Carlyle Finalizing Neochimiki Debt

LONDON (Reuters) – Private equity sponsor Carlyle Group is finalising the arranging group of banks that will lead a fully-underwritten loan backing the 749 million euro ($1.18 billion) buyout of Greek chemical group Neochimiki NHCr.AT, bankers said on Thursday.

The bank group includes Dresdner Kleinwort, Emporiki Bank SA, Millennium Bank SA, Piraeus Bank SA and Proton Bank SA, a banker said, while the National Bank of Greece has also joined the group.

The loan is structured as a standard leveraged buyout financing featuring low leverage levels, a strong equity contribution and high level of asset coverage, the banker said.

Given the sensitive public to private nature of the acquisition, further details of the loan are expected closer to launch at the end of the month.

The arranging banks have not yet decided whether the deal will be syndicated solely in Greece or will have a wider pan-European syndication.

Established in 1974, Neochimiki is an independent chemicals company specialising both in the distribution of chemical raw materials and distribution of fertilizers and raw materials for the coatings industry.

Carlyle bought 73.54 percent of the group for 19 euro per share in block trades over the Athens Stock Exchange and will launch a mandatory offer for the rest of the company at the same price.

(Reporting by Zaida Espana & Alasdair Reilly)