Anta Group Said to Syndicate 4 Billion Euro Amer Buyout Loan

(Bloomberg) -- China’s Anta Sports Products Ltd. and buyout firm FountainVest Partners Co. are tapping Asian and European lenders for 4.215 billion euros ($4.8 billion) of loans to back a potential acquisition of Finland’s Amer Sports Oyj, according to people familiar with the matter.

The buyout financing is expected to comprise a 2.2 billion euro five-year facility, which will be syndicated in Asia, and a 1.7 billion euro seven-year term loan B to be offered to lenders in Europe, said the people, who aren’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. The loans combined could be the biggest completed borrowing for a Chinese outbound acquisition this year, Bloomberg-compiled data show.

Anta said in September it had joined with FountainVest to make an indicative offer of 40 euros per share for Amer, valuing one of the world’s biggest athletic gear makers at about 4.7 billion euros. The buyout consortium has been progressing in its negotiations over the potential takeover and was in talks with lenders for loans, Bloomberg reported in October.

The loan financing also includes a 315 million euro revolving credit facility alongside the European term loan B.

Shares of Amer climbed 1.3 percent to 33.44 euros as of 11:35 a.m. Friday in Helsinki, after earlier gaining as much as 3.3 percent. The stock is up 45 percent this year.

The buyer group may get larger. Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. is in talks to join as a minority investor, Bloomberg News reported on Nov. 14, citing people familiar with the matter. The group is also in discussions with other potential partners, though no firm agreements have been reached, the people have said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

An external representative for the Chinese buyer consortium didn’t immediately reply to an email and call seeking comment. Calls to Amer’s media and investor relations departments went unanswered.

Amer makes the Wilson tennis rackets used by Serena Williams as well as the Atomic and Salomon ski equipment. Anta has been working to expand its business overseas and is seeking acquisitions of well-established global brands.

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