Press release BoxID: 625048 (Scholz Holding GmbH)
  • Scholz Holding GmbH
  • Office Number: 610, 68 King William Street
  • EC4N 7DZ London
  • Contact person
  • Beate Kummer
  • +49 (2224) 9011-480

Syndicated loan banks provide Scholz AG with additional credit facility

(PresseBox) (Essingen, ) .
- Current operations of the recycling company are thereby safe
- This paves the way for the operational restructuring of the group
- Euler Hermes Credit Rating improves outlook for Scholz AG from "evolving" to "stable"
- Value optimized disposal of non-core business units, tightening-up of organizational structures and significant deleveraging planned until 2015

The syndicated loan banks of Scholz AG provided the group with a new credit facility of 40 million Euro. It serves securing the current operating business and the funding of costs arising from the operational restructuring of the international recycling group. Together with the standstill agreement, which has been agreed with the financing parties (syndicated loan banks, real-estate financiers, factoring banks and promissory noteholders) at the end of August, the financial basis has been created to implement the operational restructuring concept and realignment of the group.

Following the agreements with the financing parties, the rating agency Euler Hermes has changed the rating outlook from B "evolving" to B "stable".

Details of the restructuring concept

The concept, which is set up until 2015, basically includes the following steps:

1) Disposal of non-core business units and concentration on the business areas ferrous and non-ferrous metal scrap recycling (Fe-/NF-Recycling), which accounted for approximately 90% of the group's turnover in 2012. This leads to the value-optimized divestment of the business units stainless steel trading (share of Scholz AG: 75%) and the Scholz aluminum division. Both business units accounted for a total turnover of approximately 490mn Euro in 2012 and employ more than 900 staff members. Scholz AG has mandated the reputable M&A advisor Rothschild with the sales process.

2) Withdrawal from unattractive markets: The Scholz Group will retreat from countries where a profitable operation is unlikely due to difficult market conditions. Moreover, restructuring measures will be taken in specific countries (such as closure of locations) in order to secure the profitability of the business.

3) Optimization of the German location network: In Germany, where Scholz runs more than 130 locations, capacity and staff adaptations as well as disposals or closures of yards to a minor degree will take place.

4) Streamlining of the group's structures and efficiency enhancements: All divisons of the group - logistics, purchase department, administration - will be analyzed according to aspects of cost reductions and efficiency enhancement.

Economic objectives of the restructuring

Objective of all measures until 2015 is a revived sustainable profitability of the group with a significantly reduced financial indebtedness. This will include following:

- Reduction of net-debt of currently 1 billion Euros to approximately 700 million Euros, primarily through the repayment of liabilities from the expected sale proceeds. The major deleverage effect shall be carried out in 2014.

- Sustainable increase of operating return (based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization - EBITDA) to more than 5% of the group's turnover. Precondition is a stable turnover development in the core business units in 2014 and the return to a growth path from 2015 onwards.

- Reduction of leverage ratio (relation of net debt to EBITDA) to a ratio below 4 which significantly improves the refinancing ability of Scholz Group.

Further details:

- The Scholz Group currently employs around 7,300 people. The realignment of the Scholz Group will result in a significant reduction of the group's personnel. The largest part of the affected jobs will be transferred via the divestments to new owners. On top of that, the impact of the intended optimization of structures and processes on the personnel is currently under evaluation. It is intended to carry out staff adjustment with highest possible social acceptance.

- The restructuring measures will shortly cause considerable expenses, which will lead to significant losses in the financial year 2013. Further details will be provided in connection with the release of the half-year figures 2013.

- As a result, the equity reduction of Scholz AG caused by the expected losses leads to the necessity to strengthen the equity base. At present various options and considerations are currently under evalution, among others the opening of the Scholz AG's shareholder structure for new investors.

Oliver Scholz, CEO of Scholz AG: " The upcoming restructuring is a strenuous effort for our corporation. It will demand a great deal from all our employees. At the same time it is key to get the Scholz group back on track. The foundations have now been laid."