S&P Global Ratings assigned a B- issuer credit rating to Casper Midco SAS, the parent company of France-based budget hotel operator B&B Hotels, after the completion of its sale to the private equity division of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in a nearly €2 billion deal.
French middle-market private equity firm PAI Partners agreed to sell the hotel operator in June.
The outlook is positive.
The leveraged buy-out comprises a €120 million revolving credit facility, a €665 million first-lien term loan B, and €155 million second-lien term loan B, issued by Casper Bidco SAS, a fully owned subsidiary of the newly created parent company of B&B Hotels. The financing also includes an equity injection of €791 million at closing and deferred equity consideration of €313 million in 2020.
The total equity contribution includes 90% of preference shares owned by the private equity investor Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division and 10% ordinary shares owned by the management.
The rating agency attributed the action to the company's high fixed-cost and asset-heavy business model as it leases almost all of its properties under long-term contracts, resulting in less flexibility in case of a revenue decline. Other factors include limited scale, modest business and geographic diversification, and single-brand operations.
The positive outlook reflects Ratings' view that B&B Hotels will likely boost its EBITDA growth with the help of its expansion strategy, which includes plans to open 49 hotels via 17 franchises in 2019 and 70 hotels via 15 franchises in 2020.
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