ION Group scraps US$250m dividend ambitions

LONDON, May 2 (LPC) – ION Group has abandoned plans to take a US$250m dividend from ION Corporates in order to complete a US$1.96bn jumbo loan financing, banking sources said. UBS is sole bookrunner on the loan, hoping a cut in net debt and a consequential reduction in leverage will make the financing more attractive to investors. The loan launched in April to back the refinancing and combination of three software businesses – Openlink, TriplePoint and Wall Street Systems. It initially launched at US$2.21bn but failed to garner enough support from investors after Moody’s rated it B3 with a negative outlook earlier this week, making it difficult for CLOs to invest in the low-rated paper, the sources said. Removing the dividend could lead to a new rating as leverage has reduced to 4.95 times from 5.61 times, the sources said. ION Group was not immediately available to comment. “Tweaking the structure so net debt and leverage comes down should help with the rating. From a credit perspective not taking money off the table during a period of high execution risk is a good thing. Call it naive but you would like to think they’ve come out with something that they… continue reading

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