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Big U.S. funds join as lenders on $1B Bombardier loan

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Apollo Global Management and Ares Management have joined HPS Investment Partners as lenders to Canadian plane maker Bombardier Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

Apollo and Ares each now hold about 20% of a $1 billion loan Bombardier said it obtained late last month, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter. HPS, agent on the debt, retained majority control of about 60% of the three-year senior secured loan that it had committed to provide, the people said.

Bombardier referred all questions on the matter to HPS. Representatives for both HPS and Apollo declined to comment, while Ares didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Alternative lenders are increasingly providing larger loans to borrowers, and potentially taking away share from the leveraged loan and high-yield bond markets in the process. European insurance brokerage Ardonagh Group and newspaper company Gannett Co. both sealed jumbo private debt deals within approximately the past year.

Bombardier intends to use the facility, which has a minimum utilization of $750 million and no financial covenants, to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic as it works to offload certain assets.

Disruptions to the company’s operations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic have led to a high level of cash burn. The company announced earlier this year that it would focus on business aviation and deleverage through the sale of its rail business.

Alstom SA recently won conditional approval for its 6.2 billion euro ($7.3 billion) takeover of Bombardier’s rail-transport operations.

Montreal-based Bombardier is set to report earnings on Thursday. As of June 30, its cash on hand and liquidity were $1.7 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively.

Bloomberg News
Leveraged loans
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