Macquarie unit backs French towers business

Macquarie Lending has joined forces with Tikehau IM to provide a loan facility for Itas TIM Group to support the firm’s growth.

Macquarie Lending, a principal finance and investing arm of Macquarie Bank, has teamed up with investment company Tikehau IM to provide a unitranche loan facility for Itas TIM Group, a French television towers broadcasting company.

Founded in 2008, Itas TIM currently possesses over 380 broadcasting towers in France and offers digital terrestrial television (DTT) and radio broadcasting services. It also offers its stations to other DTT and radio operators and provides installation services to all operators.

The unitranche facility will allow the company to refinance its existing debt and “significantly accelerate” investment in the expansion of its primary network. A statement from Macquarie said the initial tranche could be increased to allow the firm to explore acquisition opportunities and that the facilities could total up to €255 million.

The financing arises from a partnership between Macquarie Lending and Tikehau IM that was announced in July 2012 and provides tailor-made financing solutions for French mid-market companies.

Part of Macquarie’s corporate and asset finance business, Macquarie Lending is a primary lender and acquirer of secondary loans across Europe, North America and Australasia. It has funded more than €6.6 billion in new loan commitments in Europe since 2009.

In September last year, Macquarie Lending provided senior secured debt to Scottish multi-utility connections and networks business Energetics, also taking a minority equity stake in the firm.

Tikehau IM was launched by long-term capital investor and manager Tikehau Group in 2007. It is an investment company that specialises in fixed income products.

The Itas TIM deal saw the involvement of Weil Gotshal & Manges and Latham & Watkins as legal advisers and Oddo Corporate Finance as financial advisor.