Barclays and BlueBay beat the January blues

It could be a tailor-made term to make them sound a little shady, but perhaps now it’s time for the so-called ‘shadow banks’ to step out of the background and into the mainstream.

This is partly thanks to Ashurst and Hogan Lovells, which advised Barclays and BlueBay respectively on their novel tie-up, the first, it’s thought, of what could be many such deals between a bank and a private debt fund.

It’s understood that Barclays approached Ashurst with a brief of designing a way to piece together the innovative structure. The resulting collaboration with BlueBay, a unit of the Royal Bank of Canada, will make single ‘unitranche’ loans of up to £120m.

Other landmark deals over the past week include the £31m sale of Honda’s biggest storage depot and some big football news for QPR and West Ham, both of which have lined up advisers to work on their new homes (well, the Hammers needed some relief after that 6-0 thumping by Man City).

And if you think your Christmas party bar tab was hefty, spare a thought for Japanese drinks giant Suntory. The company has agreed to acquire America’s Beam– the maker of Jim Beam and Teacher’s Scotch whisky – for £16bn. It may be a swift end to dry January for Sidley Austin and Cleary, both of which have been lined up to advise on that deal.

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