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Pearl bondholders expect to vote down compromise deal

David Hellier
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DISGRUNTLED Pearl bondholders believe they have sufficient support to vote down a deal over suspended interest payments at a crucial meeting to be held today.

One source close to the bondholding group led by lawyers Bingham McCutchen told City A.M. yesterday: “We definitely have enough proxies to vote the proposals down.”

Pearl, founded by the pizza entrepreneur Hugh Osmond, who now has a dwindling interest in the group, suspended interest payments on £500m of its bonds last year, incurring the wrath of bondholders.

Pearl has tabled a deal offering to buy back £100m of their bonds at 45 per cent of their value. Anyone who rejects the offer has been asked to accept a 25 per cent reduction in the face value of their bonds.

A spokesman for Pearl, which is planning a listing on the stock exchange later this year, said last night that the group did not need to reach a resolution with its bondholders in order to proceed with its listing.

A couple of Pearl directors, associated with 60 per cent shareholder Liberty Acquisitions, are believed to be wanting to take a hard line.