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8 January 2004 – LAWFUEL – Best for law news – International legal p…

8 January 2004 – LAWFUEL – Best for law news – International legal practice Allen & Overy has advised on over ┬5 billion worth of equity and equity-linked issues into the German market during 2004, equating to over a quarter of the total value of German equity and equity-linked issues for the year.

Transactions on which Allen & Overy advised include the ┬750 million
offering by Deutsche Lufthansa AG (acting on behalf of the syndicate banks
led by Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Morgan Stanley), and the ┬3
billion rights offering by Bayerische HypoVereinsbank (acting on behalf of
the syndicate banks led by JPMorgan and Lehman Brothers), which was the
largest German rights issue of the year.

The year closed with the issuance of a convertible bond by KARSTADT QUELLE
Aktiengesellschaft through KARSTADT FINANCE B.V., for which Allen & Overy
advised the syndicate banks led by Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. With a
total volume of approximately ┬170 million, the bonds will mature in 2009.

This swiftly followed the completion of the rights issue of KARSTADT QUELLE
Aktiengesellschaft, on which Allen & Overy again advised the syndicate banks
led by ABN AMRO Rothschild and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. The
93,041,375 new shares were offered for subscription to the existing
shareholders at a price of ┬5.75 per share. The gross proceeds from the
capital increase against contribution in cash amounts to approx. ┬535
million.

Michael Schlitt, partner at Allen & Overy’s Frankfurt office, comments:
“2004 was a difficult year for the German equity markets, with fewer equity
issues than anticipated and a general erosion of confidence following the
cancellation of several high profile IPOs. Despite this, we have had an
extremely active year advising on both the German and US law aspects of a
series of prominent rights issues. We hope to continue this level of
activity into 2005 and anticipate a revival of the German equity market over
the next 12 months, with Germany buoyed by the improved performance of other
European markets.”

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.