Loan market supports refis

SEAT Pagine Gialle’s €2.62bn refinancing has sailed through its general phase in the loan market to close with a heavy oversubscription, through MLA BNP Paribas. Ahead of allocations being finalised, indications were that lenders could expect large scale-backs on final takes. Arrangers were offered €30m for 30bp and co-arrangers €15m tickets for 20bp.

The result is not surprising following a popular sub-underwriting phase, which ended with lenders under €225m target holds. The decision to proceed to general syndication was influenced by the fact that several existing lenders were yet to join. Despite their initial malaise, a heavy oversubscription came from the fund community.

Sub-underwriters are AIB, BNL, Banca Intesa, Bank of Scotland, Calyon, Caja Madrid, Citibank, HVB, Interbanca, KBC, Lloyds, MCC, Mediobanca, Rabobank, RBS, Sanpaolo IMI and UBM. Sub-underwriting fees are 12.5bp and the group will receive a further 50bp on their allocations.

The facility is split into a €1.93bn seven-year amortising term loan A at 185bp over Euribor, a €600m eight-year term loan B at 235bp and a €90m seven-year revolver at 185bp. Half of the B tranche is a fund carve-out. Leverage is just over 6x.

The refinancing replaces €4.29bn of debt. Sponsors are BC Partners, CVC, Investitori Associati and Permira.

Advent International has hired UBS and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein for a €355m refinancing of its portfolio company Vinnolit, a German-based PVC maker. Vinnolit’s sales in 2004 were €661m, but the company has been bleeding red ink for the last few years after being acquired in 2000, a banking source said.

The refinancing is expected to bring in about €250m for Advent to repay its equity cost. UBS had provided Advent with the debt for the original buyout from Celanese, another German-based chemicals company that is now owned by Blackstone.

ABN AMRO and CIBC are out, meanwhile, with the €850m senior debt package backing CVC’s refinancing of Wavin, Europe’s leading supplier of plastic pipes. The loan is split between a €230m seven-year term loan A at 225bp over Euribor, a €245m eight year term loan B at 250bp, a €245m nine-year term loan C at 300bp

and a €130m seven-year revolving working capital loan at 225bp. Only a small group of relationship lenders have been approached at this point. CVC is not taking a dividend and senior leverage is 4.3x.

Buyout financings also remain a driver of the loan market. Barclays and Deutsche are syndicating the £672.5m senior, second-lien and mezzanine debt package backing PAI’s buyout of Kwik-Fit, the British car repair chain.

Senior debt totals £500m and comprises a £140m seven-year term loan A at 225bp over Libor, a £135m eight-year term loan B at 275bp, a £135m nine-year term loan C at 325bp, a £50m seven-year revolver at 225bp and a £40m capex facility. The £75m second lien piece pays 500bp over Libor and the £97.5m mezzanine loan pays 5% cash and 5% PIK.

Lenders are invited on a single ticket of £35m earning 125bp. PAI acquired Kwik-Fit for about £800m in a secondary buyout from CVC Capital. Kwik-Fit was first bought out from Ford in 2002 for £330m.