Smiths News secures £120m refinancing agreement
Shares in Smiths News jumped in early trade on Monday after the newspaper and magazine wholesaler struck a refinancing deal with lenders.
The firm, which last week reverted to its original name after seven years trading as Connect Group, has secured a three-year £120m facility with a syndicate of lenders. It comprises a £45m amortising term loan, a £35m bullet repayment term loan, and a £40m multi-currency revolving credit facility.
The deal replaces Smiths’ existing senior finance agreement, which was due to expire on 31 January. Members of the syndicate include existing lenders HSBC, Barclays, Santander, AIB and Clydesdale, and new lender Shawbrook Bank.
Chief executive Jonathan Bunting said: "We are pleased to have reached this agreement after a thorough and robust process. The support of our banks positively reflects the strength of our business."
He added that the agreement, together with recent contract renewals, "completes a year of considerable strategic progress which further enhances the resilience of our trading and business model".
As at 1040 GMT, shares in Smiths were ahead 4% at 25.5p.
Smiths, which was de-merged from WH Smiths in 2006, is the UK's largest newspaper and magazine wholesaler with a market share of around 55%.