The acquisition, which will be financed with newly issued shares, will replace Refinitiv’s existing leveraged debt with a corporate financing, reflecting LSE’s investment-grade credit rating. “It is a regular way investment-grade bridge syndication to relationship banks,” a banker said. LSE was not immediately available to comment. The loan will refinance US$13.5bn of leveraged loans and bonds that backed a US$20bn purchase of a majority stake in the data company 10 months ago by a consortium led by US private equity firm Blackstone.
The bridge loan is intended to be taken out entirely by bonds, but not until the fourth-quarter of next year, or even the first-quarter of 2021, LPC reported previously. That timing will be determined by the close of the acquisition. Refinitiv, the parent company of LPC, was created last year when a Blackstone-led consortium bought a 55% stake in Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk business in the largest leveraged buyout since the financial crisis. Thomson Reuters owns the remaining 45% stake. LSE’s last corporate loan was provided by Banco Santander, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Barclays Bank, HSBC, Royal Bank of Canada and Royal Bank of Scotland, according to LPC data.