3i-owned ferry operator secures €862m refinancing

The liquidity facility for Scandlines includes an 11-year institutional tranche, with the entire package rated BBB by Fitch.

Danish ferry operator Scandlines has sealed an €862 million refinancing package in its second such deal in less than four years.

The former state-owned business, now wholly owned by 3i, secured a six-year bank tranche and an 11-year institutional tranche as part of the new liquidity facility. While Scandlines declined to name the lenders involved in the deal, it said the group comprises a “large number of European and US parties active in the infrastructure space”.

It added that the new funds have been structured on a “secured infrastructure-style basis” and have been assigned a BBB rating by Fitch. Scandlines said the transaction will substantially reduce the long-term cost of its debt as it seeks to transform its operations providing a high-frequency connection between mainland Europe and Scandinavia.

The move to restructure the company’s debt comes after an €875 million refinancing deal in November 2013, following 3i’s acquisition of the 49 percent of the company it did not own from Allianz Capital Partners. The pair initially snapped up 40 percent of Scandlines each when it was privatised in 2007. They sold Scandlines’ Helsingor-Helsingborg ferry line to First State’s European Diversified Infrastructure Fund in January 2015.

Scandlines generated an EBITDA of €180 million last year, a 10 percent increase on the previous year.