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Lenders give GNC until June 30 to meet terms of loan agreements

The international nutrition brand is trying to avoid bankruptcy even though it owes at least $900 million.

GNC Holdings Inc., a global health and wellness brand, announced Friday that the springing maturity dates for its biggest loans have been extended until the end of the month.

GNC’s Tranche B-2 term loan, FILO term loan and revolving credit facility feature springing maturities that could have been accelerated to Monday if certain conditions were not satisfied.

Due to COVID-19-related impacts on its business, GNC would not be able to satisfy some of those conditions, the company said.

The lenders agreed in May to extend the springing maturity dates to June 15 from May 15. One condition of that agreement was GNC's having liquidity of $100 million or more. In Friday's released statement, GNC did not report its current liquidity or the amount of the debt. At the end of March, the company owed $895 million. The second quarter ends June 30.  

The new amendments to the agreement were not filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, so no further information was immediately available.  

The company will continue its attempts to refinance and restructure its debt, according to Friday's statement. Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported on June 2 that GNC was discussing a debtor-in-possession loan. That loan could keep the company operating as it tries to restructure its debts.

Storm of debt, pandemic batters GNC

The urgency of GNC's financial woes began glaring in March, when it reported to the SEC that it would not be able to cover what was, at the end of December, a $700 million debt.

During fiscal 2019, the company lost $35.1 million; it had earned $69.8 million in fiscal 2018. The company learned at the end of March that its negotiations with Asian lenders to restructure its debt had collapsed.

The effects of the coronavirus had just begun, and the resulting stay-at-home orders and mandatory store closings struck GNC like a hurricane. At the end of April, about 40% of its domestic stores were shut down. GNC reported a first-quarter net loss of $220.1 million.

GNC's ongoing financial problems could cause the New York Stock Exchange to delist the stock, the Exchange told the company in April. At that time, its stock, company valuation and stockholder equity all fell below the listing standards. An average closing price of at least $1 for 30 consecutive trading days is required, but GNC has until June 24 to submit a correction plan to the NYSE. From there, it will have six months to meet the standard. 

Since March 16, the stock has closed at or above $1 per share only on June 8, at $1.48. The stock closed at $0.95 Friday, then spiked to $1.23 per share in after-hours trading and closed at $1.08 at 8 p.m. EDT.

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