Sunday, October 02, 2005

Hamilton Post Will government greed kill Stelco jobs ?

"The province has at the very least been extremely opportunistic in delivering this blow to Stelco," apparently hoping that in all the confusion surrounding Stelco no one would notice the province dealt "a death blow" to Stelco and is "playing chicken with the lives of Stelco's employees and others . . . to cover up its own regulatory failures," the bondholders allege.

The group also outlines a series of complaints it has with Stelco's restructuring process and plan, including:

-an "excessive" downpayment of $400 million into the pension deficiency

-a $100 million convertible not issue, which is "extremely expensive, to the benefit of Tricap alone"

-a failure to search for competing financing proposals

-the intentional exclusion of Stelco's creditors from negotiations on the restructuring plan

-Stelco's attempt to boost the fee it will pay to UBS as a financial advisor, and a request to hire BMO Nesbitt Burns for further services

Also on Friday, Alex Morrison of Ernst & Young, the court-appointed monitor in the case, said voting creditors which "likely represent over 50 per cent, by dollar value, of the claims . . . have all indicated that, if a vote were to be held today, they would vote against the plan."

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