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Blue Star delists bonds from NZDX to 'protect' sale process

Wednesday 15th August 2012

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Blue Star Group's near worthless bonds are to be delisted from the NZDX market as the printing group seeks to avoid public notification of its annual results to "protect the integrity" of efforts to sell the business.

The debt will be delisted at the end of trading on Aug. 28, removing the NZX reporting requirement to release its results for the year ended June 30. Last month the Champ Private Equity-controlled company hired Goldman Sachs to advise on a sale after receiving unsolicited approaches.

"The delisting follows an application by Blue Star, which sought to protect the integrity of its current sale process by deferring the preliminary announcement of its consolidated 30 June results and annual report," according to a statement from managing director Phillip Bower.

Once delisted, the bonds "may still be traded privately and Blue Star remains under the regulatory oversight of Perpetual Trust, the trustee for the bonds, the Financial Markets Authority and the Registrar of Companies," Bower said.

The bonds trade infrequently and were last at a price of 0.5 cents per $1 face amount on the NZDX. There is $67.5 million of the debt outstanding.

"The listed bonds are now trading effectively at nominal value, infrequently and on very low volumes," Bower said. "The board now considers it unlikely that any value will attach to the group's NZDX listed bonds."

Sydney-based Champ bought its controlling 84 percent stake in Blue Star in 2006 from interests associated with then-managing director Tom Sturgess at a price based on an enterprise value of $385 million.

The company last month said senior lenders had agreed to maintain their support during the sales process. Blue Star last year convinced bond holders to roll over $105 million of NZDX-listed bonds, extending the term and providing more financial covenant headroom. The new bonds, which mature in September 2015, last traded at 1.2 cents per $1 face amount.

Separately, Blue Star said funds associated with Champ had fulfilled their commitment to transfer their shareholder subordinated funding totalling $14.8 million into ordinary shares of Blue Star.

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