Howden Group ups debt to £2.9bn to finance Aston Lark purchase
Howden Group is seeking to raise £460mn ($620mn) in US dollar equivalent debt as part of its deal to buy Aston Lark.
A Moody’s note revealed that the acquisitive broking group is also expected to issue £390mn in PIK notes, through a newly created intermediate holding company, to fund part of the acquisition.
The debt will take the group’s total gross financial debt to £2.9bn (excluding the PIK), up from the £2.4bn at the time of its acquisition of US MGA Align.
Howden struck a deal to acquire Aston Lark last month for around £1.1bn, in its largest-ever takeover.
Yesterday, Howden also announced the launch of its New Zealand operations, comprising Howden Broking and Howden Care.
Former Donaldson Brown partner René Hattingh has been appointed CEO of Howden Broking, New Zealand.
She was previously head of financial and professional services for New Zealand at Marsh.
Prior to this, she was head of FinPro New Zealand at Marsh.
The group has also appointed Cliff McCord as CEO of Howden Care. Prior to joining Howden last month, McCord spent 24 years at workplace claims management, rehabilitation and wellness business Wellnz, latterly as CEO.
The launch of the New Zealand business comes amid a period of heightened international expansion for Howden, which bought Bermudian broker Foram last month and earlier this year Aneco in Norway, Sarton & Associés in Belgium, BrokerCenterZürichsee in Switzerland, and CHB in Estonia.
Moody’s affirmed Howden Group’s corporate family rating at B2, and the probability of default rating at B2-PD.
It also assigned B2 ratings to the proposed new £400mn equivalent guaranteed senior secured US dollar term loan facility, and the £185mn guaranteed senior secured revolving credit facility Howden has previously issued being extended to December 2026.