LINKLATERS

Comment: This firm has once again proven its position among the leading addresses for debt issues and structured finance. Thanks to the dovetailing of ECM and DCM expertise, the practice was able to land an instruction from Bayer concerning a billion-euro mandatory convertible bond. The experience of Waltz was again in demand in the context of the Heta complex: he advised the banks on the Austrian fund KAF’s improved bids to the owners of certain financial instruments. The structured finance practice became a talking point with its advice on portfolio transactions, incl. for the states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg on the transfer of a ship NPL to a bad bank and the subsequent refinancing. Beyond that, the firm made progress in staff development: after the appointment as partner and subsequent departure of Dr. Laurenz Uhl in the previous year, another lawyer specializing in structured finance was named partner. The practice expanded on the associate level, as well.
Strengths: MTN programs, structured products (incl. derivatives), closely integrated capital markets practices.
Recommended: Peter Waltz (“quick, reliable, very pleasant to deal with”, “high quality and very responsive”, clients; “outstanding lawyer”, competitor), Dr. Kurt Dittrich (“a well-known name in securitization”, client).
Practice: Broad debt issues practice with active program work (MTN, structured investment products) as well as equity capital and equity-linked transactions, buybacks and large stand-alones. Setup of SPV platforms. Synthetic transactions and true sales to an equal degree. Derivatives: structured notes programs, CLNs; OTC transactions. (6 partners, 4 counsel, 20 associates)
Clients: ?? Banks on €8bn VW and €1.9bn Evonik bonds, respectively, as well as on a €4bn Bayer mandatory convertible and a €300m Buwog convertible; Citigroup, JPMorgan, Citibank on improved bids from KAF (Kärntner Ausgleichsfonds); Schleswig-Holstein, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg on transfer of ship NPL from HSH Nordbank to a bad bank; EIB, EIF on securitization of Austrian leasing receivables; Bundesverband deutscher Banken (Association of German Banks) on derivatives market expert opinion.
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