Swissport secures support under U.S. CARES Act

posted on 13th July 2020 by Eddie Saunders
Swissport secures support under U.S. CARES Act

Swissport North America Inc. has agreed on 10 July 2020 a Payroll Support Program agreement (“PSP Agreement”) with the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the CARES Act. Under the terms of the PSP Agreement Swissport expects to receive a total of 170.4 million US dollars of financial assistance, of which 111.9 million US dollars will take the form of a grant and 58.5 million US dollars will take the form of an unsecured, non-amortizing 10-year promissory note (the “Promissory Note”).

Swissport expects that the proceeds from the PSP Agreement will be disbursed by the Treasury in three instalments. The first instalment, in the aggregate amount of 85.2 million US dollars, has been received on 10 July 2020 by Swissport. Further instalments are expected to be received by Swissport by the end of July and the end of August 2020. The interest rate payable on the Promissory Note will be fixed at 1 percent in cash and 3 percent in PIK for the first five years with increasing rates each year thereafter. The Promissory Note will not have any financial covenants, and Swissport will have the right to prepay amounts outstanding under the Promissory Note, in whole or in part, at any time, without penalty or premium.

The PSP Agreement provides, among other things, that the PSP funds must be used exclusively for the continuation of payment of wages, salaries, and benefits to qualified employees of Swissport in the United States. The PSP Agreement between Swissport and the Treasury is consistent with the standard form of PSP agreement for air carrier contractors that has been made available to the public by the Treasury.

TRADING UPDATE

Swissport International AG provided lenders and investors with a trading update and the reduced anticipated funding requirements of the business to trade through the COVID-19 pandemic. Before any funds received under the U.S. Cares Act, Swissport’s liquidity had amounted to approximately 340 million euros at the end of June.

As previously communicated, Swissport is seeking significant additional financing to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and is exploring all avenues to strengthen its liquidity. On 6 July, Swissport successfully completed a UK Scheme of Arrangement and Consent Solicitation which creates the ability to effect certain changes to the existing financing arrangements with the consent of a majority of the senior lenders, including the raising of up to 380 million euros of super senior debt. This marks an important milestone in Swissport’s efforts to secure additional funding, which it requires to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.