Carl Zeiss Vision on brink of debt deal – sources

* Parent co Carl Zeiss AG to pump in 90 mln eur -sources

* Parent to be majority owner; co-owner EQT to be diluted

* Deal will reduce debt burden by 200-300 mln eur – sources

* Carl Zeiss AG declines comment

By Sarah White

LONDON, Aug 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Eyeglass lens maker Carl Zeiss
Vision is set to receive a fresh cash injection from its parent
company that would draw a long-running debt restructuring to a
close, two sources close to the deal said.

Parent company Carl Zeiss AG — which makes lenses for
anything ranging from microscopes to cameras — will provide 90
million euros ($116 million) of new working capital, and will
become majority owner.

The group’s second owner, Swedish private equity firm EQT,
will refrain from putting in fresh funds and will see its
shareholding diluted, the sources told Reuters.

Carl Zeiss Vision, named after the German who founded its
parent company in 1846, will reduce its near 800 million euro
loan debt by 200-300 million euros after the deal, the sources
said.

A spokesman for Carl Zeiss AG declined to comment.

The deal is not final yet, but at least two thirds of the
group’s lenders had agreed by Monday to either exchange some of
their debt holdings for cash at 85 percent of face value, or to
re-extend their loans under new terms, sources said.

This is the minimum percentage of lenders needed to uphold
the restructuring proposal, which is now likely to go through
after several months of negotiations and set-backs.

Carl Zeiss Vision is seeking to get all of its creditors to
sign up to the deal by the end of Thursday.

“It’s not strictly necessary to get 100 percent of lenders
on board, but it will certainly make the process easier and
quicker,” said one source close to the lenders.

The company, which was formed in 2005 by Carl Zeiss AG and
EQT after its merger with Sola International, had received a 35
million euros cash injection when it first breached loan
covenants in September 2008.

These were breached again in September 2009, prompting a
more comprehensive debt restructuring.

Lenders include Avoca Capital and banks such as Commerzbank
(CBKG.DE: ), Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX: ), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: ),
Lloyds (LLOY.L: ) and Prudential M&G (PRU.L: ).

Blackstone (BX.N: ), Freshfield and PricewaterhouseCoopers
advised the lenders.
($1 = 0.7791 euro)
(Editing by Simon Jessop)

Carl Zeiss Vision on brink of debt deal – sources