Watts Water Technologies has doubled the size of its credit facility with a new five-year, $300 million revolver, providing the manufacturer of water control products additional firepower for acquisitions. "We have a pattern of doing a handful of acquisitions a year. It's something we're always out there looking for, to gain market share, or innovative technology," noted Ken Lapage, assistant general counsel of Watts Water.
North Andover, Mass.-based Watts Waters previously had a $150 million revolver that was set to expire next year. "Our company has been growing steadily since our last credit agreement and this [revolver] just gives us a lot more flexibility than the other agreement did," Lapage added.
Bank of America is the lead bank, while J.P. Morgan and Wachovia Bank are syndication agents. Fleet Bank was the lead bank in the previous revolver. After the merger with Fleet, continuing a relationship with B of A was not part of a natural progression, said Lapage. "It wasn't like we were just sticking to the successor to Fleet. We went out and actively shopped around for the bank that we thought would be the best fit and came up with Bank of America." Watts Water's primary contact at Fleet changed after the merger, however the transition to the B of A bankers was smooth, Lapage added.
Key Bank and SunTrust Bank are documentation agents. Other banks participating in the new syndicate are HSBC Bank, LaSalle Bank, Citizens Bank, Calyon and Brown Brothers Harriman. SunTrust, LaSalle and Calyon are new members of the syndicate. Previous lender Mellon Bank did not participate in the new revolver as the bank is exiting the syndicated loan business, said Lapage.
Watts Waters' previous facility was split into $100 million and E50 million revolvers. Meanwhile, the new facility allows borrowings for up to $300 million in either dollars or euros. Pricing on the new facility ranges from LIBOR plus 45-100 basis points, depending on leverage and credit rating. The previous revolver was priced at LIBOR plus 100 bps.