RUNTLED 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.