TCREUR_Public/150730.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

           Thursday, July 30, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 149

                            Headlines

G E R M A N Y

MINIMAX VIKING: S&P Raises CCR to 'BB-', Outlook Stable


G R E E C E

GREECE: Tsipras Threatens Dissenters with Snap Greek Ballot


I R E L A N D

LADBROKES IRELAND: High Court Okays Rescue Plan; 700 Jobs Secured


I T A L Y

PARMA CALCIO: Gets Greenlight to Compete in Series D


P O L A N D

PERSONAL FINANCE: Fitch Affirms 'BB+' LT Issuer Default Rating


R U S S I A

ASKO-ZHIZN LLC: Bank of Russia Ends Provisional Administration


S L O V E N I A

NOVA LJUBLJANSKA: S&P Affirms 'BB-/B' Counterparty Credit Ratings


U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

888 HOLDINGS: S&P Assigns Prelim. 'B+' CCR, Outlook Stable
COGNITA BONDCO: S&P Assigns Prelim. 'B' CCR, Outlook Stable
CORY ENVIRONMENTAL: Gets Order to Commence Debt Restructuring
FIRST CHOICE: Court Orders Firm Into Liquidation
LONMIN PLC: Mulls 6,000 Job Cuts Following Platinum Price Dip

NORTHERN ROCK: Bad Bank Won't Have to Compensate Borrowers
RMPA SERVICES: S&P Lowers Rating on GBP680MM Bonds to 'BB+'
VIVAT TRUST: In the Brink of Liquidation
YOUNG'S SEAFOOD: May Retain 250 Jobs at Fraserburgh Site

* UK: Number of Corporate Insolvencies Down to 3,908
* UK: Profit Warnings Fall to Two-Year Low in Q2 2015


                            *********



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G E R M A N Y
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MINIMAX VIKING: S&P Raises CCR to 'BB-', Outlook Stable
-------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it had raised its
long-term corporate credit rating on Germany-based fire-
protection technology provider, Minimax Viking GmbH (Minimax, and
collectively with its subsidiaries "the group") to 'BB-' from
'B+'.  The outlook is stable.

At the same time, S&P raised its issue rating on the group's
senior secured debt to 'BB-' from 'B+'.  The recovery rating on
this debt remains at '3', indicating S&P's expectation of
meaningful recovery prospects for lenders in the event of a
payment default, in the lower half of the 50%-70% range.

The upgrade reflects S&P's expectation that Minimax's credit
metrics will likely strengthen further in 2015-2016 as a result
of continued solid revenue growth, improving operating margins,
and significant free cash flow generation.  S&P now sees Standard
& Poor's-adjusted debt to EBITDA staying sustainably and
significantly below 4.5x and funds from operations (FFO) to debt
of 14%-16%, metrics that S&P sees comfortably in line with its
"aggressive" financial risk profile category.  S&P has therefore
changed its comparable rating analysis to "neutral" from
"negative."  S&P applied the negative assessment previously to
reflect its view of Minimax's weak positioning within the
"aggressive" financial risk profile category.

In 2014, Minimax reported debt to EBITDA of about 5x (in line
with 2013 levels), which was somewhat higher than anticipated,
owing to the appreciation of its U.S. dollar-denominated debt.
On the other hand, FFO to debt improved to about 12% from about
8% a year earlier, mainly thanks to the reduced interest expense
following the refinancing that occurred in 2013 and improved
earnings generation.  In May 2015, Minimax successfully launched
a repricing of its loan facilities and repaid about EUR44 million
of loans, which will further support metrics through a reduction
of interest expenses of about EUR4 million annually and lower
debt levels, while S&P also expects earnings to continue to
improve.

S&P continues to view Minimax's business risk profile as "fair,"
mainly because it is constrained by the group's limited business
diversification and scope; as well as its operation in an
industry where it competes with large international companies.
On the other hand, the business risk profile benefits from the
group's strong position in Germany's fire-protection market and
its solid position in U.S. regulatory requirements and
certification processes, as well as an installed base of
equipment.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's view that Minimax will sustain
its resilient operating performance and achieve stable to
slightly improving credit measures, underpinned by a high share
of recurring business.  It also incorporates S&P's view that the
high cash balances provide some room for the group to step up
organic and inorganic growth opportunities without deteriorating
credit metrics.  For Minimax, S&P considers ratios of adjusted
debt to EBITDA of less than 4.5x and FFO to debt of about 15% to
be consistent with a 'BB-' rating.

S&P does not envisage raising the rating in the next 12 months,
but could do so if Minimax demonstrated a prudent financial
policy and continued to reduce financial leverage, and if S&P
believed that its ratio of adjusted debt to EBITDA would remain
sustainably below 4x, with FFO to debt sustainably above 20%.

S&P does not envisage lowering the rating in the next 12 months,
but a downgrade could stem from an unexpected aggressive debt-
funded acquisition or shareholder returns, or from an unforeseen
significant setback in operating performance, which could
materially weaken Minimax's credit measures or liquidity, for
example with the ratio of adjusted debt to EBITDA increasing
substantially above 4.5x or FFO to debt dropping to significantly
below 15% on a sustained basis.



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G R E E C E
===========


GREECE: Tsipras Threatens Dissenters with Snap Greek Ballot
-----------------------------------------------------------
Nikos Chrysoloras, Eleni Chrepa, and Christos Ziotis at Bloomberg
News report that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took on
dissenters within his own party, warning he'll call an election
unless backbenchers who oppose his deal with creditors fall into
line or give up their seats.

"I'm the last person who would want elections," Bloomberg quotes
the 41-year-old premier as saying in an interview on July 29 with
Sto Kokkino, a radio station linked to his party.  "If I don't
have a parliamentary majority, though, we will be forced to head
to a snap vote."

After five years of austerity, two bailouts, and the deepest
recession in more than half a century, the premier is asking
voters and lawmakers to extend the budget restrictions that he
himself had pledged to end when he came to power in January,
Bloomberg relates.  Mr. Tsipras, as cited by Bloomberg, said
Greece has no other viable option to but to accept the demands of
its creditors.

According to Bloomberg, Mr. Tsipras said the final decision on an
election will depend on developments within his party, Syriza.
The group's central committee will meet today, July 30, to decide
the timing and logistics of an emergency congress, after about a
quarter of its lawmakers refused to back the prime minister's
agreement with Greece's creditors in two successive votes this
month, Bloomberg discloses.

Two government officials said the congress could take place as
early as this weekend, while Mr. Tsipras said his preference
would be for the party to convene at the beginning of September,
Bloomberg notes.  The officials, who asked not to be named, said
elections may take place either after the congress or once
creditors have made an assessment of progress in implementing the
required economic reforms, paving the way for debt relief.
Bloomberg relays.

The officials, as cited by Bloomberg, said there's no chance for
a snap poll before the new loan facility from the euro area and
the International Monetary Fund is finalized.


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I R E L A N D
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LADBROKES IRELAND: High Court Okays Rescue Plan; 700 Jobs Secured
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Fiona Reddan at The Irish Times reports that bookmaker Ladbrokes
is to retain 144 shops nationwide and continue to employ over 700
people in Ireland following the High Court's approval of its
rescue plan on July 28.

According to The Irish Times, the UK bookmaker, which entered the
examinership process in April in order to restructure the
business, will now close 52 of its 196 outlets while about 90
people will leave the business as a result of a voluntary
redundancy scheme.

Ladbrokes expects the examinership process for its Irish trading
subsidiaries -- Ladbroke (Ireland) Limited, Ladbroke Leisure
(Ireland) Limited and Dara Properties Limited (Ladbrokes Ireland)
-- to be completed shortly, The Irish Times discloses.

Ladbrokes is a London-listed bookmaker.



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I T A L Y
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PARMA CALCIO: Gets Greenlight to Compete in Series D
----------------------------------------------------
Mark Baber at Inside Football World reports that Parma Calcio
1913, a new club backed by pasta maker Guido Barilla with ex-
coach Nevio Scala as president, has been given the go-ahead by
the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) to compete in Italy's
Serie D following the bankruptcy of the old club.

Parma, which went bankrupt in March, had a glorious history
including winning two UEFA Cups, the European Super Cup, European
Cup Winners' Cup, three Coppa Italias and an Italian Super Cup
between 1992 and 2002, according to Inside Football World.
However, the club fell on bad times after the collapse of the
Parmalat food and dairy firm which had bankrolled the club, the
report notes.

The report relates that due to financial mismanagement the club's
debts amounted to more than EUR200 million ($220 million) when it
collapsed, a sum which put off potential saviors of the club.

The new club has been named Parma Calcio 1913 after the founding
year of the original team, and was chosen in preference to a
rival bid led by Giuseppe Corrado, who runs a national cinema
chain, the report notes.

The Barilla group is the world's leading pasta maker with 40-45%
of the Italian market and 25% of the US market as well as being a
leading seller of bakery products in Italy and, through its
acquisition of the Swedish company Wasa, the world's leading
producer of flatbread, the report relays.



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P O L A N D
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PERSONAL FINANCE: Fitch Affirms 'BB+' LT Issuer Default Rating
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed International Personal Finance Plc's
(IPF) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB+', Short-term
IDR at 'B' and senior unsecured debt at 'BB+'. The Outlook on the
IDR is Stable.

The affirmation follows the recent announcement of an amendment
to draft legislation in Poland, IPF's largest single market,
which would place a cap on all non-interest loan costs. The
previous expectation had been that only mandatory non-interest
costs would be capped. In Fitch's opinion, the amendment
demonstrates the inherent susceptibility of IPF's business to
shifts in legislation and regulatory opinion within its key
countries of operation. At the same time, Fitch recognizes
management's track record in responding to changes as they have
arisen, and adjusting its model to suit diverse markets.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

IDRS AND SENIOR DEBT

IPF has operated its home-collected lending business successfully
over the economic cycle, supported by its strong capitalization
and modest leverage. So far, these factors have afforded the
group a degree of buffer against the high credit, regulatory and
operational risks of conducting unsecured lending in emerging
market countries, in some of which it as yet has only modest
business scale. Significant arrears are a feature of IPF's
business model, but in Fitch's opinion are adequately provided
for.

If the draft legislation is passed in its current form, Fitch
anticipates that previous headroom at the 'BB+' rating will
largely be eroded, in particular reflecting heightened business
risk but also some weakening of the near-term financial profile.
The Stable Outlook assumes that management will nevertheless be
able to mitigate at least part of the negative impact of the
proposed legislation.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

IDRS AND SENIOR DEBT

The high-cost credit business and associated issues of consumer
protection remain subject to heightened regulatory scrutiny and
political focus in many countries. Should the final version of
the anticipated Polish law contain further more stringent
provisions than those already proposed, or similarly restrictive
legislation follow in other countries in which IPF operates, it
could result in a downgrade.

Management is developing an alternative product structure to
mitigate any adverse financial impact of the new Polish law to
the greatest extent possible. However, if this proves more
difficult than anticipated to implement, or if its execution is
accompanied by a deterioration in impairment that suggests that
the revised structure has materially increased the risk profile
of the business model, this could also place pressure on the
ratings.

Upside potential to the IDRs remains limited in the short to
medium term, in view of the limited diversification of IPF's
funding, as well as the need to demonstrate successful adaptation
to the pending regulatory change in Poland. However, the rating
could benefit from successful geographical diversification,
depending on market dynamics.

The senior debt rating is driven by IPF's Long-term IDR and is
sensitive to any change in it.



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R U S S I A
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ASKO-ZHIZN LLC: Bank of Russia Ends Provisional Administration
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Bank of Russia, by its Order No. OD-1751 dated July 23, 2015,
took a decision to terminate the activity of the provisional
administration of Tatarstan-based Insurance Company ASKO-Zhizn.

The company's provisional administration was appointed by Bank of
Russia Order No. OD-1306 for a term of six months.  It was headed
by Vladimir P. Smagin, receiver, member of the non-profit
partnership Interregional Self-Regulatory Organisation of
Professional Receivers.

The decision on early termination of the activity of the
provisional administration was taken after the accomplishment of
its tasks.



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


NOVA LJUBLJANSKA: S&P Affirms 'BB-/B' Counterparty Credit Ratings
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it had affirmed its
'BB-' long-term and 'B' short-term counterparty credit ratings on
Slovenia-based Nova Ljubljanska Banka D.D. (NLB).  The outlook is
negative.

S&P's long- and short-term counterparty credit ratings on SID
Bank are unchanged at 'A-/A-2'.  The outlook remains positive.

The rating actions follow S&P's review of economic and industry
risks for Slovenian banks and the revision of S&P's outlook on
Slovenia to positive on June 19, 2015.  In S&P's view, the
ongoing economic recovery in Slovenia will continue, benefiting
fiscal outcomes.  S&P now believes that Slovenia's real GDP will
likely rise by about 2.1% per year on average during 2015-2018,
about 0.6 percentage points higher than S&P projected after its
last review in December 2014, fueled increasingly by domestic
demand.

In 2014, real GDP grew by 2.6% compared with our forecast of
1.4%, driven by stronger exports than expected and EU-financed
public investment.  During the first quarter of 2015, seasonally
adjusted real GDP growth was 3% on an annual basis.  During 2014,
employment growth and rising disposable incomes, thanks to low
inflation and lower oil prices, enabled private consumption
growth for the first time in three years.  Therefore, S&P expects
domestic demand to play a greater role in the recovery in the
future

In view of these factors, S&P considers that economic risk for
Slovenian banks has reduced, according to S&P's Banking Industry
Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) methodology.  As a result, S&P
has reclassified Slovenia's banking industry to group '7' from
group '8' (with group '1' denoting the lowest-risk banking
systems).  In turn, this led S&P to revise the anchor that starts
its bank ratings in Slovenia to 'bb' from 'bb-'.

"We still see a positive trend for economic risks in Slovenia
because the impact of the correction phase is diminishing,
leading to decreasing credit losses for banks.  However, despite
the transfer of a large portion of problem loans to a government-
funded workout unit in December 2013, the stock of problem loans
in the banking system remains high, although adequately
provisioned.  Generating new healthy loans is difficult, given
high leverage in the corporate sector and the depressed property
market. The banking system has been reporting losses since 2010,
due to large credit losses, which were particularly high in 2013
(EUR3.5 billion) because of one-time costs from transferring
nonperforming loans (NPLs; loans more than 90 days overdue).
Systemwide losses were much lower in 2014, at EUR67.5 million in
2014, and we expect a profit in 2015, indicating that the
recovery, albeit very gradual, is underway.  We believe the
banking system's performance will gradually improve, but remain
subdued over the next two years due to ongoing provisioning
costs, limited new lending volumes, and low interest rates," S&P
said.

NOVA LJUBLJANSKA BANKA D.D.

S&P affirmed its ratings on NLB because the higher anchor of 'bb'
counterbalances S&P's assessment that NLB's asset quality
compares unfavorably with that of peers in the new BICRA group.
S&P now regards NLB's risk position as "weak" rather than
"moderate," as defined in S&P's criteria.

NLB continues to wrestle with a large amount of legacy problem
loans, especially in the highly leveraged corporate sector.  S&P
views positively NLB's progress with its state-supported
restructuring, which included the transfer of a large portion of
mainly irrecoverable problem loans totaling EUR2.2 billion to a
government-funded workout unit in December 2013.  However, this
has only partly alleviated the risks posed by NPLs, in S&P's
view. As of Dec. 31, 2014, NLB's reported problem loans comprised
a still high 25.7% of the loan book, compared with the peak of
31.1% in the second quarter of 2013.

The negative outlook on NLB indicates the possibility of a
downgrade if S&P considers that potential extraordinary
government support for Slovenian banks will likely decrease as
resolution frameworks are put into place.  S&P could therefore
lower the long-term rating on NLB by one notch if it removed the
uplift for potential extraordinary government support currently
incorporated in the rating.  This would most likely occur shortly
before the January 2016 introduction of the EU's Bank Recovery
and Resolution Directive, which would allow the bail-in of senior
unsecured liabilities.

The negative outlook also reflects the possibility that S&P's
expectations for NLB's restructuring in Slovenia's fragile
economic and operating environment might not materialize.  For
example, S&P could lower the ratings on the bank if new NPLs
accelerated in 2015, or if NLB's capitalization were to
deteriorate substantially, causing its risk-adjusted capital
ratio before diversification to fall below 5%.

S&P could revise the outlook to stable if it considered that
potential extraordinary government support for NLB's senior
unsecured creditors will be provided, despite the introduction of
bail-in powers and international efforts to increase banks'
resolvability.  Similar action could also follow if S&P believed
that other rating factors--such as a stronger stand-alone credit
profile or a large buffer of subordinated instruments--fully
offset increased bail-in risks.

SID BANK

S&P equalizes its ratings on state-owned SID Bank with those on
Slovenia, reflecting S&P's view of an "almost certain" likelihood
that the bank would receive timely and sufficient extraordinary
support from the Slovenian government in the event of financial
distress.  Nevertheless, S&P considers that, like NLB, SID Bank's
relative risk position lags that of peers in the new BICRA group.
As a result, S&P has revised its assessment of its risk position
to "weak" from "moderate."  At the same time, the revision of the
anchor to 'bb', due to reduced economic risk in Slovenia, offsets
the risk position.

SID Bank has remained profitable, albeit on a modest scale, with
the annual return on equity (ROE) averaging approximately 2% over
the past five years.  This low ROE is unsurprising given the
bank's public policy mandates, and is comparable with that of
other development banks.  Small profits have also ensured that
SID Bank's capital base has remained stable.

The positive outlook on SID Bank reflects that on Slovenia.
Consequently, any future outlook revision or rating action on the
sovereign would result in a corresponding action on SID Bank.
Apart from a sovereign rating action, however, S&P could lower
the ratings on SID Bank if S&P believed that the bank's role for
or link with the government were weakening.  This could occur if
S&P perceived that the bank's mission had become less important,
or if there were adverse statutory changes to SID Bank's
operating framework or the financial support mechanisms currently
in place.

BICRA SCORE SNAPSHOT*
Slovenia                         To                 From

BICRA Group                      7                  8

Economic risk                   7                  8
   Economic resilience           3                  4
   Economic imbalances           5                  5
   Credit risk in the economy    5                  5
  Trend                          Positive           Positive

Industry risk                   7                  7
   Institutional framework       5                  5
   Competitive dynamics          4                  4
   Systemwide funding            4                  4
  Trend                          Stable             Stable

*Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment.

RATINGS LIST

Rating Affirmed

Nova Ljubljanska Banka D.D.
Counterparty Credit Rating     BB-/Negative/B
Senior Unsecured               BB-

Rating Unaffected
SID Bank
Issuer Credit Rating           A-/Positive/A-2



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U N I T E D   K I N G D O M
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888 HOLDINGS: S&P Assigns Prelim. 'B+' CCR, Outlook Stable
----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its preliminary 'B+'
long-term corporate credit rating to 888 Holdings PLC (888).  The
outlook is stable.

At the same time, S&P assigned its preliminary 'B+' issue rating
to 888's proposed $600 million equivalent senior secured term
loan B due 2021 and issued by 888's financing subsidiary 888
Financing LLC.

888 plans to acquire online gaming company bwin.party digital
entertainment plc (bwin.party).  S&P's preliminary rating on 888
reflects its assessment of its post-transaction business risk
profile as "weak" and financial risk profile as "significant."
The rating also incorporates S&P's negative comparable rating
analysis modifier, which reflects a range of potential near-term
business risks S&P foresees.  These include execution risks
associated with the acquisition and integration of a larger
software based company, the combined group's below average
profitability when compared with rated peers, and the declining
operating performance of bwin.party in recent years.  S&P also
notes that 888 has some exposure to currency-exchange risks; it
reports in U.S. dollars while receiving the bulk of its revenues
in British pounds sterling and euros; S&P recognizes, however,
that management has historically managed some of this risk
through its hedging policy.

S&P views the execution risks associated with an acquisition of
this complexity and scale as a key rating constraint.  The
transaction will involve seamlessly migrating bwin.party's Poker
and Casino customers by 3Q16 and integrate bwin.party's sports
business by 2H17 (Bingo will continue operating on 888 platform)
with limited customer losses and acquisition and retention costs.
S&P assess these challenges in light of its perception of
bwin.party's weakening brand and operating performance in recent
years, and the challenge for 888's management to convince
existing and potential clients to continue using its platforms
and services or switch to its own branded platforms and services.

S&P understands that 888 will use cash and equities to finance
the approximately US$1.4 billion acquisition of bwin.party by
placing US$600 million in senior secured term loans, including
one tranche in euros (expected to be up to EUR250 million) and
another tranche in U.S. dollars (expected to be US$350 million).
Additionally, the new capital structure will include a US$50
million senior secured revolving credit facility, which would
have the same seniority as the term loan.  S&P adds to the amount
of reported debt about US$45 million for its standard adjustment
for operating leases, which S&P estimates on a pro forma basis
for the combined company.  Also, due to S&P's "weak" assessment
of 888's business risk profile, S&P do not deduct surplus cash in
calculating Standard & Poor's-adjusted debt.

S&P's EBITDA adjustments include an estimate of about US$15
million relating to capitalized development costs, which S&P
subtracts from its calculation, and about US$8 million relating
to operating lease which S&P adds to its EBITDA calculation.  S&P
estimates that the group will report Standard & Poor's-adjusted
debt to EBITDA of about 4.0x at the close of the transaction,
reducing toward 3.0x over the next two years as a result of
EBITDA growth and free operating cash flow generation, with
management committing to voluntary debt repayments consistent
with its deleveraging strategy of 1x over the medium term for
888.  S&P's risk-weighted financial risk analysis reflects its
forecast metrics for 2016 and 2017, in light of the
transformative nature of the acquisition.

The combined company will become one of the largest online
betting and gaming companies, with operations mainly in the U.K.
and continental Europe, but also in the Americas, including the
U.S. In S&P's view, 888's business risk profile is primarily
constrained by the recent difficulties in bwin.party's
operations; concentration in the online and mobile segment and
the resulting modest share of the overall gaming market; and
S&P's assessment of 888's profitability as "weak."  S&P's
profitability assessment reflects a sharp decline in the Standard
& Poor's-adjusted EBITDA margin to about 15%-16% after the
introduction of point-of-consumption tax in the U.K. at the end
of 2014, and new VAT rules in the EU in 2015.  S&P sees further
regulatory risks for 888 -- typically meaning higher taxes --
because only about 60% of 888's revenues are generated in
already-regulated markets.

"We see the online gaming environment as a competitive market
space, with weaker barriers to entry than the traditional retail
model.  For example, unlike in the traditional gaming segment,
the number of licenses for online operations is unlimited.  We
also believe that both online and offline represent one single
market space where existing high street gaming companies can
effectively push their retail market power into online space.  We
estimate that 888 will have a combined market share of below 5%
in the combined online and offline space in each its core
markets," S&P said.

888's business risk profile benefits from its efficient CRM
systems and technology platforms, as well as its portfolio of
strong brands in a variety of products.  S&P believes that 888
has shown the success of its CRM systems and marketing efforts
via solid revenue growth in the last few years, underpinned by
growing numbers of unique active players and generally growing
revenues per player.  S&P also notes that an already considerable
and expanding share of 888's revenues come from the fast-growing
mobile segment.  S&P believes that the combined company can
achieve considerable cost synergies if the integration goes as
planned.

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

   -- 888 will acquire bwin.party by end-2015 with a combination
      of shares and equities, which will not materially differ in
      terms and amounts from what the company has recently
      announced.

   -- The U.K. economy to grow by 2.6% in 2015, 2.8% in 2016, and
      2.7% in 2017.

   -- A more moderate pace of growth of in the eurozone of 1.6%
      in 2015, 1.9% in 2016, and 1.7% in 2017.

   -- Mid-single-digit growth for the online gaming industry
      globally.

   -- Pro-forma revenues to decline by about 2.5%-3.0% in 2015,
      primarily due to the adverse impact of the point-of-
      consumption tax, followed by a recovery of 2.0%-2.5% in
      2016 and moderate growth of 1%-2% in 2017.

   -- Integration costs of about $20 million in 2016 and 2017,
      partly offset by the expected cost synergies.

   -- EBITDA margins to decline by 200-300 bps on a pro forma
      basis following the introduction of new taxation in Europe
      and the U.K. in 2015.

   -- Working capital outflows of about US$22 million in 2016 and
      US$2 million in 2017 related to deferred considerations at
      bwin.party and considered to be one-off.

   -- Annual capital expenditure of about $50 million in 2016 and
      US$40 million in 2017.

   -- Dividend payments at the level of 50% of accounting profit
      from 2016.

   -- Voluntary debt repayments from post-dividend surplus cash
      of US$10 million in 2016 and US$25 million in 2017.

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

   -- An EBITDA margin of about 14.5%-15.5% in 2015-2016
   -- Standard & Poor's adjusted debt to EBITDA of 3.3x-3.8x in
      financial 2016, declining to about 2.8x?3.3x by the end of
      2017.
   -- Standard & Poor's adjusted FFO to debt of about 20%-25%.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's base-case expectation that 888
will successfully acquire bwin.party at the end of 2015 and
achieve moderate revenue growth for the combined business.  S&P
also expects that 888 will be able to withstand higher tax
pressures by improving its operating efficiency, in part via cost
synergies with bwin.party's business.  The outlook also reflects
S&P's expectation that any surplus cash left after paying the
forecast dividends will be used to voluntarily repay debt.

S&P would consider a positive rating action if it believed that
the integration of bwin.party had been successful, such that
substantial synergies and revenue growth resulted in
significantly improved margins.  S&P is currently most likely to
consider an upgrade if it has case to remove the comparable
rating analysis modifier.  Any upgrade would also be contingent
on adjusted debt to EBITDA sustainably falling below 3x, and FFO
to debt approaching 30%.  S&P would also expect discretionary
cash flow to be positive.

S&P could lower the rating if 888's earnings become significantly
weaker than S&P assumes in its base case.  This could happen if
there are unexpected restructuring costs stemming from the
bwin.party acquisition, unfavorable changes in regulation, or
intensified competition.  S&P could also take a negative rating
action if 888's FFO to debt were to fall significantly below 20%
or its leverage exceeded 4x.  S&P could also take a negative
action if EBITDA margin were to fall and stay consistently below
14% level.


COGNITA BONDCO: S&P Assigns Prelim. 'B' CCR, Outlook Stable
-----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its preliminary 'B'
long-term corporate credit rating to U.K.-based independent
school operator Cognita Bondco Parent Ltd.  The outlook is
stable.

At the same time, S&P assigned its preliminary 'BB-' issue rating
to Cognita's proposed GBP60 million revolving credit facility
RCF) and preliminary 'B' issue rating to the company's proposed
GBP280 million senior secured notes.  The preliminary recovery
rating on the RCF is '1', indicating S&P's expectation of very
high (90%-100%) recovery prospects.  The preliminary recovery
rating on the senior secured notes is '4', reflecting S&P's
expectation of average recovery for creditors in the event of a
payment default, in the lower half of the 30%-50% range.

The ratings are subject to successful issuance and S&P's review
of the final documentation.  If Standard & Poor's does not
receive the final documentation within a reasonable time frame,
or if the final documentation differs from the materials S&P has
already reviewed, it reserves the right to withdraw or change its
ratings.

The ratings reflect S&P's view of Cognita's scale of operations
across seven countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, its
fast expansion in Asia, and good visibility on revenues.  S&P
also incorporates the group's high leverage and its private
equity ownership since 2004.

S&P's "fair" business risk assessment for Cognita takes into
consideration the group's strong retention rates of pupils (about
85%) and high visibility on revenues, with almost 90% of
enrollments for fiscal 2016 (year ending Aug. 31) already secured
as of June 2015.

S&P's assessment also reflects favorable market dynamics for
markets where Cognita operates, and the group's solid capacity
utilization and broad diversification.  Cognita is a private
junior and senior schools operator of 66 schools, with more than
30,000 full-time-equivalent pupils in the U.K., Spain, Singapore,
Vietnam, Thailand, Chile, and Brazil, and offers diversified
curricula, including British, American, and Australian curricula,
as well as a national curriculum combined with English in Chile
and Brazil, and the International Baccalaureate.  Lastly, S&P
views positively the group's lack of exposure to government
funding, since parents pay the tuition fees.

Although Cognita is a leading private school operator, its
business risk profile is constrained, in S&P's view, by its
relatively small share in a highly fragmented private education
market.  S&P regards the group's profitability as average and
view favorably Cognita's track record of raising tuition fees.
For instance, the group increased fees by at least 4% over
fiscals 2012-2015.  However, S&P still views Cognita's
profitability as somewhat lower than that of rated peers.  S&P
notes that, despite price increases, average revenue per pupil
decreased in 2014, after the group acquired schools in Latin
America in 2013.

S&P's assessment of Cognita's financial risk profile as "highly
leveraged" is constrained by the group's high indebtedness,
financial sponsor ownership, and acquisitive strategy because
Cognita operates in a highly fragmented market.  Cognita is
jointly owned by two private equity sponsors, Bregal Capital
since 2004 and KKR since 2013.  After the proposed refinancing
and anticipated transformation of deep discount loans and loan
notes of shareholders into equity, S&P calculates credit ratios
of adjusted leverage (debt to EBITDA) of 6.4x and funds from
operations (FFO) to debt (both weighted averages over fiscals
2016-2017) at below 7%, which is commensurate with a "highly
leveraged" financial risk profile.  S&P expects Cognita's ratio
of EBITDA interest coverage will be about 2.2x over the same time
period.

S&P expects that Cognita's credit metrics will remain in the
"highly leveraged" category over the next couple of years, with
the debt-to-EBITDA ratio slightly improving.  Owing to capacity
expansion projects in Singapore, S&P anticipates that the group's
free operating cash flow (FOCF) will remain negative over 2015-
2017, which further constrains S&P's assessment of the financial
risk profile.  However, S&P understands that Cognita has some
flexibility relating to development capital expenditures (capex)
that are not fully committed over 2016-2017.  Additionally, S&P
thinks execution risks with regard to capacity expansion projects
are partially offset by management's track record with similar
projects.

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

   -- GDP growth in the U.K. and Singapore (which account for
      approximately 45% and 29% of revenues, respectively), of
      about 2.6%-2.8% in 2015, and 3.0%-3.5% in 2017;

   -- Annual revenue growth of about 9% on average in 2015-2017.
      S&P anticipates that revenue growth will stem from good
      enrollment, tuition fee increases, and further strong
      demand;

   -- An improving adjusted EBITDA margin of about 18% in 2015-
      2017, owing to stronger operating leverage and high
      capacity utilization;

   -- Significant capex, including annual maintenance capex of
      GBP17 million-GBP18 million and development capex of about
      GBP30 million-GBP60 million per year in 2015-2017, related
      to capacity expansion projects, primarily in Singapore;

   -- Working capital inflows of about GBP10 million on average
      in 2015-2017;

   -- Acquisition-related payments of about GBP12 million on
      average in 2015-2017; and

   -- No shareholder remuneration.

Based on these assumptions, S&P arrives at these credit metrics
for Cognita over the next 12-18 months:

   -- High adjusted leverage, with a debt-to-EBITDA ratio at
      approximately 6.4x; and

   -- A ratio of EBITDA interest coverage of about 2.2x.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's expectation that Cognita will
achieve high-single-digit percentage growth in revenues in
2015-2017, owing to increases in tuition fees and improving
utilization of existing capacity.  S&P also anticipates some
EBITDA margin improvement to 18% on average, thanks to revenue
growth outpacing operating cost growth.  The stable outlook also
takes into account management's track record, which to some
extent mitigates execution risks related to capacity extension
projects in Singapore.  Additionally, S&P understands that
management has some flexibility on an uncommitted part of
development capex related to the capacity extension projects.
S&P expects adjusted leverage of around 6.5x and EBITDA interest
coverage remaining above 2.0x.  The stable outlook also
incorporates S&P's expectation that the group's liquidity, post
refinancing, will remain "adequate," with sufficient headroom
under its covenants.

S&P could consider lowering the rating on Cognita if management's
growth and investment plan does not translate into profit growth,
resulting in EBITDA interest coverage weakening to below 2x.
Moreover, a negative rating action could follow if execution
risks related to capacity extension projects in Singapore were to
increase, and persistently high capex--and therefore negative
FOCF--cause the liquidity position to weaken.  A more aggressive
financial policy could also lead S&P to downgrade Cognita, for
example, as a result of shareholder remuneration or a large
acquisition.

At this stage, an upgrade is remote, as S&P already factors in
satisfactory execution of management's growth plan and EBITDA
growth in S&P's base-case scenario.  However, S&P could consider
an upgrade if Cognita's leverage ratio improved to below 5x and
FOCF turned positive on a sustainable basis.


CORY ENVIRONMENTAL: Gets Order to Commence Debt Restructuring
-------------------------------------------------------------
Luca Casiraghi at Bloomberg News, citing a London court ruling on
July 21, reports that Cory Environmental obtained an order to
start scheme-of-arrangement process to restructure around GBP350
million of loans.

According to Bloomberg, more than 90% of each class already
agreed to the restructuring.  At least 75% approval from each
class is required by the court, Bloomberg notes.

A sanction hearing is scheduled for Aug. 17, Bloomberg discloses.

Cory Environmental is a UK-based waste management company.


FIRST CHOICE: Court Orders Firm Into Liquidation
------------------------------------------------
WiredGov reports that First Choice Properties MGT Ltd, a London
property investment company, has been ordered into liquidation in
the public interest following an investigation by the Insolvency
Service.

The investigation found that the company had called unsuspecting
members of the public promoting the purchase of plots of land in
Brazil, Cyprus, Egypt and Thailand as investment opportunities,
according to WiredGov.  The company targeted vulnerable and
unsuspecting individuals using high-pressure sales tactics, the
report relates.

The report discloses that the company's former Web site,
http://www.firtschoiceinproperties.com, promised to bring the
overseas property market to the doorstep of both new and
experienced UK investors with the company boasting 50 years of
experience in international land and property enabling it to pin
point the best investment opportunities and to make valuable real
estate a reality for individuals disappointed with the
performance of the stock market.

Members of the public are understood to have invested overall at
least GBP63,000 and possibly up to a total of GBP840,000 with the
company, the report says.

The company's only presence in the UK was through a serviced
office address and its sole director is resident in Costa Rica
and has not responded to the investigation, the report adds.

First Choice Properties MGT Ltd (06872386) was incorporated on
April 7, 2009 in the name Real Estate Consultancy & Marketing
Limited.  The name of the company was changed to its present
style on January 15, 2013. The registered office of the company
from January 16, 2013 was 60 Cannon Street, London, EC4N 6JP. The
sole recorded director and secretary from January 11, 2013 was
Alexis Jimenez.

The report notes that the company was inactive while under the
control of the company formation agent and dormant company
accounts were filed for the periods ended April 30, 2010, 2011,
and 2012. No accounts were filed for the period the company
operated under the directorship of Mr. Jimenez.


LONMIN PLC: Mulls 6,000 Job Cuts Following Platinum Price Dip
-------------------------------------------------------------
Andrew England and James Wilson at The Financial Times report
that Lonmin plc is making 6,000 job cuts, closing operations and
considering whether to raise capital, underlining the problems
for the platinum miner in one of the most beleaguered divisions
of the industry.

In one of the biggest restructurings announced by a platinum
company, Lonmin, as cited by the FT, said it would close its
Hossy and Newman mine shafts and mothball three others.  The
London-listed group said it was lossmaking at current prices and
will extend its job cuts from the 3,500 announced in May, as it
seeks to reduce costs amid depressed platinum prices, the FT
relates.

The platinum price has plummeted to levels last seen in 2009 as
it has dipped below US$1,000 an ounce, the FT notes.

According to the FT, Lonmin, which employs about 38,000 people,
including 9,000 contractors, said that at the current price the
company was making a loss before interest, taxes, depreciation,
and amortization.

The group hinted at a need to raise capital, saying it was
reviewing the appropriate capital structure for the company, the
FT relays.

"The board is considering the full range of options available to
secure long-term capital and expects to update the market by the
time of our full-year results in November 2015," the FT quotes
Lonmin as saying.

Lonmin Plc is a United Kingdom-based company.  The principal
activities of the Company during the fiscal year ended
September 30, 2011 (fiscal 2011), were mining, refining and
marketing of Platinum Group Metals (PGM).  The Company has three
operating segments: PGM Operations, Evaluation and Exploration.
It runs a vertically integrated operational structure from mine
to market.  Its Mining operations extract ore, which its process
division converts into refined PGMs, for delivery to its
customers.


NORTHERN ROCK: Bad Bank Won't Have to Compensate Borrowers
----------------------------------------------------------
Jane Croft at The Financial Times reports that Northern Rock
Asset Management will no longer have to compensate thousands of
people who borrowed from the taxpayer-owned lender after it
successfully appealed a court decision.

The High Court had ruled in December that GBP261 million could be
handed back to about 41,000 borrowers who took out Northern Rock
loans worth more than GBP25,000 as part of its "Together"
mortgage product, which comprised a loan and a mortgage, the FT
recounts.

NRAM, the "bad" part of the bank that was nationalized in 2008,
had brought the test case against itself after receiving 277
complaints that its former Together mortgage documents were
incorrectly worded, the FT relays.

Customers had complained that their statements showed the balance
but did not reveal the original loan amount, which is required
under the 1974 Consumer Credit Act, the FT relates.

NRAM appealed the High Court decision, which was overturned on
July 23, the FT discloses.

The decision by the Court of Appeal spares NRAM having to pay
compensation amounting to about GBP6,000 to each borrower, the FT
notes.

NRAM is part of UK Asset Resolution, established by the
government in 2010 to manage the closed mortgage books of
Bradford & Bingley and NRAM, the FT states.

According to the FT, Richard Banks, UKAR's chief executive
officer, said the court decision had confirmed that customers who
took out unsecured loans of more than GBP25,000 under agreements
that incorrectly stated these loans were regulated under the Act
were not entitled to the same rights and remedies as those who
took out loans that were regulated under the Act.

The company, the FT says, is expected to release a provision
which had been set aside for the payments.


RMPA SERVICES: S&P Lowers Rating on GBP680MM Bonds to 'BB+'
-----------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered to 'BB+' from 'BBB-'
its long-term issue rating on the GBP680 million 5.337% bonds
(including GBP100 million variation bonds) due Sept. 30, 2038,
issued by RMPA Services PLC (ProjectCo).  The GBP100 million
variation bonds were not drawn and were subsequently cancelled as
they were not required.  The bonds' proceeds were used to finance
the construction of Colchester Garrison near Colchester, in
southeast England, for the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) under a
35-year private finance initiative (PFI) concession agreement.
The outlook on the rating is stable.

S&P has also assigned a '2' recovery rating to the project bonds
issued by RMPA Services PLC. A recovery rating of '2' indicates
S&P's expectation of substantial (70%-90%) recovery prospects in
the event of a payment default.  S&P's recovery expectations are
in the upper half of the 70%-90% range.  To date, however, there
has been limited experience regarding default or loss in this
sector.

The downgrade reflects S&P's view that ProjectCo will pursue a
more aggressive financial policy demonstrated by the distribution
of unspent life cycle funds -- albeit the reduction of the
required life cycle reserve has been advised by the independent
maintenance contractor and agreed with the TA.  ProjectCo
distributed forecast life cycle cost savings to its shareholders
following the reduction of estimated life cycle costs until 2019.
It also distributed the savings from reduced subordinated debt
interest payments.  This earlier repayment of subordinated debt
leads to an earlier tax liability due to reduced debt interest
payments. Therefore, it reduces annual debt service coverage
ratios (ADSCRs).  ProjectCo is currently working on an updated
operating model that will be independently audited for approval
by the controlling creditor, Ambac.  The rating does not reflect
the likely utilization of the consortium tax relief by
ProjectCo's shareholders in future years.

ProjectCo has established a notional tax reserve to maintain
DSCRs at contractually required minimum levels, as stipulated
under the collateral deed.  However, S&P understands that the
funding of the tax reserve is not a contractual requirement under
the collateral deed since it is created only when certain
conditions related to the surrender or disposal of tax losses
have been met.  Since ProjectCo has not crystallized any tax
losses until now; the funding of the tax reserve to date has been
discretionary.  S&P has assumed that such transfers to the tax
reserve are not made while calculating the Standard & Poor's
base-case DSCRs.  This leads to Standard & Poor's minimum and
average DSCRs of 1.03x and 1.19x, respectively, under its base
case.  This assumes the full amount of forecast distributions
could still be made under the collateral deed.  Assuming the
distribution restrictions under the collateral deed are met, the
minimum and average DSCRs would be 1.12x and 1.30x, respectively.

ProjectCo's board may decide to make further distributions to its
shareholders in September 2015 from the proceeds of the sale of
tax losses as part of the normal half-yearly distributions review
process.  The sale of tax losses to its previous shareholders
resulted in a payment of GBP13.7 million to ProjectCo.  This sale
occurred over many years to the previous shareholders and it was
agreed during ProjectCo's change of shareholding that these
amounts should be settled to reduce the credit risk to RMPA.  The
previous shareholders therefore paid cash for these losses.
ProjectCo has stated that any release of this cash will be within
the parameters of the collateral deed and with a view to
maintaining an investment-grade rating.  However, S&P's rating
assumes this amount could be distributed by end-September 2015.

OPERATIONS PHASE

Operations continue to function well with low deductions and
positive relationships among all parties.

The TA believes that the buildings are being appropriately
maintained and that the future life cycle budget is sufficient to
meet ProjectCo's likely requirements.  However, S&P understands
that the life cycle plan currently being used is that of
financial close and therefore requires revalidation.  ProjectCo
plans to commence a full project-life operational-model review
including life cycle, which will give a better picture of the
longer-term life cycle requirements and ensure better management
of the life cycle fund.

Counterparty.

Given the irreplaceable and material nature of the revenue
counterparty -- the MoD, which is part of the U.K. government --
S&P assigns to it a counterparty dependency assessment (CDA) of
'aaa', equal to the sovereign credit rating on the U.K.

S&P assigns a CDA to the operations counterparty, Sodexo Ltd. (A-
/Stable/A-2).  S&P also considers that the project does not have
sufficient liquidity to replace its facilities maintenance
contractors if required.  This leads S&P to apply a CDA of 'a-'
to the rating of Sodexo Ltd.  This caps the rating on the
ProjectCo.

ProjectCo's account bank is Bank of Scotland PLC.  This does not
currently constrain the issue rating on the bonds due to the
replacement language and limited exposure.

MODIFIERS

Full Credit Guarantee.

Senior debt is guaranteed by Ambac Assurance U.K. Ltd. (Ambac),
which is currently not rated.

According to S&P's criteria, it assesses the project's liquidity
as neutral.  Liquidity is provided by a slightly stronger-than-
average debt service reserve account, which is funded to meet the
next nine months of senior debt service.  Additional liquidity is
provided by a three-year forward-looking major maintenance
reserve.

The outlook reflects S&P's view that the project's operational
performance will remain stable and that service delivery will
continue to meet the necessary standards.  S&P expects the
financial profile to continue to be supported by transfers from a
notional tax reserve account, albeit recognizing such transfers
are discretionary in nature.

S&P considers an upgrade unlikely at present because of the
project's relatively weak financial profile.

S&P could lower the rating if the project's ADSCRs were to weaken
further.  In S&P's opinion, weakened credit metrics are most
likely to occur as a result of unexpected increases in life cycle
spending.  S&P could also lower the rating if the continued
distribution of unspent life cycle funds were to weaken the
project's liquidity or if the project's ADSCRs were to reduce due
to higher taxes that cannot now be offset following the early
sale of tax losses.


VIVAT TRUST: In the Brink of Liquidation
----------------------------------------
Shopshire Star reports that a charity, which let out historic
properties to holidaymakers, including one in Shropshire, is on
the brink of going into liquidation.

The Vivat Trust, which let out properties including The Temple at
Badger Dingle, between Bridgnorth and Albrighton, has appointed
insolvency practitioners Begbies Traynor, according to Shopshire
Star.

The report notes that customers, who can pay up to GBP2,000 per
week to stay in historic properties managed by the Hereford-based
charity, have now had their holidays cancelled.

They will now have to wait to hear from liquidators for the trust
-- which rescued neglected and dilapidated listed buildings -- to
find whether they will get their money back, the report relays.

A statement on the charity's website said Mary Currie-Smith and
Louise Baxter of Begbies Traynor had been instructed to place
both The Vivat Trust Ltd and its sister company Vivat Management
Services Ltd in liquidation on August 6, the report discloses.

It said a number of customers had either paid for their holidays
in full, or had left up-front deposits, the report relays.

"Once appointed, the liquidators will investigate whether or not
the deposits were held in a trust account and, if appropriate,
look into the possibility of returning monies paid," the
statement added, the report relays.

The Vivat Trust is a registered charity, and was established in
1981 in order to rescue derelict historic buildings and
sensitively restore them into short stay self-catering holiday
homes, the report relays.

The report adds that the trust's Web site said: "This approach to
conserving the nation's heritage allows people to experience a
living piece of history, while the lettings income helps fund
future maintenance."


YOUNG'S SEAFOOD: May Retain 250 Jobs at Fraserburgh Site
--------------------------------------------------------
The Scotsman reports that almost 250 jobs could be saved at an
under-threat seafood factory after talks over its future.

Young's Seafood announced earlier this month that more than 900
jobs could be lost at two of its sites in Fraserburgh,
Aberdeenshire, and Grantown on Spey in the Highlands, The
Scotsman relates.

According to The Scotsman, the company had proposed moving work
from the factories to its other manufacturing sites in Grimsby,
Livingston and Annan after the loss of a major contract to supply
salmon to supermarket chain Sainsbury's.

At a meeting led by Scottish Government ministers, the firm said
it is now considering maintaining production at Fraserburgh on a
reduced scale while closing the Grantown on Spey site, The
Scotsman relays.

The move would see 250 staff retained at Fraserburgh -- about
half the current number, The Scotsman states.  The company is
seeking a buyer for Grantown on Spey, The Scotsman discloses.


* UK: Number of Corporate Insolvencies Down to 3,908
----------------------------------------------------
The Business Debt Advisor on July 29 disclosed that the number of
corporate insolvencies peaked at 25,633 in 2009 and, since then,
have steadily declined to a total figure at the end of 2014 of
17,118.

Bev Budsworth explained: "The figures show the total number of
corporate insolvencies were 3,908, down mainly due to a reduction
in compulsory liquidations.  When compared to the first quarter
total of 4,052, it's likely that corporate insolvencies will
continue to decline this year to around 16,000.  The decline can
be attributed, in most part, to the recovering economy, however,
there is an increasing number of companies with debts that are
dissolved each year.

"Considering that there are more than 580,000 new companies set
up each year and that companies have an average life span of two-
and-a-half years, the number of formal insolvencies is very low.
"It is estimated that just short of 369,500 companies are
dissolved each year.  However, dissolution is only relevant for
companies that have no debt and have not traded or changed their
name in the last three months.  There has been an unhealthy
growth in directors applying to strike off companies in debt.
Companies House provides a step by step guide to the striking off
process and failure to follow this process, which includes
sending notification to shareholders, employees and creditors,
can mean a fine or possible prosecution."


* UK: Profit Warnings Fall to Two-Year Low in Q2 2015
-----------------------------------------------------
Ernst & Young on July 28 disclosed that UK profit warnings fell
to a near two-year low in Q2 this 2015, with UK quoted companies
issuing just 57 warnings, six fewer than the same period of 2014
and a drop of 26% compared to the previous quarter.

An unexpected decisive General Election result provided greater
certainty for businesses by the end of the period, while rising
disposable incomes, low interest rates and a buoyant housing
market provided sufficient economic momentum for listed
businesses, according to EY's latest Profit Warnings report.

Overall, 4% of UK quoted companies issued profit warnings in Q2
of this year, making this the lowest number and percentage of
companies warning since Q3 2013.  The Main Market saw a
significant drop in warnings; however, profit warnings from AIM
companies remained steady at 35 (4.2%) against 37 (4.4%) in Q1
2015.

The FTSE sectors leading profit warnings in Q2 were Software &
Computer Services (10) Support Services (7), Electronic &
Electrical Equipment (7), Media (5) and General Retailers (5).
Improving landscape but expectations could rebound too fast
Profit warnings normally tail off during the summer, but this is
an especially dramatic fall in warnings given the post-crisis
highs recorded in previous quarters.

Alan Hudson, EY's head of restructuring for UK & Ireland, says,
"This period was a quarter of two halves.  In April, UK profit
warnings again hit a seven-year high; however in May an improving
global economic outlook and an unexpectedly decisive General
Election result appeared to set the ball rolling on many
contracts and investment decisions.  This helped companies meet
lowered forecasts and feel more confident about the future.

"The danger is -- as ever -- that expectations rebound too fast.
Summer has brought renewed uncertainties and challenges. Even
with helpful economic winds, there are obviously deep and
enduring issues dragging on profits.  Rising competition,
disruptive new entrants and trends -- combined with overcapacity
and 'noflation' -- provide tough conditions in which to raise
prices and forecast accurately.  Companies need to actively rejig
their portfolios and focus on operational and capital resilience
to thrive and meet rising investor expectations in this volatile
environment."

Software & Computer Services sector issues highest number of
warnings

Companies in the FTSE Software & Computer Services sector issued
17 profit warnings in the first half of 2015, the most of any
FTSE sector.  The UK quoted sector is one of the largest and
covers a diverse range of businesses.  However, this volume of
warnings now means that a quarter of the sector has warned in the
last 12 months and recurring themes suggest that many companies
in the sector lack the resilience needed to make the most of the
significant opportunities that lie ahead.

The sectors' strong international focus brings geographical and
currency challenges into play.  The strong dollar has dented the
growth prospects of several markets, especially emerging
economies.  The weak euro hurts UK companies exposed to the
region -- and ongoing Eurozone uncertainty adds a further
unsettling element.  However, 'disruptive' areas like cloud
computing, big data, smart mobility, social networking and the
'Internet of Things' are growing at considerably faster rates,
while also being the key drivers for new system and application
growth.

Tech winners & losers

Simon Pearson, EY technology transaction partner comments, "As in
every period of rapid and significant change, some companies
emerge as winners and others get left behind.  A number of large
technology businesses, who previously dominated their sector,
have fallen by the way side in recent years.  Indeed, dominance
and size can be a hindrance if vested interests and over reliance
and attachment to old models blinker management and inhibit their
ability to adapt."

Smaller companies should be more nimble, but many fast growing
companies have heighted expectations and they are naturally
vulnerable to problems with a single dominant contract.  The UK
profit warning data shows just that, with all but one of the 17
warnings issued this year coming from companies with a turnover
below GBP200 million.

Continuing, Pearson says, "Companies can't afford to stand still
in this sector.  Where possible they should think about
broadening their client base by market and geography, but beyond
that it's vital to apply best practice in understanding and
managing risk across the contract lifecycle.  This includes
building in flexibility to counteract the risk from wage
inflation and volatile exchange rates and also effective and
regular monitoring of contract performance to ensure management
receives early warning of any issues. Companies should also be
applying robust cash forecasting across projects and divisions in
order to ensure adequate liquidity and working capital."

Swings and roundabouts for retail

FTSE General Retailers issued five profit warnings in Q2 this
year, taking the first half total to 11 -- the highest since
2011. The recent macro-economic environment appears to offer
every advantage but this hasn't been enough to cushion some
retailers against a costly battle to keep pace with changing
consumer behavior and the equally constant demand for low prices.
The profit warning data suggests sector health remains mixed,
with over 25% of General Retailers warning in the last year. By
sub-sector, apparel is by far and away the sector under most
stress -- representing half of all FTSE General Retailers
warnings issued this year.

Jessica Clayton, EY transaction advisory services partner and
retail specialist, comments, "What's preventing the macro picture
from translating into a healthier sector? In many cases, it is
the continuing price-investment conundrum.  Consumers are
sticking to behaviors adopted during the recession -- they have
become comfortable with shopping with the discounters and
diverting any spare cash to treats.  Consumer spending on eating
out has risen and the high street has serious competition for the
consumer pound."

This focus on price has made consumers no less demanding, they
are still looking for value and for seamless service across all
channels.  Keeping up with the latest shifts in technology and
related changes in behavior is placing increasing demands on
investment, working capital and on the finance and buying
functions.  These strains -- and need for additional investment
-- become especially apparent in the long run into Christmas,
starting with the peak of Black Friday.

Ms. Clayton adds, "Retail as a whole has become a much fitter and
leaner sector in the last seven years.  Companies with
operational and capital flexibility -- and the ingenuity -- to
adapt should still be able to thrive by harnessing new
opportunities.  New technologies, new partnerships and changing
store profiles will offer new ways to interact with consumers.
However, some retailers won't have the ability or capacity to
reinvent themselves fast enough.  The strains of under-investment
and financial inflexibility become particularly apparent as
buying patterns display more pronounced peaks and troughs. The
next six months could further sort the resilient from the
vulnerable."

Economic outlook

Alan Hudson, concludes, "This is a year of contrasts and
contradictions.  Stronger growth and rising deal activity stand
in sharp contrast to the Eurozone's growing existential crisis
and rising emerging market concerns.  The contrast between these
narratives, combined with heightened monetary policy speculation,
has increased market volatility and clouded the outlook for the
second half of 2015.

"A rebound in growth and deal activity should remain the dominant
theme for 2015.  But the recovery will have less speed and
stability if uncertainties continue and create a more testing
period for UK companies and their earnings forecasts.  But for UK
earnings the macro environment is only part of the story.
Whatever fair and foul economic winds are blowing, many companies
are also still contending with dizzying change within their own
sector, as disruptive entrants and technologies continue to
challenge pricing and old models.  Change always brings
opportunity, but only for those resilient enough to take
advantage."


                            *********

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.

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Thursday's edition of the TCR. Submissions about insolvency-
related conferences are encouraged.  Send announcements to
conferences@bankrupt.com

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.


                            *********


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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