Banks take control of WYG

White Young Green, the engineering and design consultancy with offices in Manchester, Liverpool and Cockermouth, has had its drastic refinancing plans approved by shareholders.

An extraordinary general meeting in Leeds, where the firm is headquartered, saw 95% of shareholders vote in favour of the proposals.

The deal with the banks and existing shareholders saves the business and secures 2,700 jobs.

WYG's banks – Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Fortis Bank – will convert £53m of debt into a 60.5% controlling stake in the company.

Paul Hamer, chief executive, WYG Group, said: "We are absolutely delighted that through this challenging period our lenders, shareholders, clients and staff have continued to support us and believe in the future success of the business. Upon completion of the refinancing we will have significantly reduced the level of the Group's debt, created a stable, long term financial future for the company, secured around 2,700 jobs and provided renewed confidence to our clients."

There will also be new lending facilities totalling £58.25m and €38m of committed bonding facilities to help put WYG on a better financial footing.

Staff and management of WYG will own 24.5% and existing shareholders the remaining 15%.

WYG's listing on the stock exchange will be transferred from the main market to the alternative investment market as a result of the dilution of publicly traded shares.

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