ABP establishes new funding platform to access both bank and bond markets

December 19, 2011

Associated British Ports (ABP) has established a new funding platform to enable it to access a variety of funding markets over time. ABP has raised £2.36bn of senior bank and bond debt to refinance the previous bank debt facilities put in place at the time of the group's acquisition in 2006.

The group has established a Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) programme in the name of ABP Finance Plc, from which it issued a debut 6.25% £500m bond due 14 December 2026. The successful issue of the bonds followed the rating of BBB+ by Fitch Ratings Ltd. and Baa2 by Moody’s Investors Service. ABP has also raised bank debt with maturities of three, five, and seven years from a group of 11 banks.

Outlining what the refinancing means for ABP, Chief Financial Officer Sebastian Bull commented: “We now have a long-term capital structure to match our business model and support our contracts and revenue streams.  We have successfully diversified our funding and consolidated our key banking relationships to 11 from over 40.”

Barclays Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lloyds Bank, and RBS acted as active bookrunners on the bond issue; with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, National Australia Bank, and Scotia Capital acting as passive bookrunners. These seven banks were joined by CBA, CIBC, EDC, and JP Morgan as loan bookrunners.

Barclays Capital and Goldman Sachs acted as Structuring Banks. Rothschild acted as Debt and Swaps Procurement Adviser. Erias Finance advised the board of ABP.

ABP was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer while Clifford Chance advised the funders.

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