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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Finance > Acquisition finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Acquisition finance
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Instructed by a balanced roster of lenders and borrowers on deals which traverse both capital structure and geographies, Allen & Overy LLP has 'superb visibility in the market'. With some 31 partners focused on transactional banking work in London, the firm has the critical mass to handle a tremendous volume and variety of deals, and is as comfortable handling sponsor-led leveraged finance mandates as it is advising on corporate-led event-driven acquisitions. Recent highlights include Jonathan Brownson's and Matt Moore's work (alongside a team of high yield experts) for the lead arrangers on the bank and bond financing in support of the bid for TDC, a publicly listed Danish telecommunications company, by a consortium of investors led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. On the borrower side, Robin Harvey has an excellent reputation among private equity sponsors and he recently advised PAI Partners on the debt financing aspects of the leveraged buyout from First Reserve of M Group Services. Co-head of the firm's global banking practice, the 'excellent' Philip Bowden, has very strong ties with core lender clients and he regularly represents on financing packages to facilitate both leveraged and investment grade acquisition financing. The 'very capable' Denise Gibson is noted for her work on behalf of traditional banks, as well as credit funds/alternative lenders.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Brownson

Other key lawyers:Philip Bowden; Robin Harvey; Denise Gibson; Nicholas Clark; Sanjeev Dhuna; Matt Moore; Darren Hanwell; James Graham

Key Clients

Hg Capital

Exponent Private Equity

PAI Partners

CVC Capital Partners

H.I.G. Capital

Advent

Waterland

OMERS Private Equity

AIMCo

Work highlights

  • Advised the mandated lead arrangers in relation to the €3.9bn loan financing and €1.4bn high yield notes financing in support of the bid for TDC, a publicly listed Danish telecommunications company, by a consortium of investors led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA).
  • Advised the co-ordinator of the loan facilities provided to finance Blackstone’s acquisition of Schenck Process, a German-headquartered solutions provider for measuring and process technologies in industrial weighing, feeding, screening and automation.
  • Advised the arrangers under a €503m senior facilities; an €80 million second lien facility and an €80m revolving credit facility in respect of PAI’s acquisition of the Asmodee Group, a leading games publisher and games specialist distributor from Eurazeo.
  • Advised the mandated lead arrangers in relation to the English law governed €690m first lien and €167m second lien loan facilities in support of the acquisition by Platinum Equity Advisors of the entities comprising the Wyndham Vacation Rentals Europe business, a European based holiday rentals business.
  • Advised the mandated lead arrangers and lenders on the senior and second lien facilities to finance the approximately €1bn acquisition by Cinven of Envirotainer, a provider of refrigerated cargo containers used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Benefiting from strong ties with banks, private equity sponsors and corporates,¬†Clifford Chance LLP¬†has an excellent perspective from both the lender and borrower side across the spectrum of the capital structure. With huge resources in London, and also able to call upon the expertise of a vast reservoir of talent across the firm's international network of offices, the team excels in advising on big-ticket cross-border mandates. Recent highlights include¬†Taner Hassan's representation of Weener Plastics, a 3i portfolio company, on the ‚ā¨335m Term Loan B¬†and ‚ā¨75m revolving credit facilities provided to refinance debt and support its acquisition of Latin American packaging provider Proenfar.¬†Michael Bates' infrastructure-related leveraged finance expertise was recently exemplified by his work for Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets on the financing (one of the largest Term Loan B financings since the financial crisis) of the take-private of Danish telecoms operator TDC. The 'technically strong'¬†Emma Folds¬†is 'focused on representing lenders' and is a key member of the team that also includes the 'superb'¬†Charles Cochrane.

Practice head(s):Charles Cochrane; Emma Folds

Other key lawyers:Michael Bates; Taner Hassan; James Butters; Andrew Husdan; Peter Dahlen; James Boswell

Key Clients

Citigroup

Jaguar Land Rover

EQT

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Apera Capital

HSBC

Maersk

Deutsche Bank

Cinven

Macquarie

Work highlights

  • Advising a consortium formed by Macquarie and Danish pension funds ATP, PKA and PFA on the financing for the approx €8.88bn take private of TDC, the Danish telecoms operator.
  • Acting for Morgan Stanley and UBS as the global coordinators and mandated lead arrangers in relation to the £3.5bn term facilities and £550m add-on to an existing £1.45bn revolving credit facility for Sainsbury's in connection with its £7.3bn merger with ASDA.
  • Advising sponsor EQT in relation to the €765m equivalent Term Loan B and €100m revolving credit senior facilities and €230m equivalent privately placed second lien financing relating to the acquisition by EQT, and co-investor Canadian pension fund PSP Investments, of Azelis, the Belgium-based distributor of speciality chemicals and food ingredients.
  • Advising sponsor Cinven on the cov-lite first lien and second lien credit facilities to finance the acquisition of JLA, the UK asset supply and services business providing laundry, catering and heating solutions.
  • Advising Weener Plastics, the German plastic packaging group owned by 3i group, on €335m million Term Loan B and €75m revolving credit facilities refinancing debt and supporting its acquisition of Latin American packaging provider Proenfar, headquartered in Colombia.

Benefiting from an 'unparalleled depth of knowledge of market practice', gleaned through a huge volume and variety of mandates for its exclusively private equity sponsor client base, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's 19-partner team 'know where to push on terms and has such a fierce reputation that most banks don't tend to pick fights with them'. 'At the cutting edge of market terms', the team is able to handle sophisticated deals across the spectrum of financial products including senior, unitranche, Term Loan B  and high yield debt financing. Team head Stephen Lucas is 'exceptional in all respects' and regularly 'works very well with the superb' Kirsteen Nicol  on mandates for Partners Group, which they both recently advised as part of an investment consortium on the Term Loan B and bond financing to facilitate the acquisition of Techem. Regarded by many as the 'best banking lawyer in Europe on the sponsor side', Neel Sachdev 'brings incredibly unique and extremely high-value added judgement' to deals for many of the most active private equity firms in the market. He recently advised BC Partners on the financing of its £700m acquisition of VetPartners from Ares Management and August Equity. Christopher Shield has a 'high degree of technical expertise' which he deploys to good effect for numerous key private equity sponsor clients of the firm, including Advent International. 'Fully versed and experienced across the financing spectrum', Michael Steele is also a key member of the team and regularly acts for Blackstone in Europe.

Practice head(s):Stephen Lucas

Other key lawyers:Neel Sachdev; Chris Shield; Michael Steele; Kirsteen Nicol; Evgeny Zborovsky

Testimonials

'Intellectual horsepower, tenacity and willingness to push the market.'

'The speed of execution is as fast and as surefooted as I've seen from any law firm.'

'Second to none in negotiation strategy.'

'The team sees everything and has very impressive market knowledge, enabling it to provide the most educated market views out there.'

'You get the gold-plated technology plus the judgement that comes with every point and overall outcome.'

'Stephen Lucas and Michael Steele's ability to deliver in tough situations, to read the market and to negotiate market leading terms is highly valued and they deserve entirely their reputations.'

'Neel Sachdev's IQ and feeling for situations makes him stand out head and shoulders above the rest.'

'Chris Shield is extraordinarily competent and can not only draft flawlessly but can provide valuable advice on negotiating tactics to make sure we get the best terms.'

'The outstanding Evgeny Zborovsky provides stellar legal work.'

'Kirsteen Nicol understands client demands and helps achieve end goals.'

Key Clients

Partners Group

KKR

BC Partners

Core Equity Holdings

Summit Partners

Blackstone

Bain Capital

Lone Star

Advent International

Apax

Investindustrial

Work highlights

  • Advised the consortium consisting of Apax, Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan on the $3.4bn take-private of Inmarsat.
  • Advising Partners Group, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec on the financing aspects of its acquisition of Techem.
  • Acting for BC Partners on the financing aspects of its £700m acquisition of VetPartners from Ares Management and August Equity.
  • Advising KKR Special Situations and its portfolio company Selecta, on the acquisition of Gruppo Argenta, a leading vending and coffee service provider in Italy.
  • Advising Blackstone Private Equity on the financing elements of their acquisition of National Exhibition Centre Group.

Benefiting from an equally strong offering on the high yield and bank debt front,¬†Latham & Watkins¬†is a perennial presence in the market on many of the largest and most sophisticated mandates for lenders and borrowers. Able to mobilise extensive resources from across the firm‚Äôs international network, as well as being particularly adept at structuring deals utilising highly bespoke private finance solutions (including the implementation of PIK loans, US Term Loan B‚Äôs, private high yield notes and other hybrid investments), the team is noted for its ‚Äėhigh levels of creativity‚Äô. The ‚Äėvery experienced‚Äô¬†Stephen Kensell¬†and the ‚Äėsuperb‚Äô¬†Mohamed Nurmohamed¬†have an excellent reputation among many leading investment banks, with Nurmohamed recently working alongside colleagues from the US on behalf of JP Morgan, on the term loan facilities in connection with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company's acquisition of Shire Plc. On the private equity front, team head¬†Sam Hamilton¬†continues to handle a plethora of financings for Nordic Capital, while the ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô¬†Dominic Newcomb¬†regularly handles work for large US private equity sponsors.¬†Ross Anderson¬†is also recommended and ‚Äėreally gets the negotiating dynamic‚Äô on behalf of a plethora of major banking clients on cross-border acquisition finance mandates.

Practice head(s):Sam Hamilton

Other key lawyers:Stephen Kensell; Jayanthi Sadanandan; Dominic Newcomb; Ross Pooley; Dan Maze; Adrian Chiodo; Mohamed Nurmohamed; Ross Anderson

Key Clients

JP Morgan

Goldman Sachs

Nordic Capital

Permira Advisors

EQT

Ares Management

Deutsche Bank

Morgan Stanley

Onex

CVC Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Represented Nordic Capital, as sponsor’s counsel, on the refinancing of Itiviti, a world-leading technology for the capital markets industry, and its subsequent acquisition of ULLINK, creating a full-service technology and infrastructure provider for global and regional financial institutions.
  • Advised Nordic Capital, as sponsor’s counsel, on term loans and a revolving credit facility in connection with its acquisition of Alloheim Group, a German care home operator.
  • Represented JP Morgan, as lender’s counsel, on term loan facilities in connection with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company's acquisition of Shire Plc, an Ireland-based biopharmaceutical company.
  • Represented Rabobank, as lender’s counsel, on term loans and a revolving credit facility in connection with Partners Group's acquisition of Ammeraal Beltech Group, a Dutch conveyer belt manufacturer, and Megadyne Group, an Italian maker of transmission belts.
  • Represented Credit Suisse, as lender’s counsel, on financing the acquisition of the Afriflora group and its subsequent merger with the Flamingo group.

With 31 banking partners based in London ‚Äď many of whom have a significant focus on acquisition finance matters ‚Äď as well as being able to leverage the firm‚Äôs broad-ranging international footprint, Linklaters LLP¬†has the critical mass and geographical diversity to handle a significant volume of mandates for a balanced array of banks, private equity sponsors, credit funds and corporates. ‚ÄėAt the vanguard of market evolution‚Äô, the team is trusted by market participants to advise on the largest leveraged loans in Europe implementing covenant-lite terms, and has also been active on a spate of deals which have tapped into the European Term Loan B market. As well as work for private equity sponsors, the team regularly advises corporates on the financings to facilitate M&A transactions, including for Takeda Pharmaceutical Company on its acquisition bridge facility in connection with the acquisition of Shire Plc. The 'very strong'¬†Adam Freeman¬†heads up the leveraged finance sub-group and is a key member of the team that also includes Nick Syson¬†and¬†Annette Kurdian, who both regularly advise large investment banks on big-ticket cross-border leveraged deals, and in the case of Kurdian has successfully built up a significant roster of alternative credit providers.

Practice head(s):Adam Freeman

Other key lawyers:Nick Syson; Annette Kurdian; Robert Burt; Edward Aldred; Oliver Sceales; Daniel Gendron; Philip Spittal; Toby Grimstone; Ian Callaghan: Chris Medley

Key Clients

Credit Suisse

HSBC

Lloyds

SMBC

Goldman Sachs International

JP Morgan Securities

Citigroup Global Markets

BNP Paribas Fortis

Hg Capital

Lloyds Bank

Jacobs Holding

Cerberus European Investment

Royal Bank of Canada

Carlyle International Energy Partners

Crédit Suisse

National Westminster Bank

The Carlyle Group

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Credit Suisse, HSBC, Lloyds and SMBC as the arrangers and underwriters of a £440m Term Loan B facility used to fund the acquisition by Hg Capital of Iris Software.
  • Advising the arrangers on the €1.3bn acquisition bridge facility for Givaudan to finance its proposed acquisition of shares in Naturex.
  • Acted for Hg Capital on the  £520m financing for the acquisition of a stake in the Access Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of software to mid-market businesses.
  • Acted as English transaction counsel to NatWest Markets and Lloyds Bank, as underwriters of the c. £1bn term loan advanced to a bid vehicle (established by Equitix and Dalmore as sponsors) in order to fund the recommended cash offer for John Laing Infrastructure Fund by the sponsors.
  • Advising the underwriters and mandated lead arrangers on the provision of financing to Melrose Plc on its public bid for GKN plc.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has expertise across the capital structure and across financial products (including Term Loan B, New York-law governed high yield and unitranche) for an eclectic mix of banks, alternative capital providers and private equity sponsors. The team is at the vanguard of developments in financing terms and documentation, and is appreciated by its sponsor clients for its 'strength in pushing for new technology in the documentation'. Tom Richards is cultivating a strong reputation in the leveraged finance space for major sponsor clients, including Advent International, which he recently advised on the $1bn first and second lien facilities to finance its $1.65bn take-private acquisition of Laird Plc. Notably, this mandate was Advent's first take-private and the first ever all US-dollar denominated financing documented under English law and sold into the US. The 'first-rate' Chris McLaughlin handles a significant volume of work for private equity sponsors and direct lenders, and is a key member of the team that also includes bank-side lawyer Reena Gogna. Former team head Mark Donald departed at the end of 2018.

Practice head(s):Reena Gogna, Chris McLaughlin; Tom Richards

Other key lawyers:Paul Hibbert

Key Clients

Advent International

Bain Capital

Montagu Private Equity

Oaktree Capital Management

TowerBrook Capital Partners

J.P. Morgan

HSBC

Morgan Stanley

Credit Suisse

Ares Capital Europe

Nordic Capital

OMERS Private Equity

Goldman Sachs

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

PSP

Avista

Nomura

Permira

Novalpina

CVC

Pimco

KKR Credit

Hayfin

HPS

Work highlights

  • Advised Advent International in relation to the senior and second lien facilities incurred in connection with its acquisition of GE’s distributed power business (renamed Innio) for approximately $3.25bn.
  • Advised Advent International on its $1bn billion first and second lien facilities to finance its approximately $1.65bn take-private acquisition of Laird Plc.
  • Advised OMERS on the financing of its acquisition of Alexander Mann, the UK talent acquisition and management solutions provider.
  • Advising the mandated lead arrangers (Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, RBC and HSBC) in connection with the financing to support Bain’s buyout of DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals.
  • Advised the banks (in various capacities) in connection with the financing used to fund the acquisition of Accolade Wines, the number one wine company in Australia and the UK by volume, and the fifth largest wine company in the world.

Benefiting from strong ties with a balanced mix of lenders and borrowers, including investment banks and alternative lenders (Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Ares Management) as well as private equity sponsors (Apollo and Bridgepoint), White & Case LLP generates a significant deal flow on matters ranging from jumbo deals incorporating bank and bond structures through to mid-market deals. The firm's engagement on both the borrower and lender side affords it an excellent perspective of what is current in terms of market trends, and with a strong knowledge of UK and US-governed financing products (including high yield bonds and Term Loan B structures) it is well-placed to handle many of the most complex mandates in the market. The 'excellent' Jeremy Duffy excels at handling work across the capital structure for banks on big-ticket cross-border leveraged finance transactions, while on the credit fund side, the 'superb' Gareth Eagles is a 'market-leader' and has done an 'absolutely amazing job for GSO Capital Partners' in its role as lenders in many of the biggest ticket direct lending mandates in the market.

Other key lawyers:Jeremy Duffy; Gareth Eagles; Martin Forbes; Colin Harley; Ben Wilkinson; Nicola Chapman; Andrew Vickers

Key Clients

GSO Capital Partners

Credit Suisse

JP Morgan

Deutsche Bank

Nordea Bank

Goldman Sachs

Bridgepoint

Castik Capital

Hg Capital

CVC

Bluebay Asset Management

Apollo

Ares Management

AlbaCore Capital

PSP Investments

SEB Group

GS PIA

Work highlights

  • Represented the mandated lead arrangers/original lenders in connection with the debt financing of the acquisition of Zentiva, Sanofi's European generic pharmaceuticals business, by Advent International Corporation.
  • Represented Elavon Financial Services as the agent, and Deutsche Bank as the security agent, as part of the financing for Lone Star Funds’ acquisition of Stark Group, the largest retailer and distributor of building supplies in the Nordics.
  • Represented nine mandated lead arrangers, the agent and the security agent in connection with the provision of €600m first-lien facilities backing Nordic Capital’s acquisition of Alloheim, Germany’s second largest nursing home operator, from The Carlyle Group.
  • Represented BlueBay Asset Management in the unitranche financing to fund the acquisition of both IPAN and Delegate by Castik Capital.
  • Represented CVC on the financing of their acquisition of the Finnish healthcare group, Mehiläinen, from Triton and KKR.

Benefiting from a 'deep knowledge base and a broad selection of deal and product experience among the partners', Ashurst is well-positioned to pick up a significant volume of deals for its primarily creditor-side client base. Although the firm is less visible in the jumbo cross-border mandates which typically involve a credible high yield offering, it is extremely prominent in mid-market mandates for its traditional roster of banking clients, in addition to credit funds including Hayfin and ICG. The 'very approachable and talented' Helen Burton has excellent visibility among both banking clients and credit funds, and has been at the forefront of the market advising on deals implementing the unitranche product. 'Never afraid to get his hands dirty and do the hard work', Nigel Ward handles conventional leveraged finance transactions as well as infrastructure-related acquisition finance matters.

Practice head(s):Martyn Rogers

Other key lawyers:Nigel Ward; Paul Stewart; Helen Burton; Ross Ollerhead; Laura Ho; Giorgia Sosio de Rosa

Testimonials

'A quality acquisition finance practice with some very experienced and detail oriented partners that give you the confidence to handle even the most complex of transactions.'

'Helen Burton's work ethic and ability to boil a deal down to three or four key points is very welcome in a busy deal environment.'

'Nigel Ward has exceptional experience, attention to detail and creative nous.'

'Ross Ollerhead is very intelligent with attention to detail – not simply a lawyer that tells you what is precedent, as many are these days in this space.'

'Laura Ho is a very solid pair of hands with an excellent grasp on the details.'

Key Clients

RBS

HSBC

Santander

HayFin

RPC

Apollo

Davidson Kempner

ICG

AVEVA Group

BlackRock

Work highlights

  • Advised Nomura, ING and the other mandated lead arrangers on a €565m Term Loan B arranged for the purpose of financing the acquisition of the SIACI St Honore Group by Charterhouse.
  • Acted for Blackrock as senior lender to the acquisition vehicle established by Montreux to refinance its bridge funding.
  • Acting for Crescent Capital, a credit fund, as lender of acquisition finance supporting the acquisition by ECI of Send For Help, a provider of lone-worker safety systems.

Recently strengthened by a number of high-quality hires in the capital markets space, including Sarbajeet Nag  , who joined as a partner from Allen & Overy LLP  in summer 2019 , Milbank is able to provide a compelling high yield and bank finance offering to investment banks and credit funds. According to clients it is 'increasingly taking market share' from competitors. Led by the 'technically very strong' Suhrud Mehta, the team 'has a well-rounded knowledge of the leveraged finance market' and excels at handling big-ticket cross-border deals where the firm is seamlessly able to mobilise bank and bond expertise out of London, as well as being able to tap into the expertise of a strong finance presence in the US. 'Excellent at acting for clients utilising non-commoditised and bespoke parts of the capital structure', the team recently advised the lead arrangers on a complex Term Loan B financing (containing a combination of more traditional loan-style maintenance covenants and high yield style incurrence covenants) to facilitate Jacobs Holding's acquisition of Cognita. The 'very effective and skilled' Alexandra Grant is gaining increased visibility in the market as a result of her involvement in many of the team's highest profile cross-border leveraged finance transactions.

Practice head(s):Suhrud Mehta

Other key lawyers:Tim Peterson; Miko Bradford; Sarbajeet Nag; Alexandra Grant

Testimonials

'The team provides provides effective solutions on how to structure terms to protect junior lenders.'

'It is one of the strongest legal counsel providers for direct lending.'

'Suhrud Mehta has excellent communication and negotiation skills.'

Key Clients

Goldman Sachs

Deutsche Bank

Credit Suisse

Barclays Bank

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Unicredit

HSBC Bank

BNP Paribas

Citigroup Global Markets

Crédit Agricole

KKR

HPS

Hayfin

DNB

Natixis

Work highlights

  • Represented a leading US-based investment bank as administrative agent, Barclays, HSBC and others as global co-ordinators, and a group of banks and financial institutions as joint bookrunners, initial purchasers, arrangers, managers and initial anchor lenders in a milestone cross-border acquisition of €7.3bn-equivalent bank and bond financing to support Carlyle and GIC’s €10.1bn acquisition of AkzoNobel’s specialty chemicals business.
  • Advised the initial purchasers and lenders in the €720m bridge to bond (plus super senior revolving credit facilities) financing by International Design Group S.p.A. in order to finance part of the purchase price for the acquisition of the Flos, B&B and Louis Poulsen groups and to repay substantially all of their existing external debt.
  • Represented the lenders, Hayfin and ING, in the acquisition financing linked to the purchase, by global-leading private equity firm Advent International, of Deutsche Fachpflege Gruppe.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, Citigroup and Crédit Agricole in their role as initial purchasers in connection with a €410m bridge facility plus related €70m revolving credit facilities for funding the purchase price for the acquisition by Bain Capital of Italmatch, the global specialty chemicals group.
  • Advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Bank, Goldman Sachs and KCM, in their role as lead arrangers in connection with the financing of the €2bn acquisition by Switzerland-based, Jacobs Holding of Cognita, the leading global schools’ group, from Bregal Investments and KKR.

Although it is less active than some of its peers due to its reluctance to operate in the lower-mid market,¬†Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP¬†handles a significant number of high-profile leveraged finance mandates as a result of its loyal roster of major private equity clients, including KKR, Blackstone and Apax. Many of these matters involve complex financing structures requiring the flexibility to advise on both English and US law across a range of sophisticated European financing transactions and products, including senior secured loans, second lien, mezzanine and other junior debt, bridge loans and high yield bonds. Team head¬†Ian Barratt¬†has an excellent reputation and is praised for his ‚Äėsuperb¬†service and ability to get great terms for his clients‚Äô.¬†Sinead O‚ÄôShea¬†is also well regarded, and alongside Barratt, recently advised KKR on a complex financing, which was syndicated in the US and Europe, to facilitate its acquisition of Unilever's global spreads business.¬†Shahpur Kabraji¬†is also recommended and regularly advises leading sponsors and their portfolio companies in connection with a variety of corporate finance transactions.

Practice head(s):Ian Barratt

Other key lawyers:Sinead O'Shea; Stephen Short; Shahpur Kabraji

Key Clients

Aldesa Financial Services

Apax Partners and its portfolio companies

Ascential plc

Aston Martin

Auto Trader Group plc

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The Blackstone Group and its portfolio companies

Blackstone Real Estate Partners

BMI Healthcare

Bridgepoint

Cinven

Credit Suisse

Work highlights

  • Financing for KKR’s Announced Acquisition of Exact Software.
  • Representation of KKR and BlackRock in connection with the financing related to their announced pipeline infrastructure deal with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for approximately $4bn.
  • Representation of PHC Holdings Corporation in connection with the financing related to its definitive agreement to acquire the Anatomical Pathology business of Thermo Fisher Scientific for approximately $1.14bn.
  • Representation of Barclays Bank Plc in connection with the bridge financing for Boston Scientific Corporation to finance its announced acquisition of BTG plc.
  • Representation of Blackstone in connection with the financing of its €2.2bn acquisition of Cirsa Gaming Corporation.

Co-headed by the 'very experienced' Matthew Cottis and 'unflappable' Penny Angell, Hogan Lovells International LLP's five-partner team provides a 'client-oriented and proactive service' to a balanced cadre of lenders, alternative lenders and sponsors on deals in the upper mid-market. In addition to its core roster of domestic and international banks (including Lloyds Bank and Société Générale), under the guidance of Paul Mullen and the 'very considered' Jo Robinson, the team has effectively built up a robust non-bank lender offering with core clients including Ares Management and ICG. The team also has niche expertise advising on insurance sector acquisition finance matters.

Practice head(s):Penny Angell; Matthew Cottis

Other key lawyers:Jo Robinson; Paul Mullen; Alexander Premont

Testimonials

'The team looks to ensure its bank clients' interests are fully protected.'

'They all roll their sleeves up and get involved, no matter how senior.'

'Their advice combines technical knowledge with a commercial outlook.'

'Penny Angell's ability to delve into technical detail and balance discussions around commercial sensitivities is paramount when dealing with big club transactions where there are a number of viewpoints.'

'Jo Robinson has a very strong legal mind, does not miss a trick and is able to give a considered view on issues – which is greatly appreciated in a market with very aggressive loan documentation.'

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group

HSBC

Citibank

Ares Management

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

Intermediate Capital Group

African Export-Import Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

HNA Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Radisson Hospitality on its €20m super senior secured revolving credit facility. In addition, the high yield bond team advised on the inaugural issuance of €250m in high-yield bonds.
  • Advising Pemberton and Lloyds in connection with a unitranche facility and super senior facility granted to Vitruvian Partners for the purposes of acquiring the Travel Counsellors' group.
  • Advised new client Trilantic Europe, the European private equity firm, on the debt finance for the acquisition of talent management company James Grant Group (rebranded as YM&U alongside the sale) from Metric Capital.
  • Advised Bank of Ireland, Guggenheim Partners Europe Limited, HSBC Bank, Lloyds Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited (as arrangers) on the senior financing to fund the acquisition of SLR Consulting by Charterhouse Capital Partners.
  • Advised EQT Credit and Lloyds Bank on the unitranche/stretched super senior financing of the acquisition of Hydro International by Agilitas.

Led by 'service oriented' dual UK and US-qualified partner Peter Hayes, Shearman & Sterling LLP is effectively able to implement US-facing technologies on cross-border deals, enabling it (either on its own or alongside colleagues in New York) to provide a 'very creative and flexible' service to banks, sponsors and credit funds across the capital structure. Philip Stopford has a growing profile in the market across a range of cross-border acquisition finance mandates, including on public-to-private transactions. He recently advised Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo as lead arrangers in connection with the bridge and term loan financings related to Comcast’s £30bn offer for Sky.

Practice head(s):Peter Hayes

Other key lawyers:Iain Goalen; Anthony Ward; Mei Lian; Ronan Wicks; Korey Fevzi; Philip Stopford; Jackson Lam

Testimonials

'The team benefits from being in a considerable amount of deal flow and is aware of current market terms and trends.'

'Truly first class, due to a combination of consistent high quality advice, senior attention, super commitment, and team continuity.'

'Iain Goalen is an exceptional lawyer who takes the time to understood what is important to clients, and delivers.'

'Korey Fevzi, Peter Hayes and Jackson Lam strike the right balance of looking after client interests while preserving long-lasting relations with the other side.'

Key Clients

Barclays Bank

Merrill Lynch

Wells Fargo

Nokia Corporation

Investcorp

Bridgepoint

AlbaCore Capital

Aditya Birla Group

Piraeus Bank

JP Morgan

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Public Sector Pension Investment Board

GoldenTree Asset Management

BNP Paribas

RBS

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo as lead arrangers in connection with the bridge and term loan financings related to Comcast’s £30bn offer for Sky, a leading entertainment and communications company in Europe.
  • Advised Barclays Bank on a Bridge Facility Agreement of an undisclosed amount entered into with Stonegate Pub Company, a portfolio company of TDR Capital, in order to finance the bolt-on acquisition of Be At One Holdings Limited and 15 bars from Novus Leisure.
  • Advised the mandated lead arrangers in connection with the financing of Bain Capital's acquisition of Italy's largest paper manufacturer, Fedrigoni.
  • Advised Boston Scientific Corporation on its recommended offer to acquire BTG plc. The transaction is valued at approximately $4.2bn and is subject to receipt of required regulatory approvals and the approval of BTG’s shareholders and the UK court.
  • Advising Advance Publications on portability financing and related consent solicitation process in relation to the acquisition of the shares of Stage Entertainment from CVC Fund VI and Joop van den Ende.

Increasingly well-hedged across both creditor and debtor-side mandates ‚Äď particularly in light of the arrival at the beginning of 2018 of high-quality sponsor-side leveraged finance practitioner¬†Matthew Cox¬†from¬†Ropes & Gray LLP¬†‚ÄstBaker McKenzie¬†advises on a range of cross-border matters. The 'technically capable and commercial'¬†Matthew Smith's broad-ranging expertise includes¬†direct lending work, and he recently advised new client Ares on the financing to facilitate Macquarie and MML Capital Partner's successful bid for ParkingEye from Capita.

Practice head(s):Nick Tostivin

Other key lawyers:Matthew Cox; Lynn Rosell Rowley; Sébastien Marcelin-Rice; Geoff O'Dea; Bevis Metcalfe; Matthew Smith; Nick O'Grady

Testimonials

'The firm has wide-ranging expertise, which means that you are always able to obtain quality advice irrespective of the transaction sector.'

'The exceptionally strong Matthew Smith is commercial and technically strong.'

Key Clients

Macquarie

Bayerische Landesbank

ING

UK Export Finance

UBS

Ares Management

Adient Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Ares on the financing to facilitate Macquarie and MML Capital Partner's successful bid for ParkingEye from Capita.
  • Assisted Platinum Equity on the UK financing aspects associated with the purchase of the Global Mail Production business from Pitney Bowes.

'Highly commercial and up to speed with market trends', Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's banking and finance team has a strong reputation for handling cross-border borrower-side acquisition finance mandates for core private equity sponsors and corporates, including longstanding client Clayton Dubilier & Rice. With numerous dual US and UK-qualified practitioners in London, as well as being able to tap into the expertise of finance lawyers in the US, the team is well-placed to advise on deals involving bank debt and New York-governed high yield bonds. The firm's fund financing expertise has also been appreciated by sponsor clients, which are increasingly implementing such facilities to provide further liquidity to fund acquisitions. Alan Davies is a 'top performer' and regularly handles leveraged finance work for private equity sponsors.

Practice head(s):Alan J. Davies; Pierre Maugüé; Thomas Smith

Other key lawyers:Almas Daud

Testimonials

'Thomas Smith and Almas Daud are able to explain complex issues in a straight-forward manner and focus on the real issues, rather than the minutia.'

Key Clients

Resolution Life

Motor Fuel Group

Clayton Dubilier & Rice/Solenis

American International Group Inc.

B&M

Glendower Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Motor Fuel Group, a portfolio company of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, in connection with the financing and tax structuring aspects of its acquisition of MRH.
  • Advising Clayton, Dubilier & Rice portfolio company Solenis on the financing to facilitate its combination with BASF's paper and water chemicals business.  
  • Advised AIG on financing aspects of its $5.56bn acquisition of the Bermuda based, NYSE-listed (re)insurance company Validus Holdings.
  • Advised B&M in the bridge financing of its acquisition of the French discount chain Babou.
  •    

Drawing upon the firm's overarching strength in the asset management industry, Dechert LLP continues to develop its leveraged finance offering, primarily on behalf of private equity sponsors or for debt funds in their capacity as lenders. The team is active across the capital structure, including senior, second lien, unitranche, mezzanine and PIK, and has particular expertise in relation to funding cross-border deals in the technology and healthcare sectors. John Markland provides 'superior technical advice' to private equity sponsor clients and investee portfolio companies, and alongside direct lending experts David Miles and Philip Butler has been the driving force behind the team's recent emergence as a significant player in the acquisition finance field.

Other key lawyers:Philip Butler; John Markland; David Miles; Smridhi Gulati

Testimonials

'Philip Butler and David Miles have seen the development of the alternative lending market in Europe and are at the cutting edge of the financial innovation that debt funds have brought to the market.'

 

Key Clients

SK Hynix

Ares Management

Mid Europa Partners

VTB Capital

Alcentra

Telekom Srbija

Cordet Capital Partners

MIDOR

CVC Credit Partners

Sun Capital

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation/Park Square

Clanwilliam Group

Work highlights

  • Representing SK Hynix (as part of a consortium including Bain Capital) in a financing for its $18bn acquisition of Japanese-based Toshiba Corporation’s NAND flash memory and solid-state drive business.
  • Advised Ares Management on its provision of a financing package to the Daisy Group, to refinance the Daisy Group’s existing financing arrangements and fund the buyout of certain investors in the Daisy Group.
  • Advising Ares Management on its provision of financing support to Midlothian Capital Partners and a consortium of investors to acquire HB Education Limited.
  • Lead adviser in respect of UK finance matters in relation to American Express GBT’s $520m acquisition of the Hogg Robinson Group.
  • Represented Ares Management on the provision of a financing package to support Phoenix Equity Partners’ acquisition of stake in Nexus Vehicle Rentals Group from Bowmark Capital.

With a strong offering in London and key regional centres including Manchester and Birmingham,¬†DLA Piper¬†provides a cost-effective and 'solutions-oriented' service to an increasingly balanced array of lenders and borrowers in the mid-market. Although the firm's clearing bank ties continue to generate a significant deal flow¬†‚Äď as does its roster of mid-market private equity sponsors ‚Äď the team has successfully re-calibrated its practice to include a growing number of credit funds. The 'pragmatic'¬†Andy Kolacki¬†has expertise across the spectrum of senior and subordinated capital structures, including unitranche deals for direct lenders, while¬†Philip Crump ¬†has been particularly active for lenders leveraged domestic and cross-border matters.

Practice head(s):Martin Bartlam; Matt Christmas; Toby Barker; Mark Dwyer

Other key lawyers:Andy Kolacki; Philip Crump; Julie Romer; Douglas Murning

Testimonials

'The team is attentive and pro-active in moving deals forward.'

'Andy Kolacki was able to take a pragmatic, solutions-oriented approach to getting the deal over the line.'

'Mark Dwyer is a superstar.'

Key Clients

HSBC

Investec

Lloyds Banking Group

Royal Bank of Scotland

Silicon Valley Bank

Ares Management

Bain Capital Credit

BlueBay Asset Management

CVC Credit Partners

Hayfin Capital Management

Pemberton Asset Management

Discovery

Heineken

VEON

LivaNova

Workspace Group

Graphite Capital

Symphony Technology Group

Work highlights

  • Advising LivaNova Plc on a $170m bridge facility entered into with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to fund its acquisition of TandemLife.
  • Acted for the lenders on the debt financing provided in support of the acquisition of Law Business Research by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.
  • Assisting Deutsche Bank as mandated lead arranger, sole co-ordinator and agent in respect of $120m acquisition and working capital term facilities for a major China-based real estate conglomerate, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
  • Acted for The Carlyle Group on the financing of its acquisition of Livingstone Technologies, the UK's largest independent provider of Software Asset Management (SAM) managed services. Facilities were provided by HSBC Bank.
  • Advised Pemberton Asset Management in respect of the financing of HIG's investment in Corona Corporate Solutions, a fast growing UK print management and telephony business.

Tapping into the firm's impressive roster of corporate clients, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP handles a significant amount of financing related to M&A activity. The firm is also well-connected to numerous funds (including those with a focus on the energy sector and infrastructure) and regularly handles leveraged financings for them on their investments. On the bank side, the team's market-leading reputation in the reserve based lending space continues to be enhanced by strengthening relationships with some major European and US investment banks on leveraged finance matters.

Practice head(s):Kristen Roberts; Will Nevin

Other key lawyers:Heather Culshaw; David Wyles; Thomas Bethel; Pedro Rufino Carvalho; Elliot Beard

Key Clients

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Atnahs

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Carlyle Group

Credit Suisse International

Elementis Plc

Morgan Stanley

BAWAG Group

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Antin Infrastructure Partners on the financing of its acquisition of Ufinet Spain, a fibre optic telecom operator, from Cinven.
  • Advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch as the sole underwriter and mandated lead arranger on its $5bn acquisition financing for GlaxoSmithKline plc's takeover of Tesaro, a US-based pharmaceutical company.
  • Represented Credit Suisse International and the other lenders on the financing of Carlyle Group's acquisition of EnerMech Group from Lime Rock Partners.
  • Advised FTSE-listed global specialty chemicals company Elementis on the financing of its acquisition of Mondo Minerals (a leading integrated producer of industrial talc additives) for $500m on a cash-free, debt-free basis from US private equity firm Advent International.
  • The London and Madrid finance teams advised Morgan Stanley and BAWAG (as lenders) and Deutsche Bank (as underwriter) on a €2.6bn term loan facility to finance Cerberus' €4bn acquisition of a majority stake in BBVA's Spanish REO portfolio.

Benefiting from an 'excellent understanding of the latest developments in the sector', Macfarlanes LLP provides a 'commercially-minded service' to the firm's impressive roster of mid-market focused private equity sponsors. On the lender side, although it is less active for core commercial and investment banks than many in the ranking, it has been very successful in securing significant market share for many of the leading credit funds, including Hayfin and Ares Capital. Kirstie Hutchinson 'is able to harness the latest market developments to get the best outcome for a client' and is highly conversant with unitranche, super-senior, subordinated, high yield and bridge financing techniques.

Practice head(s):Christopher Lawrence

Other key lawyers:Andrew Perkins; Kirstie Hutchinson; Sarah Ward

Testimonials

'The team is highly responsive and provides insightful advice.'

'Andrew Perkins and Sarah Ward provide solutions-oriented advice.'

'Kirstie Hutchinson is a fantastic partner in a financing negotiation.'

Key Clients

Alchemy Partners

Ares Capital Europe

Caledonia Investments

Cimpress

Exponent Private Equity

GHO Capital

Hayfin Capital Management

JD Wetherspoon plc

Partners Group

Salary Finance

Shawbrook Bank

Spectris plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Searchlight Capital Partners on the English law elements of their $2bn acquisition of Mitel Networks Corporation.
  • Advised GHO Capital on the financing for its acquisition of Alcaliber, which is a leading supplier to the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Advised Epiris Managers on the financing of its acquisition of the UK business of Time, Inc. from American media company Meredith Corporation. This involved leveraged acquisition finance being provided by Ares and by HSBC.

The 'technically and commercially strong' three-partner team at Proskauer Rose LLP has a 'fantastic reputation' in the alternative lending space among many of the most active credit funds in the market, including Ares and BlueBay. Benefiting from excellent bandwidth across the spectrum of credit fund debt products, the team's market insight (gleaned from vast deal flow) has led to it being consulted to provide input in working party discussions on the development of a new template form of intercreditor agreement for unitranche financings with the Loan Market Association, the syndicated loan market authority in Europe. 'Very responsive and strong' co-head Alex Griffith  is one 'the most prominent practitioners in the mid-market credit fund space'.

Practice head(s):Ben Davis; Alex Griffith; Faisal Ramzan

Other key lawyers:Daniel Hendon; Emma Bannister; Jacob Durkin

Testimonials

'The team has a dedicated focus on credit funds and is therefore able to recognise and cater to their unique needs and preferences.'

'Alex Griffith and Daniel Hendon are very strong and great to work with.'

'Faisal Ramzan stands out because of his commercial sense for what is important versus what is not, and at the same time is pleasant even during the toughest negotiations.'

Key Clients

Alcentra

Apollo

Ardian

Ares Management

Bain Capital Credit

Barings

BlackRock

BlueBay Asset Management

Cheyne

CORDET Capital

Corsair

EQT Credit

GIC

Global Risk Partners Group

LGT European Capital

HPS

Intermediate Capital Group

M&G Investments

Muzinich & Co

Tikehau Investment Management

TPG Sixth Street Partners

Varde Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Ares Management on the provision of a unitranche facility to support Eli Global in its acquisition of Damovo, a Germany based leader in communication technology services, from Oakley Capital.
  • Advised Apollo Capital Management on the financing to support SK Capital in its acquisition of Wavelength Pharmaceuticals, the market leading Israeli pharmaceutical ingredients business.
  • Acted for Barings in financing the acquisition of numerous smaller Swedish and Norwegian companies in support of White Rabbit Group, a software development agency that focuses on building cloud-based applications.
  • Advised BlueBay Asset Management who supported TA Associates in the Italian acquisition of List SpA, a leading company in the design of cutting edge technology and innovative systems for the financial world.
  • Advised Corsair Capital on all equity and finance aspects of its £132m acquisition of Zedra Group a global specialist in corporate, trust, and fund services.

Traditionally best-known for its advice to private equity sponsors, Ropes & Gray LLP continues to strengthen its lender-side credentials with a number of recent hires, including the arrival in 2018 of Carol Van der Vorst from Goldman Sachs. Van der Vorst also enhances the team's English law credentials, providing the London group with an increasingly compelling offering which  can advise across products (including New York-governed high yield and UK-governed debt) and geographies. Global finance co-head Michael Kazakevich and London co-managing partner Mike Goetz are key members of the team.

Practice head(s):Michael Kazakevich

Other key lawyers:Mike Goetz; Malcolm Hitching; Carol Van der Vorst; Alex Robb; Alexandru Mocanu

Testimonials

The team has a very good window on the latest developments and changes in the market.

The lawyers are responsive, creative and solutions-oriented.

They have a good mix of very experienced senior people and mid-level practitioners who are capable and very responsive.

 

Key Clients

Altice

MV Credit

Cable & Wireless

Partners Group

Telenet

Epiris

Bridgepoint Advisers

Oaktree

Duke Street Capital

Virgin Media

Work highlights

  • Advising Bain Capital Credit and ICG on Study Group acquisition financing.
  • Advised MV Credit on the second lien financing provided to Itiviti to refinance existing indebtedness and support the acquisition of Ullink.
  • Advised BigHand (a Bridgepoint portfolio company) on its leveraged financing and acquisition of DW Reporting.
  • Advised Duke Street Capital on the financing to facilitate its acquisition of Great Rail Journeys.
  • Advised Epiris, the UK based private equity group on a series of acquisitions, including The Club Company, the UK’s leading country club operator.

Led by Mark Darley, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP's three-partner team handles acquisition finance work as part of its broader banking offering for a borrower-focused client base. While the firm's high-calibre roster of corporate clients remains the driver for a significant amount of M&A-related financing work handled by the team, the team also handles a large amount of private equity-type financing work for family offices on their international investments. With US and UK-qualified practitioners on the ground in London, and also able to tap into the expertise of lawyers across the firm's US offices, the team is able to adapt US financing techniques and terms to the European market and thereby has the flexibility to handle big-ticket cross-border acquisition financings.

Practice head(s):Mark Darley

Other key lawyers:Clive Wells; Pete Coulton; Andrew Brown

Key Clients

Sands China

CME Group

F.I.L.A.

Castik Capital

Hg

Ashtead Group plc

Sophos Group plc

Colony Capital

Gazit-Globe

Eco-Bat Technologies

Work highlights

  • Advised the Ferrero family office and Ferrara Candy Company on the financing of their $2.8bn acquisition of Nestle’s US confectionary assets and related intellectual property.
  • Advised CME Group, the world's largest futures exchange, on its acquisition of NEX Group Plc for £4.3bn, including in relation to certain funds £1.58bn debt facilities used to finance the acquisition.
  • Advised F.I.L.A. Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A. (Italy), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of drawing and colouring materials, on the financing elements of the $340m acquisition by its subsidiary Dixon Ticonderoga Company of Pacon Holding Company from Mason Wells Inc.
  • Advised Morgan Stanley as senior lender and financial advisor to Global Business Travel Holdings Limited, in its announced acquisition of Hogg Robinson Group plc, a publicly traded, UK-based corporate services organization, for consideration of approximately £400m.
  • Acted for Royal Caribbean Cruises on the financing aspects of its $1bn acquisition of a majority stake in Silversea Cruises.

Slaughter and May's generalist banking and finance team has 'excellent knowledge of the loan market' and regularly handles private and public acquisition finance mandates for a borrower-focused client base. Fed a substantial amount of corporate finance mandates from the firm's pre-eminent roster of FTSE 100/250 clients, and also advising a sizeable number of private equity sponsors, the team has impressive knowledge of Term Loan B, unitranche and high-yield bond finance structures, as well as substantive experience advising on Loan Market Association documentation. Other niche areas of expertise include advice on "certain funds public bid" finance matters. Philip Snell heads the team.

Practice head(s):Philip Snell

Other key lawyers:Andrew McClean; Matthew Tobin; Robert Byk; Edward Fife; Caroline Phillips; Oliver Storey; Richard Jones;

Key Clients

Cineworld

Vodafone

GSK

Compagnie Financiere Richemont

Drax Group plc

Palamon Capital Partners

Marsh & McLennan

DS Smith plc

Midlothian Capital Partners

The Restaurant Group

Wren House Infrastructure Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Vodafone Group plc on the proposed acquisition of certain operations of Liberty Global’s operations in Germany ('Unity Media') and the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania ('UPC'), excluding its Direct to Home Business, for a total enterprise value of €18.4bn.
  • Acted for Nordea Bank on the SEK11bn term facility agreement made available to Tele2 to finance a merger with Com Hem Holding.
  • Advised Cineworld on securing commitments to provide an approximately $4bn senior secured Term Loan B facility and $300m senior secured revolving facility, each in connection with the acquisition by Cineworld of the entire issued share capital of Regal Entertainment Holdings.
  • Advising Midlothian Capital Partners on the financing (provided by Ares Management on a unitranche basis) to fund the acquisition of HB Education from Cox & Kings.
  • Representing DS Smith plc, a leading international packaging business, on the financing to facilitate the  proposed acquisition of Papeles y Cartones de Europa.

The team at Travers Smith LLP is 'best in class' at advising on mid-market private equity-backed acquisition finance mandates, and leverages the firm's deeply entrenched sponsor ties with the likes of Bridgepoint and TA Associates. Although it is best-known for its borrower practice, under the guidance of 'intellectually top-drawer and commercial' team head, Matthew Ayre, the team continues to generate a significant volume of lender work for clients including HSBC. The team has developed particular expertise advising on mandates within the media, leisure, technology, retail and infrastructure spaces.

Practice head(s):Matthew Ayre

Other key lawyers:Andrew Gregson; Donald Lowe; Barry Newman; Danny Peel

Testimonials

'Responsive, easy to work with, and commercial.'

'Andrew Gregson is exceptionally strong and a pleasure to deal with.'

'Matthew Ayre has a wealth of experience in mid-market deals.'

'Barry Newman is responsive and thoughtful.'

Key Clients

Bridgepoint/Bridgepoint Development Capital

TA Associates

Phoenix Equity Partners

Ancala Partners

Royal Bank of Scotland International

Shawbrook

Paragon Bank

Auto Trader Group plc

Shepherd Neame

Carpetright

Work highlights

  • Advised Bridgepoint on senior debt facilities made available to finance its acquisition of a majority stake in PEI Media.
  • Advised Livingbridge on a term loan and revolving credit facility made available to finance its acquisition of a majority stake in the Coversure Group.
  • Advised TA Associates on the senior debt facilities made available for the purpose of financing its acquisition of Old Mutual Wealth's single strategy asset management business (a leading independent UK-based asset management business).
  • Acted for Phoenix Equity Partners on debt facilities made available to finance its £142m acquisition of Nexus Vehicle Rental.
  • Acted for Phoenix Equity Partners on the financing of its acquisition of Capital Economics Research from sellers including LDC and the existing Capital Economics management team.

Led by Alex Dumphy, Addleshaw Goddard's corporate banking team provides a 'pragmatic and commercial service' to borrowers and lenders on mid-market acquisition finance mandates. The firm's strong UK clearing bank relationships ensures that the team continues to pick up a significant volume of domestic and international  leveraged finance mandates across the capital structure, including those incorporating traditional term debt and revolving credit facilities. In addition, it is able to provide asset-based lending expertise and has used this alongside traditional bank debt on acquisition finance transactions. The regional offices, Manchester in particular, generate a significant amount of financing work from private equity sponsors.

Practice head(s):Alex Dumphy

Other key lawyers:Angus Gill; Mike Davison; Amanda Gray

Testimonials

'In terms of sector knowledge and business acumen, Addleshaws stack up well against City firms practicing in the same areas. Transparency around costs is also noted.'

'Mike Davison is well known in the industry for his specific know-how and commercially minded approach.'

Key Clients

Aareal Bank

ACT Property Holdings

Action Health Enterprises

Advance Global Capital

Aer Lingus

AgFe UK Real Estate

AIB Group (UK)

AIG Asset Management (Europe)

Air Asia Berhad

AKKR

Al Rayan Bank

Alcentra

Arbuthnot Latham & Co

Assura Financing Limited

Aviation Capital Group

BAE Systems Pension Funds Investment Management

Balder Capital

Bank Hapoalim (Switzerland)

Bank Leumi (UK) plc

Bank of Ireland

Bank of London and The Middle East

Prudential Trustee Company

Bargate Property

Barings (UK) Limited

Bayerische Landesbank

Be at One Holdings Limited

Berlin Hyp AG

BlackRock Investment Management (UK)

BNP Paribas Commercial Finance

Boiler House Development

BPP Legal Advice Clinic

Brentford Phase II LLP

Brickfield Investments

British Airways plc

British Arab Commercial Bank

Britvic Soft Drinks

C C Land Holdings

Canada Life

Cargo Investments

Cassio Watford

Castle Trust Capital plc

Close Invoice Finance

Closerstill Group

Cooperatieve Rabobank U.A.

Cordoba Homes Finance

Cortland Trustees Limited

Dandara Limited

Denby Holdings

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Hypothekenbank

Dexia Credit Local

DRC Capital

Dubai Aviation City Corporation (aka FlyDubai)

East African Breweries

ECI Partners

Educo Three Limited

EIGHT House

Employees Provident Fund

Eversholt

Fifth Third Bank

First City Monument Bank

Fortwell Capital Limited

Gain Capital UK Limited

GC Gilray Limited

GE Capital Bank

GR Properties

GSK Luxembourg

Guralp Systems

GVC Holdings

Halos Limited & Prudential Trustee Company

Hanner Tank

Harpur Centre Bedford Limited

HEC Finance 03 Limited

Helix Property

Heritage Square Limited

Hermes Real Estate Senior Debt Fund

Hero Inc.

Housing Growth Partnership Manager Limited

HRE Limited

HSH Nordbank

Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España, S.A. Operadora

ICBC (London) plc

ICICI Bank (UK) plc

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Inflexion Private Equity Partners

Innovative Bites

International Consolidated Airlines Group

Investec Bank

Ivy Aviations Limited

KTB Asset Management Co

Landesbank Hessen-Thuringen GZ (aka Helaba)

LATAM Airlines Group

LawWorks

Legal & General Investment Management Limited

Lembaga Tabung Haji

Leumi ABL Limited

Longbow Real Estate Capital LLP and Longbow Investment

LV Commercial Mortgages Limited

Lucid Agency Services Limited and Lucid Trustees Services

Macquarie Bank International Limited

Marcegaglia Carbon Steel

McLaren Property Limited

Millstream Property Limited

Mirabella Financial Services

Moore Stephens

Morris Group Limited

Mount Anvil

Muzinich

Muse Developments Limited

Napier Brown Holdings Ltd

Nationwide Building Society

Natixis factor

Naviter Capital

Danske Bank

Pension Insurance Corporation plc

PNC Business Credit

Price Forbes Holdings Limited

Property & Funding Solutions Ltd

Public Bank Berhad

Puma Investment Management

RBC Europe Limited

Red's Smoque Limited

The Serviced Apartment Company Limited

The Bank of New York Mellon, London Branch

Samworth Brothers Limited

Scapa Group

Secure Trust Bank plc

Shawbrook Bank

ShawCor Ltd

Shinhan Bank (London Branch)

Shoreditch Holdings Limited

SixtyFive House

SmBc

Sofa.com

Societe Generale Group

Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Life Investments

Storage 21 Holdings

Stryker European Operations

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank

Synova

Svenska Handelsbanken

Tech Data Limited

Tellon Capital

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi

The Housing Finance Corporation Limited

The Law Debenture Trust Corporation plc

Triodos Bank NV (UK Branch)

TrustLaw

Tajara Capital

UK Rents (No 1) plc

Union Bancaire Privée

UPP Group Limited

Victory House

Volito Aviation

Waterside Places

Wellesley Finance plc

Wells Fargo & Company

Westdeutsche ImmobilienBank

Wings Capital Partners Management

Wyelands Bank plc

Yorkshire Building Society

Work highlights

  • Advised the lending club on a cross-border leveraged finance transaction where the lending club financed the MBO of K2 Partnering Solutions Limited.
  • Acted for Barings Global Advisors  on its refinancing of the equity bridge provided by ECI Partners to acquire the outsourced communications provider TDKP Limited (operating as Moneypenny).
  • Acted for Muzinich & Co (the US private debt fund) in connection with facilities to finance Lloyds Development Capital's acquisition of FC Business Intelligence (a global events company).
  • Advised Alcentra funds on the provision of leveraged finance facilities provided to a bidco established by ECI Partners to finance the sponsor's acquisition of Clear Investments.
  • Advised the lending club on the provision of facilities to refinance the equity bridge provided by Bowmark Capital on its acquisition of the ASK 4 group.

Led by the 'fair and balanced' Emma Howdle-Fuller, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's five-partner team provides a 'client-oriented and solutions-focused' service to UK clearing banks, corporates and a growing roster of funds. The firm's exposure to a wide range of deals across the capital structure and ability to 'embrace the unusual' endears it to clients which are also appreciative of its 'broad knowledge base'. The team is particularly active on mid-market mandates in the leisure/gaming, retail, and real estate sectors.

Practice head(s):Emma Howdle-Fuller

Other key lawyers:Derek Hrydziuszko; Daisy Reeves; Shanan Dunstan; Daniel Finch

Testimonials

'They always go the extra mile to get things done and come up with practical and workable solutions.'

'Shanan Dunstan and Daisy Reeves are strong in acquisition finance and have great interpersonal skills.'

'Daisy Reeves is particularly good at providing her clients with the care and attention that is needed in any negotiation; this dedication along with her technical knowledge and solution-finding approach make her an invaluable member of any deal team.'

Key Clients

Barclay family

Barclays Bank

BCA Marketplace plc

Charlford Limited

Clearbell

Colne Bridge Limited

Deutsche Bank London Branch

ECOM Trading

Factofrance

Flybe Group plc

Gett

Goldman Sachs  International Branch

Work highlights

  • Represented a leading agribusiness asset management firm on financing a management buy-out.
  • Represented HSBC on facilities to a UK borrower to acquire Pageant Media.
  • Represented Lloyds Bank on acquisition facilities to a franchise of a well-known fast-food franchise.
  • Represented HSBC in its acquisition facilities to Interquest Group.
  • Representing Playtech plc on its acquisition facilities totalling in excess of €2bn.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's five-partner banking team in London regularly handles big-ticket M&A financing mandates for core investment grade corporates of the firm, including ArcelorMittal, as well as for private equity sponsors, including CVC. Conversant with deals spanning the capital structure - including on bank and bond financings ‚Äď the team is also noted for its expertise in relation to emerging markets mandates.

Other key lawyers:Andrew Shutter; David Billington

Key Clients

ATALIAN

American Express

Aperam

ArcelorMittal

CVC

Cushman & Wakefield

PJSC Nizhnekamskneftekhim

Target Global

Work highlights

  • Advised American Express, as 50% shareholder of Amex Global BusinessTravel (its joint venture with a Certares backed financial sponsor consortium) in the finance and corporate aspects of its £400m takeover of HoggRobinson plc.
  • Advising ArcelorMittal on a $7bn syndicated bridge loan for the acquisition of Essar Steel in India.
  • Advised La Financière Atalian in a €594m bridge-to-bond facility, related offering of €350m senior notes and £225m senior notes, and its acquisition of 100% of Servest Limited (Servest UK), a leading provider of facility management services in the United Kingdom, and its subsidiaries.

Led on the corporate and leveraged finance front by Patrick Donegan, CMS has a strong reputation in the mid-market for a balanced roster of private equity sponsors, banks and corporates.  Under the guidance of Charles Kerrigan, who is recognised as 'the go-to person in the London market for funding intangible and digital assets', the team regularly provides the finance input on M&A in the TMT sector.

Practice head(s):Patrick Donegan

Other key lawyers:Ted Harrison; Charles Kerrigan; Mark Moseling; Alex Patience; Tom Siggers; Tom Hughes

Testimonials

'Mark Moseling's experience of the leverage market makes him an obvious go-to lawyer.'

'Ted Harrison is very well connected around the banking market and has a wealth of experience.'

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Legal & General

HSBC Bank

NoCityFibre

Oakley Capital

Allied Irish Bank

LDC

Circle Media

Ei Group plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Circle Media Group on the financing to fund its acquisition of leading printing group, CPI, to create the largest independent European group in the delivery of print and media capability.
  • Advised Alliance Pharma on the financing to fund its acquisition of exclusive marketing rights to Nizoral, a medical, anti-dandruff shampoo brand in Asia-Pacific from the Johnson & Johnson group of companies.
  • Acted for Getronics, a Netherlands-based IT company, on financing its acquisition of US digital workplace firm, Pomeroy.
  • Acted for The Royal Bank of Scotland on the provision of acquisition and recapitalisation debt facilities for leading private markets investment and advisory group Stafford Capital Partners.
  • Advised Crescent Capital on the financing of Inflexion's acquisition of Cawood Scientific.

Effectively drawing upon practitioners from within the firm's asset based lending, structured and funds finance teams, as well as its core leveraged finance offering, Mayer Brown International LLP provides a 'responsive and proactive service' to an impressive mix of banks, funds and alternative lenders. Andrew Crotty has a strong reputation within the mid-market private equity space. Stuart Brinkworth has bolstered the team's prowess on the direct lending front following his arrival in 2018 from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

Practice head(s):Stuart Brinkworth

Other key lawyers:Paul Tannenbaum; Andrew Crotty; Dominic Griffiths; Alex Dell

Key Clients

Francisco Partners Management

Work highlights

  • Advised private equity firm Francisco Partners Management on the £221m financing for its acquisition of ByBox, a provider of technology-led logistics and locker technology for global businesses.

Frequently teaming up with practitioners from across the firm's vast network of offices, Norton Rose Fulbright's expertise lies in handling multi-jurisdictional acquisition finance mandates for banks, funds and corporates. Team head, Michael Ings, has a particularly strong reputation in handling corporate lending and acquisition finance mandates within the telecoms/media sector, and is also often involved in transactions with a nexus to Africa.  Michael Black is also a key member of the team and adds a unique perspective by virtue of his asset based lending prowess.

Practice head(s):Michael Ings

Other key lawyers:Michael Black; James Dunnett; Tom Meredith

Key Clients

Africa Finance Corporation

AIG

Al Rayan Bank

AT&T

Bank of America

Bank of China

Bankmed

Balfour Beatty

BHP

BMW

Bombardier

BP

Brookfield

Cell C

Citi

Crédit Agricole

DBS Bank

Deutsche Bank

Ministry of Finance of Angola

Domino’s Pizza

ExxonMobil

GSK

HSBC

ICBC

IMI Group

International Finance Corporation

ING

JP Morgan

Marubeni

Macquarie

McLaren

Mizuho

Rio Tinto

Rosneft Oil

Royal Bank of Canada

Proparco

Shell

SNC Lavalin

Standard Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Trinity Mirror

Tullow

Turk Telekomünikasyon

Wells Fargo

United Overseas Bank

Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi

Guarantco

TowerShare

Danaos

Mercuria Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised Trinity Mirror plc on the financing to fund its acquisition of Northern & Shell’s publishing assets for a total purchase price of £126.7m.
  • Advised TowerShare on the financing to facilitate its acquisition of Veon’s tower business in Pakistan for approximately US$940m.
  • Advised Wells Fargo Bank in relation to an acquisition finance facility to Charlesbank Equity Fund.
  • Represented DBS Bank as lender in respect of facilities to a Luxembourg holding company relating to an Opco/Propco structure to refinance the acquisition of the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in London.
  • Advised DBS Bank on the refinancing of the debt following the acquisition of the Hilton Olympia London Hotel.

Under the guidance of the 'highly skilled' Luke McDougall, Paul Hastings LLP's four-partner team is gaining increased traction and recognition among many prominent investment banks, which are appreciative of its 'versatility and high quality advice across all relevant English and New York law products in the European leveraged finance market'. Able to 'operate across the large and mid-cap space, and between investment bank and private credit clients', the team provides a cohesive service to lenders which is conversant across the capital structure, and traversing both bank and bond financings.

Practice head(s):Luke McDougall; Peter Schwartz

Other key lawyers:Richard Kitchen

Testimonials

'Highly dedicated and flexible lawyers with particular strength in structuring cross-border financing transactions.'

'The team is very commercially aware and able to provide valuable advice and respond quickly to changing situations.'

'Luke McDougall is absolutely superb.'

Key Clients

Goldman Sachs

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Morgan Stanley

HSBC

Barclays

RBC

Credit Suisse

Citibank

Boparan Group

Blackrock

TPG Specialty Lending

Abry Partners

NJJ

Oakley Capital

Barings

Albacore

MV Credit

Work highlights

  • Representing Goldman Sachs and Citigroup as arrangers in respect of the financing for the recommended public-to-private acquisition by Advent International of Laird plc for approximately £1bn.
  • Acting for Morgan Stanley as sole arranger in relation to a re-pricing and upsize of an €855m English law Term Loan B financing for Rubix (formed from the combination of IPH and Brammer).
  • Acting for seven banks, providing English law certain funds financing commitments in respect of €1.3bn of facilities for Bain Capital’s bid for Dutch software business Unit4.
  • Provided the financing advice to a consortium led by NJJ Telecom Europe on the acquisition of a majority of Eir, the Irish telecommunications and broadband business.
  • Representing Abry Partners in the debt financing and M&A process in connection with its recommended voluntary cash offer to acquire the Norwegian public company, LINK Mobility, one of Europe’s leading mobile communication providers.

Led by Martin Bishop,  Pinsent Masons LLP's 'highly experienced and knowledgeable' banking team has a strong presence in the mid-market for clearing banks and private equity sponsors, both out of London and regionally from its Manchester and Leeds offices. The team is praised for its 'excellent understanding of the leveraged finance environment and ability to handle complex matters'.

Practice head(s):Martin Bishop

Other key lawyers:Vanessa Heap; Liam Terry; Matt Morgan; Richard Scott; David Doogan; Tim Fearn; Matthew Clayton-Stead

Testimonials

'David Doogan has a distinctive style and is never fazed by issues which arise, often at short notice.'

'Richard Scott is very hands on and responsive.'

 

Key Clients

Sabio Limited

Permira Debt Capital

Lloyds Bank

Waterland Private Equity

Equistone PartnersEurope

Extentia Group Limited

Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank

Midshires Care Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Horizon Capital-backed Sabio Limited, a market-leading service provider of customer engagement solutions, on the financing of the acquisition of FlexAnswer Solutions (Singapore) and subsequently on the financing of the acquisition of Callware Voice Technologies, Callware Communicaciones SL and TwoPRO SL (Spain).
  • Acting for the lenders providing acquisition finance to support SDL Plc acquisition of Donnelley Language Services.
  • Acted for Waterland Private Equity in connection with the funding of its acquisition of Textile Recycling International Limited.
  • Advised Equistone Partners Europe in connection with the funding of its acquisition of WHP Telecoms.
  • Acted for Lloyds Bank plc in connection with its funding of the acquisition of Aquamain (UK) Limited by Rubicon.

Led on the bank front by Nick Benham and also benefiting from high-yield bond expertise on the capital markets side, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's two-partner team is focused on handling big-ticket cross-border mandates for corporates, private equity sponsors and banks. Frequently working closely with the firm's corporate/M&A teams in London and New York, the group handles a mix of deals originating in Europe, as well as inbound European mandates on behalf of US corporates (often involving a combination of UK and US-governed debt products, including US Term Loan B and New York-law governed high yield). Benham has particular strength handling public bid financings, including his recent work for Comcast on its £30.6bn takeover of Sky.

Practice head(s):Nick Benham; Jeff O’Brien

Other key lawyers:Aaron Ferner

Key Clients

Comcast Corporation

Marsh & McLennan

Temenos

Tencent

Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs

J.P. Morgan

eDreams Odigeo

Barclays

Citigroup

Work highlights

  • Advised Comcast Corporation on the financings for its £30.6bn takeover of Sky.
  • Advising Barclays Bank and Citigroup Global Markets as financial advisers to Apollo Management IX, L.P, on its recommended offer to acquire RPC Group plc.
  • Advised the joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners in connection with a €375m Term Loan B, a $425m Term Loan B, a €330m Term Loan A and a €430m revolving credit facility and the initial purchasers of €350m senior notes for Garrett Motion Group.
  • Advised Marsh & McLennan Companies in connection with its £5.2bn bridge loan agreement for its proposed acquisition of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc.
  • Advised Temenos in connection with the bridge financing for its £1.4bn recommended cash offer to acquire the entire share capital of Fidessa Group plc.

Led by Catherine Astruc, Dentons' 11-strong team handles acquisition finance work for international banks, alternative lenders and private equity sponsors. Following the departure in November 2018 of Lee Federman to Jones Day the  team only has one partner in its ranks, but despite its relatively small size on the ground in London it is able to effectively leverage the firm's wide-ranging international network of offices and consequently generates a significant flow of mid-market cross-border mandates, particularly in emerging markets.

Practice head(s):Catherine Astruc

Other key lawyers:Joe Byron Evans; Olivia Ashurst

Key Clients

Standard Bank

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Work highlights

  • Advising Standard Bank, IFC and a leading global bank the $140m secured syndicated facilities provided to Westfalia Fruit International to finance the acquisition of an interest in a joint venture in Chile.
  • Advising a fund managed by Credit Suisse on a mezzanine loan to Chimcomplex to acquire the assets of a large chemicals business in Romania which has been in insolvency for several years.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is best-known for handling the financing requirements of the firm's impressive roster of mid-market private equity sponsor clients, including Inflexion and LDC. It is able to provide a cost-effective service by dint of its ability to resource matters from London, as well as many of the firm's regional offices, including Birmingham. Significant clearing bank relationships ensure that the firm also regularly handles a range of corporate lending mandates and acquisition financing matters. Co-head of the London banking practice, Nick Swiss, is recommended.

Practice head(s):Simon Waller; Nick Swiss

Other key lawyers:Simon Mead; Indraj Mangat; Chris Hastings

Testimonials

'The firm provides fantastic, flexible and commercial advice.'

'Chris Hastings is outstanding, both at managing the technical legal issues but also spotting those things that aren't strictly part of the remit.'

Key Clients

HSBC Bank

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Phoenix Private Equity

Inflexion Private Equity

Livingbridge Private Equity

Lloyds Development Capital

Baird Capital

Beech Tree Private Equity

Santander

Work highlights

  • Advised LDC in relation to the financing of its investment in FC Business Intelligence, a global events company.
  • Advised Livingbridge Private Equity in relation to the financing of the acquisition of LoveHolidays, the online travel company.
  • Acted for a group of five leading banks in connection with the £140m refinancing of Wincanton plc.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP's three-partner team displays 'outstanding levels of knowledge' across the capital structure on behalf of a fairly balanced array of stakeholders, including global banks, private equity sponsors, direct lenders and corporates. Benefiting from a strong international footprint, particularly in the US, the team's expertise is in handling cross-border mandates which incorporate complex inter-creditor arrangements. The arrival at the beginning of 2019 of Neil Caddy from Milbank provides a further degree of specialisation in leveraged finance mandates in light of his significant experience in the space across a wide range of products, including cov-lite Term B loans, unitranche loans and bank-bond transactions.

Other key lawyers:Jons Lehmann; Neil Caddy; Kathryn Cecil

Testimonials

'The team is able to disseminate complex issues and communicate them to non-legal professionals in an easily understandable manner.'

'The team displays a personable approach and a willingness to go the extra mile.'

'Jons Lehmann is pragmatic, commercial and client focused.'

Key Clients

Goldman Sachs

AEA Investors

Credit Suisse

Barclays

Francisco Partners

CVC Capital Partners

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

HPS Investments

Luxfer Group

Permira Debt Managers

Work highlights

  • Advised MASMOVIL Group in connection with a cov-lite Term Loan B financing, the proceeds of which will be used to acquire the company’s €883m convertible bonds from Providence Equity Partners and to refinance its existing €890m bank debt.

Headed by the 'excellent' Martin Yells, Taylor Wessing LLP provides a 'high-quality service' to a core roster of banks, as well as an increasing number of private equity sponsors, which it has advised on new money leveraged financings as well as on refinancings of acquisition facilities. The team also regularly works alongside its European network of offices on cross-border deals and often handles work within the TMT sector, where it is able to tap into significant deal flow from the firm's market-leading venture capital team.

Practice head(s):Martin Yells

Other key lawyers:Lerika Joubert; Fiona Coady; Gabriel Estevez

Testimonials

'Taylor Wessing provide us with a high quality service which goes beyond just being accurate draftsmen with a commercial approach. Their pragmatic approach to how we receive and review their advice is appreciated and makes it a pleasure to work with them.'

'The team supporting us at Taylor Wessing is exceptional. Great speed, ability to negotiate and knowledge of our contracts.'

'The team provides a very commercial and pragmatic approach.'

'Martin Yells is excellent.'

'Martin Yells is one of the best lawyers I have worked with.'

Key Clients

Rutland Partners

Phoenix UK Fund

Baird Capital

Inflexion Private Equity Partners

Caledonia Investments plc

CentralNic Group plc

Alcuin Capital

Anglo Pacific Group plc

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised on the acquisition financing for Baird Capital's acquisition of a majority interest in Collingwood Lighting.
  • Advised Inflexion on the refinancing of the Virgin Experience Days business.  
  • Advised Inflexion on the refinancing of the Calco group.
  • Advised Alcuin Capital on the debt financing for the acquisition of the On The Go Tours group.
  • Advised Inflexion on the refinancing of the Alston Elliot group.

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