Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Milacron plans to manage its debt

By Mike Boyer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Milacron Inc. on Monday reported first-quarter earnings in line with its guidance and announced the second phase of its capital restructuring.

The 120-year-old plastics machinery and industrial fluids supplier, which completed an 11th-hour refinancing in mid-March, said it was launching a tender offer today for 115 million in Euro notes due next April.

The company, which refinanced $200 million in debt that came due in March, said it planned to pay off the Euro notes and a $75 million term loan with $225 million in unregistered senior secured notes that will be sold overseas.

The offer for the 7 5/8-percent Euro notes includes a premium for note holders who tender their shares by May 6, the company said.

The new capital structure, including $100 million in convertible debt sold to two European-based investors, comes at a good time for Milacron, which said Monday it sees an improving market for its products.

"We remain positive in our outlook for 2004 and are projecting a revenue increase for the year and a return to profitability in the second half,'' chairman Ron Brown said.

The continuing improvement in general manufacturing indices is mirrored by what Milacron is seeing, he said.

However, the company's loss for the three months ended March 31 widened to $16.6 million, or 49 cents a share, from $8.3 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago.

The loss for the latest quarter included $6.4 million in refinancing costs and $1.1 million in restructuring costs. Sales were $189 million, off $1 million from a year ago.

Milacron's shares closed Monday at $4.22, off 8 cents.


E-mail mboyer@enquirer.com

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