December 21, 2017 / 12:59 PM / 10 months ago

M7 closes €570 million dividend recap

LONDON (Reuters) - Luxembourg-based satellite TV business M7 has successfully raised €570m ($675.68 million) of leveraged loans to refinance existing debt and pay a €125m dividend to exiting minority shareholders, banking sources said.

Deutsche Bank was sole bookrunner on the deal that comprised a €550m term loan B and a €20m revolving credit facility, the sources said.

The term loan refinanced an existing €425m term loan and increased it by €125m, which was used with €50m of cash on balance sheet to pay the €175m dividend to Providence and Airbridge as they exited the company, the sources said.

The term loan closed to pay 375bp, with a 0% floor, a 25bp premium on what M7 was paying previously because the increase in debt releveraged the company, the sources said.

The term loan allocated in Europe’s secondary loan market on Wednesday, with a discount at 99.75 percent of face value, the sources said.

BNP was agent on the financing, which was offered with 101 soft-call protection for six months, the sources said.

Private equity firm Astorg Partners acquired a majority stake in M7 in July 2014 from Providence and Airbridge, which maintained a significant minority stake in the company. In 2015, around €135m was paid as a dividend to owners.

In June 2014, prior to its sale, Providence and Airbridge took around €110m as a dividend. They also took around €312m as a dividend in 2013, as part of a wider €335m refinancing.

In 2007, Providence bought a 50% stake in Canal Digitaal in the Netherlands from Airbridge. They then expanded the company to include TV Vlaanderen in Flanders, TeleSAT in Belgium, AustriaSat in Austria and CS Link and Skylink for the Czech and Slovak market. The group was branded M7 in 2009.

Editing by Alasdair Reilly

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