Commander reinstated to the ASX

Commander reinstated to the ASX

Integrator announces a strategic review as shares resume trading on the stock exchange

Commander has been re-instated to the Australian Stock Exchange today after re-negotiating its bank arrangements and lodging its 2007 annual report.

The integrator was suspended from trading on October 1 for failing to lodge its full-year accounts to June 30. In a statement dated October 17 and posted to the ASX yesterday, the company said it had re-negotiated its financial facilities to $385 million.

The company said its banking agreements had also been waived prior to June 30, 2007. Despite this, Commander's $225m debt to financiers has appeared as a current liability.

"It should be noted that at the date of this announcement this treatment does not accurately reflect the state of affairs of the company, as the terms of Commander's banking facilities have been re-negotiated such that apart from a short term working capital facility of $20 million, the facilities are not current liabilities," the company stated.

"The directors are confident that the revised terms will be complied with such that, apart from a short-term working capital facility of $20m, which will expire to $10m on February 28 2008 and as to the balance on June 30, 2008, the facility will not become due and payable before October 31, 2008," Commander executives further stated in its annual report.

The integrator will now embark on a strategic review of the business and has brought in ABN Amro and Freehills as advisors. Commander managing director, Adrian Coote, was adamant there would be no fire sale of its assets but said it would weigh up all potential offers.

He said there had been several offers of "assistance" but there were no firm proposals on the table.

"A fire sale is not necessarily the case - we will look at genuine interest from people who have recapitalisation thoughts and who can bring value to the company," Coote said.

He expected things would proceed quickly now that the integrator had been re-instated to the ASX.

"In the next few weeks we should have a data room open where people can look at information on Commander. We have to consider what's in the best interests of shareholders," he said.

Commander reported full-year revenues of $1.089 billion, with pre-tax earnings of $67 million. The company experienced a net loss of $5.3 million. As previously reported in ARN, Commander has blamed its lacklustre financial performance on troubles with its transaction processing systems and the slower-than-expected rollout of its franchise network.

The company has set its EBITDA guidance for the 2008 financial year to between $67 million and $75 million.

"The board and management are acutely aware that the performance of the company has not met the expectations of shareholders this year and we are committed to turning this situation around in 2008," Commander's annual report stated.

Commander shares, which were suspended at $0.59, were trading at $0.45 at time of press.

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