December 6, 2017 / 11:53 AM / a year ago

LPC-Banks start sell down of Altran's Aricent loan

LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Banks are starting to sell down a debt financing backing French technology consultancy Altran’s €1.7bn acquisition of US digital design and engineering services firm Aricent, banking sources said.

The acquisition of the California-based company from a group of investors led by KKR is the largest of a series of deals done by Altran and will create a group with revenue of almost €3bn, Altran announced on November 30.

A €2.4bn loan will be used to fully finance the acquisition, while €800m will be used to refinance Altran’s existing debt and pay transaction costs.

Credit Agricole CIB, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have underwritten a €2bn-equiavlent term loan and will also underwrite a €750m rights issue to refinance part of the committed financing.

Banks have started to syndicate a €250m-equivalent revolving credit facility to Altran’s relationship banks and syndication of the €2bn-equivalent cross border term loan will launch to institutional investors in the New Year, the sources said.

The term loan is expected to be mainly denominated in euros, but will include some dollars too, the sources said.

Altran was not immediately available to comment.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

Altran tapped the loan market in July to refinance an existing €300m credit facility through a €500m, 5+1+1-year revolving credit facility.

That paid an initial margin of 50bp over Euribor, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data, with a 25bp premium for drawings in US dollar and sterling.

That financing was coordinated by Natixis alongside bookrunners and mandated lead arranger BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole CIB and Societe Generale.

Caixabank, CIC, HSBC and Intesa Sanpaolo were mandated lead arrangers, while Credit Agricole Mutuel de Paris et d’Ile de France also participated. (Editing by Christopher Mangham)

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