3i Group has refinanced portfolio company Element Materials Technology (EMT) using a $325 million US covenant-lite loan package, it said. It is the third time 3i has refinanced the company, after similar recapitalisations in 2012 and 2013.
EMT, a materials testing company, will use proceeds from the financing to pay down existing debt and facilitate a return to shareholders (including 3i).
3i is understood to have paid itself a £28 million cash dividend as a result of the refinancing, with total cash returned to the firm and the buyout fund from which the investment was made reportedly standing at £51 million.
Existing and new lenders participated in the financing, 3i said, which was arranged with assistance from the private equity group’s in-house financing team. Seven banks provided the original financing packaged when 3i invested in EMT in 2010, acquiring a majority stake.
Revenues during its period of ownership have grown from about $100 million to more than $250 million, with expansion achieved through organics growth and via acquisition as part of a buy-and-build strategy.