Towergate’s Secured Creditors Said to Hire Moelis for Debt Talks

By Julie Miecamp and Luca Casiraghi | December 1, 2014

Towergate Finance plc’s secured bondholders hired Moelis & Co. as advisers as they prepare for talks with the U.K. insurance broker about its $1.6 billion of debt, according to two people familiar with the mandate.

Investors in the company’s 248.6 million pounds ($392 million) of 8.5 percent senior secured notes are also being represented by law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the appointments are private. Holders of the group’s 304.6 million pounds of 10.5 percent senior unsecured notes selected Houlihan Lokey as financial adviser, they said.

Towergate, whose chief executive officer Mark Hodges resigned in October, said recently that it appointed Evercore Partners Inc. and Rothschild after receiving takeover proposals. Creditors are now preparing to form coordinating committees to negotiate with the company over its indebtedness, the people said.

Europe’s largest insurance broker has drawn all of its 85 million-pound revolving credit facility, it said recently. The Maidstone, England based group also said operating earnings declined 14 percent to 95.9 million pounds in the nine month to September and that it may be unable to comply with loan terms.

A spokesman for Towergate, who works for FTI Consulting Inc., declined to comment on the hiring of advisers or debt talks. Officials at Moelis and Houlihan Lokey didn’t immediately respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment on their mandates. A spokesman for Sullivan & Cromwell in London declined to comment on their role.

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