March 9, 2011 / 7:36 PM / 9 years ago

RLPC-KKR, Goldman seek to ease PagesJaunes buyout loan

* Directories firm amends holding company debt

* PagesJaunes seeks to extend debt, ease loan covenants

* Mulling operating company refinancing in 2011

By Isabell Witt

LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - Private equity firms KKR (KKR.N) and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners have asked lenders to listed directories firm PagesJaunes PAJ.PA to extend the debt of its holding Mediannuaire and ease loan covenants, sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

The changes to the loans come ahead of a potential refinancing to take advantage of high levels of liquidity in the leveraged loan market, banking sources said.

PagesJaunes’ lenders have been asked to extend the maturity of its 388.9 million euro ($540.2 million) holding company term loan B by one year to 2016 and give the company more headroom on its banking covenants, the sources said.

PagesJaunes could not immediately be reached for comment.

The loan is part of PagesJaunes 5.75 billion euro outstanding debt from its 2007 buyout by Mediannuaire, a company controlled by KKR and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, according to data from Thomson Reuters LPC.

Of the 5.75 billion euros of debt, 1.95 billion euros sits at the operating company level, close to the company’s assets, while 3.8 billion euros sits at the holding company level, according to Thomson Reuters LPC.

Debt at the operating company remains unchanged for the present.

Mediannuaire holds 54.7 percent of PagesJaunes, while 44.5 percent is listed on the Paris stock exchange.

Lenders have been offered an increase to the interest margin of 50 basis points (b.p.) of cash on the term loan B and a 75 bps payment-in-kind (PIK) margin increase.

Lenders would also receive a fee of 125 b.p. if the request were approved by March 16. The final deadline for approval is March 22.

As reported earlier this month, PagesJaunes is considering refinancing some of its operating company debt in 2011 should market conditions permit, after announcing a return to sales growth at the end of 2010.

“It looks like the company is tidying up its holdco structure before potentially refinancing its opco debt,” said one of the sources.

The 2007 debt was arranged by Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Calyon, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers and Mizuho. ($1=.7199 Euro) (Reporting by Isabell Witt)

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