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CAPITAL MARKETS

Football Securitization: Arsenal kicks off public ticket receivables deals

Club’s £260 million deal could be joined by securitizations from UK Premiership rivals Liverpool and Man Utd.

Too good to resist: Arsenal’s new Emirates Stadium

For those suffering withdrawal symptoms after the end of the World Cup, RBS and Barclays Capital’s offer of a free trip to the new Emirates Stadium in north London must have been too good to resist. The roadshow for Arsenal Football Club’s £260 million ($474.5 million) ticket-receivables-backed securitization was – not surprisingly given its novelty value – very popular and the deal (which is the first public securitization of such assets) was very well bid. The transaction draws on technology from the whole-business sector to establish a series of covenants and triggers, which trap cash over the life of the deal. The fixed-rate and floating-rate bonds are wrapped to triple A by Ambac but the underlying credit is triple B/triple B minus (Standard & Poor’s and Fitch). The deal was split into a £50 million fixed-rate sterling tranche with a WAL of 13.5 years that priced at 52bp over gilts and a £210 million floater with a 7.1 year WAL. The floating-rate tranche came at 22bp over Libor.

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