Acquisition and Leveraged Finance

Our team offers in-depth knowledge of the full range of private debt products employed in cross-border M&A financing as well as structures involving public debt issuance.   Our expertise includes corporate and investment grade acquisition financings, financing packages to support leveraged buy-outs as well as entirely bespoke financing arrangements.  

  • We advise corporates, financial sponsors and their portfolio companies, banks, direct lending funds and strategic investors on public and private acquisitions across all industry sectors, giving us a broad perspective on the market.
  • Our leading position for public M&A in the UK supports our excellent track record in “certain funds” public bid financing, as well private bid financing on an equivalent basis.
  • Our work frequently involves complex multi-party capital structures and the full range of leveraged financing techniques as they evolve from time to time. We advise regularly on Term Loan B, direct lending products and high yield as well as sophisticated collateral packages and intercreditor and subordination arrangements.
  • We support our clients throughout the lifecycle of their capital structure, from initial acquisition to refinancing and – in many cases – exit, dealing with related financing or treasury requirements as they arise in the meantime.

Our financing teams work closely with specialists from our other market-leading practice areas where necessary, including corporate and tax, and, given the cross-border nature of much of our work, have developed extensive and meaningful relationships with leading law firms in other jurisdictions, to provide our clients with a first class comprehensive and seamless service.

Key experience

Athora Holding Ltd

Advising Athora Holding Ltd on strategic M&A advice and advising on the financing of the proposed acquisition of VIVAT N.V’s life and asset management business from Anbang Group Holdings Co Ltd. NN Group will acquire VIVAT's non-life business. Following previous acquisitions in Ireland, Belgium and Germany, the VIVAT acquisition marks Athora’s entry into the Dutch market.

Ovo Energy

Advising Ovo Energy, the UK’s leading independent energy supplier, in connection with its purchase of SSE plc’s GB household energy and services business, for consideration of £500 million, comprising £400 million in cash (funded by a £400 million syndicated term loan facility) and £100 million in loan notes. The acquisition represents a transformation of Ovo’s consumer energy business, moving from 8th largest energy supplier in the UK to 2nd largest energy supplier (by market share).

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX)

Advising Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) on its approach for the London Stock Exchange Group plc, and the associated acquisition financing (which employed innovative features). We worked as an integrated team with Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP (on US aspects of the possible offer), along with law firms in a number of other jurisdictions.

GlaxoSmithKline plc

Advising GlaxoSmithKline plc, on the financing of its acquisition of TESARO Inc, an oncology-focused pharmaceutical company based in the US, for a total consideration of approximately US$5.1billion. We supported GSK’s treasury team and advised in collaboration with Shearman & Sterling LLP (GSK’s US counsel for the acquisition).

Coca-Cola European Partners plc

Advised Coca-Cola European Partners plc (“CCEP”) on its entry into a EUR4.4 billion acquisition bridge facility agreement in connection with the proposed acquisition by CCEP of Australian listed Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (“CCA”). CCA is one of the largest bottlers and distributors of ready-to-drink non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and coffee in the Asia Pacific region. The proposed transaction would create a broader and more balanced footprint for CCEP, whilst almost doubling its consumer reach.

Givaudan SA

Advised on the refinancing of a bridge facility (that Slaughter and May also advised on) which was entered into to finance Givaudan’s US$1billion acquisition of Ungerer & Company, the US-based flavour, fragrance and specialty ingredients company and to be used for general corporate purposes. Givaudan issued two sets of bonds which were successfully placed following one of the first entirely virtual investor roadshows.

Our offering brings together top-tier experts from across the firm who provide excellence in execution and commercially-focused advice on the full spectrum of acquisition and leveraged finance transactions.

We support our clients throughout the lifecycle of their capital structure, from initial acquisition to refinancing and – in many cases – exit, dealing with related treasury requirements as they arise in the meantime.

Key Contacts

Ed Fife
Ed Fife Partner
They are our go-to advisers for anything we want to do relating to debt. They are incredibly user-friendly: it's a very complicated area and they are very good at communicating the key features to non-technicians in an easy-to-understand way. Chambers UK