Clarke Willmott has advised on the recent re-financing deal for the Extra MSA Group, which owns 18 Motorway Service Areas (MSAs) across the country, each providing around 300 jobs across a mix of retail and leisure operators and together attracting a combined total of around 800,000 vehicles a week.
The £220m private Bond issue supports one of its portfolios containing nine MSAs including the M40 Beaconsfield and the M25 Cobham, two of the newest and busiest in the UK.
Extra is majority owned by Evergreen, an investment partnership managed by London-based M3 Capital Partners. It has introduced a number of popular new brands to the UK motorway network, including Nando’s, Patisserie Valerie and JD Wetherspoon, as well as kiosk-style tenants such as Carvery Express and Chopstix, reflecting the government’s objective to introduce more choice and competition on to the motorway network.
The proceeds from the newly secured Bond have been used to refinance existing bank funding, return funds to the equity holders and support further growth of the business.
Partner Andrew Beedham, who led the Clarke Willmott team, said: “We have acted for Extra MSA Group since it began in 2010 and this is the latest in a number of successful transactions for them. This was a complex and innovative deal involving a private placing of corporate bonds and builds on our experience in handling multi party complex financing transactions. Our team comprised lawyers from across our offices with specialist support from Carey Olsen, Jersey and Clifford Chance, London and we were pleased to be able to complete the project successfully in a demanding timetable”.
Andrew Long, CEO of Extra said “We are pleased to have worked closely with Clarke Willmott, to conclude this important transaction on favourable commercial terms. This is a ten year Bond Issue, with a fixed low coupon rate of less than 3.7% and no amortisation. The overall terms endorse the quality of Extra’s MSA assets and long term resilience of its business model”.