Claranova refinances, names Marc Goldberg as chairman

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PlanetArt parent company Claranova announced the appointment of Marc Goldberg, as its new Chairman of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Goldberg succeeds Francis Meston, who resigned to retire from the board of directors. The Board of Directors also accepted the resignation of Roger Bloxberg from his mandate as director, but he remains the Managing Director of the PlanetArt unit.

With a career spanning more than 30 years in technology and finance, Goldberg, who was previously Vice President, brings his strategic leadership and industry expertise to guide the company into a new era of transparency, innovation and value creation. The company said, under Goldberg’s leadership, Claranova is entering a new era of transparency and transformation, focused on the operational success of its many colleagues around the world and improving customer engagement.

“I am committed to creating value for all of our stakeholders by leveraging our strengths, encouraging innovation and guiding our company and its teams around the world toward sustainable success,” said Goldberg.

In addition, Craig Forman, Chairman of Claranova’s Nominations and Remuneration Committee,was appointed Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. Michele Anderson was appointed to succeed Meston as Chair of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee.

The Board of Directors is now made up of six directors, five of whom have joined the Board since the second half of last year.

Claranova also announced the signature of a new €108m facility agreement with funds managed by Cheyne Capital Management and Heights Capital Management. This new financing will enable the company to refinance all its OCEANE bonds, strengthen its balance sheet and extend the maturity of its debt by four years, the company said.

Pierre Cesarini, CEO, Claranova

“After several months of hard work and negotiations, the signature of this financing agreement is a source of enormous satisfaction for the Group and its teams,” said Pierre Cesarini, CEO. “This agreement represents a decisive step in our continued development by enabling us to refinance a debt that has weighed on our financial structure. As a result of this new liquidity and the rescheduling of our debt, we are today in a much better position to pursue our development under more secure and sustainable conditions.”

In addition to refinancing the “OCEANE” debt, Claranova will use the net proceeds from this new financing arrangement to prepay the bullet portion (Tranche B) of the existing debt of the SaarLB banking pool and pay transaction-related costs, the company said. The remaining cash will be used to finance Claranova’s day-to-day operating needs. The new €108 million facility agreement is underwritten by the Group’s subsidiary Claranova Development SARL and has a 4-year maturity with bullet repayment on April 4, 2028. It is subject to quarterly interest payments of 6.5% p.a. plus the 3-month Euribor benchmark rate.

This financing also provides for additional compounded quarterly interest of 3.75% p.a., repayable at maturity, as well as an option by Claranova to pay interest in cash payments at 3.25% p.a. on each due date. The closing of the transaction, which is subject to the customary conditions precedent, is scheduled for April
4, 2024.

As part of this transaction, the Group will repay Tranche B in full and refinance the amortizable portion of the SaarLB banking pool debt in the amount of €12.5 million. This debt will be refinanced at the level of Claranova Development SARL, over a 4.5-year term maturing on July 1, 2028, at 6-month Euribor + 3.50% margin. The repayment schedule has also been modified as follows: €3 million on 07/01/24, €4 million on 01/01/25, €2.5 million on 07/01/2025, €1 million on 07/01/26, €1 million on 07/01/27 and €1 million on 07/01/28.