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Two of North America's largest makers of newsprint have been rejiggering their bond portfolios in recent days, with Resolute Forest Products Inc. offering to buy back $501 million in 10-1/4-percent bonds that were due in 2018 (issuing $600 million in 5.9-percent bonds that would mature in 2023 to pay for it), while Catalyst Paper Products Inc. concluded its buy-back of $15.6 million in floating-rate bonds that were due in 2016 using proceeds from the sale of assets.

On Wednesday Resolute, based in Montreal, said it was launching a new offering of bonds that it priced on Friday at 5.875 percent, saying they were unsecured "and guaranteed by substantially all of Resolute's U.S. subsidiaries."

On Thursday Resolute said it was offering to buy back the 2018 bonds. The 10-1/4-percent buy back offer expires May 21, Resolute said.

In March, the suburban Vancouver, British Columbia-based Catalyst said it would buy back the $20 million in floating notes, using the part of the proceeds from the sale of the company's interest in Powell River Energy Inc. and Powell River Energy Limited Partnership. The company said it returned about $12.7 million of the Powell River proceeds "to certain unsecured creditors" per the agreement of the company's quasi-bankruptcy of earlier this year.

In other Catalyst news, the company earlier this month said its chief executive, Kevin Clarke, would leave the company "later this spring." The company said Clarke would return to his home in New York State in June, following a transition.

Clarke joined Catalyst in June 2010 after a 27-year career with printing company Quebecor World.

Good business for Resolute to trade the high-priced bonds for lower-priced ones; for Clarke, steering Catalyst through almost-bankruptcy was probably enough.
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Date:Apr 29, 2013
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