Feb 6, 2023
CVC Taps Bond Market Without Bank Safety Net to Fund SGL Buyout
(Bloomberg) -- CVC Capital Partners has found a workaround that may help unlock buyout financing.
The company is tapping the bond market without the safety net of a bank underwrite to help fund its acquisition of Scan Global Logistics Holding ApS, a Danish transport company. If the $765 million equivalent offering fails to raise cash, banks aren’t on the hook, and CVC’s planned acquisition of SGL won’t go through, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak about it.
The private equity firm has, however, appointed appointed Nordic investment bank Pareto Securities AB to arrange the bond sale, said the person familiar adding that SGL’s management team is taking one-to-one meetings from Monday through to Feb. 14 with investors.
CVC’s move to skip bond underwriters comes as banks, sitting on billions of dollars of so-called hung debt they couldn’t offload as interest rates rose, cut back on risk. The increasingly squeezed funding environment means that deals like the one for SGL, where investment banks will raise financing without taking any risk on their balance sheet, are likely to become more common in Europe’s leveraged finance market. Financing, such as the bonds, are sold by the investment banks on a “best efforts basis” — with a sale of all of it not guaranteed.
A representative for CVC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The CVC bond isn’t the first direct sale in Europe but it is the biggest in recent years. In the second half of last year, Apollo Global Management Inc. also tapped bond investors directly to pre-fund expected and near-term acquisitions by its portfolio company Lottomatica SpA, eventually raising €350 million. However, in the case of SGL the full buyout, rather than bolt-on acquisitions, is being funded by going straight to the public credit markets.
CVC is hoping to seize on the good momentum in Europe’s high-yield bond markets, with the region’s improving macroeconomic outlook raising investor demand for risky paper once again. In January, high-yield sales reached their highest volumes since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Read More: Junk Bond Sales in Europe Reach Highest Since Russian Invasion
Bloomberg News reported last week that the private equity firm was nearing a deal to acquire SGL. On Monday, CVC entered a sale agreement to buy SGL from AEA Investors, conditional on the success of the bond offering and getting regulatory approvals. Scan Global is an asset-light freight forwarding and logistics company employing more than 3,300 people, according to its website. It offers services including supply chain management, arranging air and ocean freight, fulfillment, customs clearance and warehousing.
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