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Midway Gets a Stay of Execution, Debt Extended

debt clamp midwayJust in time for the New Year, Midway Games got a stay of execution.  SEC filings discovered this week indicate the company was able to extend its rapidly approaching debt redemption obligations in order to buy more time for renegotiation.

According to the filing, an agreement signed December 30th gives the company until February 19th before some of its noteholders can exercise redemption rights.

These rights stem from an early December transaction.   Sumner Redstone, the company’s majority shareholder at the time, liquidated his 87% stake for pennies on the dollar. His massive sale triggered clauses in the company’s debt agreements which provided redemption rights in the event of a material change in control. Subject to these rights, the noteholders can seek repayment of all outstanding principal.

According to the original agreements, Midway had twenty days to notify its noteholders of their option to seek repurchase of their notes.  The noteholders, in turn, had thirty days to respond. 

Midway doesn’t have much money.  In the quarter ended Sept 30, the company reported a $76 million loss on revenues of just $36.7 million. As of October 31st, they had just over $10m in cash.  

Midway is carrying more than $150m in senior convertible debt due in 2025 and 2026.  Both classes of notes have the right to demand redemption.

A large scale redemption would likely force bankruptcy.

The extension applies to the Convertible Senior Notes due in 2026 (which represent $75m of the company’s outstanding debt). 

Midway is still in discussions to obtain a similar waiver from the holders of Convertible Senior Notes due in 2025.

The company will need to find a solution soon but the extension will give a few more weeks to negotiate.  It’s not exactly a strong bargaining position…but there is a glimmer of hope they can find way to restructure the debt and keep the company operating.

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