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(Fixes typo in headline)
By Claire Ruckin
LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - Online gambling firm GVC Holdings has raised a €320m leveraged loan, it announced on Thursday, marking the listed-company’s first foray into the syndicated debt markets to get cheaper, longer term financing.
The financing will repay a €250m short term unsecured loan facility from Nomura that was put in place in October 2016 to repay in part a €400m loan provided by Cerberus Business Finance, the announcement said.
Cerberus’ loan was originally agreed in September 2015 to back GVC’s February 2016 acquisition of Bwin.party Digital Entertainment.
Nomura took a lucrative lead role on the €320m syndicated loan as mandated lead arranger and sole physical bookrunner, while Bank of Ireland, Deutsche Bank and Mediobanca were MLAs and bookrunners.
The loan was syndicated to a targeted group of investors and was significantly oversubscribed.
It was a welcome relief to cash-rich institutional investors desperate to put new money to work, having spent a majority of time this year agreeing to repricings and refinancings of existing deals amid a lack of event-driven activity, banking sources said.
The €320m financing comprised a €250m six-year term loan, paying 325bp over Euribor with a 0% floor, and a €70m five-year revolver paying 275bp over Euribor with a 0% floor, the announcement said.
The term loan, which has an expected rating of mid-to-low Double B, allocated on Europe’s secondary loan market on Tuesday at par, the sources said.
The term loan will benefit from an accordion facility that will enable GVC to raise extra debt, as long as net leverage remains below 2.25 times Ebitda.
"The long-term refinancing provides greater visibility and security in terms of our debt facilities," GVC CEO Kenneth Alexander said.
"Furthermore, access to a broader debt investor base is important given the ongoing consolidation in the gaming industry, particularly given the Group's proven track record of successful M&A."
Cerberus' loan paid 11.5% over Euribor, with a 1% floor, while Nomura’s unsecured short term loan paid an initial margin of 200bp over Euribor with a 0% floor, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.
The cost of the new facility is cheaper than Nomura’s short term loan, the company said.
Headquartered in the Isle of Man, GVC is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index and has licences in more than 16 countries.
It has a number of brands including sports labels bwin, Sportingbet and gamebookers and gaming labels partypoker, partycasino, Foxy Bingo, Gioco Digitale and CasinoClub.
Editing by Christopher Mangham