Alliance Boots has extended over £5bn worth of loan facilities by up to three years, as its own brand No7 makes its debut in Walgreens stores in the US.
The loan facilities were originally due to mature shortly before the August 2015 expiry of the Walgreen option to fully merge with Alliance Boots, after a partnership between the two companies was revealed in June. The loans equate to over 80% of its existing private senior loans.
Alliance Boots’ largest lenders, believed to include Deutsche Bank and Unicredit, have agreed to extend current loan facilities in full. The loan facilities have been extended with staggered maturities starting in 2016.
Deutsche Bank, UniCredit and KKR Capital Markets arranged the transaction.
Lender approval has also been given for all requested amendments to the financing documents, including certain amendments to facilitate the full combination of Alliance Boots with Walgreens. This includes permitting loans to remain in place even if Boots and Walgreens fully merge in 2015.
Alliance Boots group finance director George Fairweather said: “Our diverse lender group have been hugely supportive, enabling us to extend loans at attractive rates, more than two and a half years before the majority mature.
“This is a powerful recognition of our ongoing strong financial performance which, combined with prudent and active capital management, enables us to further invest for the future, while at the same time continuing to reduce net borrowings.”
- Walgreens has unveiled Boots’ No7 products in its 8,000th store located in Hollywood. It is the first Walgreens store to display the Boots brand, but a roll-out of the offer won’t begin until mid-2013.