25/01/2019 - News
Clearwater International’s Debt Advisory team raises in excess of €1.9bn in debt finance in 2018
The Debt Advisory team at mid-market advisory firm Clearwater International raised in excess of €1.9bn in debt finance during 2018. This debt was utilised by European businesses to support acquisition activity, refinance existing debt facilities, re-align capital structures and just as importantly, support organic growth. The team completed a total of 38 debt advisory transactions across Europe throughout 2018, an 40% increase in deal volume which demonstrates the growing importance of debt advisory in the current market.
The debt advisory team continues to see increasing activity across Western Europe. The tailored advice provided by the team is seen as a value-add service and key differentiator by clients. Key transactions included the French team advising RemadeGroup on a €125m deal, financing one of the largest unitranche transactions in the market.
The UK team provided debt advisory services to Livingbridge, one of the UK’s leading mid-market private equity investors, structuring a debt package to support its investment in loveholidays, a Civil Aviation Authority regulated online travel agent. Livingbridge is an experienced investor in the leisure sector with Clearwater International also advising on its Sykes Cottages investment.
Another notable deal saw the UK team advise Wavenet on a c.€85m debt package, provided by Ares Management and RBS. The structure and flexibility of the debt facility supports the ongoing acquisition activity of this innovative unified communications solutions provider, backed by Beech Tree Private Equity.
The German team also completed an important deal in the unified communications market, advising independent private equity investment group Waterland Private Equity, on raising unitranche debt funding for the merger of Swyx Solutions and Within Reach Group. Clearwater International advised on the structure of the €154.5m acquisition finance package, which was used to form leading European player UCG.
The mid-market has seen increasing demand for innovative debt solutions to meet strategic aims and transaction requirements. With more diverse lending options now available, Clearwater International is advising on more debt transactions than ever with its dedicated team. As the team continues to grow across Clearwater International’s European offices, it is able to offer a greater range of solutions to clients through its extensive market knowledge and cross-border collaboration.
The positive lending environment in the mid-market means it’s a great time for businesses to take advantage of the competitive terms and new structures available. New lenders are entering the market and existing lenders fight to remain competitive, with more flexible structures designed to support strategic growth and acquisition objectives. This includes a number of banks looking to collaborate with direct lenders and debt funds, in order to broaden their service offerings.
Mark Taylor, Partner and International Head of Debt Advisory commented: “We are delighted with the activity levels the Debt Advisory team are continuing to see. This is obviously assisted by the diverse lending environment we have experienced over recent times but also by the quality of service and pragmatic advice delivered to our clients. We expect strong and sustained levels of activity during 2019 as we continue to invest in our senior team within the UK and across Europe.”