Wood Mackenzie Said to Propose Margin Reduction on Buyout Loans

Wood Mackenzie Ltd., an energy advisory company, is seeking to lower the rate on loans used to finance last year’s buyout of the company, two people with knowledge of the deal said.

The 315 million-pound ($477 million) term loan B will pay interest at 450 basis points more than the London interbank offered rate, down from 575 basis points, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the terms are private. Libor, a rate banks say they can borrow in dollars from each other, will have a 1 percent floor.

Interest on a revolving credit line and term loan A would be cut 25 by basis points, they said. The loan portions paid margins of 500 basis points more than Libor when marketed last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A 25 basis-point fee is offered if lenders consent by Mar. 5, they said. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.

Nomura Holdings Inc. is coordinating the request for the Edinburgh-based company with Morgan Stanley also arranging the deal, the people said.

Wood Mackenzie raised 595 million pounds of loans backing Hellman & Friedman LLC’s acquisition of a majority stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company’s ratio of debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization has fallen to 6 times from 6 1/2 times last year, said the people. Senior leverage has dropped to 4 times from 4 1/2 times, they said.

The maturity of all loan portions won’t change, and the interest rate on the company’s 170 million pounds of mezzanine debt also won’t alter, the people said.

Charlotte McMullen, a spokeswoman in London for Hellman & Friedman, didn’t immediately respond to a telephone call and an e-mail seeking comment on the financing.

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