Latham & Watkins advised on six matters named “Deals of the Year” by The Banker. The award-winning work included landmark transactions in bank finance, M&A, restructuring and capital markets spanning the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Held annually, the award program recognizes exemplary transactional work from around the world in a range of deal categories.
The honored matters include:
- Anthem $26.5 billion acquisition financing for Cigna Corporation (“The Americas Loans Deal of the Year”): Latham represented the lead agents and arrangers in the financing of Anthem, Inc.’s acquisition of Cigna Corporation, a milestone transaction that The Banker reported is “set to create the largest US health insurer by membership numbers and accelerate the industry’s consolidation in the country from five national players to three.” The Banker also noted that the financing was “successfully syndicated in less than six weeks to only 19 banks” and marks “the third largest ever US investment grade bridge facility.”
- Allergan hostile defense from Valeant and sale to Actavis (“The Americas M&A Deal of the Year”): A cross-border Latham team represented Botox-maker Allergan in fending off a high-profile hostile takeover bid by Valeant Pharmaceuticals in alliance with the Pershing Square hedge fund, sparking “an epic corporate battle” that ultimately culminated in Allergan’s acquisition by Actavis valued at $73 billion at closing. The Banker noted that “as far as mega-deals go … [the transaction] was a spectacular one.”
- Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari Italiane Ä1.1 billion high-yield bond transaction (“Europe Leveraged Finance Deal of the Year”): A cross-border Latham team served as lender’s counsel in the financing for Mercury Italy's acquisition of Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari Italiane SpA (ICBPI), a leading banking services provider in Italy. The financing was comprised of two tranches of payment-in-kind (PIK) bonds. According to The Banker, the transaction was “the largest ever debut PIK toggle bond issue in the European high-yield market” constituting “the sale of the first ever PIK toggle floating rate notes.”
- PrivatBank’s Recapitalization and Scheme of Arrangement (“Europe Restructuring Deal of the Year”): Latham served as issuer and borrower’s counsel in a precedent-setting recapitalization and restructuring of two series of subordinated notes that had been issued by PrivatBank, the largest commercial bank in Ukraine. The Banker cited the matter as “one of the most complex bank restructuring transactions out of Ukraine to date.”
- Mazoon Electricity Company multi-tranche dual-currency US dollar/Omani rial loan (“Middle East Loans Deal of the Year”): Serving as lender’s counsel, Latham advised on term loan facilities for Mazoon Electricity Company (MZEC), a distributor and supplier of electricity in Oman, to refinance existing debt and finance planned capital expenditure. The transaction included a five-year fixed interest rate for the Omani rial, which “is a relatively rare feature as the Omani rial has no yield curve,” according to The Banker. In addition, “the project was notable as the first long-term financing for electricity distribution assets in Oman.”
- Petra Diamonds $300 million bond issue (“Africa Bonds: Corporates Deal of the Year”): A cross-border Latham team advised on the issuance of $300,000,000 senior secured second lien notes by Petra Diamonds US Treasury, a subsidiary of Petra Diamonds Limited, in the role of initial purchasers’ counsel. According to The Banker, Petra Diamond “made headlines by tapping the bond market to take advantage of historically low US interest rates,” resulting in “the international debt capital markets debut for a B1/B+ rated South Africa-based single-commodity producer.”