News: Archant secures new £50m debt facility

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Archant secures new £50m debt facility

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Archant has successfully refinanced its existing debt facility of £50m until April 2013, securing its operating cash flow needs and leaving funds available for strategic investments.

The facility is led jointly by the Royal Bank of Scotland in Norwich, and Bank of Ireland, through its media finance team.

Archant Group Finance Director, Brian McCarthy (pictured above), said he was very happy with the terms on which the deal had been negotiated.

"2009 has been the most challenging year for raising new debt for many years," he said. "The media sector in particular has been under great pressure as a result of the recession and the banking world has also changed. We have concluded a great deal for Archant."

The terms of the arrangement also mean that all of Archant's day-to day banking also transfers to Royal Bank of Scotland. No further details of the arrangements have been announced.

Bob Annable, RBS Corporate Director for Norfolk and Suffolk, said: "We were really pleased to play such a major part in the refinancing arrangements for Archant. Archant is an established and high profile national business, based in Norwich, with an excellent management team and this transaction further cements our continuing ability to deliver strong corporate deals in competition on a truly local basis.'"

Simon Bumfrey, Director, Media Finance at Bank of Ireland, added: ‘We are delighted to play a leading role in the refinancing of bank facilities for Archant and to enhance our investment in this media sub-sector. Archant is a leading regional publisher of well established brands and titles led by a strong management team that is steering the business successfully through the cyclical downturn.

Archant was advised by KPMG's debt advisory team in London and by Mills & Reeve in Norwich.

Zak Virgin who led the Mills & Reeve team said, "We were delighted to advise Archant on this significant refinancing. Archant is an important client for our firm and a major player in the local economy and the UK regional media industry. A combination of the professional approach of the Archant team and the robustness of its business plan ensured a successful conclusion, notwithstanding the difficulties endemic in the financial markets and the media sector generally."

David Reitman, of KPMG said “The KPMG Team are absolutely delighted to have worked with Archant to achieve its financing objectives. It is a recognition of the strength of the business and its management, in a sector that has not been without its issues, that the Company was able to attract a new bank to the transaction”.

Archant is the UK's largest independently-owned regional media business and a UK top six regional newspaper publisher. It employs 1,750 people across England, with an annual turnover of around £175 million. It publishes four daily regional newspapers, 60 weekly newspapers as well as 80 monthly magazines and over 180 websites.

© Archant Ltd 2013