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Archive for the 'Credit' Category

Haights Cross reaches agreement on debt restructuring

August
21

Haights Cross Communications Inc., a White Plains-based library and educational publisher, said that it has reached agreement with major lenders on a restructuting of the company’s debt and credit agreement that should improve its financial outlook.

The company added that the restructuring is not expected to lead to changes in its Triumph Learning and Recorded Books businesses.

“We will continue to acquire rights and publish new products, market and sell all our products to all customer segments, and plan to continue to pay our vendors, licensors and employees on a timely basis,” Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Crecca said in a written statement. “Once the restructuring of the Haights Cross debt is complete, the enterprise will be significantly deleveraged, a very positive outcome for our businesses.”

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
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MBIA’s credit rating cut by Moody’s

June
25

MBIA Inc., the Armonk-based bond insurer that suffered heavy losses stemming from the subprime mortgage crisis, had its credit rating lowered by Moody’s Investors Service.

MBIA’s rating was downgraded to Ba3 from Ba1, according to Moody’s. Both ratings are considered junk bond territory.

“These rating actions reflect further expected insured portfolio deterioration at MBIA Insurance Corp. and the uncertainty stemming from ongoing litigation challenging MBIAís recent restructuring,” Moodyís said in a written statement.

MBIA was hit hard last year, as the weakest housing market since the early 1970s resulted in large numbers of homebuyers defaulting or falling behind on their mortgage payments. As home foreclosures soared, MBIA took big write-downs on the mortgage bonds that it had insured.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
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MBIA bond ratings lowered by Standard & Poor’s

June
15

MBIA Inc., the Armonk-based bond insurer that suffered heavy losses as the housing bubble collapsed, had the ratings on 11 insurance-backed bond issues downgraded by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. The drop in the bond rating to BBB from BBB+ reflected the recent drop in the financial strength rating of MBIA’s insurance subsidiary, according to Standard & Poor’s.

MBIA was hit hard last year, as the weakest housing market since the early 1970s resulted in large numbers of homebuyers defaulting or falling behind on their mortgage payments. As home foreclosures soared, MBIA took big write-downs on the mortgage bonds that it had insured.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, June 15th, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
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Bunge reaches loan agreements with banks

June
4

Bunge Ltd., the White Plains-based agribusiness giant, said that it has entered into two loan agreements with a group of banks that will give it a borrowing capacity of $1.65 billion.

Banks participating in the loan agreements include JPMorgan Chase Bank, Citibank, BNP Paribas, Calyon New York Branch and CoBank, ACB.

Bunge said that the loan agreements will give the company the financial flexibity to manage and grow its business.

The new credit agreements will replace two existing agreements that were due to expire this year. Bloomberg News also reported that Bunge plans to sell $400 million of 10-year senior notes to give it additional flexibility.

Posted by Mike Bieger on Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
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PepsiCo sells $1 billion of notes

February
26

PepsiCo Inc., the Purchase-based beverage and snack food giant, sold $1 billion of notes as it became the latest major company to raise capital in the credit markets, according to a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The 3.75 percent senior notes will mature in 2014. Interest payment dates are scheduled semi-annually on March 1 and Sept. 1, starting on the latter date this year.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, February 26th, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
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EpiCept repays credit agreement

February
24

EpiCept Corp., a Tarrytown-based biotech company, said that it has repaid the outstanding principal balance and fees of a $10 million credit agreement with Hercules Technology Growth Corp., a specialty finance company in Palo Alto, Calif. EpiCept added that it has no further obligations under this agreement. EpiCept hopes to file an application seeking U.S. regulatory approval for Ceplene, a new leukemia treatment, during the second half of 2009.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
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Starwood credit rating cut to junk by Fitch

February
4

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., hurt by a travel slowdown in weakening global economy, had its credit rating cut to junk by Fitch Ratings. The cut in the rating to BB+ from BBB- came after the White Plains-based operator of the Sheraton and Westin hotel chains last week said that profits fell 46 percent during the fourth quarter. Fitch said in a report that Starwood is suffering from “extremely limited operating visibility” in a deepening global recession that has caused business and leisure travelers to book fewer hotel stays.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
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New agent named for Jarden loan agreement

January
29

Jarden Corp., the Rye-based consumer products maker, said that Deutsche Bank AG will replace Lehman Brothers’ commercial paper subsidiary as the administrative agent for a loan agreement that supplies credit to Jarden.

The change is part of Jarden’s settlement of outstanding claims against Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy last year. The settlement also includes repayment of Lehman’s outstanding revolving credit loans to Jarden on mutually acceptable terms to both parties, according to Jarden.

“We are happy to put the distraction of Lehman’s bankruptcy behind us and we look forward to our new expanded relationship with Deutsche Bank,” said Martin E. Franklin, chairman and chief executive officer at Jarden.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, January 29th, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
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Jones Apparel shares climb 44%

December
26

Shares of Jones Apparel Group Inc. soared 44 percent yesterday after the New York-based clothing and shoe maker cut back on its credit lines and gained borrowing flexibility to navigate through one of the toughest retail climates in decades.

Jones, the parent company of shoe designer Nine West Group in White Plains, said that its $750 million credit line maturing in May 2010 was trimmed to $600 million, reflecting its current business needs. In addition, Jones said that a $500 million credit line that matures in June was canceled.

The company said that the successful negotiations with lenders to adjust its existing credit agreements will give it greater flexibility to run its businesses “during these unprecedented economic times.”

Bloomberg News reported yesterday that the holiday shopping season may have been the worst in four decades after consumers spent 20 percent less on women’s clothing, electronics and jewelry during November and December. The weakness in consumer spending has put pressure of Jones and other apparel companies that supply traditional department stores and increased investor concerns about their debt levels.

The company’s brand names include Nine West, Jones New York, Kasper, Bandolino, Enzo Angiolini, Anne Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt.

“We are pleased with the overwhelming support of the financial institutions associated with the amendment process and believe it was prudent to pursue amendments now that allow financial flexibility in the current uncertain economic environment,” Chief Financial Officer John T. McClain said in a written statement.

Shares of Jones surged $1.73 to $5.62 in regular trading yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The percentage gain of 44 percent was the largest daily gain in 17 years, according to Bloomberg. Even with the strong day, the shares remained far below the 52-week high of $22.12 on Sept. 9.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, December 26th, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
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Jarden sees no “material exposure” to Lehman, AIG

September
15

Jarden Corp., the Rye-based household products manufacturer, said that it has taken steps to alleviate any potential impact from the worsening credit crunch and the collapse of investment banking giant Lehman Brothers.

Lehman provides less than 10 percent of the financing under Jarden’s revolving credit agreement. But hours after Lehman announced the largest bankruptcy reorganization in U.S. history, Jarden announced that it plans to replace Lehman as administrative agent on the credit agreement.

“Our early action and contingency planning is designed to protect our businesses from the impact of macro events such as the recent developments in the financial services sector,” Martin E. Franklin, chairman and chief executive officer of Jarden, said in a written statement.

Jarden said it also has reviewed the coverage provided by troubled insurer AIG “to confirm it has no material financial exposures at this level.”

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, September 15th, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
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Credit union offering grace period on loans

July
22

A Pearl River-based credit union that has seen an increase in delinquent loans as the economy has slumped is allowing borrowers to skip their July and August payments.

The Palisades Federal Credit Union said it decided to start the program because it realizes prices are rising and wage growth is slow.

To qualify, a member must be in good standing. Interest will continue to accrue on the loans of the members who take advantage of the program.

Though the program reduces the amount of money flowing to the credit union for two months, it could be beneficial in the long run, a credit counseling expert said.

Thomas Fox, the community outreach director of the Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. in Agawam, Mass., said members who take advantage of the program may be more conscious of making timely payments once the grace period ends.

“What happens is a psychological effect,” he said. “People may say ‘Wow, these guys (the credit union) helped me out,’ and the next time a payment comes due they may work a little harder to make it on time.”

Fox cautioned, however, that it’s important for borrowers to realize that interest in still accruing. He also said that anyone who is so strapped that they need to take advantage of the program should re-examine their budget to see if they can make adjustments so that they’re not cutting it so close.

Fox said credit card companies sometimes offer people the chance to skip payments. Credit card companies often extend this to the customers they call their “deadbeats,” he said. Those are the customers who always pay on time, meaning they do not incur interest payments, he said.

The credit union has $147.23 million in assets and 9,052 members, according to information filed with the National Credit Union Administration.

The amount of the credit union’s loans that are delinquent by two months or more rose 40.9 percent to $560,572 by the end of June, compared to the end of March.

The figures show an even more dramatic rise in loans in the early stages of delinquency. Loans on which borrowers were behind by one to two months totaled $842,190, nearly five times as much as at the end of March.

Mark Welshoff, the president and chief executive of the credit union, said in a statement: “Being a non profit organization, Palisades is truly committed to our members quality of life. Through this exciting program we are fulfilling our promise to fit into our members’ lives, not the other way around.”

Posted by Allan Drury on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 at 11:34 am |
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Starwood Hotels enters $375M loan pact

April
15

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. has entered into a $375 million loan agreement with various lenders as part of an amended credit agreement, the hotelier disclosed in a regulatory filing today.

Proceeds from the loan will be used to repay debt, to pay fees and expenses related to the repayment and for general corporate purposes, the White Plains-based company said.

Posted by David Schepp on Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

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