American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement in response to the Chicago City Council’s passage of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to amend the city bag ordinance by placing a 7-cent fee on both paper and plastic bags. “Government imposed product taxes not only increase costs for consumers and disproportionately impact those who are low-income, but can also substantially distort the free flow of recoverable materials, such as paper. The paper and paper-based packaging industry has achieved a consistently high rate of recovery voluntarily. In 2015, 66.8 percent of all paper consumed in the United States was recovered for recycling, and the recovery rate has met or exceeded 63 percent since 2009.
American Media, LLC today announced that it has successfully completed the refinancing of all of its outstanding debt capital structure by raising $460 million.
“Completing this latest refinancing, in one of the most challenging market conditions in recent history, underscores the confidence the investment community has in American Media and our powerful brands,” said American Media Chairman and CEO David J. Pecker.
The net proceeds of the refinancing were used to repay all amounts due under the bridge loan, which was obtained in June to finance the acquisition of the Bauer U.S. celebrity and teen titles, and to retire the outstanding balance of approximately $320 million of its 1st lien and 2nd lien debt. The refinancing, which significantly extends the maturities of the company’s debt, consists of a new $235 million 1st lien term loan, maturing in 2023, and new 10.5% 2nd lien bonds of $225 million due in 2026.
“Our ability to generate interest from new investors to American Media, especially in such a difficult market, is an extraordinary statement of confidence in our management, operating efficiencies and future projections,” said American Media Chief Financial Officer Chris Polimeni. “The refinancing provides American Media a significant amount of runway, stability and liquidity, which will allow us to focus on maximizing our margins and to continue to deliver strong free cash flow results from both the ongoing operating improvements of our recent acquisitions, as well as from our core brands.”
The new 1st lien financing agreement includes a $40 million revolving line of credit providing American Media with more liquidity than it has had in five years.