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ONO unveils new finance plan

Troubled Spanish cable operator ONO has unveiled a new financing plan involving the partial refinancing of holding company Cableuropa’s €3.6bn senior debt and a commitment by existing shareholders to provide new cash in the amount of €200m.

The new money from shareholders will come in the form of an immediate injection of €125m in the form of subordinated debt, with the remaining €75m to be provided subject to certain liquidity tests. According to ONO, the plan will enable it to align its near-term debt maturities with cash flow and help it to refinance debt over time.

The new cash from shareholders is conditional on ONO’s senior lenders accepting its new refinancing plan, which will be outlined at a meeting in Madrid next week. This will include a “forward start facility” (whereby existing lenders agree in advance to finance the repayment of the existing facility in return for incremental increases over the rate of interest and fees payable on that facility) and a proposal to issue new debt in a loan or bond form.  

Chief financial officer Jonathan Cumming said that the plan would provide “enhanced flexibility to operate [the] business in difficult market conditions as we look to drive the business forward and continue to grow”.