Amadeus Seeks To Change Loan Prior to IPO

LONDON (Reuters) – Travel reservations giant Amadeus is asking lenders to amend its 5.21 billion-euro ($7.83 billion) loan as it prepares for an initial public share offer, two sources close to the deal said on Tuesday.

The Madrid-headquartered company — which hired Goldman Sachs (GS.N), JP Morgan (JPM.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) in October for the share offer — is asking lenders to modify its loans’ “change of control” agreements and allow greater flexibility as it prepares to go public. 

The changes include removing a covenant governing capital expenditure, one banker said.

In exchange, Amadeus is offering to increase the interest margin it pays on the loan by 125 basis points. There is also a participation fee of 50 bps, plus 25 bps for banks committing on an “early bird” basis by Dec. 11, both sources said.

According to Thomson Reuters LPC data, Amadeus’s 5.21 billion-euro loan dated 2007 paid initial interest margins of 225-250 bps over EURIBOR.

Amadeus joins a string of privately-owned leveraged companies looking to float in the public market as private equity sponsors seek exit routes, including UK fund manager Gartmore and French care homes operator Medica.

The final deadline for Amadeus’s pre-IPO amendment, which is in the market via agent JP Morgan, is Dec. 17.

Nobody at Amadeus could immediately be reached for comment.

Amadeus is controlled by private equity firms BC Partners [BCPRT.UL] and Cinven [CINV.UL] with 52.8 percent, Air France ARF.PA with 23.14 percent and Iberia (IBLA.MC) and Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) with 11.57 percent each.

Iberia said in November it was planning to sell around 30 percent of its stake in Amadeus.

Amadeus, which is also working with independent adviser Rothschild [ROT.UL], may be looking to raise about 2 billion euros from the sale of new and existing shares in a Madrid listing, a source told Reuters in October.

A share sale of that size would make the listing Spain’s third-largest ever in nominal terms, and the biggest since Oct. 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Amadeus was delisted four years ago when BC Partners and Cinven bought their stake from the three airlines. ($1=.6638 euros)

By Zaida Espana
(Editing by Greg Mahlich)