Something old, something new

Lead banks Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have put together an informal working group of 10 senior lenders to act as an advisory group working alongside Ineos management as it prepares a revised business plan and amendments to its existing €7.2bn debt facilities.

Lenders inside the working group say management is supportive of the move and is open to suggestions from lenders on how best to address the gulf between its business plan and the current trading environment.

In December lenders overwhelmingly voted to allow a debt waiver that allows Ineos a six-month window where the business is largely free of covenant tests. This was intended to create space for management to formulate a new plan and to go back to banks with a proposal for a permanent amendment to debt facilities and reset covenants.

A deal that sees sponsor Permira become 51% owner of set-top box maker NDS Group funded last week, opening up the prospect of a new issue deal coming to syndication in Europe in the coming month. Former 72% owner News Corp retains a 49% stake following the P2P deal, which values the business at US$3.7bn.

The mandate to arrange debt backing the deal initially went to bookrunners JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley in October 2008. They were joined by bookrunners Bank of Ireland, BNP Paribas and Lloyds TSB in an initial expansion of the syndicate in November.

Arranging and pricing a large new primary deal will be tough. There is currently no visibility on the level of bank appetite for debt and only the most limited visibility on the wider economic outlook.

Pre Lehman era Bodycote Testing has been relaunched to syndication at an OID of 95, the first such deal to be repriced and relaunched after the most recent leveraged finance crisis.

In September the deal went out to banks in an early bird phase but was never launched to general syndication. The £225m debt package supports Clayton, Dubilier & Rice‘s buyout of Bodycote Testing. Mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners are Barclays Capital, RBS, BNP Paribas and RBC.

Debt is split between a £46m seven-year amortising TLA paying 300bp over Libor, a £50m eight-year bullet TLB paying 350bp, a £50m nine-year bullet TLC paying 400bp, a £35m seven-year RCF paying 300bp, and a £20m seven-year capex/acquisition facility paying 300bp. A £54m 10-year mezzanine facility pays 450bp cash and 600bp PIK and is NC2/102/101.