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Money managers under the microscope

Distressed investing: surprises at every turn


Library photo of A worker of Electricite de France repairs damaged cables caused by a winter storm in Bayonne REUTERS/Regis Duvignau (FRANCE)Investing in a company in trouble is rarely for the faint-hearted, as the funds lending to Eggborough power station know.

Earlier today France’s EDF, Eggborough’s current owner, confirmed lenders to the coal-fired power station planned to exercise their option to buy the Yorkshire plant for about 190 million pounds.

The lenders, which include Bluebay Value Recovery Fund, took on the debt following an earlier restructuring of the company. Reports suggest that despite the low acquisition price, Eggborough may be worth as much as a billion pounds.

Other unusual results of distressed investing recently include Octavian Advisors ending up on the board of sporting goods firm Head NV, mezzanine lenders landing up in a big London restructuring court case, and Vinci buying up bits of British builder Haymills via a prepack deal.