Thursday 18 January 2018

Bond market backs Ardagh Glass

Bottle and packaging maker secures €1.7bn to finance takeover of Dutch peer Impress

Donal O'Donovan

Ardagh Glass, an Irish bottle and packaging manufacturer, has secured €1.7bn from the the high-yield bond market to finance its €1.7bn takeover of rival Dutch peer Impress.

The financing package has been fully underwritten by Citigroup, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan.

Reuters IFR said the bond deal would be a mix of dollar and euro, with most of the financing package coming in euro.

The mix of currencies reflects the global scale of the enlarged group, but sources in the high-yield market said the deal towards euro would tap pent-up demand among European bond investors who have had very few opportunities to invest over the past year while the US market recorded a huge volume of deals.

Bond investors have been invited to marketing roadshows in the US and Europe in the coming week.

Ardagh Glass is a well-established user of the bond market. Its new deal will refinance all of its own and Impress's current debt, repaying outstanding debt, including a loan from Anglo Irish Bank at par.

Ardagh evolved out of the old Irish Glass Bottle Company. It says the acquisition of Impress from private equity firm Doughty Hanson will be transformational.

In terms of scale, the combined business will have a turnover of €3bn.

It will have 14,000 employees globally. To date, Ardagh has operated from 20 European locations and the takeover of Impress will extend its reach into new markets in the US and Australasia.

Ardagh's business is mainly manufacturing glass bottles, with 40pc of its revenue coming from beer bottles. Impress also makes metal packaging, including cans for fish and paint.

Irish Independent

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