TCREUR_Public/141205.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                           E U R O P E

            Friday, December 5, 2014, Vol. 15, No. 241

                            Headlines

D E N M A R K

OW BUNKER: Mercuria Energy In Talks to Hire Traders


F R A N C E

ALTICE-NUMERICABLE: S&P Revises Outlook to Neg. & Affirms B+ CCR
TEREOS UNION: S&P Revises Outlook to Neg. & Affirms 'BB+' CCR


G E R M A N Y

THYSSENKRUPP AG: S&P Revises Outlook to Stable & Affirms 'BB' CCR


I R E L A N D

AVOCA CLO VII: Fitch Affirms 'CCCsf' Rating on Class F Notes
AVOCA CLO VIII: Fitch Affirms 'Bsf' Rating on Class E Notes


L U X E M B O U R G

AURIS LUXEMBOURG: S&P Assigns Prelim. 'B+' CCR; Outlook Stable


P O L A N D

* POLAND: Bankruptcies Down to 49 in November 2014


S L O V E N I A

SAVA: Enters Bankruptcy Protection; Owes EUR243 Million


S P A I N

ABENGOA SA: S&P Affirms 'B' Corp. Credit Rating; Outlook Positive


S W E D E N

DANNEMORA MINERAL: Board Prepares Balance Sheet for Liquidation


U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

BEACON HILL: Provides Update on Financing & Debt Restructuring
MIDDLETON PRECISION: Buyer Sought for Manufacturer
PHONES 4U: Inventory Goes Up for Auction Online
TOWERGATE FINANCE: Creditors Taps Moelis for Debt Talks
* UK: Directors Suspected of Wrongdoing in 30% of Insolvencies


X X X X X X X X

* BOOK REVIEW: Transnational Mergers and Acquisitions in the U.S.


                            *********


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D E N M A R K
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OW BUNKER: Mercuria Energy In Talks to Hire Traders
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Andy Hoffman and Yuji Okada at Bloomberg News report that
Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. is plotting a major expansion into
marine fuels and is in talks to hire traders from failed Danish
supplier OW Bunker A/S.

According to Bloomberg, two people familiar with the matter said
Mercuria is negotiating to hire as many as 50 former employees of
OW Bunker, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month after
the company alleged it uncovered fraud by senior staff in Asia.

The people, as cited by Bloomberg, said the talks are well
advanced but could still collapse.

Bloomberg notes that one of the people said the potential deal
between Mercuria and the ex-OW Bunker traders does not include
any physical assets although Mercuria might be interested in
acquiring assets sold through the bankruptcy process.

OW Bunker and some of its units filed for bankruptcy protection
in November after saying two Singapore workers carried out a
US$125 million fraud, Bloomberg recounts.  The Noerresundby-based
company said it lost another US$150 million on bad risk
management, Bloomberg relays.

John Sommer Schmidt, one of the trustees appointed in the
bankruptcy case in Denmark, did not immediately respond to a
phone call seeking comment, Bloomberg states.

                        About OW Bunker

OW Bunker A/S is a Danish shipping fuel provider.

On Nov. 7, 2014, OW Bunker A/S, which went public in March,
declared bankruptcy and reported two employees at its Singapore
unit to the police following allegations of fraud.  It owes 15
banks a total of about US$750 million.

OW Bunker said on Nov. 5 it had lost US$275 million through a
combination of fraud committed by senior executives at its
Singapore office and poor risk management.  Trading in its shares
was suspended on Nov. 5 and the company said its banks had
refused to provide more credit.

OW Bunker's U.S. businesses, which opened in 2012 as part of its
global expansion, filed for Chapter 11 bankrutpcy protection on
Nov. 13, 2014, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of
Connecticut.  The U.S. subsidiaries have assets worth as much as
US$50 million and debt of as much as US$100 million.



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F R A N C E
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ALTICE-NUMERICABLE: S&P Revises Outlook to Neg. & Affirms B+ CCR
----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised to negative from
stable the outlook on cable and telecommunications holding
companies Altice S.A., Altice International S.a.r.l., and
Numericable Group.  S&P affirmed the corporate credit ratings on
these entities at 'B+'.

At the same time, S&P placed its 'BB-' issue rating on Altice
International's senior secured debt on CreditWatch with negative
implications.

The outlook revision follows the Altice group's announcement that
it has made a binding offer to purchase the Portuguese assets of
Portugal Telecom (PT) for total enterprise value of EUR7.025
billion, including an "earnout" provision of EUR800 million
related to future performance.  S&P understands that Altice
International would carry out the acquisition using new debt and
existing cash from Altice.  The offer reflects an EBITDA multiple
of about 7x, including adjusted pension liabilities of about
EUR740 million (after deferred taxes) and the acquisition
earnout. Altice S.A. is a pure holding company whose main assets
are a 60% stake in France's Numericable and 100% ownership of
Altice International, which owns non-French assets.  S&P
considers both subsidiaries to be "core" group entities under its
group rating methodology.

In S&P's view, this acquisition would push credit metrics at
Altice S.A. to the lower end of S&P's rating expectations,
including a Standard & Poor's-adjusted pro forma debt-to-EBITDA
ratio in the 5.5x-6x band.  S&P continues to proportionately
adjust our key ratios for Altice's 60% ownership in Numericable.

In addition, the PT acquisition would significantly raise
integration and execution risks for Altice, in S&P's view.
Numericable recently received regulatory approval to acquire the
significantly larger French telecom company SFR, which is
battling price falls in its mobile division and a more aggressive
pricing environment in the fixed-line division.  S&P expects the
Numericable-SFR integration to be a long process, including
potentially significant restructuring and asset disposals, while
competition with better capitalized Orange, Bouygues Telecom, and
Iliad remains fierce.  Altice International also has recent
acquisitions to integrate, albeit smaller ones, and significant
exposure to growing competition in the Israeli telecom market.
These factors pose further risks to its medium-term earnings, in
S&P's view.

That said, S&P thinks PT is solidly positioned in the Portuguese
broadband, pay-TV, and "quadruple play" (broadband, TV, mobile,
and fixed-line) markets, thanks in particular to its well-
invested fiber network, even though its earlier investments in
mobile are struggling to pay off given Portugal's weak economy.
The solid positions of Altice's assets in their respective
markets, a successful cost management track record, and
increasing diversification from the potential PT acquisition also
support S&P's assessment of Altice's business risk profile.

The placement of Altice International's senior secured debt on
CreditWatch negative reflects S&P's view that the announced
acquisition could weaken recovery prospects for lenders under
S&P's hypothetical default scenario.  There have been no changes
to the issue ratings and recovery analysis on the debt
instruments issued by Altice S.A. and Numericable Group S.A.

S&P has revised its stand-alone credit profile (SACP) on Altice
International downward to 'b+' from 'bb-', reflecting S&P's view
of its increased acquisition and leverage appetite.  This does
not affect the rating on Altice International because the rating
was constrained by the entity's "core" group status under S&P's
group rating methodology.  The SACP is now aligned with the group
credit profile of 'b+'.

S&P revised the outlook on Altice International and Numericable
Group owing to S&P's view that both of these entities are core to
the group and will be key to servicing the debt at Altice S.A.
S&P's stand-alone assessment of Numericable's credit quality is
unchanged.

S&P's base-case operating scenario for Altice's pro forma
consolidation of SFR and PT assumes:

   -- Revenue declines of about 4% in 2014 and about 2% in 2015,
      resulting mainly from the continued impact of repricing in
      SFR's mobile division and fierce competition on triple and
      quadruple play bundles in Portugal;

   -- Stable group EBITDA margin of about 33% (unadjusted) in
      2014, increasing by about 100 basis points in 2015 on a pro
      forma basis following the transactions; and

   -- Capital expenditure (capex) at about 16% of sales.

Based on these assumptions, S&P arrives at these credit measures:

   -- Funds from operations (FFO) to debt of 11% at Altice S.A.
      and 12%-13% at Altice International;

   -- Debt to EBITDA of about 5.8x pro forma for 2014 at Altice
      S.A. and 5.2x at Altice International;

   -- Adjusted interest coverage of about 3.0x; and

   -- Adjusted free operating cash flow (FOCF) to debt of 3%-4%
      at Altice S.A. and 4%-5% at Altice International.

S&P believes that the debt increase to finance the PT acquisition
would push Altice's leverage close to its debt incurrence
covenant limits.  Altice only has maintenance financial covenants
on its revolving credit facility, and S&P expects the company to
manage its covenant headroom in order to allow for the
acquisition.

The negative outlook reflects the potential for a one-notch
downgrade if the group's leverage exceeds 6x due to a higher
acquisition price, or as a result of higher-than-expected
earnings pressures, combined with challenges in creating
meaningful merger-related synergies at SFR.

S&P may downgrade the group if leverage (taking into account
full-year consolidation of SFR and PT, and proportionate
consolidation of Numericable-SFR) exceeds 6x, or if FOCF to debt
erodes toward 2.5%.  This may happen, for example, if Altice
doesn't manage to significantly stem SFR's EBITDA decline over
the next few quarters.

S&P could stabilize the rating over the next 12 months if
Altice's leverage and cash flow remain at about 5.5x following
successful execution of cost efficiencies plan and slower topline
decline in its core assets.  S&P will also likely revise the
outlook back to stable if the acquisition of the Portuguese
assets of Portugal Telecom doesn't close.

The CreditWatch placement on the senior secured loans and notes
issued by Altice Financing reflects the potential for the
announced acquisition to weaken recovery prospects for lenders
under our hypothetical default scenario.  This would most likely
happen as a result of a meaningful increase in priority
liabilities or similar-ranking senior secured debt, or due to a
weakening of the collateral package provided to secured lenders.
In that event, S&P could lower the issue ratings by one notch to
'B+' from 'BB-', in line with the corporate credit rating on
Altice S.A., and revise downward the recovery rating to '3' from
'2'.

S&P aims to resolve the CreditWatch when it has further
information on Altice International's capital structure following
the acquisition of the PT assets.


TEREOS UNION: S&P Revises Outlook to Neg. & Affirms 'BB+' CCR
-------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised to negative from
positive its outlook on French sugar producer Tereos Union de
Cooperatives Agricoles a Capital Variable (Tereos).

At the same time, S&P affirmed its 'BB+' long-term corporate
credit rating on the group and S&P's 'BB+' issue rating on the
EUR500 million senior unsecured bond maturing in 2020.  The
recovery rating is unchanged at '3', indicating that S&P expects
meaningful (50%-70%) recovery in the event of a payment default.

The rating actions indicate that market supply and demand trends
for sugar significantly deteriorated in 2014 for Tereos' European
and Brazilian operations.

S&P does not foresee a significant improvement in the group's
revenue growth prospects in the next 12 months, given that
European quota sugar prices are likely to remain low.  Producers
are holding high levels of inventory stock, production volumes
are expected to increase next year, and producers face increasing
competitive pressure.  In addition, starch and gluten prices have
decreased roughly in line with trends in crop prices in Europe
and price upside on ethanol in Brazil partly depends on new
government incentives.

Two of Tereos' main business segments -- sugarbeet, which is
grown in Europe, and sugarcane, which is the most profitable
business and is mainly grown in Brazil -- saw a significant drop
in EBITDA margin in the first half of this year.  S&P now
forecasts that EBITDA margin will stabilize at around 11%-12% in
the next 12 months, compared with 14% in the financial year
ending March 31, 2014.  Earnings should continue to be affected
by low revenues in the sugarbeet business, due to market
oversupply in Europe and worldwide.  However, some of the
operational costs in the sugarcane business associated with
unfavorable weather conditions, inflation, and investments in the
Guarani division may not be repeated next year.

For the next 12-18 months, S&P anticipates that Tereos will
generate lower, but still positive, free operating cash flow
(FOCF) of around EUR40 million from lower earnings.  This is
assuming reduced capital expenditure (capex) spending and no
additional payments to farmers (price complement distributions).

S&P's base case for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 assumes:

   -- Revenue of EUR4.2 billion in 2014-2015 (down by 10% on last
      year) and EUR4 billion in 2015-16 (down by 5% on
      2014-2015).

   -- EBITDA of around EUR470 million or EBITDA margin of
      11%-12%;

   -- FOCF of about EUR30 million-EUR50 million; and

   -- Standard & Poor's-adjusted net debt of around EUR2 billion.

Based on these assumptions, S&P arrives at these credit measures:

   -- EBITDA interest coverage ratio of around 4x;

   -- FFO/net debt between 15%-20%; and

   -- Net debt/EBITDA of around 4x.

The negative outlook reflects S&P's view that low market prices
for sugar quota in Europe and for world sugar should continue to
impair Tereos' cash flow generation and debt leverage metrics
over the next 12 months.  S&P considers that there is a one-in-
three chance that it could lower the rating by one notch,
especially if it sees debt to EBITDA remaining above 4x and
interest coverage ratio declining to near 3x.  S&P considers
these ratios as more compatible with an "aggressive" financial
risk profile.

S&P could revise the outlook to stable if it sees a significant
rebound of the cash flow generated by the sugarcane business.
This could occur if S&P saw lower operating costs, favorable
market developments for ethanol prices in Brazil, and a return to
more-favorable weather conditions.  In particular, this would
offset the weak cash flow contribution that S&P forecasts for the
sugarbeet business.  In terms of credit metrics, S&P considers a
debt-to-EBITDA ratio sustained over the next 12-18 months at
below 4x and interest coverage maintained at 3.5x-4x as
compatible with an outlook revision.



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G E R M A N Y
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THYSSENKRUPP AG: S&P Revises Outlook to Stable & Affirms 'BB' CCR
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its outlook on
Germany-based industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp AG to stable
from negative.  S&P affirmed its 'BB/B' long- and short-term
corporate credit ratings on ThyssenKrupp, as well as S&P's 'BB'
issue and 4' recovery ratings on the company's senior unsecured
debt.

The outlook revision reflects ThyssenKrupp's improved financial
performance across all its business areas, reduced risks related
to the company's Brazilian steel plant CSA, and a reduction in
leverage (debt to EBITDA) that S&P anticipates will continue.

ThyssenKrupp's results have improved across all business areas
thanks to its ongoing restructuring and efficiency programs.
This was notably the case in the elevators and industrial
solutions businesses that continue to benefit from strong order
books and market positions.  Standard & Poor's adjusted EBITDA
for the company improved to EUR2.2 billion in financial year 2014
(ended Sept. 30, 2014), from EUR1.8 billion a year earlier.  S&P
also notes positive EBITDA for the Steel Americas business area,
which resolved its operating issues and secured capacity
utilization of about 80%-85% thanks to its long-term contract
with Calvert steel plant and shorter-term contracts with steel
rerollers in the U.S. and other markets.  S&P therefore believes
that the risk of material losses and negative free operating cash
flow in this business area has substantially reduced.

S&P anticipates that ThyssenKrupp's leverage will further decline
gradually and that the adjusted ratio of funds from operations
(FFO) to debt will stand comfortably within the 12%-17% range in
financial 2015, due to further EBITDA growth and moderately
positive free operating cash flow (FOCF).  As a result, S&P has
revised its financial risk profile assessment to "aggressive"
from "highly leveraged."  The FFO-to-debt ratio was still below
12% as of Sept. 30, 2014, partly due to restructuring provisions
and an increase in pensions owing to a lower discount rate.  S&P
factors in its assumption that the company will remain focused on
deleveraging, while capital expenditures and shareholder
distributions will remain moderate.  S&P continues to take into
account strong interest coverage ratios with FFO to cash interest
of above 4x, which is partly explained by high pension
obligations in our adjusted debt number.

Under S&P's base case, it assumes:

   -- Weak economic growth in Europe, but continued strong growth
      in the U.S. and China.

   -- Single-digit revenue growth and further margin expansion
      thanks to continued restructuring and efficiency programs.

   -- Provisions for restructuring and other nonrecurring items
      of EUR100 million-EUR200 million per year.

   -- Capital expenditures of about EUR1.5 billion annually.

   -- Dividends of EUR62 million proposed by supervisory board
      for 2014 and only slightly higher payout for 2015.

Based on these assumptions, S&P arrives at these credit measures:

   -- FFO to debt of 13%-16% in 2015 and 14%-17% in 2016.

   -- FFO to cash interest above 4x.

   -- Moderately positive FOCF.

S&P applies an upward rating adjustment of one notch for the
moderate diversification of ThyssenKrupp's activities.  The
company has operations in several distinct business areas, with
medium correlation between them, which S&P believes provides
additional stability to the company's earnings.

At the same time, S&P applies a one-notch downward adjustment for
its comparable ratings analysis.  Because the FFO to debt ratio
was below 12% as of Sept. 30, 2014, S&P believes that
ThyssenKrupp's financial risk profile is somewhat weaker than
other companies in our "aggressive" financial risk category.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's expectation of continued
gradual improvement in ThyssenKrupp's profitability, an FFO-to-
debt ratio comfortably between 12% and 17% in financial 2015 and
moderately positive free cash flow.

A downgrade could stem from, for example, ThyssenKrupp's
inability to further increase EBITDA in financial 2015, as a
result of a major slowdown in its key markets and notably in
Europe, or from pronounced negative FOCF.

An upgrade of ThyssenKrupp could hinge on further strengthening
of the company's performance, including FOCF and return on
capital, and an improvement of FFO to debt to the 17%-22% range.
S&P don't anticipate this scenario over the next 12 months,
however.



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I R E L A N D
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AVOCA CLO VII: Fitch Affirms 'CCCsf' Rating on Class F Notes
------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Avoca CLO VII plc's notes, as:

EUR126 million class A-1 (ISIN XS0289562745): affirmed at
'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable

EUR62.5 million class A-2 (ISIN XS0289563396): affirmed at
'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable

EUR78.9 million class A-3 (ISIN XS0289564014): affirmed at
'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable

EUR48.5 million class B (ISIN XS0289565763): affirmed at 'AAsf';
Outlook Stable

EUR42 million class C1 (ISIN XS0289566571): affirmed at 'Asf';
Outlook Stable

EUR4.5 million class C2 (ISIN XS0290383412): affirmed at 'Asf';
Outlook Stable

EUR23 million class D1 (ISIN XS0289566902): affirmed at 'BBBsf';
Outlook Stable

EUR8.5 million class D2 (ISIN XS0290383768): affirmed at 'BBBsf';
Outlook Stable

EUR28.3 million class E1 (ISIN XS0289567546): affirmed at 'Bsf';
Outlook Stable

EUR2.8 million class E2 (ISIN XS0290384493): affirmed at 'Bsf';
Outlook Stable

EUR14 million class F (ISIN XS0289568437): affirmed at 'CCCsf';
Recovery Estimate (RE) reduced to 0% from 50%

EUR40 million class V (ISIN XS0290386431): affirmed at 'AAAsf';
Outlook Stable

Avoca CLO VII plc is a securitisation of mainly European senior
secured loans, with a total note issuance of EUR711m invested in
a portfolio of EUR663m.  The portfolio is actively managed by KKR
Credit Advisors.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The affirmation reflects the transaction's significant
deleveraging of the class A-1 and A-3 notes over the last 12
months, which balanced a loss of EUR15.5 million from the
defaulted PHS and Vivarte loans during the same period.
Following the end of the transaction's reinvestment period in May
2014, EUR224 million of principal were used to redeem the class
A-1 notes by EUR157.9 million and the class A-3 notes by EUR66
million.  As a result, credit enhancement increased across all
rated notes, with that for the junior notes up by 1.05%, and all
par value tests are passing and improved.  The junior par value
test is passing with a 1.15% buffer compared with 0.05% before
the principal payments.

Asset performance has been stable over the past year.  The
weighted average spread has decreased to 3.7% from 4.1%.  The
exposure of 'CCC' rated and below assets has increased to 2.6%
from 2.1%.  The weighted average rating factor has increased to
28 from 27.4.  The weighted average maturity is extended by
almost one year but the maturity profile has been moved forward
with fewer assets maturing in 2016, 2017 and 2018.  There are no
defaulted assets in the portfolio.

The portfolio's concentration has slightly increased over the
past 12 months.  Exposure to Italy and Spain currently accounts
for 6.2%.  The largest industry exposure is still business
services and the top three industries make up 21.8% of the
portfolio. Exposure to the largest obligor has reduced to EUR19.5
million from EUR21 million but as the target par has declined
following amortization the relative exposure of the largest
obligor increased to 4.3% from 3.1%.

The affirmation of the class V combination notes reflects the
affirmation of its components, class A-1, A-2 and A-3.  The class
V notes' rating addresses the timely payment of interest and the
ultimate repayment of principal by the stated maturity date.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Increasing the default probability by 25% would likely result in
a downgrade of up to two notches on the mezzanine and junior
notes. Furthermore, applying a recovery rate haircut of 25% on
all the underlying assets would likely result in a downgrade of
up to two notch on the mezzanine notes and junior notes.  In both
scenarios the senior notes' ratings are not affected.


AVOCA CLO VIII: Fitch Affirms 'Bsf' Rating on Class E Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Avoca CLO VIII Limited, as:

EUR294.1 million class A1 (ISIN XS0312372112): affirmed at
'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable

EUR52.6 million class A2 (ISIN XS0312377772): affirmed at
'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable

EUR34.0 million class B (ISIN XS0312378747): affirmed at 'AAsf';
Outlook Stable

EUR30.0 million class C (ISIN XS0312379984): affirmed at 'BBBsf';
Outlook Stable

EUR21.5 million class D (ISIN XS0312380305): affirmed at 'BBsf';
Outlook Stable

EUR21.5 million class E (ISIN XS0312380727): affirmed at 'Bsf';
Outlook Stable

EUR2.8 million class U (ISIN 0312381451): affirmed at 'BBsf';
Outlook Stable

Avoca CLO VIII is a securitization of primarily senior secured
loans, unsecured loans, mezzanine loans and high yield bonds,
actively managed by KKR Credit Advisors (Ireland).

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The affirmation reflects the stable portfolio performance
transaction since the last review in Jan. 2014.

The reinvestment period ended in Oct. 2014 and the deal is now
only able to reinvest unscheduled principal and proceeds from
credit improved or credit impaired assets.  The collateral
manager is able hold unscheduled principal for one payment date
before it is paid out to the notes.

The transaction's maturity profile has shifted towards the legal
maturity date in June 2014.  For example, the proportion of
assets maturing in 2021 has increased to 30.6% from 4.7% last
year and the weighted average life of the transaction as
calculated by Fitch has increased to 5 years from 4.6 years.  As
a result of this shift, no assets are scheduled to mature until
2016.

The weighted average life is close to the allowed value of 5.13,
which will constrain the reinvestment of unscheduled principal,
for which the weighted average life test has to pass.

The portfolio's quality has slightly improved with the weighted
average rating factor reported in October's investor report
decreasing marginally to 27.6 from 27.9.  'CCC' assets have
reduced to 3.2% from 4.3% and there are now no defaulted assets
in the portfolio.  There was one defaulted asset at last review
(EUR6.4m) but this has been restructured. the portfolio is 3.5%
below target par but this has improved from last year when the
value of the portfolio was 4.8% below target par.  Peripheral
exposure has also decreased to an 8.3% exposure to Spain.  At the
last review, this exposure was 11.8% to Spain, Ireland and Italy.

Overcollateralization (OC) tests are all passing and cushions are
expected to improve as the transaction delevers.  Junior OC test
levels have been volatile with the most recent failure in April
2013 resulting in a EUR1.8 million paydown on the class A1 note.
Interest coverage tests have never failed and are currently
passing with comfortable cushions.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

In its rating sensitivity analysis, Fitch found that a 25%
increase of the default probability would result in a one
category downgrade to the class B notes and a one-notch downgrade
to the A-2 notes.

A 25% reduction of the recovery rate would result in a downgrade
of between one and two notches to the class A-2 and class B
notes.



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L U X E M B O U R G
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AURIS LUXEMBOURG: S&P Assigns Prelim. 'B+' CCR; Outlook Stable
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its preliminary 'B+'
long-term corporate credit rating to Auris Luxembourg II
S.a.r.l., a Luxembourg-based holding company set up for the
acquisition of hearing instruments manufacturer Siemens Audiology
Solutions (SAS) by a consortium of investors led by Swedish
private equity firm, EQT.  The outlook is stable.

At the same time, S&P assigned a preliminary 'B+' issue rating to
the proposed EUR75 million revolving credit facility (RCF) and
the proposed EUR745 million first-lien term loan to be issued by
Auris III Luxembourg S.a.r.l.  S&P has assigned preliminary
recovery ratings of '3' to these instruments, indicating S&P's
expectation of meaningful (50%-70%) recovery prospects in the
event of a payment default.

S&P also assigned a preliminary 'B-' issue rating to the proposed
EUR315 million senior unsecured notes to be issued by Auris
Luxembourg II S.a.r.l.  The preliminary recovery rating on the
notes is '6', indicating S&P's expectation of negligible (0%-10%)
recovery in the event of a payment default.

The final ratings and credit metrics will be subject to the
successful closing of the transaction under terms similar to
those currently indicated, and will depend on S&P's receipt and
satisfactory review of all final transaction documentation.
Accordingly, the preliminary ratings should not be construed as
evidence of the final ratings.  If the terms and conditions of
the final transaction depart from the material S&P has already
reviewed, or if the transaction does not close within what S&P
considers to be a reasonable timeframe, it reserves the right to
withdraw or revise its ratings.

SAS is a leading manufacturer and distributor of hearing aid
devices and accessories, which markets the majority of its
products through the Siemens AudioServices and Rexton brands.
The ratings on SAS are constrained by its relatively small size,
product concentration, and the presence of innovation risk,
reflected in S&P's business risk profile assessment of "fair."
The group's majority financial sponsor ownership by EQT, with
adjusted leverage of around 6.5x pro forma the transaction,
underpins S&P's "highly leveraged" financial risk profile
assessment.

S&P's positive comparable rating analysis primarily reflects SAS'
strong free cash flow generation and cash interest coverage,
supported by S&P's calculation of funds from operations (FFO) to
cash interest coverage comfortably above 2x.  It further reflects
S&P's view of SAS' business risk profile as firmly within the
"fair" category, reflecting that the company is steadily
improving its EBITDA margin.

"Our business risk profile assessment is constrained by SAS'
relatively small size and its product concentration.  Although
SAS occupies the No. 3 position in the global hearing aids
market, it remains smaller in size relative to larger industry
peers Sonova and William Demant (both unrated).  In 2014, SAS had
revenues of around EUR690 million and a market share of about
15%.  In comparison, market leader Sonova generated revenues of
about EUR1.6 billion with about 30% market share.  The group's
larger competitors benefit from a greater presence in the key
U.S. market, as well as a higher perception of innovativeness in
recent years.  The group also has significant product and brand
concentration; the majority of group revenues are derived from
hearing aids as well as the Siemens brand.  As part of the
transaction, we understand that SAS is permitted to continue
marketing its products through the Siemens brand over the medium
term.  We expect the pricing environment to remain challenging
over the near term in SAS' main markets in the U.S. and Europe,
as customers continue to seek cost savings amid a tough
reimbursement environment.  This pricing pressure has been
exacerbated for SAS due to its historical focus on large key
accounts.  Although this provides for higher volume potential,
such customers have greater bargaining power and often drive
discounts and promotions. However, we understand that SAS is
actively managing its channel mix with a growing focus toward the
more profitable independent sector, as well as adopting a more
selective approach to contract renewals with its large key
accounts," S&P said.

"These weaknesses are partially offset by the positive
characteristics of the global hearing aids market and the group's
strengthened pipeline of new products.  The EUR5 billion global
hearing aids market (including wholesale and retail) is highly
consolidated around the top six players, which account for over
90% of the market.  The industry is also characterized by high
barriers to entry posed by intellectual property rights,
regulation, and substantial upfront research and development
(R&D) investment.  It also benefits from long-term growth
prospects due to an ageing population and an increasing
penetration of hearing loss, with an expected compound annual
growth rate of around 5% in the near term.  What's more, there is
little substitution risk from alternative technologies such as
cochlear implants, which require surgery and represent a more
expensive solution.  Although SAS has historically lagged behind
its competitors in terms of innovation and product launches, this
has started to change after the successful launch of its "micon"
product range in 2012.  This is gradually improving the group's
proportion of revenues from new products, those launched within
the past two years.  Furthermore, the recent launch of the
group's new platform, "binax", has received positive market
feedback during its early stages and is expected to significantly
close the perceived technology gap between SAS and its
competitors.  SAS now spends approximately 7% of revenues on R&D,
in line with its larger industry peers. Furthermore, we view SAS'
customer diversity as adequate, with no single customer
accounting for more than 10% of revenues.  We also view
positively the various operational efficiencies that the group is
engaging in, optimizing its manufacturing footprint to lower-cost
countries such as China and Poland, and shifting toward automated
manufacturing processes for new products," S&P added.

If the transaction materializes, Siemens AG, the current owner of
SAS, will reinvest EUR200 million through a preferred equity
instrument corresponding to 20% of equity funding in SAS.  S&P
views this instrument as equity-like under its criteria.  The
remainder will be controlled by a consortium of EQT and Germany-
based Santo Holding GmbH, an investment vehicle of the Strungmann
family.  S&P understands that financial sponsor EQT will maintain
a majority holding of at least 50% going forward.

S&P's assessment of SAS' financial risk profile is underpinned by
the group's majority ownership by financial sponsor, EQT, and
S&P's expectation that its adjusted leverage will remain around
6x-7x over the next 12-18 months.  S&P's calculation includes
just over EUR1 billion of financial debt in the form of the
proposed term loans and unsecured notes, about EUR30 million of
capitalized operating leases, and EUR10 million-EUR20 million due
to S&P's adjustment for pension obligations.  Despite some
amortized payments under the terms of the first-lien term loan,
S&P expects leverage to remain high over the near term.  This is
partially offset by S&P's view of the group's relatively strong
cash flow protection, as S&P expects FFO cash interest coverage
to remain above 2x, and SAS' strong free cash flow generation of
at least EUR40 million a year going forward.

S&P's base-case assumes:

   -- 4%-5% revenue growth over the near term, mainly driven by
      increasing volumes and successful commercialization of new
      products;

   -- A slight improvement in the EBITDA margin toward the mid-
      20s, supported by operational efficiencies and an
      improvement in the channel mix;

   -- Capital expenditure (capex) of 3%-4% of revenues per year;
      and

   -- Limited acquisitions in the near term.

Based on these assumptions, S&P' arrives at these credit
measures:

   -- Adjusted debt to EBITDA of around 6.5x over the next 12-18
      months; and

   -- FFO cash interest coverage of 2.3x-2.5x over the next 12-18
      months.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's expectation that, over the next
12-18 months SAS will further improve on its recent operating
performance, despite pricing pressure and the consolidated nature
of the hearing instruments industry.  S&P anticipates that the
group will maintain its market position and increase
profitability with an EBITDA margin approaching 25%, through the
successful commercialization of new products, realization of
planned operational efficiencies, and improving its channel mix.
S&P would also expect adjusted FFO cash interest coverage nearing
2.5x, and at least "adequate" liquidity.

S&P could lower the rating if SAS experiences adverse operating
developments that lead to significantly weaker EBITDA and credit
ratios than S&P anticipates.  This could occur if SAS' Binax
product is unable to gain traction in the market due to
significant competition, or the group faces difficulties in
growing its share of independent sector revenues.  S&P could also
lower the ratings if adjusted FFO cash interest coverage falls
below 2x or, in S&P's view, SAS' liquidity deteriorates to below
"adequate."

In S&P's opinion, a positive rating action is unlikely over the
next 12-18 months, due to SAS' high adjusted leverage.  However,
S&P could raise the rating if the group achieves and maintains
debt to EBITDA of below 5x.  In view of the amount of
deleveraging required to achieve this, S&P considers that it
would be most likely to occur because of a change in financial
policy.



===========
P O L A N D
===========


* POLAND: Bankruptcies Down to 49 in November 2014
--------------------------------------------------
Kamila Wajszczuk at Warsaw Business Journal, citing Euler Hermes,
reports that in November this year, 49 Polish companies were
declared bankrupt, compared to 70 in November 2013.

In January to November 2014 the number of bankruptcies was 760
compared to 868 in the corresponding period of 2013, WBJ
discloses.



===============
S L O V E N I A
===============


SAVA: Enters Bankruptcy Protection; Owes EUR243 Million
-------------------------------------------------------
The Slovenia Times reports that Sava, a conglomerate with roots
in the rubber industry that has offloaded all but two core
segments in recent years, entered a bankruptcy protection on
Dec. 2.

The proposal for what is called preventive restructuring was
launched by the Ljubljana District Court at the initiative of the
management after being endorsed by creditors holding more than
the minimum 30% of claims, The Slovenia Times relays.

Sava owes just shy of EUR243 million to financial creditors, the
biggest of them being the Bank Asset Management Company (35.5% of
the claims) and the bank Gorenjska banka (10.9%), The Slovenia
Times says, citing the court's decision, posted on the website of
the AJPES public company registry portal.

The company said the reason it filed for bankruptcy protection
with the support of creditors was to ensure equal treatment to
all creditors, protect their interests and assets, The Slovenia
Times relates.

The procedure is aimed at enabling further steps for the
repayment of financial debt, synergies in the tourism division
and optimizing operation of the overhauled Sava group in a bid to
avoid the risk of a fire-sale, The Slovenia Times notes.

The company reported net loss of EUR4.4 million for the first
three quarters of the year on EUR48.2 million in sales revenue,
down 5% over the same period last year, The Slovenia Times
discloses.

Sava used to generate the bulk of its revenue from rubber, but it
sold its rubber division two years ago to pay down debt, The
Slovenia Times recounts.

A major creditor, Gorenjska banka holds 2.81% in Sava, which in
turn is the biggest shareholder of Gorenjska banka, The Slovenia
Times states.

Sava's principal line of business is tourism.  The company is
based in Slovenia.



=========
S P A I N
=========


ABENGOA SA: S&P Affirms 'B' Corp. Credit Rating; Outlook Positive
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it had affirmed its
'B/B' long- and short-term corporate credit ratings on Spain-
based engineering and construction company Abengoa S.A.  The
outlook is positive.

S&P understands that Abengoa's management remains very committed
to reducing its stake in Abengoa's yield company, which S&P
thinks will lead to reduced consolidated leverage and improved
credit ratios.  This is despite recent market turmoil that
followed the company's third-quarter results announcement
reporting a guaranteed bond as nonrecourse debt.  S&P views the
classification as less prudent.  This is because it makes it more
difficult for investors to understand where in the complex group
structure various debt types are located and also what portion of
debt is guaranteed or not.

S&P now perceives that the company will strive to improve
disclosure, including releasing quarterly accounts and splitting
overall financial debt into three categories:

   -- Full recourse corporate debt;
   -- Debt in process, guaranteed by Abengoa but still labelled
      as "nonrecourse in process" because refinancing at
      completion of projects should ultimately be in the form of
      nonrecourse project finance debt; and
   -- Nonrecourse project finance debt.

In S&P's analytical approach, it uses reported consolidated debt,
which includes both recourse and nonrecourse debt, and thereby
S&P captures all of Abengoa's financial debt in S&P's analysis.

S&P also understands that management remains committed to
reducing its stake in Abengoa's 64%-owned yield company to below
50% in the near term.  This implies that most of the debt
associated with the yield company will be deconsolidated from
Abengoa's reported balance sheet, and that an improvement of
Abengoa's credit ratios is likely to follow.  S&P currently do
not envisage changing its analytical approach by deconsolidating
any nonrecourse debt that is reported on the balance sheet.  The
positive outlook on Abengoa reflects a one-in-three possibility
that Abengoa's financial risk profile will improve within the
next six months, following management's plan to reduce ownership
in its yield company.  This could lead to reduction in reported
consolidated debt, implying credit ratios at the upper end of the
"highly leveraged" category. S&P expects the group to
continuously place mature projects in the yield company.  If
these measures prove successful over the coming six months, S&P
could raise its long-term rating on Abengoa by one notch,
assuming the group's liquidity remains at least "adequate."

S&P could revise the outlook to stable if Abengoa proves unable
to tap capital markets over the coming six months as a
consequence of recent investor concerns about its disclosures.
S&P could also revise the outlook to stable if management, for
any reason, proves unable to reduce its stake in the yield
company below 50% and Abengoa's adjusted FFO to debt ratio
remains near the currently low 4%-6%.  S&P could also consider
revising the outlook to stable if Abengoa stops placing
concessions business into the yield company.

S&P could raise the long-term rating in the next six months if
Abengoa continues placing a material part of its concessions
business into its yield company, and at the same time reduces its
stake in the yield company.  This would likely require credit
ratios being at the higher end of the "highly leveraged"
financial risk profile category.  S&P is unlikely to take any
positive rating action until the improvement is fully visible in
the company's audited accounts.  An upgrade would also hinge on
the company maintaining at least "adequate" liquidity.



===========
S W E D E N
===========


DANNEMORA MINERAL: Board Prepares Balance Sheet for Liquidation
---------------------------------------------------------------
The board of directors in Dannemora Mineral AB (publ) has
prepared a balance sheet for liquidation purposes, which has been
reviewed by the Company's auditor.  The balance sheet shows that
the Company's equity corresponds to less than half of the
registered share capital.  The board of directors will therefore
convene the shareholders for an extraordinary general meeting
(initial meeting for liquidation purposes) to be held on
December 30, 2014 in order to resolve upon whether the Company
shall enter into liquidation or continue its operations.

The board of directors proposes that the Company shall not enter
into liquidation but continue its operations.

The extraordinary general meeting will be held on December 30,
2014, 2:00 p.m., at Roschier Advokatbyra AB, Blasieholmsgatan 4 A
in Stockholm.  Other information is evident from the notification
which will be published in Post-och InrikesTidningar on December
5, 2014.  The notification and other information will also be
made available on the Company's website --
http://www.dannemoramineral.se-- from December 5, 2014.

For further information, please contact:

   Ralf Norden, President and CEO
   Tel No: (46)709-374-891
   E-mail: ralf.norden@dannemoramineral.se

     -- or --

   Niklas Kihl, CFO
   Tel No: (46)730-797-363
   E-mail: niklas.kihl@dannemoramineral.se

                About Dannemora Mineral AB

Dannemora Mineral AB is a mining and exploration company of which
the primary activity is mining operations in the Dannemora iron
ore mine.  The Company intends to engage in exploration
activities to increase the iron ore base locally and regionally.
The Company's most important asset is the iron deposit in
the Dannemora Mine, and activity is focused mainly on the mining
of this deposit at present.

The Company is listed on NASDAQ OMX First North, Stockholm, and
Oslo Axess.  The Company's Certified Advisor on First North is
Remium Nordic AB.

The Company's independent qualified person is mining engineer
Thomas Lindholm, Geovista AB, Lulea.  Thomas Lindholm is
qualified as a Competent Person, as defined in the JORC Code,
based on education and experience in exploration, mining and
estimation of mineral resources of iron, base and precious
metals.



===========================
U N I T E D   K I N G D O M
===========================


BEACON HILL: Provides Update on Financing & Debt Restructuring
--------------------------------------------------------------
Beacon Hill, the coking coal developer focused on the Minas
Moatize Coking Coal Mine in Tete, Mozambique (Minas Moatize),
provided an update on its financing arrangements and the
restructuring of its existing debt, aimed at significantly
strengthening and de-risking the Group's balance sheet, in order
to provide a more solid foundation for future growth as it
targets the recommencement of more economic and competitive
coking coal production in 2016.

Highlights:

   * Conditional subscription agreed to raise up to GBP1.5
     million (US$2.3 million) gross to provide sufficient working
     capital for the Group until the end of Q1 2015

   * Commitments received to convert or postpone the maturity of
     US$13.2 million in convertible loan notes thereby
     significantly de-risking the Group's balance sheet

   * Capital reorganization which includes, inter alia, a one for
     1,000 share consolidation, to facilitate the proposals and
     future funding activities

   * Proposed new senior debt facility of US$20 million at an
     advanced stage of negotiation

   * Intention to raise approximately a further US$14.5 million
     of new equity in Q1 2015, alongside the restructuring of the
     existing senior debt facility and introduction of the
     proposed new DFI facility, to fund the Minas Moatize
     expansion project

   * Assuming successful completion of these initial proposals
     and the remaining funding objectives, the Company is
     targeting re-commencement of more economic and competitive
     coking coal production in 2016, at a Tier 1 cash cost,
     following completion of the planned Minas Moatize expansion
     project

Rowan Karstel, CEO of Beacon Hill, commented:

"Reaching agreement to convert the majority of the outstanding
convertible loan notes into equity is a significant step forward
for Beacon Hill as it seeks to establish a financially robust and
stable foundation for its future growth. The rationalization of
our existing unsustainable debt structure, which has been
achieved through the welcome support of our key stakeholders,
including our existing senior debt provider and noteholder, Vitol
Coal S.A., will substantially strengthen the Company's balance
sheet as we endeavor to secure both the new US$20 million senior
debt facility from the DFI and additional equity funding required
to proceed with the development of Minas Moatize into a Tier 1
cash cost coking coal project.

"We are cognizant of the fact that these proposals will result in
significant dilution for the Company's existing shareholders.
However, in light of the continuing depressed market conditions
for coking coal and ongoing suspension of our mining operations,
we believe that such measures are essential to ensure the
Company's survival as we seek to secure the further financing to
enable us to deliver on our washplant expansion project and
resume more economic and competitive production in 2016."


MIDDLETON PRECISION: Buyer Sought for Manufacturer
--------------------------------------------------
Insider Media Limited reports that the administrators of
Middleton Precision Engineering have said they are "confident" of
securing a sale of the business which failed because of "order
book uncertainty."

Matt Hardy -- matth@poppletonandappleby.co.uk -- of Poppleton &
Appleby was appointed as administrator to the Coventry
engineering firm on Nov. 21, 2014.

The report notes that Mr. Hardy said: "Middleton Precision
Engineering will continue trading as we look to secure a buyer
for the business and we are confident that we will receive
significant interest."

The family-run business was placed into administration after
suffering as a result of changes in the manufacturing industry,
the report notes.

"Middleton, like many other small companies in the manufacturing
industry, has witnessed operational difficulties due to order
book uncertainty," the report quoted Mr. Hardy as saying.

"The firm has seen customers switch from placing long-term orders
months in advance to orders confirmed within weeks.  This has
resulted in a lack of confidence and uncertainty within the
business," Mr. Hardy added.


PHONES 4U: Inventory Goes Up for Auction Online
-----------------------------------------------
The Herald reports that collapsed mobile phone retailer Phones 4u
is auctioning off 600,000 items worth up to GBP10.8 million.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is auctioning stock from the
company, which went into administration in September, according
to The Herald.

The report notes that stock including watches, speakers,
headsets, cases and headphones are among the items up for grabs
online.

About 2,000 to 3,000 items will go on sale every week and
auctions will run from Dec. 5 to Dec. 9.

The report notes that site manager for John Pye Auctions's West
Midlands Auction Hub, Steve Anderson, said: "There will be a sale
every week until we get rid of the stock.

The report notes that joint administrator Rob Hunt, from PwC, who
was appointed alongside Ian Green and Rob Moran in September,
said: "All the monies we collect, whatever source they come from,
will first pay for the costs of the insolvency in terms of the
pay roll and rent that's accrued while we've continued to occupy
the premises.

"Then the first call are the Phones 4u employees for any arrears
of pay or holiday pay.  They would only be entitled to statutory
redundancy pay, which is organized by the Government, because
their company is insolvent.  Some will have received this
already," the report quoted Mr. Hunt as saying.

"A pot is then set aside for the general creditor body -- which
is limited to a total of GBP600,000 around all the creditors,"
Mr. Hunt added.

                         About Phones 4u

Phones 4u was a large independent mobile phone retailer in the
United Kingdom.

On Sept. 15, 2014, Rob Hunt, Ian Green and Rob Moran of PwC were
appointed as joint administrators of these nine companies: Phones
4u Limited, Life Mobile Limited, 4u Wi-Fi Limited, 4u Limited,
Jump 4u Limited, MobileServ Limited, Phosphorus Acquisition
Limited, Phones 4U Group Limited and Phones4u Finance Plc.

On Sept. 16, 2014, Dan Schwarzmann, Nigel Rackham, Rob Hunt and
Ian Green were appointed joint administrators of Policy
Administration Services Limited.

On Oct. 8, 2014, Rob Hunt, Ian Green and Paul Copley were
appointed joint administrators of Phosphorus Holdco plc.

The companies are part of Phones 4U group.


TOWERGATE FINANCE: Creditors Taps Moelis for Debt Talks
-------------------------------------------------------
Julie Miecamp and Luca Casiraghi at Bloomberg News report that
Towergate Finance Plc's secured bondholders hired Moelis & Co. as
advisers as they prepare for talks with the U.K. insurance broker
about its US$1.6 billion of debt.

According to Bloomberg, two people familiar with the mandate said
investors in the company's GBP248.6 million(US$392 million) of
8.5% senior secured notes are also being represented by law firm
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.  They said holders of the group's
GBP304.6 million of 10.5% senior unsecured notes selected
Houlihan Lokey as financial adviser, Bloomberg relates.

Towergate, whose chief executive officer Mark Hodges resigned in
October, earlier said that it appointed Evercore Partners Inc.
and Rothschild after receiving takeover proposals, Bloomberg
relays.  The people, as cited by Bloomberg, said creditors are
now preparing to form coordinating committees to negotiate with
the company over its indebtedness.

Towergate said it has drawn all of its 85 million-pound revolving
credit facility, Bloomberg recounts.  The group also said
operating earnings declined 14% to GBP95.9 million in the nine
month to September and that it may be unable to comply with loan
terms, Bloomberg notes.

Maidstone, England-based Towergate Finance is Europe's largest
insurance broker.


* UK: Directors Suspected of Wrongdoing in 30% of Insolvencies
--------------------------------------------------------------
Directors in 30% of insolvency cases are referred to the
Insolvency Service's Disqualification Unit for unfit conduct,
accountancy firm Moore Stephens said.

The 15,412 business insolvencies that were examined by insolvency
practitioners in the last year (12 months to March 30, 2014),
directors at 4,671 companies were reported for potential
misconduct.

There has been a sharp increase in the number of reports of
potential wrongdoing that are acted on by the Insolvency Service.

The Insolvency Service has started disqualification proceedings
against 1,273 directors over the same period, meaning it started
proceedings in 27% of the 4,671 cases reported to it for
investigation. This is an up from just 21% three years ago when
only 1,031 proceedings were started after 5,401 reports were sent
to the Insolvency Service.

If there is evidence of poor conduct by directors of an insolvent
company, a report is filed to the Insolvency Service which can
then take action to have that director disqualified from being a
director for up to 15 years.

Partner, Mike Finch comments: "These figures show just how
frequently insolvency practitioners are finding evidence that
points towards serious misconduct by directors. These are cases
where there is strong evidence that a company director has broken
the rules to the detriment of creditors like lenders, suppliers
and HMRC."

Significant budget cuts for the Insolvency Service had led to
fears that reports of misconduct by directors were not being
acted upon.

Mike Finch says: "The Insolvency Service has delivered a
substantial improvement in the number of disqualification
proceedings against dishonest directors.

"It is important that the funding is there to all the Insolvency
Service to pursue these cases as disqualifying rogue directors
acts as a crucial deterrent and is vital to ensuring a fair deal
for creditors in an insolvency.

"Having an effective enforcement regime for dishonest directors
is in everyone's interests and is critical to ensuring that
honest business owners can compete on a level playing field."

Of the 15,412 businesses examined by insolvency practitioners in
the 12 months to March 30, 2014, directors at 4,671 were reported
for potential misconduct.

Of those reported, the Insolvency Service has started
disqualification proceedings against 1,273 directors in the same
period -- around 27%. This is an increase on three years ago,
where just 21% of reported directors had proceedings taken
against them.

Similarly, the tax year 2012-2013 saw just 19% of suspected
misconduct cases were investigated.

Mike Finch, a partner at the firm, said the increase showed a
willingness by the Insolvency Service to act against unscrupulous
directors, but warned that under funding could limit the
Service's power to act.

Finch said, "These figures show just how frequently insolvency
practitioners are finding evidence that points towards serious
misconduct by directors.

"These are cases where there is strong evidence that a company
director has broken the rules to the detriment of creditors like
lenders, suppliers and HMRC.

"It is important that the funding is there to all the Insolvency
Service to pursue these cases as disqualifying rogue directors
acts as a crucial deterrent and is vital to ensuring a fair deal
for creditors in an insolvency.

"Having an effective enforcement regime for dishonest directors
is in everyone's interests and is critical to ensuring that
honest business owners can compete on a level playing field," he
added.

An Insolvency Service spokesperson said, "The Insolvency Service
considers all cases of unfit conduct by directors referred to us
by insolvency practitioners. In the last 10 years, we have
disqualified around 1200 directors a year for unfit conduct.

"We have enough resources to pursue the cases that merit
disqualification and we take forward all cases where we believe
we have a greater than 50% chance of achieving a disqualification
outcome.

"Our figures show that we received reports of unfit conduct by
directors in 48,443 cases in the last 10 years and we took action
to disqualify 12,319 directors. Over 10% of all disqualifications
are for 10 years or more, compared with 3% in 2003-2004. We are
determined to take any director who does not play by the rules
out of the business arena to maintain a level playing field."



===============
X X X X X X X X
===============


* BOOK REVIEW: Transnational Mergers and Acquisitions in the U.S.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Author: Sarkis J. Khoury
Publisher: Beard Books
Softcover: 292 pages
List Price: $34.95
Review by Gail Owens Hoelscher
Order your personal copy today at http://amzn.to/1zyRWpU
Transnational Mergers and Acquisitions in the United States will
appeal to a wide range of readers. Dr. Khoury's analysis is
valuable for managers involved in transnational acquisitions,
whether they are acquiring companies or being acquired
themselves.

At the same time, he provides a comprehensive and large-scale
look at the industrial sector of the U.S. economy that proves
very useful for policy makers even today. With its nearly 100
tables of data and numerous examples, Khoury provides a wealth of
information for business historians and researchers as well.
Until the late 1960s, we Americans were confident (some might say
smug) in our belief that U.S. direct investment abroad would
continue to grow as it had in the 1950s and 1960s, and that we
would dominate the other large world economies in foreign
investment for some time to come. And then came the 1970s, U.S.
investment abroad stood at $78 billion, in contrast to only $13
billion in foreign investment in the U.S. In 1978, however, only
eight years later, foreign investment in the U.S. had skyrocketed
to nearly #41 billion, about half of it in acquisition of U.S.
firms. Foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies grew from 20 in
1970 to 188 in 1978. The tables had turned an Americans were
worried. Acquisitions in the banking and insurance sectors were
increasing sharply, which in particular alarmed many analysts.

Thus, when it was first published in 1980, this book met a
growing need for analytical and empirical data on this rapidly
increasing flow of foreign investment money into the U.S., much
of it in acquisitions. Khoury answers many of the questions
arising from the situation as it stood in 1980, many of which are
applicable today: What are the motives for transnational
acquisitions? How do 158foreign firms plans, evaluate, and
negotiate mergers in the U.S.? What are the effects of these
acquisitions on competition, money and capital markets; relative
technological position; balance of payments and economic policy
in the U.S.?

To begin to answer these questions, Khoury researched foreign
investment in the U.S. from 1790 to 1979. His historical review
includes foreign firms' industry preferences, choice of location
in the U.S., and methods for penetrating the U.S. market. He
notes the importance of foreign investment to growth in the U.S.,
particularly until the early 20th century, and that prior to the
1970s, foreign investment had grown steadily throughout U.S.
history, with lapses during and after the world wars.

Khoury found that rates of return to foreign companies were not
excessive. He determined that the effect on the U.S. economy was
generally positive and concluded that restricting the inflow of
direct and indirect foreign investment would hinder U.S. economic
growth both in the short term and long term. Further, he found no
compelling reason to restrict the activities of multinational
corporations in the U.S. from a policy perspective. Khoury's
research broke new ground and provided input for economic policy
at just the right time.

Sarkis J. Khoury holds a Ph.D. in International Finance from
Wharton. He teaches finance and international finance at the
University of California, Riverside, and serves as the Executive
Director of International Programs at the Anderson Graduate
School of Business.


                            *********

Monday's edition of the TCR delivers a list of indicative prices
for bond issues that reportedly trade well below par.  Prices are
obtained by TCR editors from a variety of outside sources during
the prior week we think are reliable.  Those sources may not,
however, be complete or accurate.  The Monday Bond Pricing table
is compiled on the Friday prior to publication.  Prices reported
are not intended to reflect actual trades.  Prices for actual
trades are probably different.  Our objective is to share
information, not make markets in publicly traded securities.
Nothing in the TCR constitutes an offer or solicitation to buy or
sell any security of any kind.  It is likely that some entity
affiliated with a TCR editor holds some position in the issuers'
public debt and equity securities about which we report.

Each Tuesday edition of the TCR contains a list of companies with
insolvent balance sheets whose shares trade higher than US$3 per
share in public markets.  At first glance, this list may look
like the definitive compilation of stocks that are ideal to sell
short.  Don't be fooled.  Assets, for example, reported at
historical cost net of depreciation may understate the true value
of a firm's assets.  A company may establish reserves on its
balance sheet for liabilities that may never materialize.  The
prices at which equity securities trade in public market are
determined by more than a balance sheet solvency test.

Each Friday's edition of the TCR includes a review about a book
of interest to troubled company professionals.  All titles are
available at your local bookstore or through Amazon.com.  Go to
http://www.bankrupt.com/booksto order any title today.


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S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter-Europe is a daily newsletter co-
published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C., USA.
Valerie U. Pascual, Marites O. Claro, Rousel Elaine T. Fernandez,
Joy A. Agravante, Ivy B. Magdadaro, and Peter A. Chapman,
Editors.

Copyright 2014.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2754.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Europe subscription rate is US$775 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription
or balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter Chapman at 215-945-7000 or Nina Novak at
202-362-8552.


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