White & Case Advises on Polish MoF €2 Billion Green Bonds Issuance

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the Polish Ministry of Finance on the €2 billion issuance of ten- and 30-year euro-denominated ‘Green Bonds’, maturing respectively on March 7, 2029 and March 8, 2049.

The €1.5 billion issuance of the ten-year Green Bond yields 1.057% with an annual coupon of 1%. The €500 million issuance of the 30-year Green Bond yields 2.071% with an annual coupon of 2%.

The bonds were issued under the Republic of Poland’s €60 billion Euro Medium Term Note Programme, and the proceeds will finance environmental projects according to the Green Bond Framework developed by the Ministry of Finance in line with the ICMA Green Bond Principles.

The buyers of the ten-year and 30-year Green Bonds were well diversified with, respectively, 47 percent and 43 percent of the allocations going to designated green accounts.

The White & case team which advised on the transaction was led by local partner Andrzej Sutkowski (Warsaw), with support from counsel Doron Loewinger (London) and associates Katarzyna Grodziewicz, Damian Lubocki (both Warsaw) and Luiza Salata (London).

Switzerland

PSP Swiss Property optimizes its real estate portfolio

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has advised PSP Swiss Property (PSP) on the acquisition of the so-called “Carba Portfolio” in Bern-Liebefeld, valued at CHF 180.5 million, which was purchased by a share deal.

The portfolio consists of several properties with approximately 36’000 m2 of usable floor space; it offers state-of-the-art and representative premises for offices and services as well as attractive commercial space. The “Carba portfolio” is practically fully let and generates a gross yield of 3.9%.

“We are very pleased to have supported PSP in their acquisition of their real estate portfolio with our legal and tax expertise,” commented Martin Furrer, partner in Zurich.

PSP Swiss Property owns a real estate portfolio worth CHF 7.4 billion in Switzerland’s main economic areas; its market capitalisation amounts to CHF 4.7 billion. The 92 employees are based in Geneva, Olten, Zug and Zurich. Since March 2000, PSP Swiss Property has been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange

Baker McKenzie provided comprehensive advice to PSP with regard to all legal and tax aspects of the acquisition and during negotiations. The Baker McKenzie team comprised Martin Furrer (Partner Zurich), Samuel Marbacher (Partner, Zurich) as lead partners, Mario Kumschick, Selina Mani, Valeria Knöpfel, Michael Zeller, Cathrin Marxer, Basil Kirby, Philippe Monnier and Andrea Puricelli.

Hogan Lovells reports rise for equity partners

Partners at transatlantic firm Hogan Lovells increased their profit share in the last calendar year, the firm’s latest results indicate. Profit per equity partner rose 4% to £1.035m in the year ending 31 December 2018, up from £996,000 in 2017.

The firm did not provide an overall pre-tax profit figure. Revenue rose from £1.581bn to £1.596bn – a 0.9% increase. Calculated in US dollars, profit per equity partner was $1.381m, up from $1.283m. Revenue was $2.11bn, up from $2.037bn.

Chief executive Steve Immelt said the firm expects an ’increasingly volatile global economy’ in the year ahead, with trade tensions and uncertainty caused by political instability such as Brexit creating a slow-down effect.

He added: ‘Having broken through the $2 billion revenue barrier in 2017 we have consolidated that position with further growth of just over 4% of revenue in 2018, as well as higher increases in revenue per lawyer and profits per equity partner.’

White & Case Advises Naspers on US$1.16 Billion Acquisition

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Naspers, a global internet and entertainment group and one of the world’s largest technology investors, on its US$1.16 billion acquisition of an additional 29.1 percent shareholding in Avito, the leading Russian online classifieds site.

The transaction values Avito at an implied enterprise value of US$3.85 billion. Following the acquisition Naspers stake in Avito will increase from 70.4 percent to 99.6 percent (on a fully diluted basis). The remaining shares are held by existing management.

White & Case also advised Naspers on its minority investment in Avito in 2013 and on Naspers’ subsequent US$1.2 billion investment in 2015, when Naspers became the majority owner of Avito.

Avito was established in 2007 by Filip Engelbert and Jonas Nordlander together with founding investors Vostok New Ventures and Kinnevik. It achieved revenue of US$286.5 million and EBITDA of US$127.6 million for its last full financial year to March 2018 and Avito currently has 10.3million unique visitors per day.

The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partners Eric Michailov (London / Moscow) and Johan Steen (Stockholm) with support from counsel Sophie Sahlin (London) and associates Hanna Wingren (London / Stockholm) and Ksenia Tyunik (Moscow).

 

Multiple wins for A&O at Global Transport Finance Awards

Allen & Overy took home the headline award, Transportation Law Firm of the Year at the recent Global Transport Finance awards which recognises the leaders in aviation, shipping and rail finance and the most innovative and complex deals in the market.

Global Head of Structured & Asset Finance, Mario Jacovides comments: “We are very proud to be the winner of this year’s Transportation Law Firm of the Year award which recognises the market leading, complex and innovative deals that we have worked on throughout the year across the whole of the transportation sector. This accolade is a further testament to the global expertise we have in aviation, shipping and rail, which allows us to meet our clients’ needs.”

The team also picked up six individual deal awards. They included:

Aviation Portfolio Deal of the Year – advising the secured parties on a USD700m facility relating to the financing and refinancing of a portfolio of 19 aircraft for CDB Aviation;

JOLCO Financing Deal of the Year, Latin America – advising UKEF and ING on the JOLCO financing of a Boeing 787 aircraft which was the first UKEF-supported JOLCO financing to a Latin American carrier;

Cruise Ship Deal of the Year – advising SACE and a syndicate of lenders (BNP, Unicredit) on the pre- and post-delivery financing of two new Fincantieri-built LNG powered cruise ships for TUI Cruises GmbH which are the largest ships ever to have been built in Italy;

Shipping Portfolio Sale of the Year – advising Oak Hill and Värde on the acquisition and USD1bn financing of the Project Lioness portfolio of shipping loans from Deutsche Bank;

JOLCO Deal of the Year, Middle East – advising Investec Bank as junior lender and BNP Paribas and DekaBank as senior lenders on the JOLCO financing of one new Boeing 787-9 aircraft for El Al Israel Airlines which was the first JOLCO financing in Israel and for El Al Israel Airlines;

Tax Lease Deal of the Year – advising the AFIC insurer group on the French Tax Lease financing of a Boeing 787-9 and Boeing 737 aircraft for Royal Air Maroc.

For further information, please contact Susanna Robinson, susanna.robinson@allenovery.com​, on +44 (0)20 3088 3918

Byron Romain Joins White & Case as a Partner in Houston

Global law firm White & Case LLP continues to expand its Houston office with the addition of new partner Byron Romain. Romain will be part of the Firm’s Global Project Development and Finance Practice and will work closely with its Global Oil & Gas Industry Group.

“Byron is a highly skilled and experienced lawyer who has an impressive track record working on significant projects across the oil & gas industry,” said Philip Stopford, Co-Head of White & Case’s Global Oil & Gas Industry Group. “His arrival coincides with the first anniversary of the Firm opening our Houston office, which signals our commitment to expanding the leading capability of our oil & gas expertise within the region.”

Romain’s practice includes representing major and independent oil & gas companies, sovereigns, quasi-governmental agencies, private equity sponsors and portfolio companies in the acquisition, disposition and development of oil & gas projects in the upstream and midstream sectors. He also advises on asset and equity deals, joint venture/development arrangements, equity investments and financing/lending arrangements.

Romain joins White & Case from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he was previously the head of its North American oil & gas A&D practice.

“Expanding our industry expertise across the oil & gas industry is a pillar of our 2020 strategy,” said Jason Webber, Co-Head of the Firm’s Global Oil & Gas Industry Group. “Byron’s arrival reinforces this goal, and his sophisticated technical skills and extensive knowledge of the oil & gas sector will play an integral role in further enhancing our client offering in Houston, and across the wider Americas region.”

London City

Crowell & Moring plans London training contract after Squires hire

Crowell & Moring’s new London managing partner Robert Weekes has set out plans to launch a training contract in the City office, having joined the US firm today from Squire Patton Boggs.

Weekes’ move was revealed by Leaders in Law last November, months after it was revealed that Squires’ global head Stephen Mahon would be relocating from the US to lead operations in London.

As head of Crowell’s London office, Weekes will be filling a similar position as before, having been a former City managing partner of Squires.

Now in his new role, Weekes said he plans to bring in a training contract to the London office from September 2021. His plans for the London office also include a pledge to triple its headcount by the end of 2022; Crowell currently has nine partners in London and six fee-earners.

To grow, Weekes has highlighted expansion in litigation, followed by the corporate group and regulation practices. Banking, insurance and financial regulation will be part and parcel of this growth plan. Weekes himself is a litigator, specialising in the financial disputes and investigatory work.

Litigator Weekes will take over from partner Jim Regan, who shares his time between the London and Washington offices. Regan had served as the point of contact between the firm’s head quarters and the London office.

Founded in 1979 by a group of 53 breakaway lawyers from Jones Day, Crowell totals more than 500 lawyers around the world.

Weekes said: “The firm wouldn’t have hired me if it didn’t want to grow. I have a reputation for expansion. I see myself as a person who knows how to grow teams that work well together across practice groups to find innovative and commercial solutions for clients.”

Crowell currently counts Microsoft, BMW, Siemens and BlueCross BlueShield among its clients.

Ashurst celebrates the ‘First 100 Years of Women in Law’

International law firm Ashurst marks the centenary of women in law, in support of the First 100 Years initiative, with a photomosaic portrait of Ada Evans, the first Australian woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Laws.

The First 100 Years is an inspirational history project, supported by the Law Society of NSW and Women Lawyers Association of NSW, charting the journey of women in law since enactment of enabling legislation throughout Australia in the early 1900s.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Legal Status Act 1918 (NSW) which allowed women to practise as lawyers and to stand for parliament for the first time in NSW. Laws were changing throughout Australia from the early 1900s onwards. Victoria was the first state to allow women to practice law in 1903, with other states following soon after.

Commenting on the project and the launch of the photomosaic, Ashurst partner Sarah Dulhunty said:

“We are delighted to have partnered with the First 100 Years project team on this initiative to recognise and celebrate the contribution women have made to the legal profession. The photomosaic initiative has been a great way to mark this significant centenary and reflects our continued support for progressing gender equality within the profession. Thank you to all our staff, clients and affiliates who participated in this fantastic initiative.”

White Case advises JBIC on loan for acquisition of Shire plc

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in relation to its loan agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda), amounting up to US$3.7 billion (JBIC’s portion), to finance part of the funds required for acquiring Shire plc (Shire) in Ireland.

The total amount required for acquisition is approximately £46 billion. The loan is co-financed by private financial institutions, bringing the total co-financing amount to US$15.7 billion equivalent. The loan supports the overseas business deployment of Takeda by providing necessary long-term foreign currency funds for M&A by the Japanese company, assisting its overseas expansion of existing business, as well as new business deployment, and contributing to maintaining and strengthening the international competitiveness of Japanese industries.

Through the acquisition of Shire, Takeda aims to strengthen two focus areas – gastroenterology and neuroscience – as well as establishing a leading position in pharmaceuticals for rare diseases and plasma-derived therapies, which can accelerate transformation to a global R&D-driven pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan. In addition, Shire has a large sales proportion in the US market, which is the largest market in the world and projected to continue to grow at a high rate. The acquisition will therefore drive further growth overseas and is expected to make Takeda one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world based on sales.

The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partners Toshio Dokei and Simon Collins (both Tokyo), and included partners Philip Broke and Jacqueline Evans (both London), supported by associates Keisuke Nishimura (Tokyo) and Christopher Beardmore (London).

London City

White & Case’s London rampage continues with finance hire

White & Case has continued its hiring spree in the City, this time calling in Taylor Wessing’s financial services regulatory head Jonathan Rogers. This is the first US firm Rogers has worked at, having spent 10 years at Taylor Wessing, and seven years as an associate at Hogan Lovells before that.