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Deals of the Year 2023: Expanded banking facilities support Uniphar’s international growth moves    
This award recognises the refinancing of Uniphar plc’s banking facilities that closed in August 2022 during a period of high inflation, rising interest rates and increase geopolitical uncertainty. The €400m financing, which includes the ability to increase the revolving credit facility by a further €150m, expanded Uniphar’s banking partners, extended its term, giving its leadership the financial backing to carry out its growth and acquisition plans.
The winner of the Loans and Financing Refinancing Deal of the Year is Uniphar plc’s €550m refinancing of its banking facilities. The deal saw the group refinance its previous €180m revolving credit facility, extend maturity and expand its banking group with the addition of three new international lenders.

Uniphar is an Irish-headquartered, diversified international healthcare services provider which is focused on the provision of specialist and outsourced services to pharmaceutical and medical device companies globally. The transaction involved Uniphar plc returning to its existing banking syndicate of Bank of Ireland, AIB, HSBC and RBC and adding three new international banks, Barclays, ING, Citizens, to complete a full refinancing of the company’s facilities in August 2022. Reflecting the increasing international nature of the business, the financing was structured through a multi-currency revolving credit facility (RCF), comprising of a committed element of €400m at completion and an ability to increase the RCF to €550m over the term.
Click for large image...
[L-R] Conor Guerin, Capnua; Siobhan Taaffe, Uniphar; Jamie McConnell, Capnua; Damien Moylan, Uniphar; David Greene, Bank of Ireland and Padraic Kinsella, William Fry.

The refinancing supports Uniphar management’s growth and acquisition agenda and has provided them with a capital mix to fund its organic and non-organic growth plans and strategic projects. The term of the debt facilities was extended from 2025 to 2027 (and potentially to 2029) with pricing and improved covenants reflecting the size and nature of Uniphar’s business while adding a mechanism to link the margin to the successful implementation of the group’s sustainability/ESG targets.

The deal closed in August 2022 despite macro-economic uncertainty, including inflationary pressures and increasing interest rates, showing significant appetite amongst their domestic and international bank partners to continue supporting the Uniphar story.

The refinancing also provided the financial backing for recent acquisitions including BModesto Group (€75m), Orspec, McCauley Group and Inspired Health, with the company remaining on track to double EBITDA within 5 years of its IPO, with the expanded facilities allowing the company to take advantage of other M&A opportunities.
Allied Irish Banks' Stuart Muldowney

Uniphar plc were advised by Capnua (corporate finance) and William Fry (legal). The Arrangers were Bank of Ireland (who also acted as Agent), AIB, HSBC, RBC, Barclays, ING and Citizens Banks, all advised by McCann FitzGerald.

David Greene, senior manager, Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking said, “Bank of Ireland is delighted that Uniphar’s enlarged 5 year Senior Secured debt facility, for which Bank of Ireland acted as Arranger and Facility Agent, has been selected as one of the marquee deals of the year in the Loans and Financing category. The enlarged Revolving Credit Facility will support Uniphar’s expansion of its global footprint as well as a number of strategic capex projects. Uniphar and Bank of Ireland have a longstanding relationship and we were keen to extend our support to the business”.

AIB Corporate Banking’s Stuart Muldowney said, ‘AIB is delighted that Uniphar’s 5 year senior credit facilities were chosen for the refinancing deal of the year. Following on from their IPO in 2019, Uniphar have been on a continuous growth trajectory, both organically and through acquisitions, solidifying their position as a key global player for diversified healthcare services. Notably, Uniphar are the leading provider of supply chain and retail pharmacy services in Ireland and were also a key Irish support during the Covid-19 pandemic. They are making impressive progress with their sustainability programme and we are delighted to be working with them on their ESG Targets as sustainability co-ordinator for the syndicate. The benefits of recent transactions are underpinned by their financial performance, the continued strength of the underlying business and the capacity of Uniphar’s management and their banking partners to facilitate further growth. We have been delighted to be able to support them on their strategic journey to date and look forward to continuing that support into the future.’

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