Focus Media Said to Ready China Listing With Loan Refinancing

Focus Media Holding Ltd., the Chinese advertising company taken private in 2013, is moving closer to a domestic listing after refinancing a $1.275 billion loan, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Shanghai-based company has drawn down a $1.4 billion club facility from China Merchants Bank Co., China Minsheng Banking Corp.’s Hong Kong arm and DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd., according to the people. It has identified a company it will seek to use for a backdoor listing in China, they said, asking not to be identified as they aren’t authorized to speak publicly.

Focus Media may become the first of a batch of Chinese companies that were formerly traded in the U.S. to relist on an Asian bourse. The company, which was listed on the Nasdaq, was taken private by a group of investors led by Carlyle Group LP in 2013, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The so-called covenant-lite loan, which replaces a five-year facility from October 2013, will keep the same maturity and repayment schedule, the people said. The new facility has only about 20 percent of the financial conditions restricting Focus Media’s actions, known as covenants, that the previous loan had, according to the people.

Bei Jia, a Shanghai-based spokeswoman for Focus Media, declined to comment when reached by phone.

— With assistance by Jacqueline Poh, and Haixing Jin

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