Eight banks help Motion refinance Tokheim debt

The buyout firm formerly known as Cognetas is poised to successfully refinance the petrol pump manufacturer after it was forced to pull an auction process late last year.

At a time when many sponsors are using ‘amend-and-extend’ provisions to push out debt maturities,Motion Equity Partners is set to refinance the entire debt package underpinning French petrol pump business Tokheim. 

Eight banks are understood to be providing an entirely new financing package comprised of senior debt for the business, according to a banking source. They are: BNP Paribas, Société Générale, HSBC, Natixis, Mizuho, GE Capital, IKB Deutsche Industriebank, and ING. Debt advisory group Marlborough Partners is understood to be working on the refinancing, but declined to comment. Motion Equity Partners also declined to comment.

The deal is set to complete by the end of next week, according to a source close to the process, after the parties agreed the refinancing this week.

Motion (then Cognetas) bought Tokheim from AXA Private Equity in 2005 for €260 million. It is understood to be highly levered, but its debt burden had been reduced from about €265 million at its peak to about €200 million by the end of last year.

The A-tranche of that debt had been due to mature in 2013, which made the current refinancing a priority for the firm. The rest of its debt was not due to mature until 2015, according to a source.

Tokheim, which manufactures petrol pumps and their payment systems, was put up for sale by Motion (then still known as Cognetas) last year. However, three final round bids for the company failed to meet the firm’s pricing expectations and it pulled the auction, which had been run by JPMorgan.

Energy specialist First Reserve Corporation, Paris-headquartered buyout group PAI Partners, and Rhone Capital had submitted bids for the company. Their offers were understood to have been below the €400 million target Motion had set for the business.