July 12, 2017 / 2:40 PM / 2 months ago

LPC-Techem launches €1.75bn portable loan refinancing

LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) - German metering group Techem has launched a €1.75bn refinancing that will be offered with portability, enabling the new loans to stay in place if a sale goes ahead, banking sources said on Wednesday.

Australian infrastructure investor Macquarie fought hard to win Techem in a hostile takeover battle in 2006. Prevailing after a year-long struggle with hedge funds and private-equity companies it bought the company in 2007 for €1.5bn.

It has now launched a refinancing, with Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Macquarie leading the deal, alongside Credit Agricole and UniCredit, the sources said.

Macquarie and Techem were not immediately available to comment.

A bank meeting is set to take place on July 13 in London to show the deal to investors and commitments are due two weeks afterwards, the sources said.

The refinancing includes a €1.6bn term loan, guided to pay 325bp-350bp over Euribor, with a 0% floor at par and a €150m revolving credit facility, the sources said.

In an unusual move, the loan will be offered with portability, something more commonly seen in the bond market.

Portability allows for a loan to stay in place in event of a sale. Typically a change of ownership triggers a loan repayment.

Portability has started to creep into the loan market recently in the case of Dutch gaming firm JVH, which private equity-owner Waterland put up for sale in June after securing a €330m loan financing that can stay in place for any new owners.

Techem has been touted as launching a possible sale process later this year.

Founded in 1952, Techem is a supplier of energy invoicing and energy management in buildings. (Editing by Alasdair Reilly)

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