Bad bond market conditions delay Towergate refinancing

TOWERGATE Finance yesterday postponed plans to refinance its debts with a £665m note offer due to the poor condition of the public debt markets.

The financial advisory firm, Europe’s largest independently owned insurance intermediary, says that global events, outside of its control, have contributed to the deterioration of the debt markets and subsequently led to an increase in the cost of financing. It plans to make a decision in the next 4-6 weeks about whether or not to re-launch the offer.

Group chief executive Andy Homer said: “Bond market conditions have obviously worsened significantly since we launched the offer and, for the moment, it is not cost effective to pursue the offering. We will consider returning to the markets again when conditions improve.”

In April this year Towergate announced its intention to offer £365m senior secured notes, due to pay out in 2017 and £300m senior notes, due in 2018.

The group renegotiated its debt facilities in 2009 and said its strong 2010 performance meant there is no immediate need to refinance.