LBO Syndications arranged in April


Target nation: UK

Date announced: 08/02/08

Deal type: LBO

Acquirer: Montagu

Total value: £1.7bn

Mandated arrangers: Barclays and others

Financing: Unknown

Biffa is to hold a bankers’ meeting for its Montague and GIP-backed buyout. Arrangers Barclays, Credit Suisse, HBOS, HSBC and RBS launched syndication of £860m of senior and £280m of mezzanine debt backing the deal.

Senior debt is split into a £180m seven-year amortising A tranche paying 275bp over Libor, a £270m eight-year B tranche paying 250bp, a £270m nine-year term loan C paying 400bp, a £90m seven-year RCF paying 275bp and a £50m seven-year capex facility paying 275bp. The £280m 10-year mezzanine tranche pays 425bp cash and 550bp PIK.

Banks are invited to join as a joint lead arraanger on a £40m ticket paying 150bp or an arranger for £20m paying 100bp. There is an institutional carve-out for funds on the B and C tranches.


Target nation: UK

Date announced: 17/04/08

Deal type: Public to private

Acquirer: Umbrellastream

Total value: £1.605bn

Arrangers: RBS and others

Financing: Unknown

The Expro deal sees Umbrellastream – a consortium of Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and AlpInvest Partners – win the backing of the independent directors of Expro, a UK based oil services business, for a £1.605bn bid.

Rival interest from trade bidder Halliburton could yet see the deal falter, despite the recommendation of the Expro board. This illustrates the difficulties for sponsors even where debt backing for a bid has been secured in size, highlighting the reason they are reluctant to enter into auctions.

The Umbrellastream offer is backed by a mix of sponsors’ equity and debt provided by a consortium of RBS, Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Canada, HSBC Bank and DnB NOR Bank. As with comparable deals, in the event of a deal going through the market leads will look to anchor senior and especially mezzanine facilities with a core group ahead of a general syndication.

The deal will be Royal Bank of Canada‘s first leveraged loan underwriting in Europe since it opened its European leveraged finance business in March, hiring a team from home market rival CIBC.

In fact, the mix of banks includes no US investment banks, a possibly telling reflection of their increased marginalisation from the European leveraged finance market, where club and club-style deals with banks prepared to take large holds are increasingly the norm. That said, earlier oil services deals for Abbot Group and CHC Helicopters both feature investment banks in leading positions, making it probably too early to identify a trend.

Expro had sales of £519m in 2007, with EBITDA of £115m. The business provides well flow management services and products, employs more than 4,000 staff and operates in over 50 countries.


Target nation: UK

Date announced: 12/02/08

Deal type: Secondary

Acquirer: Merrill Lynch

Total value: Undisclosed

Arrangers: BoI and others

Financing: Unknown

Mandated lead arrangers Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Merrill Lynch and RBS are understood to have closed syndication of the £222.5m debt backing the acquisition of IDH by Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity. Syndication was targeted solely at banks.

ISS Energie

Target nation: France

Date announced: 18/04/08

Deal type: LBO

Acquirer: Industri Kapital

Total value: Unknown

Arranger: Credit Mutuel-CIC

Financing: €136.9m

Industri Kapital has mandated Credit Mutuel-CIC to arrange and bookrun its buyout of ISS Energie and to refinance debt from its acquisition of IDEX Groupe.

The deal was funded in the first quarter of 2008 and is structured as a €23m seven-year term loan A, a €25.2m seven-year term loan A2, a €9m eight-year term loan B1, a €11.7m eight-year term loan B2, a €10m seven-year revolver, a €13m seven-year Capex line and a €45m seven-year borrowing base facility that will not be offered.

Syndication has now been launched. Prior to launch, BNP Paribas and CADIF both joined.

Industri Kapital bought-out IDEX Groupe in 2004. ISS Energie was previously held by ISS Global through ISS Holding France. The combined group will be an independent energy and environment services provider offering services such as the management of collective heating and cooling networks (public and private) as well as the technical maintenance of buildings and third-party management of utilities.


Target nation: UK

Date announced: 21/12/07

Deal type: LBO

Acquirer: KKR

Total value: £593m

Arrangers: Barclays, HSBC

Financing: Unknown

Barclays and HSBC have been mandated to arrange the senior debt backing KKR‘s buyout of Northgate Information Solutions. Goldman Sachs and Park Square have underwritten a mezzanine tranche. Northgate provides specialist software, outsourcing and IT services to the human resources, local government, education and public safety markets. Northgate currently employs over 6,000 staff and operates in 46 countries across 5 continents.

In the UK, the company works with four out of five local authorities and every police force. Its technology is used in the administration of more than £12bn of revenues and benefits and in electoral administration systems covering 18 million people.

Media & Broadcast

Target nation: Germany

Date announced: 08/11/07

Deal type: LBO

Acquirer: TdF

Total value: €850m

Arrangers: BNP and others

Financing: €505m

Syndication of Media&Broadcast‘s €505m all-senior loan through physical bookrunners BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs, with bookrunners ABN AMRO, Calyon, Dexia and SG, has closed oversubscribed, a result that will hearten arrangers across the market.

The bulk of interest has come from banks, with around half a dozen funds also participating.

The small oversubscription will see some scalebacks, but mainly it allows the leads to bring down their final hold positions, which should aid the deal’s stability in any secondary trading.

Acquirer Telediffusion de France (TdF) is owned by TPG, and paid €850m for Deutsche TeleKom’s Media & Broadcast unit.

Securitas Direct

Target nation: Sweden

Date announced: 13/11/07

Deal type: LBO

Acquirer: EQT

Total value: US$1.5bn

Arrangers: Nordea

Financing: Unknown

ESML Intressenter, the investment vehicle of EQT, SakI, Melker Schorling and Investment AB Latour, has completed its SKr10.1bn takeover of Securitas Direct, a Sweden-based domestic security services provider. Senior debt facilities have been arranged by Nordea with mezzanine financing jointly underwritten by MezzVest, Partners Group and EQT.

The underwriters replaced banks mandated in December 2007. The original offer in was mandated to Bank of Scotland, Dresdner Kleinwort, RBS and SEB, and was conditional on a 90% acceptance level that was not achieved. A revised offer with a lower acceptance threshold has now been accepted.


Target nation: UK

Date announced: 03/05/08

Deal type: MBO

Acquirer: Inflexion

Total value: Undisclosed

Arrangers: Barclays and others

Financing: Undisclosed

Mid market sponsors Inflexion Private Equity has led an MBO of SMD, a privately-owned designer and manufacturer of subsea vehicle systems based in the UK. Inflexion has taken a majority equity share holding alongside the management team. A package of debt facilities has been committed by Barclays and HSBC.

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, SMD employs 135 staff and is a manufacturer of remotely controlled subsea vehicles, used all over the world. These vehicles range from Work Class ROVs, the “workhorse” of the offshore oil and gas industry, to specialised subsea trenchers and mining machines.


Date announced: Germany

Deal type: 14/02/08

Acquirer: Paine

Total value: €500m

Arranger: JPMorgan

Financing: €415m

Bookrunner and co-ordinator JPMorgan, with bookrunners BNP Paribas, Commerzbank and UniCredit, are set to close syndication of the €415m debt backing Paine & Partners‘ buyout of German gas spring manufacturer Stabilus. The deal will close oversubscribed, according to a source close to the situation, on the back of bank support and some commitments from funds.

Facilities are split between €340m of senior debt, priced between 275bp and 375bp, and a further €75m of mezzanine debt.


Target nation: Finland

Date announced: 24/03/08

Deal type: LBO

Acquirer: Nordic Capital

Total value: €1.1bn

Arrangers: Nordea and others

Financing: Unknown

Nordic Capital‘s portfolio company Cidron Services has mandated Nordea Bank, Pohjola Bank (formerly OKO Bank PLC) and Swedbank AB to arrange debt backing a €1.1bn buyout offer for listed Finnish IT services business TietoEnator Corporation.

A takeover offer was announced on March 20; the offer acceptance period is expected to begin on April 2 and to end on April 28. Cidron, which already holds a 4.4% stake in the target, said the offer is subject to a 90% shareholder acceptance rate. The TietoEnator Corporation board said it is currently evaluating the offer.


Target nation: UK

Date announced: 05/03/08

Deal type: Secondary

Acquirer: Charterhouse

Total value: £514m

Arranger: RBS

Financing: Unknown

RBS has launched general syndication for senior debt backing Charterhouse Capital Partners‘ LBO of Tunstall. A bank meeting was held in London on April 17, attended by both bank and institutional investors.

The debt includes £155m of senior facilities comprising an amortising seven-year term loan A paying 275bp over Libor; a £60m eight-year bullet term loan B paying 362.5bp; and a £60m nine-year bullet term loan C paying 387.5bp.

The facilities also include a £10m seven-year revolver paying 275bp and a £72m 10-year mezzanine facility, which was fully syndicated prior to the general syndication.

Pro forma leverage is 4.3x senior and 6.3x total. Equity represents about 57% of the total net capitalisation. In 2007, the company generated £124.8m in sales and £31.6m in Ebitda.

Tunstall is a leading provider of telecom care solutions, providing alarms for the elderly and disabled or vulnerable people.

Source: IFR Loans/EVCJ