Alchemy leads Incisive debt for equity swap

Bayside Capital and Legico have also become shareholders at Incisive Media, according to Sky News.

Distressed investor Alchemy Partners has led a debt for equity restructuring of London-based publisher Incisive Media.

Incisive announced a refinancing agreement with Alchemy and other minority lenders in a statement last week. The new capital structure provides Incisive with a platform for growth and “much reduced net debt”, Incisive said in a statement. The publisher did not disclose the terms of the agreement. However, Sky News reported that the deal would reduce the publisher’s debt from £110 million (€140.7 million; $166.65 million) to £25 million.

Tim Weller, executive chairman and chief executive of Incisive, said in a statement: “This is great news for the ongoing development of our company. The strong financial platform and supportive majority shareholder in the form of Alchemy will give us the ability to invest in the business, both in our people and our brands.”

Prior to the restructuring, government-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) had been in control of Incisive with the debt held on the books of its Global Restructuring Group (GRG). However, the new agreement removes Incisive from GRG’s portfolio, Sky reported. Banking sources said that HIG credit affiliate Bayside Capital, and Legico, a fund managed by private equity group Permira, will also become Incisive shareholders. Changes at board level have also been made including a number of partners from Alchemy Partner now sitting on the board.

Alchemy Partners and Incisive Media had not responded to a request for further comment at time of publication.

Ian Cash, a partner at Alchemy, said in the statement: “We are admirers of Incisive Media’s leading brand positions and the entrepreneurial management team headed by Tim Weller. We are delighted to have led the restructuring and look forward to continuing to support the transformation and growth of the business as the majority shareholder.”

Private equity firm Apax paid £208 million for Incisive in 2006. It subsequently paid $600 million for magazine publisher American Lawyer Media the following year. Later the businesses were split with Apax retaining the US magazines and ceding control of the UK titles to its lenders.