Baring-backed Nord Anglia returns to Asia high-yield market

Baring Private Equity Asia-owned Nord Anglia Education has once again tapped Asia’s high-yield market, raising $165 million through a bond issue. This is the third time Nord Anglia has raised debt financing in the last 18 months – and the first of these was also the first time a financial sponsor in Asia issued a high-yield bond for dividend recap purposes.

The latest issue is an additional offering to the bond issued in March 2012, which had an initial size of $325 million, The Wall Street Journal reported. Terms and conditions are the same but pricing is different – the interest rate offered was 8.191% compared to 10.25% last March. It is the first junk bond sale by an Asian company outside Japan since the end of May.

In between these two bond issues, Nord Anglia is said to have offered $150 million in five-year PIK toggle notes.

The proceeds will be used to help finance the $222 million bolt-on acquisition of WCL Group, which was announced in May. The deal strengthens Nord Anglia’s presence in North America and the Middle East, taking its footprint to 25 schools in 11 countries.

Baring Asia Private Equity Fund IV bought UK-listed Nord Anglia through a $379 million take-private transaction in 2008. At the time, the majority of the company’s business was in Asia, with a high concentration in China. It has since more than tripled in size, entering other markets in Asia and Europe as well as creating a foothold in the Middle East.

The schools offer a British-style education, with most following a curriculum based on the UK model but adapted to suit local cultures and conditions.