September 26, 2017 / 12:03 PM / in 25 days

LPC-Nets buyout backed with €2.5bn-€3bn financing

LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) - US private equity firm Hellman & Friedman’s DKr33.1bn (US$5.3bn) takeover offer for payments firm Nets is set to be backed with around €2.5bn-€3bn of leveraged loans, banking sources said.

Nets said on Monday it welcomed the offer from Hellman & Friedman, marking what could be one of the largest European private equity takeovers in recent years.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are leading the leveraged loan financing alongside Barclays, Danske Bank, Nomura and Nordea, the sources said.

Some €2.5bn-€3bn of debt financing represents just under 7.0 times Nets’ approximate €400m Ebitda, the banking sources said.

The financing will be split between senior leveraged loans and second-lien loans that will be sold down to investors, the sources said.

The loans doesn’t include undrawn facilities, so the total debt quantum is expected to be higher than €2.5bn-€3bn, the sources said.

Nets declined to comment. Hellman & Friedman was not immediately available to comment.

The Danish firm was taken public in Copenhagen a year ago and was valued at DKr30bn (US$4.75bn), or DKr150 per share, double what Advent International, Bain Capital and Danish pension fund ATP had paid for it two years earlier.

A deal will require acceptance of shareholders representing 90% of Nets’ capital and following a deal Bain and Advent have agreed to maintain a 16% stake in Nets.

Nets said in July it had been approached by potential buyers as the payments industry sees a wave of deals, with consumers switching to card and mobile payments and regulatory changes promising to open up the fragmented market. ($1 = 6.3121 Danish crowns) (Editing by Christopher Mangham)

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