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Paris, May 19, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Baker & McKenzi…

Paris, May 19, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Baker & McKenzie announced today that it represented the Suez Group in connection with the debt and capital restructuring of Maynilad Water Services, Inc. Maynilad, the holder of the water and wastewater concession for the western zone of Metro Manila jointly owned by Suez Environment and Philippine conglomerate Benpres Holdings, recently agreed on a financial rescue plan expected to allow for a takeover of the utility by new investors.

Maynilad suspended payments on debts worth 17 billion pesos (US $313 million) after seeking judicial protection in November 2003. It had secured the support of creditors for a debt and capital restructuring deal that eliminates its capital deficit and sets it on the path to financial recovery. The agreement on April 29, which is subject to approval of the Philippines courts, included Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, a state water agency, as well as more than 15 international and local banks.

The Baker & McKenzie team was led by Natividad Kwan (a partner in its Manila member firm) and David Freedman (a partner in the New York office). They were assisted by Anna Sencio (an associate in Baker & McKenzie’s Manila member firm) and Isabelle Demenge (an associate in the New York office), as well as by partners Michael Foundethakis (Munich) and Christine Cadence (Paris).

Commenting on the deal, David Freedman said, “We are very pleased to represent the Suez Group on this project. This transaction illustrates our abilities to provide innovative financial solutions to our clients.”

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.