Football Securitization: Arsenal kicks off public ticket receivables deals
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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. The deal priced tightly, given its esoteric nature and the chequered history of this asset class in the private market, but will have benefited from its novelty value.

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