Carvana talking to lawyers, bankers about debt restructuring

Recasts paragraph 1, adds report details, updates shares

Dec 7 (Reuters)Carvana Co CVNA.N is speaking with lawyers and investment bankers about options for managing its debt load, Bloomberg Law reported on Wednesday, as concerns grow about the company’s solvency due toplungingused-car prices, while a rating cut hammered shares.

Carvana has spoken with advisers at Kirkland & Ellis and Moelis & Co, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The three companies did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Wedbush downgraded its rating on Carvana’s stock to “underperform” from “neutral”, sending the company’s shares down as much as 47% to a record low.

Wedbush raised the possibility of a debt default by the used-car retailer which would increase the risk of bankruptcy. The brokerage cut its price target to a Wall Street low of $1.

Shares of Carvana were last down 41% at $3.95.

Carvana has suffered from waning used-car demand and high costs, forcing it to undertake job reductions to rein in expenses this year. Last month, it cut about 1,500 employees, or 8% of its workforce.

“Many (Carvana) bonds have been trading at about 50 cents on the dollar, indicating investors see a high probability of default,” Wedbush analyst Seth Basham said in a note titled “Bankruptcy risk rising”.

Carvana’s bonds have been under pressure this year, with notes maturing in 2025 146869AB8= trading at 45 cents on the dollar, slightly above the record low of 40 cents hit a month earlier. At the start of the year, they were trading at 97 cents on the dollar.

Meanwhile, the yield stood at 39.82%, according to Refinitiv data. In comparison, the yield on the 5-year U.S. Treasury notes US5YT=RR was at 3.7171%.

The company’s market value dropped to under $1 billion on Wednesday from over $60 billion at its high in 2021.

Carvana’s Collapsehttps://tmsnrt.rs/3uxODUM

(Reporting by Priyamvada C, Medha Singh, Sruthi Shankar and Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Maju Samuel)

((Priyamvada.C@thomsonreuters.com; https://twitter.com/priyamouli1812))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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