18 August – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Linklaters has advised Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse First Boston in the EUR 4.4 billion leveraged acquisition of Basell B.V. and Basell Finance USA Inc., together known as Basell Polyolefins, the world’s largest producer of polypropylene and Europe’s largest producer of polyethylene.
Basell Polyolefins was a joint venture of the sellers, Royal Dutch/Shell Group and BASF AG, until its sale on 1 August 2005 to the purchasers, Nell Bidco B.V. and Nell Acquisition (US) LLC.
The security and allocation of debt had to be structured around the existing bonds, two new securitisation programmes and a complex corporate structure.
The Linklaters team consisted of more than 100 lawyers from offices in America, Asia and Europe and was led by partner Gideon Moore in London, assisted by Derek Hayward.
Gideon Moore, Linklaters banking partner, said:
“This was a complex and challenging leveraged acquisition: the capital structure required incorporated EUR 1.85 billion senior debt, a EUR 1.1 billion bridge to a high yield issue, separate US and European securitisation programmes, security in more than 10 jurisdictions and take-out of US$300 million existing 2007 bonds. In addition we were required to structure the financing around the 2027 Bonds, which are to remain in place.”
Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP and Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom advised the Purchasers; Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP advised Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Credit Suisse First Boston on the Interim Loan Facility; GOGP and Miller Thomson advised senior MLAs on Italian and Canadian security; Allen & Overy advised the Sellers; Clifford Chance advised the HY bond trustee and Freshfields advised the providers of European securitisation.