Will bond investors roll the dice on Casino?

Casino has sent a save the date message for the bond component of its refinancing package.

By Edward Clark

LONDON, Oct 30 (IFR) - Casino has sent a save the date message for the bond component of its refinancing package.

Last week the company said it aims to extend all of its credit lines and raise new financing, including senior secured bonds to repay part of its debt.

On Wednesday JP Morgan sent investors a save the date notice detailing a roadshow beginning in London on October 31 and visiting Paris and Frankfurt before ending on November 5.

The new senior debt instrument, issued as part of the refinancing package, will mature in January 2024 and be secured by the shares of Immobiliere Groupe Casino, which owns €1bn of real estate assets in France.

Casino aims to raise €1.5bn of new debt via a secured term loan facility and the new bond. It launched a €750m 4.25-year cov-lite Term Loan B on October 24.

Moody's pushed Casino further into junk territory shortly after the refinancing announcement, downgrading the credit one notch to B2 from B1 and its senior unsecured rating to B3 from B1, saying it expects gross adjusted leverage to continue to exceed 6x over the next 18 months.

"Casino is not generating positive free cashflow despite the company's scale and market positions," wrote Moody's analysts.

"Casino's liquidity could deteriorate in the near term if the planned refinancing does not proceed as expected."

Casino said the refi project will "significantly improve the group's liquidity" and increase Casino's average debt maturity.

(Reporting by Edward Clark, editing by Alex Chambers and Ian Edmondson)

((E.Clark@thomsonreuters.com; +442075427630;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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