Friday, April 12, 2024

Synlait requests trading halt

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Company says it needs time to arrange extension for loan repayment.
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Dairy company Synlait Milk has been put into a trading halt, at its own request, as it attempts to arrange the repayment of a $130 million loan.

In a market announcement to the New Zealand Stock Exchange, the company said it needs more time to liaise with its bankers and major shareholder over the loan.

“Synlait has requested a trading halt of its ordinary shares and quoted bonds to provide it with additional time to finalise separate discussions with its banking syndicate regarding an extension to the $130m prepayment obligation due on Thursday, 28 March 2024, and with its major shareholder, Bright Dairy, regarding the provision of financial support,” the statement said.

The halt would remain in place until Tuesday April 2, when it is due to report its half-year earnings.

In February, Synlait foreshadowed losses in the 2024 financial year of between $17 million and $21m, but said it was subject to further adjustment.

Earnings have been impacted by increased financing and operational costs and reductions on ingredient and advanced nutrition margins. It is also in dispute with A2 Milk, which plans to end Synlait’s exclusive manufacturing and supply rights for infant milk formula.

Synlait’s shares have lost 80% of their value over the past year, and were trading at about 75c.

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