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Old Trafford stadium refinance
Case studies

Old Trafford stadium refinance

Background

Lancashire County Cricket Club (the “Club”) had a 100 year relationship with a UK bank who was unwilling to increase its loan to support the Club’s future development plans.

As the existing lender had security over the Club’s assets, they were forced to seek multiple and disparate forms of alternative financing to achieve their objectives over time.

JCRA were mandated to refinance the existing funding and consolidate them into a single loan that would smooth their repayment profile. The request was to:

  • Raise £30m, split between non-amortising term debt and an overdraft facility for a term of 10 years
  • Reduce their cost of funding
  • Have minimal repayment penalties to take advantage of future low-cost funding by the ECB
  • Negotiate a covenant structure that focused on the Club’s debt profile and asset value rather than EBITDA
  • Negotiate the termination and potential refund of credit charges of an interest rate swap with the existing lender that had a significant mark-to-market liability
Our Approach

JCRA worked closely with the Club to analyse their existing debt facilities, and built a cashflow model to assist in developing a funding structure that would meet the Club’s financial objectives given the funding alternatives available in the financing market.

Along with the necessary documentation, we jointly produced an investment memorandum highlighting the Club’s financing requirements.

We advised the Club on the most suitable combination of lenders, including traditional clearing and challenger banks, who were most likely able to achieve the Club’s funding structure, and presented to them the Club’s request for finance.

JCRA modelled the alternative funding offers indicated by potential lenders. We wanted to create a solution that that was both cost effective and appropriate, by assessing their suitability, pricing, tenor, covenants and conditions.

We negotiated loan terms with the existing lender, taking into consideration the significant mark-to-market liability that it held.

JCRA worked closely with the chosen lender to achieve full credit approval, and assisted with the remaining documentation and due diligence process until completion.

Benefits

JCRA achieved a bespoke funding package that has simplified the Club’s debt structure, with terms that will allow them to focus on achieving their long-term development goals:

  • Consolidated the existing loans into structure provided by a single lender resulted in a simplified financing solution
  • Raised £26m term debt and a £2.5m overdraft facility, priced at a cheaper rate compared to the blended cost of the existing loans
  • A delayed amortization schedule designed to free up working capital for the Club in the initial years
  • Limited early repayment fees, providing the Club flexibility to take advantage of the ECB’s low cost of debt in the future
  • Covenant mechanics that reflect the Club’s variability in EBITDA, allowing them to weather the leaner years with less chance of a breach
  • Terminated the historic interest rate swap, achieving a partial saving

Client comment: “we were delighted that JCRA could deliver on all of our objectives in the refinance”

 

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Contact us

If you need hedging or debt advice or would like to speak to the team, please get in touch.