The time has started to run for all parties involved in the future of Dia. In the background, the threat of bankruptcy appears if the supermarket group does not rebalance its financial position, which also presses Letterone, the group's first shareholder with 29% of the capital. He delivered yesterday to the CNMV the documentation of the takeover bid that he plans to launch on the company, which is waiting for approval from the regulator, something that may take days ... Or months.
Meanwhile, it tries to reach an agreement with the creditor bank to refinance the 1.4 billion debt of the group, an indispensable aspect to launch its capital increase 500 million euros. This agreement is subject to conditions that Letterone has raised to financial institutions and made public yesterday. Among them, the fund demands that not a cent of those 500 million, or any amount obtained by the sale of assets such as Clarel, go to amortize debt, but to finance your business plan.
A difference with respect to the agreement that the banks have reached with Dia to guarantee the liquidity until 2023 for 765 million. In it, the company is obliged to amortize up to 100 million charged to the sale of Clarel and Max Discount, something that Letterone is not willing to do.
Even so, the seven conditions made public yesterday come to soften the demands raised in the first contacts with banks, and that have kept positions away. Among them, a period of deficiency in the payment of interest, which would have forced to provision these credits. For its part, the fund refuses to inject a euro in the form of a participative loan until the end of the bid and controls the board of directors of Dia. Something to which the bank has responded by remembering that it has in its power to convert Dia's debt into shares, as published yesterday Five days.
In addition to the refusal to amortize debt with the funds raised by its expansion, Letterone talks about "maintaining existing commitments" with banks, without the need for "any reduction in the principal of the financial debt", discarding any deficiency or lack thereof. Yes, it asks to extend the maturity of the debt until March 2023, or to recover the amounts of the confirming and factoring lines for payment to suppliers prior to the October crisis. In the years 2017 and 2016, the sum of both lines of credit was raised to 700 million availability each year.
It also links the agreement to release to Day of compliance with the net financial debt ratio with respect to the 3.5 times ebitda during the five years that comprise your strategic plan; that the interest rates are not increased, or that the banks renounce the control change clauses, which allow them to claim the return of the credits granted in the event of a change in the ownership of the company.
Sources from the investor fund environment rely on approaching positions during the next weeks and away the ghost of bankruptcy. The only firm at this moment, waiting for the CNMV to give its approval, is the bid announced at the beginning of the month, and will only prosper if at least 35.5% of the current capital of Dia decides to sell its shares at a price of 0.67 euros, five cents more than the level at which the securities on the Stock Exchange closed yesterday.
For now, the fund rules out increasing the offer and continues to defend that this supposes an important premium over the current share price, and therefore, an opportunity for its holders.