The Dutch scheme proceedings or WHOA provides companies and other stakeholders with an efficient, fast and flexible means for a financial – and possibly operational – restructuring, with the support of a two-thirds majority of a class of creditors or shareholders. Royal IHC used the WHOA to bind all of its financial creditors as part of a syndicated financing of EUR 950 million to its comprehensive recapitalisation plan.
Key takeaway: it works!
Being the first larger deal to restructure through the WHOA, it was important to establish that the WHOA actually works in the way most restructuring professionals had envisaged. In this case, the WHOA allowed for the amendment of the existing senior facilities agreement, as well as taking certain all lender decisions where support for these was missing. It entailed the extension of a maturity date applicable to one of the facilities, a change to the 'waterfall' provisions and the approval of a divestment and release of security over the relevant target. Interestingly, it was also confirmed that undrawn commitments stay in place and post-WHOA lenders are required to continue their funding obligations thereunder.
Would you like to know more?
NautaDutilh represented the lenders supporting this restructuring plan. For further information on the WHOA and its impact, please feel free to reach out to Our Restructuring, Insolvency & Distressed Situations team. We have the expertise and skills to advise on all aspects of the Dutch scheme to any of the stakeholders involved.