LONDON Feb 17 The acquisition of a majority
stake in Vinci's car parks business by two French financial
institutions will be backed with around 1.2 billion euros ($1.64
billion) of debt financing provided by a group of banks, sources
said on Monday.
Vinci is in exclusive talks to sell three-quarters of Vinci
Park to private-equity fund Ardian - formerly known as AXA
Private Equity - and Credit Agricole's insurance arm
for about 1.425 billion euros. The deal values the whole parking
division at 1.96 billion euros
Vinci, a French construction and concessions group which is
seeking to sharpen its focus on higher-growth businesses such as
airport concessions, had publicly confirmed its plans to sell
the bulk of the parking-lot unit in November.
Seven banks will provide around 1.2 billion euros of
infrastructure loans to back the acquisition. Barclays
and BNP Paribas, which advised on the sale, are
expected to be included in the line-up, the banking sources
The financing is likely to include investment grade
five-year facilities split between term loans and revolving
credit facilities. Some of the loans will be refinanced at a
later stage via the bond market, the sources added.
The loans will be similar to the 1.2 billion pounds ($2.01
billion) of loans used to back Manchester Airports Group's 1.5
billion pound acquisition of London's Stansted airport last
year. They were investment grade five-year facilities provided
by a group of 12 banks. Some of the loans were refinanced with
bonds earlier this month.
Ardian declined to comment and Credit Agricole Assurances
was not immediately available to comment.
($1 = 0.7307 euros);($1 = 0.5977 British pounds)