Focus Media Boosts Loan Size After Lenders Approve Debt Plan

Focus Media Holding Ltd. expanded a loan that backed the Carlyle Group LP-led takeover of the Chinese digital advertising company after getting approval to refinance debt for paying dividends, two people familiar with the matter said.

The development increases the size of the borrowing to $1.275 billion from $1.075 billion, the people said. Lenders authorized a plan for a $500 million five-year dividend recapitalization facility that allows the company’s owners to pay themselves dividends, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because details are private.

That borrowing comprises a $200 million term facility in addition to a $300 million stand-by letter of credit, which is not counted toward the expanded loan amount, the people said. China Minsheng Banking Corp. took the entire $300 million tranche of the new debt as a bilateral loan, according to the people.

Carlyle and a group of investors raised the $1.075 billion syndicated loan this year to fund their $3.7 billion buyout of Focus Media, in the biggest leveraged buyout of a Chinese company.

Jing Lu, a Shanghai-based spokeswoman for Focus Media, declined to comment on the loan when contacted by phone today.

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