits for Anchorage on investments it made in the retailer’s parent Rallye SA. The fund bought up discounted loans to Rallye which is currently being protected by French courts from its creditors, the people said.

Representatives for Anchorage in New York and Casino in Paris declined to comment.

Support from Anchorage and other funds acting in similar fashion to that of anchor investors in initial public offerings may prove crucial for the success of the loan portion of Casino’s refinancing package, the people said. The French retailer aims to raise 1.5 billion euros of new debt through a term loan alongside a new high-yield bond.

Investors will need to give commitments for the financing of the January 2024 loan by Thursday, a person familiar with the matter said last month. Casino is also meeting bond investors for a 750 million-euro secured note which could price as early as Tuesday. Initial price guidance suggests the new notes could yield around 5%-6%, higher than its average 4.3% yield on bond due by 2022.

Casino will receive a new 2 billion-euro credit facility from banks if it raises at least 1 billion euros from bonds, loans and new asset disposals by May, it said in a statement on Oct. 22.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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