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Arqiva refinances £353m term loan

CPPIB, Macquarie and IFM-owned telecoms group has also rolled over capex and working capital facilities in a transaction previously thought to total about £1bn.

Arqiva has completed the refinancing of its existing debt facilities that include a £353.5 million ($440 million; €415 million) bank term loan due to mature in February 2018.

The telecoms group is owned by a consortium of seven investors, whose largest are the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (48 percent), Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 2 (25 percent) and IFM Investors (14.8 percent).

The company has also refinanced its capital expenditure and working capital facilities, which had the same maturity, as well as its liquidity facilities. The amount of this latter rollover has not been disclosed, but Infrastructure Investor reported in August that Arqiva was considering a refinancing potentially worth as much as £1 billion.

Arqiva provides infrastructure and broadcast transmission facilities in the UK and Ireland, along with commercial WiFi and smart metering for Scotland and the north of England. It posted revenues of £884.7 million for the year ended 30 June 2016, with EBIDTA 1.4 percent up on the period to £424.4 million, according to its latest annual report.

MEIF2, a €4.6 billion fund that runs until 2018, this summer was said to be willing to exit Arqiva via a dual-track process that would see its holding divested either through an M&A deal or an IPO. A transaction was not anticipated before “well into 2017”, industry sources said then.

Earlier this month, reports stated that the company’s owners were indeed planning a sale for next year in a deal potentially worth about £5 billion. Macquarie declined to comment. CPPIB and IFM had not responded to request for comments before press time.

Last week, Arqiva reacted positively to news, contained in the UK Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, that the government was committing to disburse £1 billion to help develop Britain’s 5G infrastructure. Simon Beresford-Wylie, the company’s chief executive, said the plan would put the UK “at the forefront of the ‘internet of things’”.