BNP Paribas' focus on leveraged finance is harvesting gains with the bank preparing to launch a $110 million recap for Banc of America Capital Investors portfolio company FlexSol Packaging Corp., while shopping a $175 million credit for Propex Fabrics. Last month BNP Pariabas wrapped up a $115 million credit backing TA Associates' acquisition of Triumph Healthcare. A BNP Paribas banker declined comment on the deals in the market.
BNP Paribas indicated in the summer that it was looking to increase its underwriting commitments for leveraged buyouts and become a league-table player (LMW, 6/21). Last week the bank hired Edith Aviles de Kostes as a managing director in the leveraged finance group from D.F. Hadley & Co. She reports to Kathryn Swintek, head of the US leveraged finance group. Aviles de Kostes joined D.F. Hadley in 2003 but prior to that she was at Chase Securities for 11 years.
Geoffrey Manna, meanwhile, joined the French bank in June from Credit Suisse First Boston, as a managing director in the leveraged finance group acting as a financial sponsor coverage officer, focusing on large-cap financial sponsors. According to a source, Manna helped the bank land a lead role on Clayton, Dubilier & Rice's $610 million acquisition of Culligan International alongside Bank of America and Citigroup (9/13).
The FlexSol credit refinances an existing deal done in 1999 when the sponsor recapitalized Delta Plastics and Essex Plastics. The new loan comprises a seven-year, $20 million revolver; seven-year $60 million "B" loan; and eight-year, $30 million second-lien term loan. The first lien is being offered at LIBOR plus 3 3/4%, while the second lien is going out at LIBOR plus 7 1/2%. Leverage is 2.75 through the first lien and 4.01 times through the second. The plastic packaging manufacturer is headquartered in Pompano Beach, Fla. FlexSol officials did not return calls and Robert Edwards, a partner with B of A, referred calls to officials at BNP Paribas.
The Propex loan backs the acquisition of BP's Amoco Fabrics & Fibers Co. by The Sterling Group, Genstar Capital and Laminar Direct Capital. The purchase price is not disclosed but the bid was around $340 million, a source close to the transaction said.
The Propex facility comprises a five-year, $65 million revolver and seven-year, $110 million "B" loan that is being offered at LIBOR plus 2 3/4%. The Propex "B" loan was halfway done within a day of syndication. Net senior leverage is 1.9 times. There is also $150 million of eight-year senior unsecured notes under the bank debt. Total leverage is 4.6 times. "There is great asset coverage on a margin basis--the net senior secured debt is covered 1.6 times," the source noted. High single-B ratings are expected, he added.
Propex is a manufacturer of synthetic woven and non-woven polypropylene fabrics. Wiliam Oehmig, a principal with Sterling; Jean-Pierre Conte, chairman and managing director with Genstar; and Philip Barnes, the company's cfo, did not return calls. A Laminar official could not be reached by press time.