Mid Europa leads mega Polish recap

Mid Europa Partners, the €2.1bn private equity firm focused on buyouts in Central Europe has completed the recapitalisation of its portfolio company, Aster, a Polish cable broadband operator.

Aster raised €415m through a combination of senior, mezzanine and pay-in-kind facilities from both new and existing lenders. The financing is the largest-ever recapitalisation in Poland and features the largest-ever local currency-denominated senior credit facility in a leveraged financing in Central and Eastern Europe.

Matthew Strassberg, who is responsible for the Aster investment at Mid Europa said: “We are very pleased with Aster’s strong operating performance and rapid deleveraging since our March 2006 investment. The support shown by the participating lenders to this transaction despite challenging credit market conditions validates the leadership provided by Aster’s management team, which holds a substantial investment in the business.”

Robert Kolodziej, Aster CFO noted: “The new financing optimizes our capital structure, significantly reduces our average cost of debt, improves key terms resulting in greater operating and strategic flexibility and funds a substantial distribution to the shareholders.”

Credit Suisse underwrote the financing and coordinated the amendment process. Kirkland & Ellis and White & Case acted for Aster. Clifford Chance acted for the lenders.