The successful closing of a c.$14.5m restructuring of Cedar’s Premium Food and Beverage SAL

FFA Private Bank (“FFA”) announces the successful closing of a c.$14.5m restructuring of Cedar’s Premium Food and Beverage SAL (“CEDAR”) an iconic food and beverage group in Lebanon.

Capitalizing on an expertise spanning over 3 generations and that dates back to the first establishment in 1941, the managing team of CEDAR has positioned the company to grow in symbiosis with this new era of healthy and functional beverages both locally and internationally. “With FFA’s help and its multi-disciplinary approach to financing and financial restructuring we are ready to grow our local and export footprint”. Also, “our unique USDA and EU approved organic product range is very much in demand globally”, stated Hamid Najm, Chairman & CEO of CEDAR.

FFA’s commitment to Lebanese productive sectors -the cornerstone of launching Lebanon’s economy- required from the Bank mobilizing all its resources and expertise from various departments (Investment Banking and Advisory, Structured Finance, Private Banking, Proprietary Investing, etc…) to ensure the success of this turn-around.

Putting back on track a major flagship industrial group is not the only achieved target. As importantly, the financing was structured in a way to enable disintermediation i.e. direct investors’ access to funding of Lebanese industrial companies. This offers Lebanese depositors and investors, hard hit by the current banking crisis, some possibilities to diversify their exposure and eventually cash back their investment outside of Lebanon. “Offering diversified investment opportunities while contributing significantly in financing productive sectors and developing disintermediated financing is at the core of FFA’s mission”, stated Jean Riachi, Chairman & CEO of FFA.

The restructuring of CEDAR was not solely a syndicated investment, it included the restructuring of the debt, an increase in capital, the rebalancing of maturities, a working capital financing and a new governance structure. The c.$14.5m restructuring is broken down as follows:

i) $9.5m Syndicated Senior Secured Fiduciary Loan with grace period to enable the company to restructure internally and launch on a solid footing,

ii) $3.2m capital increase to rebalance assets and liabilities maturities, and

iii) $1.8m Unsecured Term Loan.

The restructuring was designed to rebalance the assets and liabilities equating the assets return to liquidity with the capital structure maturity. The intervention also included a reporting and governance angle whereby an advisory team was selected to accompany the company over the next 5 years.

“We will dedicate even more firepower and resources to ensure long term strategic funding for our economy, with a focus on productive sectors, while offering diversified investment opportunities to private and institutional investors”, reaffirmed Jean Riachi. “Expect more good news soon”, he concluded.

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