Canada's OMERS fund buys shipping firm V.Group

Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:17pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Claire Ruckin

LONDON (Reuters) - Canadian pension fund Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) has agreed to buy Scotland-based shipping services company V.Group for $520 million, it said on Thursday.

The acquisition of V.Group from private equity firm Exponent was completed by the London office of OMERS Private Equity, which opened in September 2009 to build a mid-market private equity presence in Europe.

OMERS' purchase of V.Group has been financed with $280 million of leveraged loans provided by Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets (RBC). Additional banks are likely to be syndicated on the deal, sources close to the deal said.

The debt package includes a $90 million six-year term loan A paying 475 basis points (bps) over LIBOR; a $130 million seven- year term loan B paying 525 bps over LIBOR; a $40 million revolving credit facility and a $20 million acquisition facility both maturing in six years and paying 475 bps over LIBOR.

Exponent agreed the sale to OMERS after talks with Charterhouse Capital Partners broke down earlier this month after Charterhouse revised its offer and linked part of the payment to the future performance of V.Ships. Exponent preferred an all-cash offer, sources close to the matter said.

Clive Richardson will continue as V.Group's chief executive.

Weil Gotshal & Manges advised OMERS on legal matters while Clifford Chance advised RBC.

Lazard advised Exponent with Allen & Overy providing legal advice. Law firm Travers Smith advised shareholders and management of V.Group.   Continued...