HENGELER MUELLER

Comment: This firm ranks among the leading outfits in advice on debt issues and structured finance. Alongside the classic program business, in which the debt practice has dominated the market for many years, HM has particularly benefited from the rising demand for hybrid products. One example of this is its advice to Lanxess, which the firm advised on a €500m hybrid bond with a term of 60 years to finance the takeover of Chemtura. In order to avoid losing strength in the course of the generation change, the partner appointment of a long-time associate from the DCM practice was logical. The structured finance practice has recently dedicated itself to advice on the development, restructuring and expansion of ABCP programs and other forms of asset-based financing. In addition, it has as usual cut a good figure in NPL transactions as well as in the securitization of leasing receivables and consumer loans.
Strengths: Debt practice dominates in programs. Extensive securitization experience, excellent banking contacts, innovative lawyers.
Recommended: Dr. Hendrik Haag (“well oiled, faithful cooperation, excellent work on the part of the entire team”, client; “dominates in programs”, competitor), Dr. Stefan Krauss (“incredibly strong in synthetic securitizations”, “outstanding reputation”, competitors), Dr. Martin Geiger (“excellent expertise”, “outstanding lawyer”, “extremely smart”, competitors), Martin Peters, Dr. Dirk Bliesener (“very thorough, pragmatic, good overview, very congenial personally”, client; “very commanding presence”, competitor).
Practice: Debt issues: stand-alone and program work, jumbo and hybrid bonds. Intensive advice on equity-linked and equity capital notes. Structured finance: active in bank restructuring. Traditionally active in all forms of securitization. Also derivatives. (7 partners, 2 counsel, 15 associates)
Clients: ?? Citigroup, Deutsche Bank on loan agreement in connection with €3.6bn high-yield Schaeffler/IHO bond; NatWest Markets on transfer of €10bn RWE bonds to Innogy; Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Société Générale on €300m Tui bond; Lanxess on €500m hybrid bond; BofA on CMBS.
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