Caisse and other Spie owners to take payout as part of refinancing: Reuters

(Reuters) – Shareholders to French energy services group Spie are looking to take a 430 million euro (US$533.3 million) dividend payment as part of a wider 911 million euro debt refinancing, banking sources said on Tuesday.

Spie, owned by private equity firms Ardian, Clayton Dubilier & Rice and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, is set to refinance 375 million euros of senior notes due 2019, paying 11 percent with cheaper leveraged loans and pay the dividend to shareholders after pulling a planned stock market listing.

After taking the dividend payment, owners will still have around 50 percent of equity in the company, the banking sources said.

Ardian, Clayton Dubilier & Rice and the Caisse de dépôt were not immediately available to comment.

Credit Agricole, HSBC and Societe Generale are leading the covenant-loose deal as global coordinators and physical bookrunners. They have been joined by BNP Paribas and Natixis as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners, the banking sources said.

The financing comprises a 625 million euro, 4.5-year term loan E paying 450 basis points (bp) over Euribor at 99 Original Issue Discount; a 100 million euro, 3.5-year acquisition and capital expenditure facility paying 400bp over Euribor; and a 186 million euro, seven-year second lien tranche paying 775bp over Euribor with a one percent Euribor floor, which guarantees a minimum return for investors, the banking sources said.

The acquisition and capital expenditure facility and second lien tranche have been pre-placed with lenders, they added.

Lenders have been asked to commit to the deal by December 15 and existing lenders will receive a 25bp fee consent fee, they said.

Leverage on the deal is 5 times through the senior and 5.5 times in total, they said.

Spie pulled its plans to raise funds on the stock market in October, cancelling the sale of up to 1.2 billion euros of new and existing shares on the day the offer was due to close, citing volatile market conditions.

Spie provides mechanical and electrical engineering services to help companies and the public sector make facilities more energy efficient.

By Claire Ruckin

(Editing by Christopher Mangham)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of peHUB Canada)

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