September launches

Bookrunners Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan have launched general syndication of senior debt backing German healthcare group Fresenius. The US$2.4bn of senior debt backs Fresenius’s US$3.7bn acquisition of APP Pharmaceuticals, a manufacturer of generic drugs.

Senior facilities are split between a US$1bn term loan A, a US$1bn term loan B and a US$650m revolver, paying from 287.5bp over Libor for the revolver to 350bp over for the term loan B. S&P assigned ratings of BBB– (two notches above the corporate rating) and BB+ to the loan and bridge package. It also cut Fresenius’s unsecured bonds to BB from BB+.

The deal was initially launched to relationship banks in an early bird phase. The deal is also supported by a bridge to US$1.3bn of high-yield bonds that are expected to price in October or November.

Also launched last week was general syndication of €900m of facilities backing the buyout of French engineering group Converteam by LBO France, through HSBC, Lehman Brothers, Natixis, RBS and SG. General syndication follows a senior joint lead arranger phase.

Debt is split between a €290m seven-year term loan A paying 275bp over Euribor, a €145m eight-year term loan B paying 325bp over, a €145m nine-year term loan C paying 375bp over, a €220m 10-year mezzanine tranche paying 600bp cash and 450bp PIK and a €100m seven-year revolver paying 275bp.

Tickets are for €20m paying 115bp and €30m paying 135bp. A bank meeting will be held in Paris on Wednesday. Converteam was previously owned by Barclays Private Equity, which retains a stake in the business.

General syndication of the €970m all-senior facilities backing the buyout of Xella will launch in mid-September, after what bookrunners called a successful early bird phase. Debt backing the acquisition of Xella by PAI Partners and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners from Haniel group closed and funded on August 29.

Global co-ordinators are BNP Paribas, RBS and UniCredit (HVB). They and mandated lead arrangers Calyon and LBBW have been joined ahead of closing by Erste Bank, KfW, Mediobanca, Commerzbank, HSH Nordbank, WGZ and GE.

Facilities are split between a €270m seven-year TLA paying 300bp over Euribor, a €275m eight-year TLB paying 375bp, a €275m nine-year TLC paying 425bp, a €75m seven-year revolving credit facility paying 300bp and a €75m seven-year acquisition/capex line paying 300bp.

Net senior and total leverage at closing was 2.9 based on 2007 adjusted Ebitda of €271m, and has since fallen to 2.7 based on July 2008 adjusted LTM Ebitda. Equity and quasi-equity is approximately 50%.

Sole bookrunner and mandated lead arranger Dresdner Kleinwort has launched general syndication of £334m of senior facilities for Domestic & General (D&G). A bank meeting will be held this Friday. Subordinated tranches have been pre-placed. Advent International completed the acquisition of UK domestic appliance insurer D&G through a successful offer for its shares listed on the London Stock Exchange in December 2007.

Calyon, ING, RBS and Societe Generale have wrapped up the €200m senior debt package backing Arcapita‘s acquisition of French warehousing and logistics business CEPL. The deal closed without a general syndication phase after a small number of banks signed in with the funding for the acquisition. The original MLA group had arranged staple financing before the deal.

Arcapita of Bahrain already owns a number of businesses in the sector, including Pinnacle, which operates warehouses in Central and Eastern Europe.

Physical bookrunner and mandated lead arranger ING has been joined by bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers IKB, Barclays and GE and joint lead arrangers LCL and SG after a senior phase syndication of debt backing Astorg’s buyout of medical imaging and nightvision products maker Photonis. The deal is backed by €152.5m of senior debt and €37.5m of mezzanine. Joint lead arrangers joined on a €20m ticket.

Senior facilities are split between a €47.5m seven-year term loan A paying 275bp over Euribor, a €32.5m eight-year term loan B paying 325bp and a €32.5m eight-year term loan B paying 375bp.

In addition there are a further €40m of undrawn facilities. The €37.5m 10-year mezzanine tranche pays 10.5%, comes with warrants and is non-call two. It was pre-placed with Axa Private Equity Mezzanine.

The deal features a 45% equity contribution and total leverage is 3.3x Ebitda through senior facilities and 4.3x through total debt.