Global insurance company
MetLife has loaned £250m (€280m) to UK-based rolling stock leasing
company Porterbrook.

Porterbrook has 1,800
passenger vehicles and over 2,000 new freight vehicles for lease to
UK train operating companies.

MetLife insures 70m customers
across the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. The US-headquartered
company has $501.7bn (€354bn) of assets under

The insurer’s 25-year
amortising loan will prepay Porterbrook’s existing debt, which was
used by a Deutsche Bank-led consortium of investors, including
Antin Infrastructure, Lloyds and Canadian institutional investor OP
Trust, to acquire the lessor in December 2008.

The consortium acquired the
company with a £1.5bn bank loan, comprising £500m loans maturing in
2011, 2013 and 2015.

Porterbrook issued £520m of
bonds in June 2010 to refinance the first maturity. MetLife bought
some of those bonds.

Porterbrook said the latest
loan’s terms are substantially in line with the company’s existing
bond issuance. It added that, by halving the amount of debt
maturing in 2013, the company is less exposed to market conditions
when it looks to complete a further bond issue over the next 12 to
18 months.

Porterbrook managing director
Paul Francis said: “Porterbrook management and shareholders are
pleased to have successfully raised £250m and further diversified
the group’s funding sources.

“The facility has the longest
maturity in the sector and comes with no additional covenants than
our existing bonds which we issued in 2010.”

The loan was rated BBB by
Standard & Poor’s.

JP Morgan were financial advisers to Porterbrook on the
latest loan deal, while Milbank were legal advisers.