Caius Capital led a group of creditors that agreed to bolster Metro Bank Holdings Plc’s balance sheet after a weekend of frantic negotiations.
(Bloomberg) — Caius Capital led a group of creditors that agreed to bolster Metro Bank Holdings Plc’s balance sheet after a weekend of frantic negotiations.
Caius, which had bought a chunk of Metro’s senior debt at discount, was among the hedge funds that signed up to the sale of additional £175 million ($214 million) of bonds, a crucial feature of the financing package agreed on Sunday, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Most creditors agreed to exchange outstanding bonds — originally due in 2025 — for debt due in 2028, allowing them to avoid losses on the bonds. Caius’s involvement in the talks was first reported by Sky News. A representative for Caius declined to comment.
The Metro Bank’s rescue deal marks a rare debt restructuring within the UK financial sector. The lender’s bonds were trading at discounts for months, but the selloff escalated last week, with investors fretting over whether the bank could secure a rescue deal. The new funding and the maturity extension will give the group much needed breathing space.
The deal is a boon for investors, such as Caius, that had bought the bonds below their face value. Not only has the price soared to 88 pence on the pound — up from roughly 57 on Friday — but the bonds will be paid at par when they’re exchanged for the longer dated notes. And the coupon, which was 9.5%, will be boosted to 12%.
Holders of the bank’s subordinated bonds, however, weren’t as lucky. They’re set to receive a new bond maturing in 2034, but will need to suffer a 40% haircut on the outstanding bonds. That’s a big loss for those who bought the bonds at par.
Senior debt investors were advised by PJT Partners Inc, which had approached the company last week to offer a financing package, according to people familiar with the matter. The offer was eventually tweaked after Metro’s largest shareholder Jaime Gilinski offered to inject £102 million of fresh equity for a 53% stake in the bank.
A spokesperson for PJT also declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Metro Bank didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Caius Capital is a London-based hedge fund founded by Antonio Batista and William Douglas, both alumni of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The investment manager focuses on distressed corporates, financial institutions and sovereigns across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to its website.
The fund had taken losses this year after betting on Credit Suisse Group AG’s Additional Tier 1 bonds, which were wiped out as part of UBS Group AG’s takeover.
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