ABP Acquisitions Limited has closed its first transaction since the establishment of its new debt funding platform and £500m inaugural bond issue in December 2011. The company has issued £200m in a private placement of floating rate senior secured guaranteed notes to Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of the United States and affiliates. The proceeds of the transaction funded on 25 April 2012.
The private placement notes mature in December 2033, have an average life of 20 years and are attractively priced. Replacing three-year bank debt with a private placement having a 21-year maturity is in line with the group’s strategy to match the tenor of ABP’s financing to its very long-term assets.
Outlining what the refinancing means for the Associated British Ports Group, Chief Financial Officer Sebastian Bull commented: “This long-term financing is the first example of the flexibility afforded by our new structure, enabling us to access an alternative source of long-dated funding on attractive terms. We are delighted to welcome such an experienced and long-term investor as MetLife with its innovative approach into the group's financing structure. ”
Scott Inglis, Managing Director of Private Securities for MetLife, said: “We are pleased to have completed this investment in the Associated British Ports Group. As MetLife builds its infrastructure portfolio, it will be seeking essential infrastructure assets, such as ABP, that are resilient to economic cycles and match well with MetLife’s long-term investment approach.”
Barclays acted as Placement Agent. Erias Finance advised the board of ABP Acquisitions UK Limited.