Anthracite Capital defaults on debt payments

AP News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2009 11:25 AM

Anthracite Capital Inc. on Tuesday said it defaulted on debt payments, and the specialty finance company may not be able to continue to operate.

Anthracite said the default occurred on $79.25 million principal amount of three series of senior notes it did not pay within 30 days of its previously announced default on interest payments due Oct. 30.

The company, which is externally managed by a subsidiary of asset manger BlackRock Inc., said it had not yet received written notice from any of its creditors demanding accelerated payment of the principal on any of the notes.

Anthracite, whose operations involve financing commercial real estate loans and related securities, said the events of default triggered cross-default provisions in the company's secured bank facilities and its credit facility with BlackRock Holdco 2. If any debt is accelerated, that would trigger a cross-acceleration provision in the company's convertible notes.

If that takes place, Anthracite said it would not have enough cash available to pay its debts and, without additional funding, would be unable to continue business.

One lender, Deutsche Bank, has "informally indicated" that it intends to take collateral, but had not yet provided written notice. Anthracite owes Deutsche Bank about $58 million principal under a repurchase facility.

Discussions with creditors continue, but Anthracite could provide no guarantee it will be continue to operate.

In morning trading, Anthracite shares fell 10 cents, or 27.6 percent, to 28 cents, after earlier hitting an all-time low of 26 cents earlier in the session. The stock traded as high as $3.13 a year ago.