BLiCOM deals Connected strategy On-track in Australia What's NewS Issue 3 April/May 2000 So nah, als war man da Our global media and telecommunica- tions group lias scored several key successes in recent weeks including a valu- able underwriting enabling the takeover of Cablecom, Switzerland's lcad- ing cable com- pany, plus a large syndicated loan transaction for KPN, both of which were deliv- ered in conjunc- tion with DG Bank. These were significant signals of our ability to further expand in this dy- namic market, and also provide some of the first hard evidence of successful com mercial cooperation with the Germans. 'There's a lot going on in the cable mar ket,' says Gerard van Kaathoven, head of the Global Media Telecommunications Group. 'Together with DG Bank, we have dcveloped a joint strategie approach to the German cable market. There is a huge need for financing, which wc will handle in tandem, plus substantial further oppor- tunities for M&A advisory. We share a long-term strategie interest in this market and its players, and hope to further de- velop this interest in other concrete ways as well.' Acting together with DG Bank, we have co-arranged an acquisition finance for the takeover by KPN Mo bile, together with its joint venture partner Bell South of the US, of a 77.5% controlling share in the German ccllular operator E-Plus. Wc have also both been in- vited to participate in the IPO of KPN Mobile in the second quarter of this year. The two activities help better position KPN in the European market, providing access to the still underserved German market and widening its overall strategie footprint. Says Kaathoven, 'not only were we able to help the cliënt meet strategie objectives, - but, by acting together with DG Bank, and by turning a common face to the market, we were able to obtain a higher ranking in the syn- dicate and thus receive higher fees.' In the Swiss deal, we underwrote CE1F 160 mil- lion of a 10-year amortizing loan that hclps NTL - a leading NASDAQ-listed broadband Communications company that operates in the UK and Ireland - to fund its 1999 acquisition of Cablecom - which eplus was establishcd in 1994 by Swisscom, Veba, and Siemens. We thus supported a major strategie move by NTE: Cablecom provides basic cable TV as well as some pay-TV services to its base of 1.4 niillion subscribers - plus Internet access via Swiss Online - and owns the only extensive broadband local access and national back- bone in a still underserved market charae- terized by high per capital wealth and one of the highest levels of PC penetration in F.urope. Our branch in Australia played an im portant role in financing the privati- zation of public transport in the State of Victoria. Its government recently awarded the National Express Group (NEG), an RI London cliënt, a franchise to operate the Bayside and Swanston train and tranilines for some 12 years. Siemens is to build rolling stock for the consortium over the next 5 to 8 years, after which time NEG will begin operating the franchise. To at- tract funding necessarv to build this rolling stock, a consortium of banks is- sued AAA rated 15 and 20 year bonds. Part of the bond proceeds were used to is sue commercial paper, to diversify the funding base. Rabo Australia played sev eral roles: it provided the consortium with a number of swaps to hedge the interest rate risk over the 20 year life of the trans action. It also delivered Guaranteed In- vestment Contracts (GICs) and a liquidity facility for the life of the commercial pa per program. The undcrlving risk is dur ing the period the rolling stock is being built by Siemens, with Bayerische Landes- bank AG providing performance bonds for Siemens. Once the trains are built, the risk will switch to the NEG consortium and if, during the operational phase, the consortium should default, the Victorian government will step in. Hence, for Rabobank, the underlying risk lies with the AAA rated Victorian Government. Af ter the bond issue, all proceeds were placcd on deposit using GICs with Rabo Australia, and during progress of con struction will be used to niakc payments for the trains. This deposit provides Rabo Australia with a cheap and excellent fund ing source. This transaction was sourced by Aus- tralia's Structured Finance, which worked in close contact with the arranger Mac- quarie Bank Limited to close the deal. Structured Finance looked after the under lying transaction analysis and the liquidity facility, while GFM Australia and the Netherlands branch handled the swaps and GICs. The transaction produced sub stantial fee income and attractive long term funding, and also enhances RI's pub lic recognition and its reputation on the Australian market. Due to some miscommuncation in a re cent NewS Flash, hcre are the names of all the contributors to the deal: Dienke Her man de Groot, Sonja Jobberns, and Jackie Griffiths of corporatc finance/ corporatc banking/credit in Australia, Allen Mc- Cristal, Andrew Quoyle, Andrcw Gal- braith, Henk Rozendaal and Peter Norrie, all of GFM. John White, Peter Healey, Vincent Hoogland and Jaap Zwierenbcrg all did legal work on this transaction, and Tim Sharkcy (London branch) did the in- depth analysis on the swaps. Rabo Ger- many assisted with the analysis of the un derlying Siemens risk.

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

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