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Lovells advised Société Générale’s leveraged finance team on the finan…

Lovells advised Société Générale’s leveraged finance team on the financing of 3i’s acquisition of Refresco Holdings BV. This is the first time the firm has acted for Société Générale’s leveraged finance team in London and follows the firm’s recent appointment to the bank’s global legal panel.

On 29 September, a group of special purpose vehicles controlled by private equity firm 3i purchased shares in pan-European fruit juice and soft drinks supplier Refresco, valuing the company at 240m euros. Refresco operates in a number of jurisdictions including The Netherlands, France and Germany. 3i purchased the shares from an investor group comprising Hay Hill Capital, NeSBIC, ISIS Equity Partners, CBG Commerzbank and Capiton. The acquisition was arranged by Société Générale, with Fortis and ING also participating, with the banks providing senior facilities of 198m euros and a mezzanine facility of 30m euros.

Lovells has acted regularly for Société Générale on acquisition finance transactions since 2001, most notably on the take private of Groupe Zannier on the Paris stock exchange in 2002. The firm was appointed to Société Générale’s global panel earlier this year.

The Lovells team was led by London-based banking partner Adam Freeman, assisted by banking lawyers Bryan Paisley, Vicky Cooper and Cuong Tu. The team also included Ken Breken (partner), Piet-Hein Jager and Manon Cordewener in The Netherlands; Thomas Lindemann (partner), Ludwig von Moltke and Patricia Milch in Germany; and Jacques Bertran de Balanda (partner), Oliver Fille-Lambie and Aude Godfroy in France.

Adam Freeman, speaking for the Lovells team today, said:

“We were delighted to have this opportunity to work with the leveraged finance team of Société Générale, following our appointment to the global panel. The continuing strength of our international banking practice is testament to recent heavy investment in the practice, including the lateral hires of Ken Breken and Jacques Bertran de Balanda, both of whom worked on this transaction. This latest transaction demonstrates the practice’s ability to offer pan-European advice, bringing together relevant local expertise in key markets.”

Michael Lynch led Société Générale’s team helped by Rachel Jones and Tara Moore. 3i were advised by Allen & Overy with the banking aspects being led by Julian Harris and Mirne Dirks in their Amsterdam office.

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.