Reuters – Providence to Buy HSE24

Providence Equity Partners is to acquire German TV channel Home Shopping Europe from AXA Private Equity backed by 265 million euros ($331.52 million) of debt, writes Reuters. As part of the deal AXA will remain a minority shareholder in the home shopping channel which it acquired in 2009 for around 180 million euros from insolvent Arcandor Group in an all-equity deal, writes Reuters.

(Reuters) – Providence Equity Partners is to acquire German TV channel Home Shopping Europe (HSE24) from AXA Private Equity backed by 265 million euros ($331.52 million) of debt, banking sources said on Wednesday.

As part of the deal AXA will remain a minority shareholder in the home shopping channel – which it acquired in 2009 for around 180 million euros from insolvent Arcandor Group in an all-equity deal. It was refinanced in 2010 with 112.5 million euros of debt. A year later AXA refinanced the debt again and paid itself a dividend, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.

AXA declined to comment while Providence was not immediately available to comment.

Providence will acquire the company backed by 265 million euros of all senior leveraged loans provided by Citi, DZ Bank, UBS and UniCredit, banking sources said.

A bank meeting was held in London on Wednesday to launch syndication of the debt so banks can sell down their exposure before the leveraged finance market shuts down for the summer.

The financing includes a 100 million euro term loan A which will pay an interest margin of 500 bps over EURIBOR; a 150 million euro term loan B paying a margin of 550 bps over EURIBOR and a 15 million euro revolving credit facility paying 500 bps over EURIBOR, bankers added.

Investor commitments for the loans are due July 20.

HSE24 was founded in 1995 and in 2011 it launched its first foreign language channel in Italy and is now looking to grow further in Southern and Eastern Europe, according to the company’s website. In 2011 the company’s net sales grew 7 percent to 470 million euros.