Budapest airport owners refinance €1.4 billion debt package

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Budapest airport owners refinance €1.4 billion debt package

A SPV led by AviAlliance, a vehicle of Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) has refinanced €1.4 billion (US$1.775 billion) of debt facilities for Budapest Airport in Hungary.

The deal involved refinancing the existing 30 banks with both a significantly revised senior facility and entirely new junior debt tranche. Linklaters has advised the existing and incoming senior lenders on the structuring and refinancing of the debt facilities.

The new structure required entirely new and non-standard principles to be agreed between creditors in the light of the restrictions of the concession-based rights of the airport; agreement between the various stakeholders as to how the security structure would change in the context of the existing rights granted by the Hungarian State and the Company; and highly engineered reverse-swap arrangements.

In June 2005, Hungary's privatization agency initiated a tender for a concession. 75 percent minus one vote of Budapest Airport Zrt.'s shares were to be given to new private owners.

The tender was successfully finalized on 8 December 2005 and the British company BAA, owner and operator of the major British airports, took over the management of the airport company for HUF464.5 billion (US$2.1 billion), including the right of operation for 75 years.

Only one and half years later, in June 2007, there was a change in the management when the new owner of BAA decided to dispose of its shares and sell them to the German company HOCHTIEF AirPort and three other financial partners for €1.9 billion (US$2.775 billion).

The new owners signed in mid november a €1.52 billion (US$2.22 billion) syndicated loan for the transaction. The loan was underwritten by mandated lead arrangers BayernLB, BNP Paribas, Calyon, K&H Bank, KBC Bank, MKB Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Societe Generale, SMBC and WestLB. Bookrunners were BNP Paribas, Calyon, RBS and SMBC. The facilities would have matured on 31 Decicember 2014.

Budapest Airport Plc., the operator of Ferenc Liszt International Airport is owned by a consortium of Germany's KfW IPEX-Bank (4%), Canada's Caisse de depôt et placement de Québec (18,167%), USA's Aero Investment (10 %), Singapore's Malton Investments Pte Ltd. 18,167%, and AviAlliance GmbH (49,666%).

The terminals of the airport were home to 39 airlines, which transported 8.5 million passengers to 99 airports in 34 countries in 2013. The airport is located 16 kilometres east-southeast of the centre of Budapest and was renamed in honor of Ferenc Liszt on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of his birth.

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