CORRECTED-ION turns to private debt after previous loans fall flat

(Corrects paragraph one to reflect private debt commitments instead of a syndicated loan; corrects throughout) NEW YORK, July 30 (LPC) – Irish software firm ION Group secured private debt commitments in mid July to fund its acquisition of financial media and data firm Acuris, people familiar with the matter said. ION Group turned to the private debt market to fund the Acuris buy after failing twice to raise leveraged loans in the broadly-syndicated loan market earlier this year. ION Group agreed to buy a majority stake in Acuris from BC Partners in March for £1.35bn (US$1.69bn), including debt, and was seeking US$1bn-US$1.1bn of debt financing, sources said. Investors opposed various terms on ION Group’s previous two loans due to high leverage, which has climbed in the last 12 months after several acquisitions. Adjusted leverage was approximately 9.5 times for the 12 months ended in September 19, according to Moody’s Investors Service. ION was also reluctant to sweeten the terms on debt that it tried to raise in the broadly-syndicated loan market, sources said. Aggressive documentation and Ebitda adjustments have also drawn greater scrutiny from investors, who were calling for higher compensation and tighter documents. “The documents were dreadful, I wouldn’t… continue reading

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