Monday 11 February 2013

HS1 Announces £1.6 billion Refinance Success

HS1 Ltd today announced it has completed its refinancing of the £1.3bn bank debt used for the concession purchase. In November 2010, the Canadian consortium of Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, acquired a 30 year concession to own and operate HS1 Ltd for £2.1bn.

Following a successful road show in the UK last week, HS1 has been able to raise £760m in the UK bond market, a significant upsize on the £455m target. These funds combined with a US private placement last year and a new bank facility has allowed HS1 to refinance its original acquisition facility. The new debt structure will amortise over the life of the concession.

Nicola Shaw, CEO, HS1 Ltd said: “HS1 has refinanced very successfully today, underlining the quality and strength of the business. Our A- credit rating and these coupons demonstrate investor confidence in our future performance. The long term finance we now have in place allows us to stay focussed on delivering for our customers and their passengers - trains arriving and departing on time and wonderful environments at our stations. Investors and customers alike should rest assured that we will continue to deliver this high quality over the remaining life of our concession.”

The number of passengers using Eurostar (the international operator using HS1) and Southeastern High Speed (the domestic operator using HS1) has grown year on year with Southeastern recently announcing 25 million passenger journeys on HS1. Eurostar is now carrying around 10m passengers per year. Retail, on the non-regulated side of the HS1 Ltd business, has also grown strongly, outperforming the high street with significant growth year on year.

Graeme Thompson, CFO, HS1 Ltd said: “It is very good news that we have not only met our refinancing targets but done so ahead of schedule. Market conditions and the fact that HS1 is low risk, good quality and high performing infrastructure has meant our proposition has been very well received and we appreciate the investor support.”

The active banks for the HS1 bonds are: BNP Paribas; Lloyds and RBS. The passive banks are: NAB and Scotiabank. In addition to those banks Export Development Bank of Canada also participated in the Bank Facilities