ION’s loan backing Acuris on hold after investor push back

NEW YORK, July 25 (LPC) – A leveraged loan financing Irish software firm ION Group’s acquisition of financial media and data firm Acuris remains on hold after investors opposed the company’s latest attempt to raise a syndicated loan this year, sources said. ION Group agreed to buy a majority stake in Acuris from BC Partners in March for £1.35bn (US$1.69bn), and tried to raise roughly US$1bn-US$1.1bn in debt financing via house bank UBS and Morgan Stanley. Investors opposed some terms of the transaction due to ION Group’s high leverage, which has climbed in the last 12 months after several acquisitions. ION Group also refused to sweeten the deal, sources said. “There was a deal on the table,” said one portfolio manager at a US firm. “But, they (ION Group) weren’t willing to change the terms, and if they do come back to the market it’s going to be painful.” Investors were also concerned about the aggressive documentation attached to the loan as well as ION Group’s adjusted leverage of 9.5 times for the 12 months ended in September 2018, as calculated by Moody’s Investors Service. “The documents were dreadful, I wouldn’t give them (ION Group) that much flexibility,” a second… continue reading

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