“Leveraged financings in the range of €150m to €1bn are the sweet spot for our bank and have been for a number of years. We closed and syndicated 28 deals in this range last year as a bookrunner with a total volume of €6.2bn. We were also involved in four more deals of sizes higher than €1bn,” says Tanneguy de Carné, head of leveraged capital markets Europe at Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking in London.
“The amount that we have underwritten in 2007, in the segment of deals equal to or less than €1bn, was 25% greater in volume of business compared with 2006,” he says.
Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking’s Leveraged Capital Markets Europe has a dedicated leverage finance footprint across Europe including a stronghold in France, a traditional strength in Spain, a meaningful presence in Germany and the UK, and a developing one in Italy. The bank’s team also covers Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands from the UK. Its team focus is split between TMT and non-TMT, financing a broad range of industry sectors.
Of the 28 completed deals in 2007, the bank was mandated on some of the standout LBOs in various European markets.
“We acted as joint bookrunner with Royal Bank of Scotland on the Bridgepoint-sponsored secondary buyout deal for German company Rodenstock. The €336m senior debt financing met a 100% hit rate with banks and was six times over-subscribed on the CLO side; the reverse flex was 25bp on the B tranche and 50bp on the C tranche,” says de Carné.
“We work very well with Bridgepoint and completed two deals with them in 2007,” he says, including the deal for WKE in the Netherlands.
“We acted for Bridgepoint on its buyout of Dutch media company WKE, together with ING as joint bookrunners. The €740m financing package was 8.1 times levered, which was a clear indication of the leveraged finance market in the first half of 2007,” says de Carné.
Also in the Netherlands, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking worked with BNP Paribas on the €199m senior debt for the 3i-sponsored acquisition of VNU Business Media of the Netherlands in financing that was five times levered.
Also working with 3i, this time in the UK, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking is mandated with Barclays to finance the ongoing £220m public-to-private deal to acquire Inspicio plc, which was established in 2005 to acquire and manage organisations in the testing, inspection and performance conformity markets both in the UK and internationally