Antin, Macquarie in oversubscribed Pisto refinancing

Nine banks have backed Antin and Macquarie in refinancing some €480 million of debt for the French oil storage company. The refinancing was concluded about three years before the original seven-year debt package matured.

French fund manager Antin Infrastructure Partners and funds managed by Macquarie have successfully refinanced the senior debt of French oil storage company Pisto, which they jointly control, Infrastructure Investor has learned.

A club of nine banks including BNP Paribas, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Credit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank, Dekabank, ING, HSH Nordbank, Lloyds, SEB and Unicredit are providing seven-year bullet facilities of circa €480 million, with margins starting at 2.75 percent. 

The refinancing package is said to have been oversubscribed some 1.5 times and was concluded about three years before the original debt package expired.

Antin and Macquarie could not be reached for comment at press time.

In an interview published in the May issue of Infrastructure Investor, Antin chief executive Alain Rauscher pointed out that the fund manager views refinancing as a major risk and prepares for it accordingly.

“The big change after 2007 is that a manager today will be exposed to refinancing an asset once if not twice during the holding period. Whenever there is a refinancing, we tend to organise ourselves at least two years before the deadline to cater for this risk,” Rauscher explained.

Antin originally acquired about a third of the Pisto Group, a holding company active in the oil storage sector in France, in January 2010. 

Pisto is a holding company that has full control of the Compagnie Industrielle Maritime (CIM), which holds the concession to operate two oil terminals at Le Havre port, in northern France, and their oil storage facilities; 100 percent of Compagnie Commerciale de Manutencion Petroliere (CCMP), which owns and operates oil storage and distribution facilities in the Paris area and the west of France; and 32 percent of TRAPIL, the owner of the oil pipeline network between Le Havre, Paris, Orleans and Tours. TRAPIL also operates several refined product pipelines across France.

The holding company holds a significant presence in the downstream oil logistics sector in France with the storage capacity of CIM and CCMP reaching six million units of coalbed methane (cbm). Both companies also handle some 45 million tons of refined oil products while TRAPIL transports 20 million tons of refined oil per year.

Macquarie bought Pisto in October 2008 for an undisclosed amount.