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Banks launch €2.36bn sell down of Nets buyout loan: Reuters

LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Banks have launched syndication of a €2.36bn-equivalent leveraged loan financing backing US private equity firm Hellman & Friedman’s DKr33.1bn (US$5.3bn) take-private of payments firm Nets, banking sources said.

Nets said in September it welcomed the offer from Hellman & Friedman, marking what would be one of the largest European private equity takeovers in recent years.

Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are leading the leveraged loan financing alongside Nordea, Danske Bank, Nomura, Barclays, Nykredit and SEB, the sources said.

A bank meeting is set to take place on November 14 to show the loan to investors, which have been asked to commit to the financing by November 27, the sources said.

The covenant-lite financing comprises a €200m-equivalent, 6.5-year multicurrency revolving credit facility, a €1.86bn, seven-year term loan B and a NKr2.795bn (€300m-equivalent), seven-year term loan B, the sources said.

The loans are offered with 101 soft-call protection for six months. Pricing is set to emerge at the bank meeting, the sources said.

In addition to the first lien term loans there is also a pre-placed second-lien loan, taking the total debt quantum on the buyout higher, the sources said.

The Danish firm was taken public in Copenhagen a year ago and was valued at DKr30bn (US$4.75bn), or DKr150 per share, double what Advent International, Bain Capital and Danish pension fund ATP had paid for it two years earlier.

Following a deal Bain and Advent have agreed to maintain a 16% stake in Nets.

Nets said in July it had been approached by potential buyers as the payments industry sees a wave of deals, with consumers switching to card and mobile payments and regulatory changes promising to open up the fragmented market. (Editing by Christopher Mangham)