Pearl courts bondholders

Steve Dinneen
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PEARL, the insurance group founded by pizza entrepreneur Hugh Osmond, has tabled a deal it hopes will resolve a dispute it has been embroiled in with its bondholders.

The firm suspended interest payments on £500m of bonds last year, sparking protests from the bondholders. The clash is an obstacle to the company’s hopes to achieve a full listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Now it has devised a complex scheme which pledges not to pay dividends to shareholders in the event that it suspends coupon payments to bondholders.

It is also offering to buy back £100m of the bonds at 45 per cent of their value and will ask remaining holders to accept a reduction in the face value of their bonds by 25 per cent.

City A.M. exclusively revealed last year that Pearl had resurrected discussions with the disgruntled bondholders.