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Fairfax mentioned in Level 3 article-


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Level 3 is lucky that its top 10 holders control about 70% of its stock. Eventually, the company was able to convince some of these investors -- including Southeastern Asset Management and Fairfax Financial Holdings -- to stump an additional $400 million. About $340 million of that sum was used to buy back $460 million of those looming 2010 maturities. Level 3's debt obligations in 2009 and 2010 are now $694 million, and not $1.1 billion.


The reprieve is a costly one. Level 3 is paying 15% annual interest on the money, and the debt converts to stock by 2013, hurting its current shareholders. Bond investors still trade Level 3's paper at about 70 cents on the dollar and the single-digit stock price indicates shareholders expect more deals like these in coming years.


Companies and their lenders will have to renegotiate trillions of dollars in debt in the years ahead, in many cases swapping debt for equity. As Mr. Patel learned, it is essential not to bury the problems, but to face them, candidly, early on. "The key is having a long-term relationship with shareholders," he says.


"These guys pull rabbits out of the hat," says Jefferies & Co. Inc. credit analyst Romeo Reyes. "They've been shrewd about taking advantage of what the market offers."




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