Leveraged loans

ADB Airfield Solutions

Target nation: Belgium

Sponsor: Montagu Private Equity

Arrangers: Fortis and KBC

Montagu Private Equity has put in place a €73m debt package to support its buyout of ADB Airfield Solutions. In a club-style syndication co-ordinators Bank of Ireland and WestLB were joined by mandated lead arrangers Fortis and KBC.

The facility is split between a €19m six-year term loan A paying 425bp over Euribor, a €19m seven-year term loan B paying 475bp, a €10m six-year revolver paying 425bp and a €25m six-year guarantee facility, also at 425bp.

Belgium-based ADB Airfield Solutions provides visual guidance systems for airside operations.

Gras Savoye

Target nation: France

Sponsor: Astorg Partners

Arrangers: BNP Paribas and others

Astorg Partners is said to be in discussions with a group of banks led by BNP Paribas, Natixis and SG about arranging a €300m debt package to support the potential acquisition of a 33% stake in Gras Savoye, an insurance broker. A senior and mezzanine package is said to be under discussion.

National Express

Target nation: UK

Sponsor: CVC

Arrangers: Barclays and others

The acquisition of National Express by the Cosmen family and CVC is backed by eight banks including Barclays, BBVA, Calyon, Commerzbank, HSBC, RBS and SG.

The main stumbling block to the two facilities needed – one a quasi-corporate loan of £1.2bn and the other a back-to-back financing of about £500m – is said to be meeting the takeover panel deadline.

Arranging the financing is a protracted process for a number of reasons – with existing bank exposure to National Express one of the bigger hairballs.

Skype Technologies

Target nation: Luxembourg

Sponsor: Silver Lake consortium

Arrangers: JP Morgan, Barclays Capital and RBC

Skype Technologies’ US$600m term loan was expected to undergo some modifications in order clear the market amid investors’ concerns about the riskiness of the issuer, given its lack of hard assets and questions regarding its revenue model.

The financing, backing the 65% buyout of Skype, was launched on October 1 through JP Morgan, Barclays Capital and RBC. It is priced at L+600bp and includes a 2% Libor floor. The discount is talked at 97. Closing is expected in mid to late-October.

The facility also carries a US$30m revolver. The remaining non-debt portion of the financing backing the US$1.9bn purchase is expected to include a sizeable equity cheque.

The acquisition is expected to close in Q4 and marks the first substantial debt-backed private equity purchase in more than a year.

The Silver Lake consortium buying the asset is a mix of European and North American private equity, venture capital and pension funds. It includes Europe-based Index Ventures, a venture capital firm; Andreesen Horowitz, a relatively new VC firm led by Netscape founder Marc Andreesen; and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Moody’s assigned a B2 corporate rating to Springboard Group, the borrowing vehicle, and a B1 rating to the financing. S&P meanwhile, assigned a single-B rating to Springboard and to the financing.