By David Owen
September 20 – Tottenham Hotspur, nowadays the top football club in North London, has closed its refinancing of the £637 million bank loan put in place to support the construction of its gleaming new stadium.
The move means that rather than having to repay much of the money by 2022 – which always looked an impossible task, even for what is currently the most profitable club in the Premier League – Spurs will now have far longer in which to do so. The club said today that the average maturity of the new package was 23 years.
The move had been widely expected, with insideworldfootball predicting as early as April that a refinancing programme was probably in the offing. (http://www.insideworldfootball.com/2019/04/05/analysis-spurs-show-well-balanced-way-record-breaking-profit-mind-debt/)
Daniel Levy, Spurs chairman, claimed that it was a “tribute to the team on and off the pitch that we have achieved what is considered to be one of the most attractive financing deals in the world of sport”.
He added: “We have continued to develop Tottenham Hotspur in line with prudent financial management and investment into the club’s key infrastructure and our fast-growing global brand, successfully matching long-term assets with long-term financing.
Under the details disclosed so far by the club, a £637 million multi-tranche, long-term financing has been completed, anchored by a private placement and new bank facilities. A first-time issuer in the US private placement market, the club raised £525 million of finance and was said to be “significantly” oversubscribed and supported by “several highly established international institutional investors”.The refinancing extends the longest debt maturities to fully 30 years. The weighted average coupon, including the new bank facilities, is said to be 2.66%. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has provided a £112 million term loan, while HSBC is providing an additional revolving facility.
The proceeds from the issue will be used to repay the short-term bank debt which was raised during the construction phase of the stadium from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and HSBC.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as lead placement agent and sole bookrunner, with HSBC serving as a co-placement agent for the private placement. Spurs were advised on the financing by Rothschild & Co.
Trophy-starved supporters will be hoping that the financing deal now permits enough space for some strengthening of a squad that probably lags only Manchester City and Liverpool for quality.
Spurs generated a world record profit for a football club of £138.9 million in 2017-18. While there were several contributing factors, one of the main ones was a wage bill of “only” £147.6 million.
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