Sealord, which was forced to tap shareholders for funds to repay debt in 2010, has secured a new $190 million bank facility with longer terms, giving it greater leeway to meet future repayments.
The fishing company, jointly owned by Maori interests through Aotearoa Fisheries and Japan's Nippon Suisan Kaisha, entered into a new loan agreement with its existing banking syndicate in November, according to holding company Kura's financial statements lodged with the Companies Office.
In 2010, Sealord borrowed about $69.9 million from shareholder Nippon to help meet $172.9 million of debt maturing that year to an ANZ, HSBC and Rabobank syndicate. Auditor Ernst & Young tagged its 2009 accounts because of its reliance on continued bank support.
The shareholder loans were made in two tranches, with about US$50 million ($63.6 million) due this November and US$10 million more maturing in January 2019.
The new funding line is made up of a $30 million three-year working capital facility and a $160 million five-year multi-currency facility with ANZ National Bank, the London branch of Australia and New Zealand Banking, Bank of New Zealand, Bank of Tokyo and Rabobank. That refinanced two tranches of the previous facility worth $73.5 million as at September 30 which were due for repayment this month and a further $59.9 million coming due in January next year.
Although Sealord managed to retire some of its debt in the 15 months to September 30, the ratio of net debt to total capital rose to 37 per cent in 2011 from 35 per cent a year earlier.