Credit Suisse u-turn boosts Four Seasons

<div>FOUR Seasons, the care home company, last night came back from the brink after convincing its senior lenders to back its latest restructuring proposal.<br /><br />The group is currently struggling with its &pound;1.5bn debt pile and has proposed a restructuring plan that would have seen most of its lenders&rsquo; debt converted to equity. And earlier this week Credit Suisse rejected the plans, which needed 100 per cent of lenders&rsquo; votes.<br /><br />However, Credit Suisse yesterday changed its mind and agreed to the terms, according to a source close to the talks.<br /><br />The bank had sought a stake in the restructured business and had made a counter proposal.<br /><br />But securing agreement on a debt-for-equity swap in the firm became difficult due to the complex nature of the company&rsquo;s capital structure, which includes 11 tranches of debt.<br /><br />Hatfield Philips, the &ldquo;bond administrator&rdquo; has held last ditch meetings with investors to convince them to agree to a new plan.<br /><br />Without&nbsp;Credit Suisse&rsquo;s backing the group faced a fire-sale at just a third of its value. Creditors were concerned that the sale would raise less than the debts the firm owed.<br /><br />The company is currently said to be worth only around &pound;700m.<br /><br />Four Seasons, which cares for 15,000 people in 400 homes, first ran into difficulty last summer when it became apparent it could not meet a debt repayment deadline.<br /><br />The company&rsquo;s creditors agreed to four &ldquo;standstill&rdquo; agreements in the past 12 months, delaying repayment of debt until a suitable restructuring of the company could be reached.<br /><br />The group still has to win over its junior lenders, which include Trafalgar and EOS, but it&rsquo;s thought&nbsp;they will now&nbsp;follow Credit Suisse&rsquo;s lead.<br /><br />The company&rsquo;s property portfolio was valued at &pound;900m by estate agent&nbsp;Knight Frank late last year but property values have fallen further since then.<br /><br />Hatfield Philips has issued a deadline of Monday for response to its restructuring plan.</div>