Daily News: February 1, 2012

Catalyst Paper to File for Creditor Protection

Catalyst Paper Corporation announced that to facilitate an orderly restructuring of its business and operations, the board of directors of the company has approved a filing for an Initial Order from the Supreme Court of British Columbia to commence proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). The terms and conditions of the restructuring plan have not yet been determined by the company.

According to an article on www.canadianbusiness.com, the company has secured up to $175 million in debtor-in-possession financing from J.P. Morgan Chase, which in mid-2011 provided the company with an amendment to its asset-based lending credit facility.

The operations of Catalyst and its subsidiaries are intended to continue as usual and obligations to employees and suppliers during the restructuring process are expected to be met in the ordinary course. Catalyst management will remain responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company. The company expects that the Interim Order will provide that while the company and its subsidiaries are under CCAA protection, all proceedings on the part of their creditors will be stayed.

The company previously announced a consensual recapitalization transaction under the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) that had the support of certain of the holders of the company’s 11% senior secured notes due 2016 and 7 3/8% senior notes due 2014 who were parties to a Restructuring and Support Agreement (Agreement). The agreement provided that, among other conditions, the recapitalization transaction was subject to the following two conditions being met by January 31, 2012: (a) a new labor agreement ratified by all six union locals at the company’s BC mills and (b) two-thirds support of all 2014 and 2016 noteholders. Since these conditions will not be met, the company will not be proceeding with a recapitalization under the CBCA.

“Our debt restructuring objective remains clear and unchanged though our path forward was altered by recent setbacks,” said Catalyst president and chief executive officer, Kevin J. Clarke. “Without the new labor agreement, and without two-thirds support of 2014 noteholders, the economics of the previously announced consensual restructuring transaction was undermined. After reviewing this matter carefully with our Board of Directors and advisors, we have elected to begin the CCAA proceeding,” he said. “The Board, management and our advisors believe this approach will best facilitate the completion of a recapitalization transaction that delivers the improvements to our liquidity and capital structure which are necessary to put our company on firm financial and competitive footing in the current business and economic environment.”

Catalyst manufactures diverse specialty printing papers, newsprint and pulp.

Previously on abfjournal.com:

JP Morgan Chase Agents Amendment of Catalyst ABL Facility, Wednesday, June 01, 2011