INTERVIEW | Debt-for-asset swap was the best move for Ascendis, says CEO Mark Sardi

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Ascendis Health reached an agreement to settle its R7.6 billion debt with lenders Blantrye Capital and L1 Health.
Ascendis Health reached an agreement to settle its R7.6 billion debt with lenders Blantrye Capital and L1 Health.
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Ascendis Health has inked a deal with lenders that will take it out of the red. And while this came at the cost of losing its European operations, CEO Mark Sardi said it was the best outcome. 

The group produces brands like Nimue skin products, Vitaforce supplements and pet products such as Triworm. But it needed a solution to its staggering debt pile, which stood at R6.6 billion in December 2020. Considering Ascendis' R416 million market capitalisation and a share price of 83 cents, there was no quick solution to its financial problems.

On Wednesday, the group said it had reached an agreement to settle its €447 million (about R7.6 billion) debt with lenders Blantrye Capital and L1 Health, through a debt-asset exchange that will result in the lenders walking away with Ascendis' European subsidiaries. The businesses are made up of made up of Greece-based pharmaceutical business, Remedica, Sun Wave Pharma in Romania and Ascendis' 49% stake in Farmalider, a pharmaceutical company in Spain.

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