Hughes Hubbard Assists Sopra Steria in Refinancing of Share Buyback


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Hughes Hubbard & Reed  advised Sopra GMT in the refinancing of a repurchase of a share participation in European services company Sopra Steria Group from Societe Generale subsidiary Geninfo. Sopra GMT (composed of the Pasquier and Odin families) is the main shareholder of Sopra Steria.
 
The refinancing closed on Dec. 23, 2015, six months after the repurchase. The 90-million-euro refinancing paid off the balance of a bridge loan funded by CIC Lyonnaise de Banque. The refinancing was divided into a syndicated loan of 45 million euros and the issuance of bonds for 45 million euros placed by private placement to investors.
 
Sopra GMT secured the financing with a pledge over the shares of Sopra Steria and Axway Software, which are held by Sopra GMT. An intercreditor agreement was executed by the bondholders and the lenders. Euroclear settled the bonds.
 
CIC Lyonnaise de Banque was the arranger and agent of the loan. CM-CIC Securities (merged into CIC Lyonnaise de Banque in January) and Banque Palatine placed the bonds.
 
French IT services companies Steria and Sopra merged in 2014 to create an organization with 37,000 employees in more than 20 countries and 3.4 billion euros of revenue in 2014. That same year, Hughes Hubbard advised Sopra in a 1.2 billion euro multicurrency term and revolving facilities agreement in connection with the merger. Sopra Steria and Axway Software are listed on the Euronext Paris, and Sopra GMT is the next largest shareholder of Axway Software after Sopra Steria.
 
Sena Agbayissah and Agnes Braka-Calas worked on the deal.