Wednesday , 29 January 2020
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The UK’s largest ports group, Associated British Ports (ABP), has successfully completed a refinancing deal, which has seen it raise £2.36bn (US$3.66bn) of debt finance, becoming the first UK port operator to gain an external credit rating and tap the bond market in the last 10 years.

ABP raises £2.36bn of debt finance

Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets was appointed by the group to act as a Mandated Lead Arranger (MLA) on the £1.86bn (US$ 2.88bn) bank debt financing and an active book runner on the £500m (US$ 776m) bond.

ABP’s decision to work with Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets was based, in part, on the fact that the bank acted on its original acquisition in 2006 and because, “it really understands our business and shares our ambitions for it,” explained Sebastian Bull, CFO of ABP.

Outlining what the refinancing means, Bull said, “We now have a long term capital structure to match our business model and support our contracts and revenue streams. We have successfully diversified our funding and consolidated our key banking relationships to 11 from over 40.”

Commenting on the deal, Farouk Ramzan, Head of Corporate Debt Capital Markets at Lloyds, said, “This refinancing is significant for ABP and the ports industry more broadly. In the future we expect to see other major infrastructure players looking to follow suit and tap the bond markets as a means of diversifying their funding”.