Exide reports 76% YoY EBITDA spike for 1Q20; strategic review could alleviate fixed cost pressures

Exide Technologies booked USD 17.4m in EBITDA for its fiscal 1Q20, a 76% year-over-year spike from USD 9.9m in 1Q19, according to two sources familiar with the situation. On the top line, revenue totaled USD 596.5m, down from USD 664.4m from 1Q19, the sources added.

As of 30 June, the battery manufacturer’s liquidity totaled roughly USD 137m, including USD 26m of cash and USD 111m of availability across USD and EUR denominated ABL revolvers, the sources continued. Leverage sits around 10.2x based on USD 117.7m of LTM EBITDA and USD 1.2bn of total debt.

The company emerged from its second bankruptcy in 2015 and efforts to maneuver an operational turnaround have stagnated as cash flow pressures have crept in, the sources said. Exide recently opted to close down a plant in Georgia that would have required USD 300m of capex over three years, the sources said. 

The company has also been exploring significant changes to its global footprint. An Exide spokesperson reportedly confirmed in June that the company is marketing its European segment for sale, which would mark a significant strategic shift since 60% of the company’s business is booked out of Europe. 

For 1Q20, the European segment contributed roughly USD 20m of EBITDA, implying other segments were in the red, the sources said.

“If they sell the European business, which they can, EBITDA will go down and it’ll be a question of whether they’ve stabilized the US business enough to be profitable,” said a buyside source.

The company’s capital structure contains a USD 150m 4.5% PIK/10.75% cash super priority note due 2021, a USD 375m 11% PIK/3% cash exchange priority notes due 2024, a USD 159m 11% PIK/3% cash first lien notes due 2024 and USD 290m 7.25% PIK 1.5 lien notes due 2027.

Exide did not respond to a request for comment. 

2019 Debtwire

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