Will it be difficult for Marvel or other companies in the MacAndrews and Forbes holding company to issue debt in the future?
To determine Whether or not it will be difficult for Marvel or other companies in the MacAndrews and Forbes holding company to issued debt in the future, we should analyze two perspectives, one is historical and the other one is the future perspective.
Historically, Marvel Holdings issued zero-coupon senior secured notes which were all secured by Marvel’s equity rather than its assets or operating cash flows. However, this was a very attractive offer since the stock price was trading above $25 per share which had a value of $1.9 billion, well above the face value of the bonds issued. The interest payments on these bonds would be made from revenues received through tax sharing agreements between Marvel and Marcel III Holdings; moreover, all issues were scheduled to mature in April 1998, which in other words, the company would have a huge cash outflow when the bonds came to maturity. After the issurance of debt, company’s revenue decrease due to the comic book and trading card business failure, which caused share price to fall significantly. Despite the problems of revenue fallen, Marvel acquired SkyBx and financed the acquisition with $190 million of additional debt in early 1995. S&P then downgraded the holding companies debts from B to B-. The fianancing structure and the revenue fallen problems lead to Marvel announced that it would violate specific bank loan covenants due to decreasing revenue and profits. Moody downgraded Marvel’s public debt after the announcement and caused the price of the zero-coupon bonds to fall drastically by more than 41%. Moreover, their two largest institutional holders desided to sell the bonds even at a price of $0.37 per dollar of face value. When the resturcture plan was announced, the stock price fell by more than 41% and the zero-coupon bonds fell by addition 50%, to $0.18.
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