YRC Worldwide launches debt-for-stock swap

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2009 4:31 PM

YRC Worldwide Inc. said Monday it has begun a swap of stock for $536.8 million in debt, a move designed to stave off a bankruptcy filing and put the troubled trucking company on sounder short-term financial footing.

The company, which operates trucks under Yellow, Roadway and New Penn names, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that if it is unable to complete the exchange offer or address its existing cash problems, it will file for bankruptcy protection.

A bankruptcy filing has been rumored for months as the company struggles with a dramatic downturn in freight shipping during the economic slowdown.

The company's stock plunged last week when it announced plans for the offer, which could sharply reduce the value of current shares.

YRC said Monday it launched the offer for 5 percent convertible notes due in 2023, 3.375 percent convertible notes due in 2023, and 8.5 percent guaranteed notes due next April 15, 2010, issued by subsidiary YRC Regional Transportation Inc.

The notes have a combined face value of $536.8 million plus unpaid interest.

The offer will expire at 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 7 although the company could extend it.

The company said it launched the exchange offer after several months of discussions with representatives of the note holders.

Rothschild Inc. and Moelis & Co. LLC are lead dealer managers.

YRC, based in Overland Park, operates trucks under the Yellow, Roadway, New Penn and Holland banners.

The company had $1.69 billion in liabilities and $1 billion in assets as of Sept. 30. It has sold real estate, cut thousands of jobs and taken other steps to keep operating. The company lost $158.7 million in the third quarter.

Shares of YRC fell 4 cents, or 3.3 percent, to close at $1.18. They have ranged from 89 cents to $6.26 in the past year.