Intralot Creditors Agree to Help Company Pay Off Debt in New Bond Deal
Posted on: June 28, 2021, 09:15h.
Last updated on: June 29, 2021, 11:10h.
Creditors of Intralot are extending $177 million in financing to help the struggling Greek gaming operator meet debt payments coming due in September as part of a new bond agreement.
Under the terms of the new accord, creditors will lend cash to the provider of lottery services to help it meet a September debt deadline. The remainder of the notes due this year will be exchanged for corporate bonds coming due in 2025. That debt is supported by the operator’s US business.
The New senior secured notes will be issued in an aggregate principal amount of up to USD 244.6 million and will bear a cash interest rate of 7.09 percent in year one and two of issuance, 8.19 percent in year three of issuance, and 8.87 percent thereafter,” Intralot said in a statement.
Those interest rates are indicative of a credit rating that’s well into junk territory. In January, Fitch Ratings lowered its grade on Intralot to “C” from “CC” on news the gaming operator entered into a binding lock-up agreement with bondholders to restructure. Bonds with one of the three “C” ratings are among the most speculative on the market.
The Greek company has been in negotiations with creditors, including Beach Point Capital Management, M&G Plc, and Oak Hill Advisors, dating back to 2020 in a bid to reshuffle debt maturities and bolster a shaky balance sheet.
Over the past couple of years, Intralot has sold businesses and stakes in others to raise capital. For example, it shed its 16.5 percent stake in Hellenic Lotteries for $22.2 million nearly two years ago. Last week, the company sold its 80 percent Intralot Brasil position to Saga – the enterprise’s only other investor – for $848,000. That came after the company divested its Peruvian unit in February.
The new debt proposals gives Intralot some flexibility. But it must be approved by 90 percent of creditors to move forward. Currently, 82% of debt-holders signed off on the accord.
Backstopping the agreement with its US operations is seen as a sweetener. In the US, Intralot provides lottery services in nearly a dozen states, and has some exposure to the fast-growing sports wagering market via contracts with the lotteries of Montana and Washington, DC.
Controversy Found Intralot in US
In the US, Intralot has been on the wrong side of controversy, with critics alleging its contracts in Montana and Washington, DC were sole source and not put out to bid.
Both Montana and the nation’s capitol have irked bettors with lines well in excess of standard fare. For example, a traditional line on a point spread bet is usually -110 (bet $110 to win $100) on the favorite. Lotteries in Montana and Washington, DC have been spurned by bettors claiming odds reach as high as -150, sometimes beyond, for standard games.
In Montana, there is no other regulated sports betting alternative. But DC Lottery is feeling the effects of a system that bettors reject. Since the recent debut of Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena, that book consistently tops the DC Lottery betting app in terms of monthly handle. More competition arrived earlier this month when BetMGM went live at Nationals Park.
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