Northern lights

Syndication of the US$2.975bn debt package backing Nordic Capital‘s and Avista Capital Partners‘ US$4.1bn buyout of ConvaTec from Bristol-Myers Squibb will be allocated early this month, with significant scale-backs after it closed twice oversubscribed.

Bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers are JPMorgan (global co-ordinator), Bank of Ireland, Dresdner Kleinwort, UniCredit and GE, alongside mandated lead arrangers HSH Nordbank, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Nordea, SEB Merchant Banking and Swedbank.

Convatec is a US-based healthcare business, developing and manufacturing wound therapeutics and ostomy care products, with more than half its revenues coming from Europe.

While the deal is by far the largest leverage package underwritten in Europe this year, it relied on general syndication of a relatively small proportion of the total package. This is explained by the number of essentially buy and hold mandated lead arrangers either involved in the deal from the start, or brought in at a senior level.

Bankers recognised that this was essential if they were to successfully build momentum in a deal that had no track record as a leveraged entity. Tapping the still strong traditional support of Nordic lenders for regional deals and sponsors was also a key part of the syndication strategy.

Senior debt is split into a US$750m seven-year term loan paying 300bp over Libor, a US$425m eight-year term loan B at 350bp, a US$675m term loan C at 425bp, a US$125m revolver at 300bp and a US$100m capex piece also paying 300bp. In addition, there is a US$900m mezzanine piece.
Leverage is 4x senior debt rising to 5.99x total debt. Lenders are now invited to join on tickets of US$30m earning 140bp or US$15m for 100bp.

Bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers ABN AMRO/RBS, WestLB and RZB and mandated lead arranger ING have closed syndication of €175m of senior debt backing the buyout of GTS Central European Holdings by a consortium led by Columbia Capital, M/C Venture Partners and Innova Capital. The deal closed oversubscribed.

Facilities comprise a €85m 6-1/2-year Term Loan A paying 275bp over Libor, a €50m seven-year Term Loan B paying 325bp, a €25m 6-1/2 capex facility paying 290bp, and a €15m seven-year RCF paying 275bp. An additional €25m mezzanine tranche also backed the deal. A further €25m mezzanine facility was also tapped by GTS.

Mandated lead arrangers said the deal achieved strong oversubscription with support from local and relationship banks.

Total leverage is 2.2x and the sponsors’ total equity contribution accounts for more than half of the capital structure.

GTS is an alternative telecoms service operator serving business and wholesale customers operating mainly in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.

Bookrunner and mandated lead arranger Mediobanca has closed syndication of debt backing the acquisition of a 50% stake in Alberto Aspesi by Investitori Associati. The deal closed oversubscribed with five banks joining the syndicate. The acquisition was completed and funded in May.

Senior debt is made up of a €30m seven-year amortising term loan A tranche paying 250bp over Euribor, a € 30m eight-year bullet term loan B paying 300bp, a €30m nine-year bullet term loan C paying 350bp, a €15m seven-year retained cash flow paying 250bp, and a €5m seven-year amortising capex facility paying 250bp.

Leverage is 4.3x FY 2008 expected Ebitda and the equity contribution is 44% of total capitalisation. Alberto Aspesi is a clothing manufacturer and designer headquartered near Milan.

Calyon, Credit Mutuel – CIC and Natixis have closed the €230m senior debt package supporting the Apax and LBO France buyout of Maisons du Monde. Barclays Private Equity sold the business, which is a distributor of home wares and soft furnishings.

Debt is split into a €69.62m seven-year term loan A1, a €30.38m seven-year term loan A2, a €59.18m eight-year term loan B1, a €25.82m eight-year term loan B2, a €25m seven-year Capex and a €20m seven-year revolver. In addition, Euromezzanine has arranged a mezzanine loan split into €55m senior and €25m junior tranches.

Prior to the launch of general syndication, in which several banks joined, Commerzbank joined as a mandated lead arranger with IKB taking a joint lead arranger role. Maisons du Monde has 179 stores across France, Belgium, Spain and Italy.