Yet another extension for USA Springs financing

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge last week granted USA Springs its sixth delay since Halloween on a supposed $60 million financing of its controversial water bottling plant at the border of Nottingham and Barrington.The deadline for the financing package is now March 31.The judge’s approval came after Malom Group AG, a Swiss firm, said it would not be able to meet a Feb. 29 deadline because there was yet another unexpected hold-up in the company’s ability to get someone to put up hundreds of millions of dollars for bonds that Malom holds but that the Brazilian government has warned could be fraudulent.Malom said it has made a “major breakthrough” in efforts to outright sell the bonds, only such a deal would require a lot of money up front. Finally, the firm has high hopes for a deal in the Netherlands in which the notes would be used as collateral and would enable Malom to fund USA Springs, according to an affidavit submitted by Malom.”Malom appears to be making progress,” USA Springs attorney William Gannon said.Previously, Malom blamed financing delays on financial turmoil in Europe and Swiss authorities holding two Malom officials (including Hans-Jurg Lips, the company’s CEO) in “investigative custody” concerning allegations involving Malom’s dealing with another company.For a nearly a decade, and in the face of strong neighborhood opposition, USA Springs has been trying to bottle the New Hampshire groundwater and sell it internationally. But the company ran out of money after securing the necessary permits in June 2008, leaving the plant only partially completed. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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