Banking Group Provides Financing for the Go-Ahead Group

International Banking Group Provides Financing for the Go-Ahead Group’s Growth and Decarbonisation Plans

Debt facilities were arranged and underwritten by an international consortium of banks for The Go-Ahead Group, one of the leading transport providers in the UK. Go-Ahead was taken private in October 2022 through a joint venture between Kinetic, a leading Australian and NZ bus operator, and Globalvia, a Spanish infrastructure investor.

KfW IPEX-Bank, Rabobank and Standard Chartered acted as Joint Global Coordinators, Bookrunners, Underwriters & Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers. Cornerstone lenders comprise of HSBC UK, Royal Bank of Scotland and Export Development Canada. The bank facilities were over-subscribed and have been successfully syndicated to a group of international banks.

Gonzalo Velasco, Group Structured Finance Director, The Go-Ahead Group Limited, said:

“Our new bank debt facilities mark a milestone in the relationship with our core bank group and supports the ambitious growth strategy of The Go-Ahead Group.

“Rabobank, KfW IPEX-Bank and Standard Chartered took the lead in arranging, underwriting and syndicating this landmark transaction. Thanks to the deal teams for excellent cooperation.”

The new committed debt facilities also include a 7-year private placement note provided by Pricoa Private Capital.

The new debt facilities will put in place a long-term financing structure, which will refinance existing debt facilities and support the existing operations, whilst providing essential funding to implement the group’s corporate strategy over the next five years. The group’s strategy is centered around a long-term decarbonisation plan and growing the business, both organically and through acquisition.

PwC Debt & Capital Advisory acted as debt advisor to The Go-Ahead Group Limited on its refinancing.

Go-Ahead is one of the UK’s leading public transport operators, employing 27,000 people across its bus and rail operations in Britain, Singapore, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Australia.

In the UK, the group operates a quarter of London’s buses and has a network of regional bus companies outside the capital. On rail, Go-Ahead runs the UK’s largest railway franchise, Govia Thameslink Rail Franchise, which consists of Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services, through a joint venture with Keolis.

Out of its 5925-strong fleet of UK buses, Go-Ahead has 474 zero-emission vehicles, with another 512 in the pipeline, making it the largest operator of electric buses in the UK. Go-Ahead is committed to deploying a zero-emission fleet by 2035. The shareholders, Kinetic and Globalvia, bring in their expertise from around the globe: Kinetic is a major bus operator in Australia and New Zealand with extensive electrification experience and Globalvia is a leading ESG infrastructure business with a presence in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, USA, Costa Rica and Chile.

This article was originally published by KfW IPEX-Bank.

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