October 14, 2019 / 11:00 AM / a month ago

Galileo loan to gift Providence third payout in two years

LONDON, Oct 14 (LPC) - European higher education platform Galileo Global Education has launched a €700m loan that will fund a small acquisition, refinance existing debt and pay a €70m dividend to shareholders, banking sources said.

It is the third dividend for Galileo’s existing owners Providence Equity Partners in two years, banking sources said.

JP Morgan, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank are leading the covenant-lite leveraged loan financing, which is set to be shown to investors at a bank meeting on October 15, when pricing will emerge. ING is administrative agent.

The seven-year loan will refinance around €535m of existing loans, pay the €70m dividend, fund the acquisition of a Norwegian company with around €30m-€40m and pay fees and expenses. Around €50m will be left as cash on balance sheet, the sources said.

Providence was not immediately available to comment.

The current deal is rated B2/B and the new loan will be offered with 101 soft-call for six months.

Investors have been asked to commit to the loan by October 22.

Galileo Global Education last tapped the loan market in May 2018 for €70m add-on loan that also funded a dividend to shareholders.

Prior to that it tapped the loan marker in December 2017 for €465m that backed its bolt-on acquisition of the assets of Laureate International Universities in Cyprus and Italy for €225m, as well as refinancing Galileo’s existing €230m term loan B and paying a shareholder dividend.

Providence Equity Partners-owned Galileo is Europe’s largest for-profit higher education group, having completed a string of acquisitions in recent years, including French peer Studialis in 2015, that was backed with the €230m TLB. (Editing by Christopher Mangham)

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