OZ extends again

OZ Minerals has successfully negotiated an extension to refinancing its lending facilities until February 27.

OZ Minerals has successfully negotiated an extension to refinancing its lending facilities until February 27.

Late last year OZ requested multiple extensions on its facilities A and B, totalling US$560 million, as well as a trading halt on its shares.

In a statement issued on December 10, 2008, OZ said it was highly unlikely to meet refinancing requirements by the agreed-upon date of December 29.

According to the company, despite the February 27 extension on facilities A and B being granted, there was still some uncertainty as to whether refinancing can be achieved by this date.

As a result OZ Minerals is pursuing asset sales, including the sale of up to 100% of its Prominent Hill operation, to raise necessary funds to pay or reduce facilities.

The company said it has had numerous expressions of interest for various assets, including a majority stake in Prominent Hill, and expects material development of asset sales this month.

“We remain very focused on achieving refinancing of our facilities by early 2009 and have made considerable progress in negotiations with the company’s lenders,” OZ Minerals managing director and CEO Andrew Michelmore said.

“The company’s board and management remain entirely focused on exploring all options in order to deliver tangible results from the perspective of the operational improvements and asset sales, as these will be important steps leading to a successful refinancing.”

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