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Centro Gets Another Extension

Centro Properties Group, one of Australia's highest profile casualties of the global credit crisis, was given a lifeline on Tuesday when lenders agreed to refinance $4.65 billion in overdue debt.

Without the refinancing, Centro could have been forced into administration by its creditors, potentially triggering a fire sale of retail properties in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

"This outcome will stabilise Centro and provide sufficient liquidity with time for the company to maximise the value of its property operating platform and funds management business," Centro Chief Executive Glenn Rufrano told reporters during a teleconference.

Centro's Australian lenders have agreed to swap A$1.05 billion ($697 million) in debt for convertible bonds, worth 13-14 cents per Centro security, or roughly a 50 percent premium to Centro's last trade.

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