LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – ASOS (ASOS.L) shares fell sharply on Monday after the British online fashion retailer said it was in talks with lenders to change the terms of a 350 million pound ($394 million) borrowing facility to provide more flexibility in tough economic times.
The stock was down 8.6% at 0723 GMT, extending losses so far this year to 80%.
ASOS said on Saturday it was in the final stages of agreeing an amendment to the future financial covenants in its revolving credit facility, which matures in July 2024.
It said the move would give it significantly increased financial flexibility amid an uncertain economic backdrop and was “a prudent step”.
The statement was issued after Sky News reported ASOS had recently approached its lenders, including Barclays (BARC.L), HSBC (HSBA.L) and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L), to amend its borrowing agreements.
Sky News said the lenders were lining up AlixPartners and law firm Clifford Chance to advise them on an “unfolding situation”.
ASOS, which sells fashion to 20-somethings, was an early pandemic winner as locked-down consumers shopped online but has struggled as people returned to stores.
It warned last month it expected profit before tax in the year ended Aug. 31 2022 to be around the bottom end of its guidance of 20-60 million pounds after weaker than projected August sales.
It also forecast full-year net debt of about 150 million pounds, which was higher than previous guidance.
The Sky News report also said at least one major trade credit insurer, which provides cover to ASOS’s suppliers in the event of its failure to pay them, was said to have decided to reduce its support.
“This happened towards the end of August and there has been no adverse impact on trading relationships with our suppliers,” ASOS said in response.
ASOS is due to report 2021-22 results on Wednesday.
($1 = 0.8880 pounds)
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