Manchester Airports Group in £590m refinancing

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) announced on Friday it has completed a £590 million refinancing of its revolving credit and liquidity facilities.

MAG operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports and is privately managed on behalf of its shareholders — Australian investment fund IFM Investors (35.5%), Manchester City Council (35.5%) and nine other Greater Manchester councils (29%).

“MAG’s existing eight relationship banks have provided strong support throughout the pandemic,” said the group.

“MAG is delighted to announce the continuation of those relationships, with all existing banks participating in the facilities, reflecting global credit markets’ confidence in the strength of MAG’s business profile, endorsement of its financial and strategic response to the pandemic, and business outlook following a release of all UK travel restrictions.

“The aggregate amount of the facilities is £590 million: they comprise a £500 million revolving credit facility and £90 million in standby liquidity facilities.

“The revolving credit facility has a five year term maturing in May 2027 with the option to extend by up to two years subject to lenders’ agreement.

“The liquidity facility provides a committed 12 months of interest cover supporting MAG’s listed bonds and other credit facilities, subject to an annual renewal process.

“The facilities extend the existing facilities that were due to mature in June 2023.

“MAG remains committed to its strong investment grade ratings with Fitch and Moody’s and its strategy to maintain a long-term financing structure, including investment from the capital markets.”

MAG chief financial officer Jan Bramall said: “This successful refinancing of our bank facilities combined with our bond issuances since 2014 provides MAG with a sound long-term funding platform to support the continued growth of the business, including investment in our infrastructure at Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands and enhancing the level of service to passengers and airlines.

“We are delighted at the support shown by our lenders and we would like to extend our thanks for that support during a difficult two years, as we look ahead to a return to growth and investment alongside our banking partners.”

National Westminster Bank acted as co-ordinator and facility agent for the implementation of the facilities and mandated lead arrangers were BNP Paribas London Branch, Barclays Bank PLC, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce London Branch, National Australia Bank Limited, HSBC UK Bank plc, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation London Branch, Handelsbanken Capital Markets Handelsbanken plc and National Westminster Bank.

On December 9, Manchester Airport Group Investments Limited (MAGIL) published its financial statements for the half year ended September 30, 2020, showing its revenue fell 81.1% to £102.4 million.

Passenger numbers for the six month period fell 88.5% to 4.2 million.