October 3, 2019 / 2:51 PM / 2 months ago

ION Corporates inks final terms on US$1.75bn dual-currency loan

LONDON, Oct 3 (LPC) - Irish software firm ION Corporates finalised the terms of a dual-currency, US$1.75bn-equivalent term loan financing via Credit Suisse, bringing an end to a saga that saw the original deal brought via house bank UBS pulled in May having met opposition from loan investors.

The six-year debt, which comprises a €1bn term loan B and US$655m TLB, priced in line with guidance of 425bp over Libor/Euribor with a 0% floor, at 99 OID and 101 soft-call for six months.

Pricing for both currencies includes a 50bp step-up, should ION Corporates’ family ratings fall below B2/B.

“It’s hefty pricing but they got the deal done, so that’s impressive,” a senior banker said.

Proceeds will refinance existing debt and pay fees and expenses related to the transaction.

The US$1.75bn refinancing for ION Corporates was a brand new mandate for Credit Suisse, which restructured the original failed refinancing to make it more attractive to investors by reducing leverage with Ebitda growth and an extra US$200m of equity, improving ratings and less aggressive documentation.

“UBS was too close to the company and they had to bring an aggressive deal and failed. Credit Suisse having seen a failed deal could be brutally honest and therefore had more leeway for bringing a far more palatable deal for investors,” the banker said.

The loan originally launched in April at US$2.21bn to back the refinancing and combination of three software businesses - Openlink, TriplePoint and Wall Street Systems - known collectively as ION Systems. The loan was also due to fund a US$250m dividend payment.

However, it abandoned plans in May to take a dividend, reducing the loan refinancing to US$1.96bn, before dropping the refinancing altogether later that month after it struggled to get investors’ support. (Editing by Christopher Mangham)

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