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Xerium extends Waiverand Progress towards debt restructuring agreement
15
Dec '09
Xerium Technologies, Inc. a leading global manufacturer of industrial textiles and rolls used primarily in the paper production process, announced that it has negotiated a non-binding framework for a comprehensive recapitalization term sheet with a steering committee of its lenders. The lenders have extended the existing loan covenant waiver through February 1, 2010 in order to facilitate continued negotiations. This extended waiver provides the lenders' forbearance over certain financial loan covenants for the third and fourth quarters of 2009 and any potential cross defaults with the interest rate hedges the Company has in place, subject to certain conditions.

Other provisions of the extended waiver require the Company and the agent for the lenders to use their best efforts to execute a term sheet for the recapitalization of the Company's debt and equity, consistent with the framework negotiated between the lenders' steering committee and the Company, not later than December 31, 2009. If such term sheet is not executed by then, the waiver may be terminated by the agent upon five business days notice.

"While there can be no assurance that we will complete these negotiations in the time frame specified and no assurance that the required one hundred percent of lenders will vote in favor of any transaction substantially consistent with the framework in order to implement the recapitalization without court assistance, we are working diligently and in a timely manner to finalize these activities," commented Stephen R. Light, Xerium's Chairman, CEO and President.

The non-binding framework currently provides that (a) a significant amount of debt would be converted to equity in the Company, constituting substantially more than a majority of ownership of the Company, (b) existing shareholders would retain a meaningful minority equity ownership interest in the Company and (c) the Company would receive a new multi-million dollar term loan maturing in 2015 and a new revolving credit agreement.

The precise equity ownership split between the lenders and the existing shareholders, as well as the amount of term and revolver debt, is subject to adjustment from the framework agreement targets, based upon a financial and cash flow forecast the Company is currently preparing. It is contemplated that Xerium would seek to maintain its public listing status on the NYSE throughout this process, though there is no assurance this will ultimately be possible.

"I am very pleased with our progress toward significant debt reduction, both through operational improvements throughout the Company and through the recapitalization transaction," said Mr. Light. "This framework is consistent with our three part operating strategy, launched in early 2008, of reducing our debt load, introducing new products that our customers value and maximizing the contribution of our employees. We target finalizing our term sheet negotiations prior to year end and moving on to the implementation stage of our debt restructuring. I encourage investors to consider this announcement with the more detailed discussion of business risks contained in our Form 10-Q issued for the third quarter of 2009. We look forward to completing our debt restructuring and believe we will be well positioned for success in our competitive marketplace when this is accomplished."

Xerium Technologies Inc

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