Hella Secures Long-Term Financing by Early Renewal of a Syndicated Loan Amounting to EUR 550 Million
LIPPSTADT, GERMANY – June 24, 2009: Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. has prematurely prolonged its syndicated credit facility, which was due to expire in August 2010, with a volume of EUR 550 million by a further two years until 2012. Due to the high oversubscription from the existing circle of banks and three new institutions, the original target of EUR 400 million was clearly surpassed with commitments totaling more than EUR 600 million. This broad positive response from the banking syndicate is remarkable against the backdrop of banks' currently tight lending practices and the difficult situation in the automotive supplier industry. A total of 22 financial institutions are participating in this syndication, compared to originally 28 in 2005. The high number of eight foreign banks also demonstrates Hella's broad anchorage in the international financial community.
"This successful financing is an important milestone for us in the very difficult market environment we have at the moment. The credit commitments from so many top-ranking German and international banks show the high confidence placed in Hella. Our financing needs are now assured for the coming three years and we can concentrate fully on our operative and strategic forward development without any outside pressure," said Dr. Wolfgang Ollig, CFO of Hella KGaA Hueck & Co.
The placement of such a premature syndicated loan prolongation, known as a "Forward Start Facility", for the very first time in Germany was managed by syndicate leaders Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), as well as the Mandated Lead Arranger (MLA) HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt. Holger Friedrichs, Client Relationship Manager at Dresdner Kleinwort/Commerzbank AG commented: "The strong interest shown by the banks to venture a Forward Start Facility for the first time with an automotive supplier demonstrates how highly the name Hella is rated. At the same time, the broad response to this innovative product shows that in the market there is still demand for quality."
From Hella's view noteworthy is the commitment of the British bank RBS. "We are happy that we have been able to support Hella, a customer with which we have a not only longstanding but also wide-ranging relationship, in developing a forward-looking solution. We believe Hella is properly positioned to emerge strengthened from the market crisis and want to continue to accompany the company on its path in future," said Dr. Ingrid Hengster, Country Executive Germany, Austria, Switzerland at Royal Bank of Scotland.
HSBC Trinkaus as largest European bank also in the consortium sees the reason for the success of this transaction in a generally very difficult environment as follows: "It is primarily the combination of a clear and forward-looking business model and a long-term-oriented, transparent and fair client-bank business partnership," commented Manfred Krause, Division Head Corporate Clients at HSBC Trinkaus.
Besides the prolonged syndicated credit facility, the company had already raised EUR 110 million in the first quarter of 2009 with an investment loan and a debt note placement. As at the end of the 2007/08 fiscal year (31.5.2008), only EUR 65 million of the syndicated credit facility was drawn. Net debt was EUR 226 million, but with long-term financing (>5 years). With sales of EUR 3.9 billion, the operating result was EUR 151 million. Figures for the current 2008/09 fiscal year will be published at the beginning of September.