Centerbridge’s Parking Firm Apcoa Seeks German State Aid

(Bloomberg) -- Apcoa Parking is in the process of securing financial aid from the German government to help it see through the loss of revenue in its main market due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The parking manager, owned by U.S. private equity firm Centerbridge Partners, is in negotiations with German state-owned lender KfW for new loans, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. If Apcoa secures a deal, it will be among the first private equity-owned firms in Europe to receive state funds.

Companies in Germany applied for more than 20 billion euros ($22 billion) in KfW-backed loans after the government pledged more than 1 trillion euros in state guarantees, loans and direct capital for struggling businesses last month.

A spokesman for Apcoa declined to comment. Representatives for Centerbridge declined to comment.

Companies backed by private equity firms are not excluded from any of the aid programs in Germany, said a spokeswoman for KfW, declining to comment on the deal.

In one of the biggest bailouts in Germany so far, sportswear maker Adidas AG said this week it will receive 3 billion euros in state aid. Tour operator TUI AG secured a 1.8 billion-euro loan from KfW last month after most countries enacted travel restrictions to fight the disease.

Revenue Decline

Centerbridge took over Apcoa as part of a debt restructuring deal in 2014 and was considering selling it last year for more than 1 billion euros, people familiar with the matter said in August. The company manages 1.5 million parking spaces in 13 different European countries and has 5,500 employees, according to its website.

Moody’s Investors Service cut Apcoa’s rating to five notches below investment grade two weeks ago, warning of a likely material decline in Apcoa’s revenue for at least two months as of March. Some of Apcoa’s landlords already agreed to cuts and the company postponed non-essential investments to preserve its liquidity position, according to Moody’s.

Apcoa agreed lower interest rates for 420 million euros of debt and secured 94 million euros of new loans in February. The company was looking to use some of those extra funds to finance a distribution to shareholders, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg at that time.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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