GMT refinances Spanish billboard advertiser

The European private equity firm secured €26.5m of senior debt for Redext from the lenders that originally backed the company in 2005, including Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Banesto and CAM.

London-based private equity firm GMT Communications Partners has refinanced Redext, a Spanish advertising firm, with €26.5 million ($34 million) of senior debt to provide working capital for acquisitions.

The refinancing was agreed with Redext’s original lenders, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Banesto and CAM. Negotiations for the refinancing began in the third quarter of 2008.

“It is a testament to the success of the business to date … that the banks are committed to participating in Redext’s future plan,” Johnathan Gillbanks, managing director of GMT, said in statement.

The company has held up relatively well compared with other advertisers in Spain, Gillbanks said in an interview. He added that it has an approximately 60 percent market share in the outside advertising space, due in part to a system of long-term contracts which last for between 10 and 15 years.

Redext sells advertising space on large billboards and has approximately 600 monopostes located around cities in Spain. It also operates an “urban furniture advertising” business, which makes branded street signs and bus stops. The firm was established by GMT in 2005 as a vehicle to acquire three independent outdoor advertising groups in Spain, called IEPE, Soportes and Impursa, in an aggregated €60 million transaction. Redext’s clients include Vodaphone and Telefonica.

GMT has raised three funds since it was founded in 1993 with a total value of more than €3.5 billion, according to the firm’s website.