Dial Eircom for loans

Lead arrangers and bookrunners Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, DK and JP Morgan have launched the loan component of the €4bn debt package backing the Babcock & Brown-led buyout of Eircom, the dominant Irish telecoms firm.

The debt is split between a €3.3bn senior secured loan facility, a €200m second-lien tranche and €500m in senior notes. The bond issue will follow at the end of the month.

Senior secured consists of a €653m seven-year term loan A paying 200bp over Euribor, a €1.25bn eight-year term loan B at 250bp over Libor, a €1.25bn nine-year term loan at 300bp and a €150m revolver. The €200m nine-and-a-half-year second-lien loan pays 475bp over Euribor.

Funds have been allocated a 70% B/C carveout, while bank lenders are invited on €75m for 95bp, €50m for 75bp or €25m for 55bp. There is a bank meeting in London on Monday July 17 and commitments are requested for July 31.

Babcock & Brown Capital together with Eircom’s Employee Share Ownership Trust is paying €4.5bn for Eircom through bid vehicle BCM Ireland Holdings. Babcock controls 65% of the vehicle with ESOT holding the remainder. The acquisition is the fifth change of ownership for Eircom since its 1999 flotation.

In the CDS market protection gradually edged wider last week to stand at 310/330 in five-year, up as much as 70bp–80bp on the previous month.