High yield in London

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is the leading player on the private equity sponsor side of the high yield market, counting Bain Capital among its clients, as well as acting for leading financial institutions such as Barclays Bank and HSBC, and large corporates including commodities trading group Noble. The firm consistently ranks among the top firms in the European high yield market by both value and deal volume, and the practice led by ‘consummate professional‘ William Burke is ‘state of the art in terms of financial sponsor representation, and simply the best as far as leveraged finance is concerned‘. Emerging partner talent Antoine Lebienvenu and Cedric Van den Borren are experienced in high-value debt securities work, with recent highlights including multi-million Euro senior notes offerings.'Matthew Merkle and up-and-coming partner Deirdre Jones assisted with bond issuances to finance the  €2.7bn financing of the acquisition of Fedrigoni by Fiber Bidco, a vehicle jointly owned by Bain Capital and BC Partners. Partners Morgan Hill and Tim Volkheimer also play pivotal roles in the practice.

 

 

Practice head(s):

William (Bill) Burke


Other key lawyers:

Antoine Lebienvenu; Morgan Hill; Tim Volkheimer; Cedric Van den Borren


Testimonials

‘State of the art in terms of financial sponsor representation. Simply the best firm as far as leveraged finance is concerned. However, very aggressive with terms and negotiation – good for their clients.’

‘Trained at the best firms – deliver high standard of service – faultless. Only disadvantage is they are primarily sponsor side.’

‘Incredibly smart and competent at their craft while at the same time able to break down individual issues to define what really matters / is less relevant for a given business. They go the extra step of translating the legal side of a given document to practicalities of why it’s relevant for a business.’

‘Bill Burke continues to be a standout for me. Consummate professional, I know his client list is long but he somehow has the ability to give 100% focus and attention when we’re working together. Seemingly has the ability to be in 10 different places at once.’

Key clients

Barclays Bank


Bain Capital


BC Partners


Belysse Group


Citigroup Global Markets


HSBC Bank


J.P. Morgan Securities


Lone Star


Foncia Management


Merrill Lynch International


Navacord Corp


Noble Group


STADA Arzneimittel AG


United Group B. V


Work highlights


  • Advised on financing in connection with the acquisition of Fedrigoni by Fiber Bidco, a vehicle jointly owned by Bain Capital and BC Partners and included a bond offering of:|€577,967,696 Senior Secured Floating Rate Notes due 2027|€300,000,000 11% Senior Secured Notes due 2027.
  • Represented LSF XI Magpie Bidco BV/SRL, a company owned by private equity fund Lone Star, in connection with the debt financing for Lone Star’s acquisition of Manuchar NV.
  • Advised Emeria (f/k/a Foncia Management), a portfolio company of Partners Group, in connection with its offering of €400 million of 7.75% senior secured notes due 2028.

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins maintains the largest high yield bond practice in London, comprised of ‘smart, responsive and efficient experts who offer practical and timely advice and work tirelessly to help you achieve your goals‘. The firm had a role in almost 60% of the high yield issuances in Europe in 2022, though its work is not limited to new bond offerings. Practice head Brett Cassidy and newly promoted partner Pat Kwak recently acted for deal managers including Credit Suisse and BofA Securities on an £237m exchange offer – one of the first in Europe for several years – as part of its growing volume of liability management work. Jennifer Engelhardt and Matthew Schneider assisted IK Investment with obtaining committed bridge financing and the subsequent take-out via a €350m notes issuance in connection with its acquisition of Renta Group Oy. The highly regarded Francesco Lione handled a £475m offering for Zenith; and Scott Colwell handled STADA’s €1.38bn exchange offer on behalf of dealer managers. ‘The individuals are always available almost at any time, and come back quickly with professional answers to any question’, remarks one client.

Practice head(s):

Brett Cassidy


Other key lawyers:

Jocelyn Seitzman; Pat Kwak; Jennifer Engelhardt; Matthew Scheider; Francesco Lione; Scott Colwell


Testimonials

‘The team is comprised of different experts which allows us as a client to get advice from different areas. The team knows how to work with other teams in the firm with a seamless experience to the client.’

‘The individuals are always available almost at any time, and come back quickly with professional answers to any question.’

‘True experts in their field – technically and commercially.’

‘100% committed to client service, delightful to work with, true experts who operate pragmatically to ensure the best possible outcome in the most efficient way. Nothing is too much trouble and I would not want to work with any other team.  Jocelyn Seitzman is a standout individual.’

‘Smart, responsive and efficient experts that offer practical and timely advice and work tirelessly to help you achieve your goals.’

Key clients

Credit Suisse


HSBC


Goldman Sachs


Bank of America


J.P. Morgan


EG Group


CVC Capital Partners


Hellman & Friedman


Permira Advisers


Zenith


Milbank

Milbank's high yield practice is 'at the top of the London market' and clients remarks that the lawyers are 'commercial thinkers who provide outstanding client service'. A leading firm for corporate issuers, it also advises lenders on leveraged buyouts, particularly when there is a complex bond financing structure. The practice led by Apostolos Gkoutzinis is also sought after for its advice on bond restructurings. Gkoutzinis and key partner Rebecca Marques advised initial purchasers on a €725m offering of senior secured floating rate notes and €300m in senior secured notes by Fiber Bidco S.p.A., the proceeds going towards the funding of the acquisition of Fedrigoni. 'Creative problem solvers' Gkoutzinis and Randy Nahlé acted for initial purchasers, placement agents and lenders in a €690m offering by Italmatch Chemicals as part of the company's debt refinancing process. Tim Peterson, who is an innovator in the private high yield market, and  'extremely knowledgeable and efficient' partner Ana Grbec are both highly regarded by both clients and peers. Grbec assisted Castor S.p.A. with the €1.4bn financing of its take-private leveraged buyout of Cerved Group.

Practice head(s):

Apostolos Gkoutzinis


Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Marques; Tim Peterson; Randy Nahlé; Ana Grbec; Trevor Truman


Testimonials

‘Ana Grbec is an invaluable member of the Milbank HY team. Extremely knowledgeable, stays up-to-date with all market trends and cares deeply about her clients. She is efficient and knows how to be practicable and commercial.’

‘Milbank’s High Yield team is at the top of the London market. They are commercial thinkers and have outstanding client service.’

‘Apostolos Gkoutzinis and Randy Nahlé treat us as if we were their best client. They are creative problem solvers, and work commercially on deals (as opposed to some other firms, who run up fees fighting over unimportant points).’

‘I think that the Milbank team is simply a top capital markets team in europe, with key language skills in the key geographies and fantastic amount of experience from which to draw to solve complex issues on their transactions.’

‘Apostolos Gkoutzinis and Ana Grbec are top top professionals in the market. In addition, Trevor Truman and Randy Nahle are also very strong capital markets lawyers. Each of the foregoing are not only excellent lawyers but great human beings and a pleasure to work across from on transactions.’

Key clients

Portfolio companies of ION Investment Corporation S.à r.l. and its subsidiaries


SAZKA Group


Together Financial Services Limited


Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc


Public Power Corporation S.A.


Ferroglobe PLC


Canary Wharf Group


PeopleCert Wisdom Issuer plc


Goldman Sachs


BNP Paribas


HSBC Bank plc


Morgan Stanley


Citigroup


BofA


JP Morgan


Work highlights


  • Advised the underwriting banks on the $2.5 billion bond offering by EIG Pearl Holdings S.à r.l. in connection with its acquisition of a minority stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Oil Company.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in connection with an offering of €725,000,000 senior secured floating rate notes due 2027 and €300,000,000 11.00% senior secured notes due 2027 by Fiber Bidco S.p.A.
  • Advised Athens International Airport S.A. as issuer on over €1.1 billion of bond loans made available to it for the management and operation of Athens International Airport. National Bank of Greece S.A., Piraeus Bank S.A., Alpha Bank S.A. and Eurobank S.A. acted as, amongst other roles, underwriters and mandated lead arrangers.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP continues to expand its high yield practice, which acts for numerous leading investment banks, sponsors, corporates and bond investors. The practice is led by experienced partner Peter Schwartz and new hire Patrick Bright, who joined from Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP in late 2022 along with Alexander Horstmann-Caines and counsel Jemma Lohr McPherson – the latter working from both London and Paris. Along with the highly regarded Maximilian Kirchner and up-and-coming partner Edward Holmes, they form one of the most experienced teams in the market. With five recognised high yield experts, the firm is staking its claim as a big player in the market. Its impressive array of clients, among them Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, KKR and Carlyle, attests to its growing strength among banks and private equity sponsors, though it also acts for issuers such as Boparan Group and GCX. Kirchner recently assisted BAML with a $300m offering by Jones DesLauriers Insurance Management/Navacord, a company controlled by private equity sponsor Madison Dearborn Partners and one of Canada’s fastest growing multi-line insurance brokers.

Practice head(s):

Peter Schwartz; Patrick Bright


Other key lawyers:

Maximillian Kirchner; Edward Holmes; Horstmann-Caines; Jemma McPherson


Key clients

Isabel Marant


Kiloutou


Boparan Group Holdings Ltd


GCX Limited


Bank of America Merrill Lynch


EA Partners I & II


Jefferies


JP Morgan


Morgan Stanley


Goldman Sachs


Citigroup


Credit Suisse


KKR


Officine Maccaferri S.p.A.


Barclays


Carlyle


Work highlights


  • Represented BofA Securities, BMO Capital Markets, CIBC Capital Markets, and TD Securities in connection with the offering of $300 million aggregate principal amount of 10.50% senior notes due in 2030 by Jones DesLauriers Insurance Management/Navacord, a company controlled by private equity sponsor Madison Dearborn Partners and one of Canada’s fastest growing multi-line insurance brokers.
  • Advising Isabel Marant, a French luxury fashion label and portfolio company of the private equity firm, Montefiore Investments, in connection with the refinancing of its 6.625% Senior Secured Notes due 2025 with new Senior Secured Notes due 2028.
  • Advised the initial purchasers on the €175,000,000 5% Senior Secured Notes due 2028 issued by Cidron Aida Finco S.a.r.l. The proceeds of the notes were used to finance general corporate purposes, including certain expected acquisitions.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP‘s global high yield practice retains a prominent role in new debt issuance and refinancing for both issuers and managers. Over the last three years, the firm has represented issuers or initial purchasers in more than 20 high yield bond deals in Europe, and it is active for some of the leading private equity sponsors in the market, among them Apax, Blackstone and KKR. Carol DanielNicholas Shaw and Gil Strauss are the lead partners in London. Carol frequently advises private equity sponsors, issuers and underwriters on high yield bond offerings, restructurings, IPOs and other corporate finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Carol Daniel; Nicholas Shaw; Gil Strauss


Testimonials

The STB team set the benchmark for experience, expertise, judgment, availability, and value.’

Key clients

Apax Partners


Aston Martin


BlackRock


Blackstone


Bridgepoint Group


Cerdia


Cirsa


Gates Industrial Corporation


J.P. Morgan


KfW


Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR)


LeasePlan N.V.


Logicor


Lutech


Masmovil Ibercom


Q-Park B.V.


Silver Lake


Stonegate


TDR Capital


Viridor


Work highlights


  • Representation of Aston Martin in connection with an unmodified Dutch tender offer for its outstanding Regulation S 10.5% Senior Secured Notes due 2025 (“Senior Secured Notes”) and 15% Second Lien Split Coupon Notes due 2026 (“Second Lien Notes”).
  • Representation of Cirsa Enterprises, S.L.U. in connection with a Rule 144A and Regulation S offering by its subsidiary of €425 million 10.375% Senior Secured Notes due 2027.
  • Representation of Cerdia Finanz GmbH (“Cerdia”), an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Cerdia Holding S.à r.l., which is indirectly controlled by The Blackstone Group Inc. in connection with a Rule 144A and Regulation S offering of US$600 million in aggregate principal amount of 10.5% Senior Secured Notes due 2027, and the raising of a revolving credit facility

Allen & Overy LLP

Among London’s Magic Circle law firms, Allen & Overy LLP has made the biggest push into the high yield market, having built an impressive client base of investment banks and private equity sponsors, among them them Carlyle, CVC and ING. ‘The team has developed into one of strongest among its peers in London, with a team of highly skilled professionals with in-depth knowledge of securities laws and the high yield market‘, remarks a client. Highly respected practice head Kevin Muzilla acted for KCA Deutag in the $725m financing of its acquisition of Saipem S.p.A’s land drilling business. Mozilla and Jeanette Cruz acted for initial purchasers in a €600m issuance by Sazka Group. John Kicken is ‘an exceptional lawyer and has an impeccable reputation‘. He recently advised Hunkemöller and Parcom Capital on the committed financing aspects of the $700 million acquisition of women’s intimate apparel retailer Hunkemöller. Bradley Weyland has broad expertise across high yield bonds, bridge loans and credit facilities, and new recruit Marwa Elborai from Shearman & Sterling LLP brings extensive experience in both high yield bonds and leveraged finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Muzilla


Other key lawyers:

Bradley Weyland; John Kicken; Jeanette Cruz; Marwa Elborai; Sampada Bannurmath; Angela Ryu


Testimonials

‘The A&O team have excellent service levels, surpassing all others in terms of deal execution, commerciality and breadth of market knowledge. The A&O high-yield team is second to none – a league of highly-talented and widely recognised legal practitioners at the top of their game. They have the largest bank/bond practice in Europe and, as a market-leading practice group, the A&O high-yield team have unmatched commercial awareness. Regarding fees, A&O is transparent throughout the entire transaction. There’s a clear focus on value add.’

‘The people I’ve worked with come from diverse backgrounds. The firm has a strong DE&I agenda to attract and promote the best lawyers in the city. You can tell they genuinely care about inclusiveness. Apart from being very talented lawyers, they are a kind and caring group of people that you want to be around.’

‘John Kicken (High-yield Partner) is hands down my go-to lawyer in the city for high yield and a respected leader in his field. He has a stellar reputation and possesses an incredible commercial astuteness. John is best-in-class and understands high-yield covenants like no other. He is also an absolute standout in the Dutch market given his roots and experience. John has built one of the most highly regarded teams in Europe. He leads by example and inspires others to excel. He is an absolute pleasure to work with, so it is no surprise why he is highly sought after. John’s associate Sampada Bannurmath is also fantastic and lends tremendous support and value on deal. She’s a legal talent who will go far. She’s another standout member of the A&O team who is a delight to work with.’

Key clients

Hunkemöller


Intrum


KCA Deutag


IHO Holding


Modulaire


Intralot


ING


Parcom


Carlyle


CVC


Brookfield


Work highlights


  • Advised a consortium of investors led by Parcom Capital on the high yield financing for the acquisition of Hunkemöller, with Carlyle retaining a minority stake.
  • Advised the initial purchasers on the high yield bond issuance of the BestSecret Group, a Permira portfolio company.
  • Advised KCA Deutag on the high yield financing for its acquisition of Saipem’s land drilling business.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

The high yield practice at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is 'very good to work with, great efficiency, attentive to detail without losing focus on the bigger picture'. The firm is a key adviser to investment banks on European high yield offerings and is highly active as counsel on M&A-related high yield financings. The practice handles public and private high yield, term loan B and direct lending transactions. Jake Keaveny, who focuses on leveraged buyout transactions, counts Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank among his key clients. He acted for lead arrangers in the financing of the acquisition by 888 Holdings of the international business of William Hill from Caesars, which included a €400m notes offering. Anthony Tama recently acted for Citigroup Global Markets in a $600m offering by Armagh Metal Packaging Finance. Counsel Courtland Tisdale also plays a key role in the practice.

Other key lawyers:

Jake Keaveny; Antony Tama; Courtland Tisdale


Testimonials

‘Very good to work with, great efficiency, attentive to detail without losing focus on the bigger picture.’

Key clients

Morgan Stanley


Citigroup Global Markets Limited


J.P. Morgan Securities plc


Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited


Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch


Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank


Work highlights


  • Represented the initial purchasers in connection with an offering of US$600 million aggregate principal amount of 6.000% senior secured green notes due 2027 by Ardagh Metal Packaging Finance plc / Ardagh Metal Packaging Finance USA LLC.
  • Represented the lead arrangers in connection with the committed financing to support the acquisition by 888 Holdings plc, one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming companies, of the international (non-US) business of William Hill from Caesars. This involved multiple high yield offerings in excess of €1.0 billion in the aggregate.
  • Advised the financing sources in connection withthe €600 million committed debt financing provided tosupport the acquisition by Apollo of a stake in Primafrio, a Spanish road freight operator. The committed financing involved a bridge to high yield and super senior revolving committed financing.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP intentionally focuses on high-quality and innovative transactions, rather than high-volume high yield work, and it has built up a strong track record in challenging deals, particularly those related to large M&A transactions. Practice head Michael Dakin is highly regarded for his advice to private equity sponsors, issuers and underwriters. He recently acted for NewDay Bondco Plc in a simultaneous exchange offer and offering of new notes, the tranches totalling £264m and $320m. Newly promoted partner Drew Rundus assisted OCI N.V. as guarantor of the obligations in connection with the issuance of municipal bonds, and on three tranches of new bonds with a total value of $838m. Jill Concannon, who joined from White & Case LLP in 2023, has a long track record in acting for sponsors and underwriters in international securities offerings. US securities law specialist John Connolly retired in 2023.

Practice head(s):

Michael Dakin


Other key lawyers:

Jill Concannon; Drew Rundus


Key clients

OCI N.V.


Azelis Finance NV


NewDay Bondco Plc


Citigroup Global Markets Inc


DNB Markets, Inc.


BNP Paribas Securities Corp.


BofA Securities, Inc.


Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc.


ING Bank N.V.


Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.


Natixis Securities Americas LLC


SG Americas Securities LLC


SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc.


UniCredit Capital Markets LLC


Wells Fargo Securities, LLC


Barclays Capital Inc.


J.P. Morgan Securities LLC


Cinven


Swiss Re America Holding Corporation


Swiss Re Treasury (US) Corporation


Kane Bidco Limited


True Potential Group Limited


THG plc


Work highlights


  • Advised True Potential Group Limited and Cinven as sponsor – in connection with the issuance of senior secured notes. The bond offering consisted of (i) GBP 400.0 million 6.500% Senior Secured Notes due 2027; and (ii) EUR 360.0 million 5.000% Senior Secured Notes due 2027.
  • Advised NewDay Bondco Plc – we advised NewDay on a simultaneous Exchange Offer and offering of notes that were equivalent to the notes in the exchange. The Exchange Offer and New Cash Notes offer launched simultaneously, with the Exchange Offer being regulation S-only, and the New Cash Notes both 144A and Reg. S only.
  • Advised the group of 14 underwriters, which included Barclays Capital Inc., BofA Securities, Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., DNB Markets, Inc., ING Bank N.V., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC on the issuance of US$1 billion 7.5% senior notes due 2028 and US$1 billion 8.0% senior notes due 2032 by Vår Energi ASA.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has a stellar reputation in New York law deals, in which it predominantly acts for corporate issuers in high-value bond offerings, though it is starting to handle a growing workload for underwriters. The firm has 'very strong technical and commercial knowledge of the market'. London managing partner Philip Boeckman and co-head of the EMEA capital markets practice George Stephanakis lead the high yield group, in which key partner Alyssa Caples has 'very strong knowledge, is always available, and manages transactions quietly and efficiently'. European counsel Margaret Rallings also plays a pivotal role in some of the firm's largest deals. Boeckman and Rallings acted for the initial purchasers of an €850m offering of 144A/Reg. S high yield senior secured notes offering for Loarre Investments, a portfolio company of CVC Funds, to fund the company's investment in LaLiga in exchange for an interest in media and TV rights. Caples assisted INEOS Finance with the offering of €400m and $425m in high yield senior secured notes.

Practice head(s):

Philip Boeckman; George Stephanakis


Other key lawyers:

Alyssa Caples; Margaret Rallings


Testimonials

‘Very strong technical and commercial knowledge of the market.’

‘Alyssa Caples – very strong knowledge, always available, manages transactions quietly and efficiently.’

Key clients

Burford Capital


Casino Group


Goldstory


INEOS


Lion Capital


NH Hotel Group


Picard Groupe


Premier Foods


Sappi


Various Financial Institutions


Work highlights


  • Represented the initial purchasers in the €850million high-yield senior secured notes offering by CVC to finance its partnership with LaLiga.
  • Represented INEOS in its €400million and$425million high-yield senior secured notes offering.
  • Represented the initial purchasers in the €272.5 million high-yield senior secured notes offering to refinance, in part, the bridge facility financing the acquisition of Hunkemöller by leading Dutch investors, including Parcom and Opportunity Partners.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has ‘great expertise across the board and is very much on top of market developments, while being accessible‘. Clients praise the ‘availability, competence, willingness to go the extra mile, and deep knowledge of market players and trends‘. The firm is particularly active in private equity-sponsored M&A transactions. ‘They have outstanding technical skills but also are deeply commercial‘, say clients of practice head Alexander Naidenov, who advised Triton portfolio company Crayfish on debt financing for its €1.2bn offer for Finnish company Caverion. Giacomo Reali – who provides ‘outstanding service‘ – assisted initial purchasers of LimaCorporate’s €295m bond issuance. US partner Colin Chang also plays a key role in the practice, representing underwriters, issuers and private equity sponsors in high yield offerings. Former co-practice head Noel Hughes left the firm in December 2023.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Naidenov


Other key lawyers:

Colin Chang; Christianne Williams; Giacomo Reali


Testimonials

‘Availability, competence, willingness to go the extra mile, deep knowledge of market players and trends, allowing to find the right commercial pressure points. Giacomo Reali conducted an outstanding service and led the team impeccably.’

‘The individuals in this team of Linklaters are one of a kind and unique as advisors in this field. Not only they have outstanding technical skills but also are deeply commercial and understand the situation and needs of the client. Their responses are quick and precise and always flexible on fees and billing.’

‘Great expertise across the board. All very much on top of market developments, while being accessible.’

‘Christianne Williams and Giacomo Reali are excellent – we primarily work with Christianne on liability management transactions.’

‘Very competent team, very proactive and excellent technical capabilities on the High Yield market. They provided interesting insights that helped to improve the outcome of the project. The team is always available and responsive. They were able to adapt themselves to our preferences, for instance regarding information sharing platforms, and other.’

‘The partner was deeply involved in all the key discussions with banks and their lawyers and he was always available promptly when I needed. This aspect was really a differential compared to competition – the availability and involvement of the partner were much better than competition in my point of view. Associates were very skilled and always very available and responsive.’

Key clients

LimaCorporate


Tereos


Cirsa


Tendam


Lottomatica


Haya Real Estate


Worldwide Flight Services


ZMI


Speira


Caverion


Sotheby’s


Europcar


Work highlights


  • Advised Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) – a portfolio company of Cerberus, on the refinancing of its €950 million debt and financing of tack-on acquisitions.
  • Advised Tereos on its high yield offering of €350m 7.25% senior notes due 2028, marking the first high yield transaction in the European market in 2023.
  • Advised the underwriters on Lottomatica’s (an Apollo portfolio company) €350 million high yield financing for future acquisitions.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP is known for its work on high-value and complex high yield financings for first-time and repeat issuer and underwriter clients. The London office is a key adviser to highly active issuers such as Liberty Global, as well as major investment banks, among them Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. Michael Kazakevich, who is co-head of the firm’s global finance practice and co-chair of the firm’s investment banking industry group, acted for initial purchasers on Intrum AB’s  €450m offering of senior fixed rate notes. Up-and-coming partner Aditya Khanna also worked on that deal.  Key partner Robert Haak assisted VodafoneZiggo B.V. with a €2.1bn-equivalent cross-border sustainability-linked bond offering. London managing partner Jane Rogers worked with Haak on Liberty Global’s $924m debt buyback transaction.

 

Practice head(s):

Michael Kazakevich


Other key lawyers:

Jane Rogers; Aditya Khanna; Robert Haak


Key clients

Citigroup


Deutsche Bank


Goldman Sachs


JP Morgan


Morgan Stanley


NatWest


Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB)


Liberty Global plc (UPC Holding)


Liberty Latin America


VodafoneZiggo B.V.


Work highlights


  • Advised the initial purchasers, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE, JP Morgan and SEB as joint global coordinators on Intrum AB’s successful €450 million offering of senior fixed rate notes due 2028.
  • Advised VZ Secured Financing B.V., a SPV entity in the VodafoneZiggo group, on their launched €2.1 billion-equivalent 10NC5 cross-border sustainability-linked bond offering.
  • Advised Liberty Latin America in connection with the largest sustainability-linked bond for the digital infrastructure sector in Costa Rica, involving a US$450 million financing package consisting of a US$50 million A loan and a US$400 million B loan/B-bond structure.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP has ‘massive experience in the high yield market, having defined the standards of excellence both in London and New York‘. Clients note that the London office has ‘‘an excellent execution team who make the task of co-ordinating lawyers in multiple jurisdictions seamless‘. It acts for both issuers and underwriters, among them Credit Agricole and Citigroup Global Markets. Practice head Ward McKimm and up-and-coming partner Gordon Houseman represented the initial purchasers in connection with a  €340m green bond offering by Sweden’s largest fuel company Preem. Head of EMEA capital markets Trevor Ingram is ‘a standout high yield lawyer, a trusted advisor, highly competent, approachable, positive and always available‘. He acted for Ardagh Metal Packaging Finance in its $600m offering of high yield green notes. Associate Evangelia Andronikou also plays a key role in the practice. Marwa Elborai moved to Allen & Overy LLP.

Practice head(s):

Ward McKimm


Other key lawyers:

Trevor Ingram; Gordon Houseman; Evangelia Andronikou


Testimonials

‘Shearman are an excellent execution team who make the task of co-ordinating lawyers in multiple jurisdictions seamless.’

‘They have a complete understanding of our capital structure and provide clear advice and guidance on compliance within our covenants. Trevor Ingram is a standout high yield lawyer, a trusted advisor, highly competent, approachable, positive and always available to answer and tease out issues when structuring a transaction.’

‘Massive experience in the high yield market. Defined the standards of excellence both in London and New York.’

‘Keen appreciation of what is important. Foresees potential issues and delivers solutions – as opposed to creating or identifying problems when too late. Much better to avoid the issue or to have a solution ready. Excellent service – both form and substance at the highest levels.’

Key clients

Credit Agricole


Citi Group Global Markets


Ardagh Metal Packaging Finance USA LLC


Paymentsense


Credit Suisse


Work highlights


  • Advised the initial purchasers on Cinven’s £700 million acquisition of True Potential.
  • Advised the initial purchasers on Preem’s €340 million senior green bond offering.
  • Ardagh Metal Packaging’s $600 million high yield green bond offering.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has seen the personnel in its high yield team change significantly with the departure of Patrick Bright  and his team to Paul Hastings LLP, but the firm has been quick to recruit highly experienced partners to continue its growth trajectory. The firm hired ‘strong, reliable high yield bond expertAndy Hagan from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, who leads the practice with another new recruit Gilles Teerlinck , who joined from White & Case LLP . Nitin Konchady is another key lawyer in the team, which continues to advise top-tier sponsors, investment banks and bond investors on complex and high-profile acquisition financings and refinancings. Konchady recently advised an ad hoc group of bondholders in relation to their holdings of Yandex’s $1.25bn convertible notes in light of sanctions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The firm’s new hires significantly bolster its capability to represent both corporate issuers and private equity sponsors.

Practice head(s):

Andy Hagan; Gilles Teerlinck;


Other key lawyers:

Nitin Konchady


Testimonials

‘They have been investing heavily in the last year in putting together a stellar team in high yield and more generally in their London office. Highly focused on getting things done, very smart and efficient.’

‘Andrew Hagan is the absolute go-to guy for our high-yield work. He is brilliant technically, very efficient and a pleasure to work with. Hiring him was a major coup.’

‘Strong, broad leveraged finance practice with high quality clients driving their market experience.’

‘Andy Hagan is a strong, reliable high yield bond expert.’

Key clients

Advent International (sponsor)


Bain Capital (sponsor)


Advent International Stirling Square Capital (sponsor)


TowerBrook Capital Partners (sponsor)


Paprec (corporate issuer)


The Very Group (corporate issuer)


Morgan Stanley (underwriter)


Goldman Sachs (underwriter)


Odeon / AMC Entertainment (corporate issuer)


Kiloutou (corporate issuer)


Biofarma (Kepler Sp.A.) (corporate issuer)


Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders for Nordic Aviation Capital (restructuring)


Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders in relation to Yandex (restructuring)


Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders of Ukraine’s sovereign debt (restructuring)


Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (in respect of the Cineworld Chapter 11 case)


Work highlights


  • Issuer counsel to Odeon / AMC Entertainment’s $400 million 12.750% Senior Secured Notes Due 2027.
  • Advisor on US, English and French law to the initial purchasers of Verisure Holding AB (publ)’s €500 million 9.25% Secured Notes due 2027.
  • Advisor on US and English law to Biofarma (Kepler S.p.A.) as issuer on its €345 million Senior Secured Floating Rate Notes due 2029.

Ashurst

The high yield team at Ashurst  is 'very experienced, knowledgeable and assured'. 'The individuals are very experienced in their field of specialism bringing a diverse and expert knowledgebase to the table', remark clients of global head of high yield Anna-Marie Slot and vastly experienced partner Jacques McChesney. The practice has merged with the firms leveraged finance group to provide coordinated advice to credit funds, private capital and private equity houses on leveraged buyouts and strategic credit transactions across Europe and Asia. McChesney acted for Petra Diamonds Limited in a tender offer for $175m of high yield bonds. Slot assisted Studio City with a $350m offering. Counsel Natalia Sokolova also plays a central role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Anna-Marie Slot


Other key lawyers:

Jacques McChesney; Natalia Sokolova


Testimonials

‘Very experienced, knowledgeable and assured.’

‘Professional and experts in field, able to provide timely advice on complex situations. Ashurst work collaboratively across both internal teams and external project advisors.’

‘The individuals that we work with are very experienced in their field of specialism bringing a diverse and expert knowledge base to the table when advising on transactions and projects.’

Key clients

Petra Diamonds


McLaren Group


Salerno Pompei


Abu Dhabi National Oil Company


Studio City Finance Limited


Dexia Credit Local


NagaCorp Limited


Deutsche Bank


J.P. Morgan


Citibank


Diebold Nixdorf


Enerflex


Work highlights


  • Advised Petra Diamonds US$ Treasury Plc on a modified Dutch auction tender offer to repurchase up to $175 million in total consideration of its outstanding senior secured second lien notes due 2026.
  • Advised NagaCorp Ltd. on a modified Dutch auction tender offer to repurchase up to $120 million in aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 7.95% senior notes due 2024.
  • Advising Studio City Company Limited on the high yield offering of US$350,000,000 aggregate principal amount of 7.00% Senior Secured Notes due 2027 and on the subsequent listing of the Notes on the SGX.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie provides ‘value for money, but access to top-tier advice and great service levels‘. The firm frequently acts for trustees on new issuance, though it also acts for corporates and sponsors on restructurings, direct lending transactions and bond offerings. Standout partner and high yield specialist Rob Mathews is ‘a senior practitioner with outstanding experience and market knowledge‘. He worked with David Becker to assist a syndicate of ten underwriters on a $2.5bn sustainability-linked four tranche high yield bond offering by subsidiaries of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Senior associate Benjamin Bierwirth also played a key role in that deal. Head of EMEA capital markets Adam Farlow acted for molecular diagnostics company Biocartis Group NV on numerous transactions, including the refinancing of €135m in bonds. Haden Henderson  moved to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in 2023.

Practice head(s):

Rob Mathews


Other key lawyers:

Adam Farlow; David Becker; Benjamin Bierwirth


Testimonials

‘Value for money, but access to top-tier advice and great service levels.’

‘Rob Mathews – senior practitioner with outstanding experience and market knowledge. Ben Bierwirth – very client friendly, responsive and knowledgeable.’

‘The B&M team have a wide breath of experience in several different sectors. They have an excellent set of practitioners who know the market and jurisdictional nuances. Very good value for money. Excellent partners and associates.’

Key clients

Bank of America


Barclays


Biocartis Group NV


BNP PARIBAS


Citibank


Credit Suisse


Deutsche Bank


Deutsche Trustee Company Limited


Georgia Global Utilities JSC


GLAS Trust Company


Goldman Sachs


HSBC


ING


J.P. Morgan


Jain Irrigation Systems Limited


Mizuho Securities


Morgan Stanley


MUFG


Natixis


Santander


TBC Bank


Trust Securities Inc.


UBS


US Bank Trustees


Scotiabank


Work highlights


  • Advised the syndicate of 10 underwriters on the multi-tranche $2.5 billion (equivalent) (upsized from $2.06 billion) sustainability-linked four tranche high yield bond offering by certain subsidiaries of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited.
  • Advised the syndicate of three initial purchasers, including Citigroup Global Markets Inc., on the $400 million Sustainability-Linked Senior Secured Notes issuance by Liberty Costa Rica Senior Secured Finance, an independent special purpose company formed for the purpose of issuing the notes.
  • Advised the syndicate of 10 lenders, including Bank of America, on a multi-currency $1.8 billion senior unsecured sustainability-linked revolving credit agreement.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP acts for both issuers and banks in high yield bond transactions, whether new issuance or restructuring, and it has particular strength in deals by companies in the hospitality, real estate, automotive and aviation sectors. Practice head Sylvain Dhennin is the specialist high yield partner. He advised banks including HSBC, Société Générale and Barclays on the issuance of €300m unsecured in sustainability-linked senior notes by Rexel. DCM partner Andrew Carey is head of the sustainable finance and investment practice, which sees him play a key role in ESG-related high yield bond transactions, including the Rexel deal. Dhennin also acted for a issuer Cinven in a €550m deal to finance the acquisition of Arcaplanet.

Practice head(s):

Sylvain Dhennin


Other key lawyers:

Andrew Carey


Key clients

Crédit Agricole CIB, HSBC, Société Générale, Barclays, Wells Fargo, BBVA, and Natixis


BNP Paribas


Cinven


Ciena


Sun Capital Partners


Jaguar Land Rover


Brookfield – BCP V Modular Services Finance PLC/BCP V Modular Services Finance II PLC


Work highlights


  • Advised Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, HSBC, Société Générale, Barclays, Wells Fargo, BBVA, Natixis new issuance of €300million unsecured sustainability-linked senior notes due 2028 by Rexel.
  • Advised the banks, including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan on the bond offering by Modulaire of €1.183B Equivalent Sustainability-Linked 7Y senior secured notes and €435M 8Y senior unsecured notes. This was the largest sustainability-linked bond offering at the time.
  • Advised the issuer in the context of this large and complex bond offering to fund the acquisition by Cinven and Fressnapf of Arcaplanet. This was one of the largest and most complex bond offerings in Italy this year.

Mayer Brown International LLP

The high yield practice at Mayer Brown International LLP is ‘passionate for the client, flexible and pragmatic, well connected and respected in the industry‘. The team in London is able to combine New York, English and German law advice, which enables it to maintain a prominent position in new issuance and refinancing deals in Germany. Practice head and principal high yield partner Bernd Bohr is ‘very engaging, commercially minded and knowledgeable on recent trends‘. He recently acted for Standard Profil Automotive GmbH on a €30m super senior revolving credit facility that shares the same collateral and similar covenants to the  issuer’s €275m high yield notes. He also advised Preem Holding on its €340m debut green high yield bond.

Practice head(s):

Bernd Bohr


Testimonials

‘Expertise, on top of market changes and trends, trustful and always approachable .’

‘Passionate for the client, flexible and pragmatic, well connected and respected in the industry.’

‘Mayer Brown has a well-established German high yield capital market practice led by Bernd Bohr.’

‘Bernd Bohr is our main point of contact at Mayer Brown and have been very useful to us over the years either by organising teach-in classes for our juniors, responding to any enquiries on unrelated transactions and acting on transactions. Bernd is very engaging, commercially minded and knowledgeable on recent trends.’

‘Experienced team, well-motivated and acute to clients’ needs. Good in collaborating with client’s SMEs to understand specific topic relevant to issuance.’

‘Mostly interacted with partners. They are hardworking and truly skilled, motivated and customer-focused. In latest deal I worked with three partners, all with in-depth knowledge in specific elements to our high yield issuance.’

Key clients

Klesch Group


Raffinerie Heide GmbH


Progroup AG


Wepa Hygieneprodukte GmbH


Preem AB (publ) and Preem Holding AB (publ)


Kalundborg Refinery A/S


Standard Profil Automotive GmbH


Work highlights


  • Acted as lead counsel to Standard Profil Automotive GmbH on its €30,000,000 super senior revolving credit facility that shares the same collateral and substantially similar covenants with the issuer’s €275,000,000 6.250% senior secured fixed rate notes due 2026.
  • Acted as lead counsel to Preem Holding AB Holding AB (publ) on its debut (green) high yield bond offering of €340,000,000 12.000% senior notes due 2027, in accordance with the Preem Green Financing Framework. The offering of the green high yield bonds was the only such offering completed in all of Europe in the second quarter of 2022 and partially refinanced an existing term loan facility of the issuer.
  • Advised Raffinerie Heide GmbH, Kalundborg Refinery A/S and their joint parent the Klesch Group on a comprehensive financing package which involved the refinancing of its €250,000,000 6.375% senior secured notes due 2022, the renewal and extension of Raffinerie Heide GmbH’s inventory program and receivables financing program and the entry into a new inventory program and receivables financing program for Kalundborg Refinery A/S.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP handles a diverse mix of high yield work for lenders and borrowers, private equity sponsors, issuers and underwriters, be it new issuance, bridge financings, leveraged acquisitions, refinancing or recapitalisations. The firm’s integrated M&A and finance practices make leveraged finance a key focus, though the London office is also able to advise on regulatory and compliance matters under both English and US law. European head of capital markets Danny Tricot oversees the firm’s high yield work, for which James McDonald is the standout partner. Tricot assisted Ashtead Group with a $750m notes offering, while McDonald acted for passenger and freight ferry operator Stena on a cash offer for $265m in notes. Pranav Trivedi, whose work includes IPOs, privatisations and cross-border M&A, also plays a key role in high yield bond offerings.

Practice head(s):

Danny Tricot


Other key lawyers:

James McDonald; Pranav Trivedi; Noel Hughes


Key clients

BBVA Securities Inc.


BofA Securities, Inc.


JAB Holdings B.V.


Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure plc


BCP Securities, LLC


MUFG Securities Americas Inc.


Ashtead Group plc


Iceland Foods


Santander Investment Securities Inc


Stena AB


Work highlights


  • Advised Ashtead Group plc on a $750 million Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of 5.500% senior notes due 2032 by its subsidiary, Ashtead Capital, Inc.
  • Advised Stena AB in connection with the cash tender offer by one of its subsidiaries, Stena International S.A., to purchase any and all of Stena International’s 5.75% senior secured notes due 2024, resulting in the purchase of $265 million of the notes.
  • Represented BBVA Securities Inc., BofA Securities, Inc., Santander Investment Securities Inc., Scotia Capital (USA) Inc., BCP Securities, LLC, MUFG Securities Americas Inc., Rabo Securities USA, Inc. and SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc. as initial purchasers in a $500 million Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield offering of 7.750% senior notes due 2026 by Alsea.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has seen a major restructuring of its high yield practice with the departures of Jill Concannon to Clifford Chance LLP and Gilles Teerlinck to Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP, and James Greene taking over as practice head. Greene, who is ‘able to navigate complex and stressful situations in a calm and efficient manner‘, counts JP Morgan, CVC Capital Partners and BNP Paribas among his clients. He advised joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners on a $420m notes offering by Mauritian telecommunications company Axian Telecom. Key partner Monica Holden, who handles bond transactions for issuers, sponsors and underwriters, and senior associate Anna Soroka ‘don’t hide behind the law, but give clear and concise advice, and understand what the client wants and what the commercial drivers are‘.

Practice head(s):

James Greene


Other key lawyers:

Monica Holden; Anna Soroka


Testimonials

‘W&C has an excellent HY practice and have been active in the market almost since its inception in Europe. They are agile and have the ability to meet client’s often demanding needs in a commercial and time-efficient manner. They offer good value for money.’

‘James Greene is one of the best practitioners in the industry. Always responsive no matter the time of day and night and is able to navigate complex and stressful situations in a calm and efficient manner. He is a solution finder! No issue is too complex.’

‘The whole team at W&C are very easy to communicate with and are very knowledgeable within their areas of expertise. This makes me very confident that I am being advised in the correct manner.’

‘I have to highlight James Greene who has an unbelievable knowledge of HY markets. James gives advice in a clear and concise manner and has the whole respect of our team from advisory board level to the senior management team.’

‘Mastery of the subject matter; extraordinarily responsive; good client handling skills; clear advice – don’t hide behind the law, but give clear and concise advice, and cut through the “white noise” understand what the client wants and what its commercial drivers are.’

‘Subject knowledge, speed of advice, quality of advice, nothing is ever too much! Calm under pressure, very good at thinking on feet, strong work ethic, very responsive.’

‘Universal coverage of legal issues and worldwide presence and/or contacts and expertise.’

‘James Greene has in-depth expertise in finance and securities transactions. He takes a practical and commercial approach to issues. His team is staffed adequately to ensure work is delivered in a timely manner at reasonable cost. I would very highly recommend James for his professionalism and work ethic.’

Key clients

Encore Capital Group


Energean


JP Morgan


CVC Capital Partners


International Game Technology


BNP Paribas


Barclays


Ideal Standard


Adler Group


doValue


Deutsche Bank


Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited


Work highlights


  • Representation of Goldman Sachs, as placement agent, and the investors in connection with a tap offering of €105 million senior secured floating rate notes due 2028 by Cedacri Mergeco S.p.A. The notes were offered and sold pursuant to Rule144A and Regulation S under the US Securities Act and listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange.
  • Representation of J.P. Morgan, Société Générale and Standard Bank and Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners on the offering of US$420 million 7.375% Senior Notes due 2027 by Axian Telecom, a Mauritian telecommunications company, guaranteed on a senior basis by certain subsidiaries of Axian Telecom.
  • Representation of the initial purchasers on the debut €350 million sustainability-linked high yield bond offering by F.I.S. – Fabbrica Italiana Sintetici S.p.A.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP

The capital market group at Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP is known for its 'expertise and proactivity' and clients note that the high yield partners are 'seasoned professionals, who keep calm and are able to step back and find another way, if needed'. London head of capital markets Jennifer Tait and head of corporate insurance capital markets Joseph Ferraro are the main practitioners handling a broad range of work from IPOs to high yield and investment grade bond issuance. Tait and associate David Griffiths acted as financing counsel to Platinum Equity and Solenis in the $5.25bn acquisition of Clearon, which included the issuance of $325m in high yield notes.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Tait; Joseph Ferraro


Other key lawyers:

David Griffiths


Testimonials

‘Expertise, proactivity – a solutions provider.’

‘Seasoned professionals, keeping calm and able to step back and find another way, if needed.’

Key clients

Platinum Equity


GLAS


SCOR SE


Lancashire Holdings Limited


MS Amlin


Fidelis


Herbie Re Ltd.


Canopius


GoldenTree Asset Management LP


Work highlights


  • Advised Platinum Equity and Solenis in the acquisition of Clearon.
  • Advising Platinum Equity and its portfolio company Solenis, in Solenis’ $4.6 billion acquisition of Diversey Holdings, Ltd.

Alston & Bird LLP

Alston & Bird LLP continues to carve out a niche in London’s high yield market. The team works with colleagues in New York and Los Angeles to handle high yield bonds and leveraged finance, including debut issuance of more than $1.5bn in bonds.

Key clients

Global Payments Inc


McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP has a small but active high yield practice in London, which particularly notable for its work on behalf of trustees. Head of finance Ranajoy Basu and counsel Priya Taneja are both key advisers to trustees on new bond issuance and restructurings, and clients note that they exhibit ‘high Levels of responsiveness, commerciality, and good technical knowledge‘. They count Deutsche Bank and US Bank Trustees among their clients. Basu and Taneja (who is ‘a very hard worker and very efficient‘) acted for Citibank and GLAS Trustees Limited in the $1.25bn restructuring for Nostrum Oil & Gas plc.

Practice head(s):

Ranajoy Basu


Other key lawyers:

Priya Taneja


Testimonials

‘They do trustee work on high yield matters.’

‘Ranajoy Basu is one of the go-to guys for trustee work on high yield matters.’

‘High levels of responsiveness. Commerciality, good technical knowledge.’

‘Priya Taneja is a very hard worker and very efficient.’

‘Highly experienced team with particular expertise and experience in acting for Agents. The team acts for most of the leading independent agents and has an impressive track record, also acting in distressed cases / handling enforcement and restructurings on behalf of the Agent.’

‘I have worked intensively with Priya Taneja on a complex restructuring. She is truly excellent. Very well organised and solution driven, whilst protecting the interests of her clients.’

Key clients

Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch


HSBC


Citibank, N.A., London Branch


Bank of New York Mellon


Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas


Deutsche Trustee Company Limited


Wilmington Trust (London) Limited and Wilmington Trust, National Association


Kroll Trustee Services Limited


U.S. Bank Trustees Limited


GLAS Trust Company LLC


Work highlights


  • Advised GLAS Trustees Limited (GLAS) in its various capacities with respect to a high-profile US$1.1.25 billion restructuring for Nostrum Oil & Gas plc (Nostrum), an LSE-listed independent oil and exploration & production company in northwest Kazakhstan.
  • Having acted on Lundin’s US $2 billion high yield issuance and separately on Aker’s US $1.25 billion high yield issuance, the firm advised on one of the most complex and high-profile reorganisations of 2022.
  • Acted for Citibank in its capacity as trustee on one of the largest financial, debt and corporate restructurings of Naviera Armas, S.A. and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) (c. €1 billion).