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ABP establishes new funding platform

December 20 - In the UK, Associated British Ports (ABP) has established a new funding platform to enable it to access a variety of funding markets over time. ABP has raised GBP2.36 billion (USD3.67 billion) of senior bank and bond debt to refinance the pr

The group says it has established a Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) programme in the name of ABP Finance Plc, from which it issued a debut 6.25 0BP500 million (USD778 billion) bond due December 14, 2026. The successful issue of the bonds followed the rating of BBB+ by Fitch Ratings Ltd . and Baa2 by Moody's Investors Service. ABP has also raised bank debt with maturities of three, five, and seven years from a group of 11 banks.

Outlining what the refinancing means for ABP, chief financial officer Sebastian Bull commented: "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."

Barclays Capital , Bank of America Merrill LynchLloyds Bank, and RBS acted as active bookrunners on the bond issue; with Bank of Tokyo-MitsubishiNational Australia Bank, and Scotia Capital acting as passive bookrunners. These seven banks were joined by CBACIBCEDC, and JP Morgan as loan bookrunners.

Barclays Capital and Goldman Sachs acted as Structuring Banks. Rothschild acted as Debt and Swaps Procurement Adviser. Erias Finance advised the board of ABP.

ABP, the UK's largest ports group, with 21 hubs handling 120m tonnes annually, was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer while Clifford Chance advised the funders.

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