RAY OF HOPE FOR SLATER AND GORDON AS LENDERS STEP IN

Written on the 17 March 2017

RAY OF HOPE FOR SLATER AND GORDON AS LENDERS STEP IN EMBATTLED law firm Slater and Gordon (ASX: SGH) has announced to the ASX that it has launched confidential discussions with lenders to restabilise its battered capital structure.

Following a gruelling saga, Slater and Gordon has now been notified that in excess of 94 per cent of its debt facility, including debt with Westpac, National Australia Bank and Barclays, has been shouldered by new secondary debt buyers.

Slater and Gordon has been informed that the new senior lenders fully intend to implement a solvent restructure, and to work cooperatively with the company to enter into binding agreements.

The lenders are aiming to reset the company's debt structure to ensure a new sustainable level of debt and a stable platform for its future operations both in Australia and the UK.

This is a light at the end of a dark tunnel, as Slater and Gordon currently also battles a class action lawsuit brought by rival firm Maurice Blackburn on behalf of SGH shareholders for alleged breaches to disclosure obligations to the ASX.

Slater and Gordon finished the day's trading up 50 per cent at $0.13 per share. This is a dramatic fall from grace for a company that was trading at almost $8 in April 2015.

Slater and Gordon announced a $425.1 million loss for the six months to 31 December 2016, which follows a $958.3 million loss in the previous corresponding period.

Loss of confidence in the company is reflected in its fees and services revenue, which was down 17.5 per cent in Australia to $114.2 million on the pcp, while the UK business was down 34.6 per cent at $75.6 million and Slater Gordon Solutions dropped 39.9 per cent to $140.7 million.

Reflecting its first positive announcement in months, Slater and Gordon finished the day's trading up 50 per cent at $0.13 per share. However, this remains a dramatic fall from grace for a company that was trading at almost $8 in April 2015.

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