Datalex in talks with Dermot Desmond on easing loan terms

Travel software provider issued sales warning four weeks ago

The talks come a month after the Dublin-listed company issued a sales warning as the aviation industry was thrown into turmoil as a result of Covid-19. Photograph: iStock

The talks come a month after the Dublin-listed company issued a sales warning as the aviation industry was thrown into turmoil as a result of Covid-19. Photograph: iStock

 

Datalex, the Irish travel retail software provider to airlines, said on Thursday it is in talks with a company owned by its main shareholder, Dermot Desmond, about easing the terms of emergency loans given by the businessman last year.

It comes four weeks after the Dublin-listed company issued a sales warning as the aviation industry was thrown into turmoil as a result of Covid-19, putting the focus on onerous terms linked to the loans granted by Mr Desmond’s Tireragh vehicle.

Datalex, whose shares have been suspended from trading for the past year, after the company was caught up in an accounting scandal, also said that it is delaying publication of its 2019 results to as late as June 30th.

It follows guidance from regulators in recent times that gives listed companies more leeway in financial reporting deadlines as the corporate world grapples with the economic crisis.

“This delay has been discussed and agreed with the company’s lender, Tireragh Limited. The company has also engaged in positive and constructive discussions with Tireragh about the current economic challenges resulting from Covid-19 and the provision of covenant waivers in order to preserve maximum flexibility to operate the business through this challenging period,” Datalex said.

“The board continues to believe that the group is well positioned to withstand the impact of Covid-19 and is confident of its future following the pandemic.”

Additional security

Terms attached to an increased loan facility from Mr Desmond late last year granted the businessman additional security over group assets and tighter conditions that could see the software business fall under the billionaire’s control if they are breached. The company has €11.3 million of debt facilities from Tireragh.

Datalex would be deemed to be in default if its revenue or earnings were at least 20 per cent below forecasts, or if its net working capital was less than 80 per cent of projected figures for two consecutive test dates. The covenants were to be tested monthly and based off rolling six-month figures, according to documents published in November.

The agreement stated that Datalex would be in default if Tireragh is of “the reasonable opinion” that an event or circumstance “has or is reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect” on its business or prospects.