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SR Technics refinances

The 3i and Star-backed aircraft maintenance company is to use a $325 million asset-backed loan to expand its business and pay down debt.

SR Technics, the aeroplane maintenance company backed by UK private equity firms 3i and Star Capital in 2002, has procured a $325 million (€266 million) refinancing facility from GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS), the aviation financing unit of GE.
 
The refinancing takes the form of a loan facility secured on the company’s stock of Airbus and Boeing aircraft components. “These assets have been put into a special purpose vehicle, and the loan secured against them,” Burkhard Brinkman, a director who represents 3i on the SR Technics board, told PEO. “The advantage of this deal is that it gives the company a pre-approved loan going forward. Asset-backed financing is also significantly cheaper than bonds.”
 
The money will be used to support further expansion of the company’s fleet technical management and component businesses. It will also be used to pay down all the senior debt and part of the mezzanine debt that the company built up during the private equity consortium’s €425 million buyout in December 2002, and its €140 million add-on acquisition of FLS Aerospace in June 2004.
 
SR Technics provides component, engine and technical services for the aviation industry. The Zurich-based company employs a workforce of 5,000 and has revenues of approximately CHF 1.2 billion a year.
 
Earlier this month, Star Capital, the London-headquartered European infrastructure specialist, made £260 million profit on its £465 million exit from UK gas and electricity transportation business, Inexus.