The Great Debate UK

Reprieve, but Ineos is still toxic


REUTERS– Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

Ineos Group, popularly described as Britain’s largest private company, has escaped the hangman’s noose again. For the second time, a sufficient majority of the 230 banks to which it owes 7.5 billion euros have granted it a stay of execution.

Last month, the 7.875 percent 2016 bond was trading at 7 percent of face value, but since then the price has jumped to 28. Its other debt has also risen strongly.

The business may be a sprawling ragbag of chemical plants which (literally) produce toxic assets like chlorine, but it’s a profitable ragbag, and the new buyers of the debt can afford to take a more pragmatic view of the company’s five-year recovery plan than those banks which have yet to admit they have lost much of their money.