Nordics defy LBO gloom

The Nordic market continues to generate new LBO deals, with a uniquely strong flow of mandates in November compared with other European regions.

So far, three deals have mandated, in what one arranger has described as “part coincidence, part a function of liquidity in the region, which means a strong bid for LBO debt from regional banks.”

Last week BNP Paribas and RBS underwrote NKr3.71bn (€462m) of debt backing the secondary buyout of GET, a Norwegian cable operator. Debt is split between senior facilities totalling NKr3.025bn and a NKr685m mezzanine loan. A Quadrangle and GS Capital led consortium is buying the business from Candover.

Banks have also been mandated to provide debt backing Cinven‘s €540m acquisition of Coor Service Management, a Swedish outsourced business services provider. Coor Service Management is being bought in a secondary buyout from 3i. RBS is understood to be among the bookrunners.

Earlier in the month, ESML Intressenter mandated banks to back its deal to buy Securitas Direct. Bank of Scotland, Dresdner Kleinwort, RBS and SEB are mandated to arrange the SKr9.6bn financing.

ESML Intressenter is a consortium of regional private equity investors acting alongside existing shareholders made up of EQT Partners, SakI, Melker Schorling and Investment AB Latour.

Meanwhile, Nordea and SEB have closed oversubscribed a €290m refinancing facility for A-Katsastus Group. The facility is split between a €75m term loan A, a €75m term loan B, a €75m term loan C and a €10m revolver. There is also a €20m second-lien tranche and a €35m mezzanine facility.

A-Katsastus is a Finnish vehicle inspection company. Bridgepoint acquired the business in January 2006.