What is believed to be the largest term loan on record is slated to help fund the buyout of Univision Communications by a consortium of private equity groups. Deutsche Bank will put together a loan package that will include a $7.5 billion term loan to back the $12.3 billion buyout. The private equity firms will also be inheriting $1.4 billion in debt.
The deal is also expected to consist of a $750 million revolver and about $2 billion of bonds. Credit Suisse is leading the bond portion of the financing. Bank of America and Wachovia Securities will also be involved in the financing. Due to the lengthy regulatory approval process that will ensue, the deal is not anticipated to come to market until either the end of the first quarter or early in the second quarter of next year.
Univision accepted the buyout offer last Tuesday from the consortium that includes: Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners andSaban Capital Group. After the announcement, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Univision's senior unsecured ratings to Baa3 and placed the ratings on review for further downgrade. Standard & Poor's lowered the company's corporate credit rating to BB-. A Thomas H. Lee spokeswoman and a TPG spokesman declined comment. Calls to the other private equity groups were not returned.
TPG partnered with Thomas H. Lee early on in the process and at one point Goldman Sachs Capital Partners was also a part of that bidding group. Grupo Televsia, Providence and Madison Dearborn had teamed up to make an offer, but after the three parted ways around the end of April, Madison Dearborn and Providence got together with TPG and Thomas H. Lee. Saban joined the group around that time as well. At press time, shareholders had filed two lawsuits trying to block the sale of the company, according to news reports.
The Univision term loan would be significantly bigger than the $5.25 billion Georgia-Pacific Corp. term loan put in place in January by Citigroup. That financing backed Koch's acquisition of the company. JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank are the joint bookrunners on the deal (CIN 1/9). Other recent large term loans include Charter Communication's $5 billion term loan, which came to market in April and SunGard Data Systems' $4 billion term loan. JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup lead the Charter deal and JPM, Citi and Deutsche Bank lead the SunGard deal.