YRC Worldwide signs $300M stock, debt-swap deal

Austin Alonzo
Kansas City Business Journal
December 23, 2013

YRC Worldwide Inc. announced on Monday a deal to raise $250 million in equity and trade another $50 million in notes for stock. The deal, which will allow the company to pay down debt, is contingent on getting union employees to approve a new labor agreement.

The Overland Park-based trucking company said it reached a deal on Sunday to sell a combination of common and convertible preferred stock to investors for $250 million in cash. The common stock will sell for $15 a share and the preferred stock for $60 a share, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In addition, YRC said that certain holders of its Series B Notes will exchange notes with an aggregate principal amount of $37.7 million for approximately 2.5 million shares of common stock. The company said the move would allow it to reduce debt by $50 million.

The agreements are contingent on two conditions: Holders of at least 90 percent of the $124 million of the company’s pension fund debt must extend an outstanding note, and members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters must ratify a new labor agreement that extends previous concessions through March 2019.

CEO James Welch characterized the agreement as a momentous step toward a healthier financial situation for the company.

“With a positive ratification vote and an amended and extended pension fund note, the improved financial picture will allow the company to increase its investment in new tractors, trailers, technology and equally if not more importantly training and developing its people.” Welch said in a release.

YRC may face a challenge in getting the union to ratify the new labor deal. The union has not recommended voting yes or no, and locally-based Teamsters have said the agreement is not popular with rank-and-file members.

Welch has said he’s confident the union will ratify the agreement. On Monday, he said there will be consequences if the union does not ratify.

“If we are not successful, it would unfortunately mean some very difficult decisions for the company and its employees,” Welch said in a release.

Ballots have been mailed out to Teamster employees. Votes are due to be counted after Jan. 8.

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