RLPC-Diaverum to refinance debt before sale-sources

LONDON, March 6 Thu Mar 6, 2014 12:34pm EST

LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - Diaverum, a dialysis clinic operator owned by private equity firm Bridgepoint, is set to launch a debt refinancing and is seeking a "portability clause" from its lenders that will allow its loans to remain in place if it is sold, banking sources said on Thursday.

Bridgepoint bought Sweden's Diaverum, the ex-Gambro Healthcare, from EQT in 2007 backed by 564 million euros of debt. The private equity firm hired JP Morgan last year to review future options for Diaverum which included a potential sale, according to Thomson Reuters LPC.

Diaverum is now refinancing its debt which includes 708 million euros of senior loans and 175.6 million euros of subordinated facilities. A bank meeting is expected to take place next week, sources said.

Commerzbank, Credit Agricole, GE Capital, JP Morgan and RBS are bookrunners on the deal which will have senior leverage of 5 times and total leverage of 6.5 times.

The company is asking lenders for a "portability clause" which will allow the loans to remain in place under a new owner. A sale usually triggers an automtaic repayment of loans at par or face value.

Diaverum is expected to be sold this year, sources said. An important hurdle was recently cleared with Saudi Arabia awarding Diaverum a five-year contract to run 50 percent of the State's dialysis clinics.

The sale is due to attract interest from private equity funds and trade buyers.

Fresenius Medical Care, the world's biggest provider of dialysis treatments, said it would look at rival Diaverum if it was for sale, its chief executive said in February [ID: nL6N0LU2M0]

Bain, Nordic Capital, BC Partners, KKR and Advent will likely be targeted if an auction takes place, sources said.

Diaverum operates more than 250 clinics with more than 23,000 patients in 19 countries, up from 155 clinics in 2007.Diaverum posted a turnover of 440 million euros in 2012.

Bridgepoint was not immediately available to comment. (Editing by Tessa Walsh; Additional reporting by Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt and Sven Nordenstam in Stockholm)

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