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First Nickel restructures debt, bypassing shareholders’ OK

Keywords: Tags  First Nickel, nickel production, TSX, Bank of Nova Scotia, refinancing, restructuring, financial difficulty, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — First Nickel Inc. has completed its debt restructuring, bypassing the usual 50- to 60-day waiting period to gain shareholder approval due to the company’s "serious financial difficulty."

The company recently announced a refinancing plan involving an increase in the principal amount of its revolving credit facility with the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) to $15 million from $10 million, as well as extending the maturity date to March 30, 2015 (, April 1). The company also has extended the maturity dates of its loan agreements with Resource Capital Fund IV LP, Resource Capital Fund V LP and a fund managed by West Face Capital Inc.

First Nickel "intends to utilize the BNS facility primarily to manage working capital and does not expect to fully draw down the BNS facility," the company said April 8.

"Under the applicable Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) rules, the refinancing would have normally required independent shareholder approval, which would have entailed a 50- to 60-day process. As the company’s liquidity needs did not allow sufficient time to conduct a shareholder vote, (First Nickel) applied to the TSX for an exemption from the shareholder approval requirement on the basis that the company was in serious financial difficulty," the company said.

The Toronto-based company recently announced a Canadian $36.33-million ($35.81-million) net loss for 2012 (, April 3).

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