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Navieras Faring Better Than Parent Company


April 12, 2001
Copyright © 2001 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

The Holt Group’s Navieras appears to be faring better that its parent company, posting about $8 million in earnings before interest and taxes, according to sources close to the company.

Furthermore, in the past two weeks, Navieras has increased its container load transfer between the U.S. and Puerto Rico from 523 containers to 620 containers, an 18.5% boost, CARIBBEAN BUSINESS has learned from sources.

"Navieras’ customers have continued renewing one- and two-year contracts with the maritime transportation company. Overall, their numbers are up 15% on southbound traffic and 20% northbound from what was projected," said the source.

Holt Group President Tom Holt has always stated that Navieras’ operation in San Juan were profitable for the company. During an interview in January, Holt said, "Once we deleverage, we want to reinvest into the business, particularly the San Juan facility which has been very successful. Navieras makes money. It had an operating profit in 2000. We need to continue to find ways to bring costs down and make money."

Financial doomsayers have been predicting for some time that The Holt Group would sell the ocean carrier company to shore up its financial situation. Filing a bankruptcy petition in Delaware on March 21, the company fueled reports that a major reorganization was inevitable.

"We are still in negotiation with our committee of bondholders," responded Leo Holt, a member of the Holt Group board of directors, when asked about the status of negotiations to exchange debt for equity in the company to the tune of $140 million.

Complying with bankruptcy directives, Holt Group requested approval for $72.5 million debtor-in-possession financing from Fleet National Bank, Wilmington Trust of Pennsylvania, and MBC Leasing Corp. Acting as agent would be First Union National Bank.

The loan would be divided into a $10 million revolving line, with a 3% over prime interest rate. The rest of the loan would carry a prime plus 2% interest rate and would be used to pay the company’s pre-petition debts, which totaled $62.5 million. The revolving loan would mature on Aug. 31 and the rest of the loan on Nov. 30.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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