Macquarie, Tikehau provide unitranche

The two private lenders will invest 50:50 in a €255 million unitranche facility provided to a French broadcasting company.

Macquarie Group private debt subsidiary Macquarie Lending and French asset manager Tikehau IM have provided a unitranche facility to finance the growth of Itas TIM Group, a television tower broadcasting company in France, the pair announced in a statement.

The facility, which could reach up to €255 million in size, will allow the firm to refinance existing debt and accelerate its expansion through acquisitions.

Itas TIM, which currently possesses more than 380 broadcasting towers in France, offers a digital terrestrial television and radio broadcasting service. It is currently third in terms of market share at 10 percent. With the facility it will have the ability to become number two in terms of market position, a source close to the situation said.

The initial tranche of the unitranche facility could be increased by an “acquisition tranche” which allows Itas TIM to explore acquisition opportunities, subject to certain conditions, the firms said. The financing has been aligned with potential add-ons already in the pipeline, and certain performance milestones, said a source close to the deal.

The leverage on the facility, if fully drawn, will equate to around 5 x, he said. The loan has a seven year term, a bullet profile and the ability to toggle some of the margin into PIK (payment-in-kind). Pricing is in line with the current range Europe-wide at 6 to 8 percent, he added.

Both the investment and the risk is split 50:50 between Macquaire and Tikehau.

The deal is the latest agreement to result from a partnership between Macquaire Lending and Tikehau that was announced in July 2012. When launched, the credit programme was created to make investments of up to €200 million to French mid-market companies.

Tikehau IM and Macquarie were advised by Latham & Watkins. Oddo Corporate Finance and legal firm Weil Gotshal & Manges advised Itas TIM.