K&L Gates Acts for Pioneer Credit on AU$189 Million Refinancing Deal

29 September 2020

PerthK&L Gates has advised financial services provider Pioneer Credit Limited (ASX: PNC) on the refinancing of its senior debt facility with a syndicate of lenders arranged by Nomura Australia Limited.

Completion of the refinancing was achieved on 23 September 2020 following the execution of formal agreements and the satisfaction of conditions precedent to drawdown under the AU$189 million secured senior debt facility. Proceeds from the initial AU$169 million draw under the new facility were used to repay the outstanding money owed to Pioneer’s previous senior lender, an entity part of The Carlyle Group. 

The repayment of the money to Carlyle concludes a challenging year for Pioneer Credit that included a proposed scheme of arrangement with Carlyle that did not proceed and the refinancing of Pioneer’s previous syndicate of Australian banks, culminating in the current refinancing of Pioneer’s senior debt facility with Carlyle. 

The transaction will allow Pioneer to look forward to the future and focus on its strength of providing financial services support to help everyday Australians out of financial difficulty. To assist its future growth, an AU$20 million cash advance facility has been made available to Pioneer to fund the acquisition of new debt portfolios. 

Keith John, Managing Director, Pioneer Credit, said: “The circumstances leading to the refinancing of the Company were extremely complex, starting with the breakdown of the Carlyle relationship and its decision to allege defaults against the Company, coupled with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it the worst possible time to refinance debt. 

“At all times the Company has sought to protect the interests of its shareholders and Noteholders, and the Board is grateful for the support received by its advisors Azure Capital and K&L Gates and the senior lending syndicate, led by Nomura Australia Limited.” 

Perth-based corporate partner Adam Levine, who led the K&L Gates team advising Pioneer, commented: “It has been our pleasure to support Pioneer in this significant transaction. The refinancing provides an important foundation which will ensure stability for Pioneer and enable it to focus on its strong business.” 

Supporting Levine on the team that advised Pioneer were lawyer Callum Fleming, finance partner Richard Gray and senior associate Adam Moore, and tax partner Betsy-Ann Howe.