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Owens Corning: extensions to exclusivity, debtor-in-possession

Owens Corning Inc. won more time for its reorganization process on 25 October 2004 when it gained approval to extend its exclusivity period and to put back the maturity date on its debtor-in-possessio…

Owens Corning Inc. won more time for its reorganization process on 25 October 2004 when it gained approval to extend its exclusivity period and to put back the maturity date on its debtor-in-possession. The building products manufacturer now has until 31 December 2004 to solicit responses to its plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The debtor filed its plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in June 2004, but it has faced opposition from a bondholders committee consisting of five hedge funds that hold almost a third of Owens Corning“s USD 1.4 billion in bonds. The group considers that Owens Corning“s estimated figure of USD 16 billion for asbestos claims is too high. There was no objection to Owens Corning extending its DIP maturity date to 16 November 2006, and its motion was approved. It is the second amendment to the credit agreement. The first amendment cut the commitment amount by half to USD 250 million in October 2002. Owens Corning pursued the extension because its credit agreement expires 15 November 2004. The new agreement also changes its lenders: Bank of America Corp., the agent bank, will no longer provide the whole DIP loan but just 30% of it, or USD 75 million. Newcomer Citicorp USA Inc. will provide a matching amount, while Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas and Merrill Lynch Capital Inc. are each providing USD 50 million. Owens Corning must pay a USD 375,000 amendment fee to Bank of America.

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