March 5, 2018 / 2:04 PM / 17 days ago

Bank trio line up €920 million loan for Imagina buy

LONDON (LPC) - Three banks have lined up a €920m leveraged loan financing to back the acquisition of a majority stake in Spanish sports rights group Imagina, banking sources said.

Chinese private equity firm Orient Hontai Capital agreed to buy a majority stake in Imagina for US$1bn, Reuters reported in October 2017, the latest deal from deep-pocketed Chinese investors to transform the Asian country into a global soccer powerhouse.

Deutsche Bank, Citi and Goldman Sachs are leading the debt financing, which is being shown to a select group of institutional investors before launching for general syndication in a couple of weeks, the sources said.

The financing comprises an €860m term loan B and a €60m revolving credit facility, the sources said.

Orient was not immediately available to comment on the financing.

Orient Hontai entered into exclusive talks with Imagina’s shareholders in May 2017, scooping a dozen other bidders, including French media group Vivendi, Chinese real estate and entertainment firm Dalian Wanda Group Co or US media company Liberty Media.

The deal was made at a multiple of 10 times 2016 Ebitda and valued the company at €1.6bn.

Imagina, usually just known as Mediapro after the name of one of its subsidiaries, has the rights to distribute the La Liga soccer championship, Europe’s third-richest league.

Chinese investors have been snapping up sports and entertainment assets abroad.

The acquisitions range from Swiss sports marketing firm Infront Sports & Media AG to Italian sports media rights company MP & Silva or soccer clubs Inter Milan and AC Milan.

Editing by Christopher Mangham

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