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THERMADYNE INDUSTRIES COMPLETES FINANCIAL RESTRUCTURING; BONDHOLDER SUPPORT WELL ABOVE REQUIRED 95 PERCENT LEVEL

 THERMADYNE INDUSTRIES COMPLETES FINANCIAL RESTRUCTURING;
 BONDHOLDER SUPPORT WELL ABOVE REQUIRED 95 PERCENT LEVEL
 ST. LOUIS, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- James N. Mills, chairman and chief executive officer of Thermadyne Industries, Inc., today reported that the company's previously announced exchange offers expired on Feb. 27 and that approximately $244.8 million or 97.9 percent of the $250 million of aggregate principal amount outstanding of the company's senior subordinated debentures due 2000, and approximately $149.7 million or 99.8 percent of the $150 million of aggregate principal amount outstanding of the company's subordinated reset debentures due 2001, were tendered and accepted for payment. Coupled with the unanimous support of the company's bank group led by Wells Fargo N.A., Thermadyne has now successfully completed its previously announced financial restructuring and is well-positioned for continued success in the cutting and welding, wear resistance and floor maintenance markets.
 Mills said: "Our efforts to modify our capital structure in response to changing conditions in the economic and interest rate environment began early last year. The remarkably high level of bondholder support we have now received -- well above the required 95 percent level on both classes of Thermadyne debt -- is rare if not unprecedented in transactions of this kind. Along with the unanimous support of our banks, it reflects the confidence of both our banks and bondholders in Thermadyne's financial strength and fundamental earning power.
 "Most gratifying and important of all, our three principal operating units -- Thermadyne Industries (the leading U.S. manufacturer of cutting and welding apparatus), Clarke Industries (the leading U.S. manufacturer of floor maintenance equipment) and Deloro Stellite (the world's leading manufacturer of wear-resistant coatings and components) -- have come through the financial restructuring in great shape. As a result of our continued investments in product development, new and upgraded manufacturing facilities and new marketing programs, these units are even stronger today than they were at the beginning of the restructuring process," Mills said.
 Specifically, the bonds involved in the restructuring were the company's senior subordinated deferred coupon reset debentures due May 1, 2000 (the "old seniors") and its subordinated reset debentures due 2001 (the "old subordinated"). The just-completed exchange offers involved the exchange of $1,000 principal amount of senior subordinated notes due May 1, 1999 (the "new seniors") and .315 of a warrant to purchase 14 percent junior subordinated debentures due Dec. 31, 2006 (the "warrant debentures") for each $1,000 principal amount of the old seniors; and $1,000 principal amount of subordinated notes due 1999 (the "new subordinated") and .394 of a warrant for each $1,000 principal amount of the old subordinated. Approximately $263.2 million principal amount of new seniors, $157.4 million principal amount of new subordinated, and warrants to purchase approximately $136.1 million principal amount of warrant debentures are expected to be issued pursuant to the exchange offers.
 "The successful completion of the restructuring reflects, among other things, the company's fundamental operating strength, the early initiation by Thermadyne of discussions to modify our capital structure, the spirit of mutual respect, responsiveness and reasonableness that marked our discussions with our bankers and bondholders throughout the process, and the creative package of securities employed in the transaction to provide the bondholders with upside potential while limiting the company's downside risk," Mills concluded.
 Thermadyne's advisors on its restructuring included Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation, of New York, Crescent Capital Corporation, of Los Angeles, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, of Dallas.
 Thermadyne Industries, Inc., is a privately held, St. Louis-based holding company whose principal operating units include Thermadyne Industries, Inc., Deloro Stellite, Inc., and Clarke Industries, Inc. The company's financial results for 1991, which it will report later this month, include revenues of approximately $430 million.
 -0- 3/4/92
 /CONTACT: Roy Winnick of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2655, for Thermadyne/ CO: Thermadyne Industries, Inc. ST: Missouri IN: SU: RCN


GK-TS -- NY010 -- 4793 03/04/92 08:38 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 4, 1992
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