Trlpc kkrs trainline buy backed with 265 mln stg loan

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US private equity fund KKR has raised a 265 million pound ($395.14 million) leveraged loan to back its acquisition of British rail ticket website thetrainline.com, two funds involved in the deal announced. KKR agreed to buy thetrainline.com from buyout firm Exponent in January, derailing the company's planned London stock market listing. The leveraged loan financing comprises a 205 million pound, seven-year term loan B (TLB) and a 60 million pound, six-year revolving credit facility, Ares Management and GE Capital announced on Monday. The TLB was provided by AIB, Ares, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole, GE Capital, HSBC, IKB, Mediterranean Bank, Mizuho and NIBC. 3i will also invest in the TLB, banking sources said.

Barclays and HSBC provided the revolver, the sources added. Ares and GE provided the largest investment in financing, totalling 50 million pounds, banking sources said.

KKR opted for a club of banks and funds as opposed to a syndicated loan deal, drawing on existing lenders to thetrainline.com as well as KKR relationship lenders, the bankers said. The club offered attractive terms for the borrower. The TLB pays an interest margin of 500bp over Libor and carries just one leveraged covenant. The previous financing, under the ownership of Exponent, was a unitranche loan that paid 750bp over Libor, with a one percent Libor floor that had call protection and four covenants, the sources said.

The commitment from Ares and GE is the first investment for the European Loan Programme (ELP), a 3 billion euro joint venture between the two institutions, which provides senior secured loans to larger middle market corporates, the announcement said. The ELP can typically lend between 50 million euros to 150 million euros per deal and looks for returns of between five to seven percent, banking sources said. Formed in 2014, the ELP is the latest joint venture between Ares and GE which also includes an $11 billion Senior Secured Loan Program (SSLP), which was founded in 2011 and a 1.75 billion euro European Senior Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP) which formed in 2012, both of which provide unitranche loans to middle market companies. Established in 1999, Trainline is the most downloaded travel app in the United Kingdom. Adjusted core earnings across the firm's branded businesses rose to 21 million pounds in 2014, up from 14.3 million pounds in 2013. ($1 = 0.6706 pounds)