US$540 Million Astelit Deal is Largest Private Financing in Ukraine
London/Moscow – LAWFUEL – February 15, 2006 — Chadbourne & Parke represented Astelit, a Ukrainian telecommunications company majority directly controlled by Turkish GSM operator Turkcell, in a US$540 million financing. The deal marks one of the largest private financings in Ukraine to date.
Astelit, which was recently described as the fasted growing mobile phone operator in the world in terms of numbers of connections, did the financing in two facilities: the first was a senior secured facility of US$390 million and the second was a junior facility of US$150 million.
The financing is part of Astelit’s efforts to increase its market share in Ukraine. As of September 30, 2005, the company’s subscribers represented about 5.1% of the total mobile subscriber market in Ukraine, or about 23.5 million subscribers. It added 1.25 million subscribers in the last quarter of 2005.
Working for Chadbourne on the deal were Moscow office managing partner Laura Brank, London office partner Denis Petkovic and Kyiv office international partner Adam Mycyk, as well as London associate Stefan Unna and Kyiv associate Olexiy Soshenko.
Proceeds of the financing will be used for refinancing vendor and bank debt, as well as for up front financing costs and for operating losses and capital expenditures and for continuing to build out the company’s mobile network.
ING Bank N.V. and Standard Bank Plc were the lead arrangers on the US$390 million facility. The Chadbourne team also represented Astelit in respect to the $US150 million junior facility being provided by a Turkish syndicate lead managed by Turkiye Garanti Bankasi A.S. and Akbank T.A.S.
The deal is the second in which Chadbourne has worked for Astelit. The Firm previously represented the company in two vendor equipment purchase financings with Ericsson and Nokia.
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