Charterhouse’s Bartec Cuts Borrowing Cost With Loan Refinancing

Bartec Top Holding GmbH, a maker of industrial safety technology owned by Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP, is refinancing its buyout financing from last year to cut interest rates and to relax the terms of the borrowing.

The 341 million euros ($466 million) of debt include a 261 million-euro term loan C due 2019 paying an interest margin of 450 basis points more than benchmark rates, according to an e-mailed statement from lenders. The company, which paid margins of as much as 500 basis points on last year’s debt, also removed restrictions on capital expenditure and minimum cash flows on the refinanced debt.

Bartec joins Ista International GmbH, Sensata Technologies Holding NV and United Biscuits Holdings Ltd in negotiating better borrowing terms as they take advantage of investor demand for loans. Ista, owned by CVC Capital Partners, last month cut interest margins on 1.45 billion euros of buyout loans it signed earlier this year by 50 basis points, while United Biscuits also reduced margins on existing debt by as much as 50 basis points this month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Throughout the year, the market was characterised by robust demand from both funds and banks,” according to Societe Generale SA’s annual review of the leverage loan market published this month. “The imbalance between offer and supply translated into increasingly borrower-friendly terms.”

Bartec’s refinancing was arranged by BNP Paribas SA, UniCredit SpA, Commerzbank AG and GE Capital, according to the lender statement. The debt also includes 80 million euros of credit lines due 2018 paying an interest margin of 400 basis points more than benchmarks.

Charterhouse bought the Mergentheim, Germany-based company from Capvis Equity Partners AG last year in a deal backed by 348 million euros of loans.

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