Wednesday, December 09, 2009

YRC pushes back key deadline in $537M debt-for-equity swap

YRC Worldwide Inc. has again pushed back a crucial deadline on a move that could determine the future of the debt-strapped company.

The Overland Park-based trucking giant said Wednesday that it has pushed back by a week the deadline for a deal in which the company is asking bondholders to exchange about $537 million in debt for what would be 95 percent of YRC’s common shares. The company needs to get 95 percent of bondholders to sign on to make the deal work; about 72 percent had agreed by the previous Tuesday deadline, the company said in a release. Also, the Securities and Exchange Commission still needs to declare YRC’s registration statement for the bonds effective, which is a condition of the offers.

The new deadline is 10:59 p.m. on Dec. 15.

YRC said it was “encouraged by the response to the offers,” which followed several months of work on a turnaround plan to solidify the company’s financial base.

YRC has told bondholders that if the deal to wipe out about a third of its debt fails, the company could file bankruptcy, in which case they could get nothing. The company also has the option of asking its lenders to lower the 95 percent participation threshold.

The trucking company has laid off thousands, shut down numerous facilities and sold property to combat the effects of the recession. The company, whose revenue fell 45 percent in the third quarter, has negotiated more lenient terms from lenders and pension funds and two rounds of concessions from union workers.

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