Fri 10/02/2020 10:39 AM
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Lenders of the French conference organizer Comexposium are in the process of organizing and have heard pitches from financial advisers at the start of this week, sources told Reorg. A decision on who will act as financial adviser is expected to be made next week, sources added. Continue reading for the EMEA Core Credit team's coverage of Comexposium, and request a trial to access our coverage of thousands of other distressed and performing credits.

At the end of September, three holding companies of Comexposium as well as Comexposium SAS applied for and were granted creditor protection under France’s sauvegarde with Nanterre Commercial Court, as reported.

Creditors of the French group include CLO funds and banks, sources said. In February, Comexposium completed a €114 million add-on to its existing seven-year €483 million term loan B, which was issued in January 2019.

In its court filing, the company said that while it is not currently in default, it expected to breach the leverage covenant test attached to the fully drawn €90 million revolving facility on Sept. 30. The facility could then become due with its lenders entitled to enforce their security. Such a scenario would then lead to insurmountable difficulties, it argued.

The company explained that the Covid-19 crisis led to the cancellation of approximately 40 events and the postponement of another 100. Monthly revenue fell to zero in July from €35 million in February. Presently, available cash amounts to €2.2 million.

In 2019, Comexposium’s free cash flow was €40 million. Initially, the group budgeted for its top line to grow to €435 million in 2020 and for EBITDA to reach €128 million.

The sauvegarde procedure was opened on Sept. 22 and the observation period of six months is due to end on March 22, 2021. The next hearing in the council chamber is set for Dec. 15 at 9:30 am CEST.

Comexposium Chairman Renaud Hamaide told Les Echos that the company will record revenue of €80 million for 2020 mostly earned in January and February compared with €440 million in 2019. He added that the company is not in default, has enough to pay current expenses and salaries and is seeking to avoid the €600 million owed to around 40 banks becoming due.

-- Luca Rossi
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