Airopack seeks court protection as recapitalization plan collapses

ZURICH (Reuters) – Airopack’s recapitalization plan collapsed as lenders including Apollo Global Management demanded repayment following discovery of “inadequate sales and accounting practices”, the Swiss packaging maker said on Monday.

The shares fell as much as 60 percent and have lost nearly all their value since hitting 13.5 Swiss francs three years ago.

Airopack, whose net loss topped 40 million euros ($45.3 million) in 2017, has been seeking to slash debt via a recapitalization plan announced on Nov. 30. Its largest lender, U.S.-based private equity firm Apollo, was to have gotten a controlling share as part of the deal.

But developments since then, including the discovery of what Airopack described as “excessively overstated” sales forecasts by former managers, now make the recapitalization plan “completely unachievable”.

Airopack’s lenders, including Apollo and a major bank, on Saturday demanded repayment of loans in excess of $100 million.

“Against this background, the board of directors of Airopack decided to request the opening of a provisional composition moratorium… to allow Airopack, under the supervision of a court-appointed administrator, to continue its efforts in view of reaching a solution in the best interest of the company and its stakeholders,” Airopack said.

A composition moratorium in Switzerland is a process designed for a debtor to gain breathing room and avoid bankruptcy proceedings.

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