As previously reported, Varde has spent the past year buying up Crest’s debt and now controls more than 80% of the company. It is now working with Crest on a balance sheet restructuring to convert £500m debt to equity. This will see Varde as majority owner, with Crest’s management and a consortium of seven banks also having shares in the business.
Crest became 90% owned by its 24 lending banks following a previous £630m debt for equity swap in January 2009.
Varde’s involvement with Crest Nicholson began in September 2010 when it took over HBOS’s 30% stake in the business from Lloyds.