FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER

Comment: This firm ranks among the leading names for debt issues and structured finance. The debt practice attracted attention with its advice on innovative products: the best example is its work for BASF on a $600m issue, which represented the first equity-neutral synthetic warrant bond in benchmark volumes on the German market. It also demonstrated its competence in this area with the instruction from Fresenius on the structuring and issue of €300m equity-neutral synthetic convertible bonds. In addition, it proved itself with its banking advice on a €500m hybrid bond for Lanxess. The structured finance practice deals chiefly with complex instructions. One example of this is the work for Crédit Agricole and RBS regarding the restructuring of the securitization platform for German auto financing from the PSA Group. Following the retirement of Andreas Bartsch the previous year, a counsel who also works in DCM was appointed partner in May.
Strengths: Hybrid/core capital products. Liability management. International setup and close ties between individual capital market fields.
Recommended: Dr. Christoph Gleske (“long-standing, intensive and trust-based cooperation”, client; “clear leader in hybrid debt issues”, “impressive”, competitor), Mark Strauch (US law), Rick van Aerssen (“very flexible and efficient”, client), Bernhard Kaiser.
Practice: Focus on structured products (retail derivatives), hybrid and convertible bonds, CoCo bonds. Work on stand-alones primarily for issuers. Structured finance: bank restructuring, classic derivative securities (warrants, certificates), repackagings, swaps. (Debt issues: 4 partners, 12 associates; securitizations and structured products: 3 partners, 1 counsel, 8 associates, 1 of counsel)
Mandate: ?? BASF on synthetic $600m warrant bond; construction consortium around Hochtief on project bond to finance construction of Autobahn A6; Continental on €600m bond; Crédit Agricole, RBS on restructuring of securitization platform for German auto financing from PSA Group; Fresenius on equity-neutral synthetic €300m convertible bonds and setup of a €10bn DIP as well as issue of bonds worth €2.6bn under the program.
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