By Ian Neubauer
Ailing pub operator National Leisure and Gaming (NLG) has been thrown a financial lifeline by its primary creditor, the Bank of New Zealand Australia (BNZA).
The bank has given NLG an additional 12 months to repay off $200 million in debt that was due at the end of the 2007-08 fiscal year.
News Ltd called the extension a “stay of execution” following a tumultuous number of months that have seen NLG downgrade its profit forecast from $12.9 million in February to $6 million last month and its share price decimated.
NLG attributes some of its woes to losses in gaming revenues after it failed to refurbish its 39 leasehold properties in time for the introduction of non-smoking laws in NSW last year.
BNZA’s 12-month reprieve will allow NLG to complete ongoing refurbishment projects, at which time the pub operator may prove more attractive to prospective buyers and avert liquidation of the group’s assets.
NLG stock has fluctuated marginally this week but was bogged at 1.7 cents per share as of 3:00pm.