MILAN – Hal Holding NV has extended through next week the provisional deadline for holders of Safilo Group SpA securities to tender their notes in the debt-ridden eyewear maker, after not enough did so by the original “early-bird” date on Wednesday.

“Hal has decided to extend the offer period until November 27, 2009 5:00 p.m. CET. The new settlement date will be on December 2, 2009,” Hal stated.

The extension keeps alive Safilo’s hopes of survival after Safilo chief executive officer Roberto Vedovotto warned last week that without a successful tender off, the company would likely default on its banking facilities by yearend, leaving bankruptcy its only alternative.

Safilo warned again Wednesday: “One cannot rule out the possibility that the offer does not go through.”
Safilo approved a recapitalization plan on Oct. 19, whereby Amsterdam-listed Hal would inject new equity and pay off some of the eyewear maker’s debts in return for a stake of between 37.23 percent and 49.99 percent.

According to the plan, Hal, which holds a 2.08 percent stake in Safilo, would purchase all outstanding 195 million euro, or $290.9 million, high-yield notes due 2013 for 60 percent of their nominal value and restructure Safilo’s senior debt facilities with its main financing banks.

The deal was subject to an acceptance threshold by note-holders of at least 60 percent on Hal’s cash tender offer by Nov. 18. However, only 43.01 percent had been tendered on Wednesday. Hal does yet not own any of the notes.

At the end of September, Safilo’s net debts totaled 586.3 million euros, or $874.8 million.

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