Camerons racks up deals as Enterprise buys more pubs
CMS Cameron McKenna has cemented its relationship Enterprise Inns by acting on its agreed £875m acquisition of 1,860 pubs from Laurel Pub Holdings and a related £295m rights issue. The acquisition will make Enterprise the third largest pubowner in the UK. Camerons has received the lion's share of Enterprise's big ticket acquisitions recently. The total value of Enterprise deals that Camerons has handled in the past 10 months is £3.7bn. The firm advised on Enterprise's £2.013bn acquisition of the Unique and Voyager pub estates from Nomura last month, its £2.7m acquisition of 439 managed pubs from MGPE in June 2001, and £2.7m acquisition of 431 managed pubs from Scottish and Newcastle in July 2001. This deal was unusual because it did not enter the public domain until both sides had agreed on the acquisition. This may have been because the media spotlight has been on the planned flotation of the Punch Pub Company, Enterprise's main rival. Camerons partner Sandra Rafferty said: "[Enterprise chief executive] Ted Tuppen and [corporate and client relationship partner] Sean Watson have a good relationship. On each deal we've done with them since flotation we assemble a core team throughout all disciplines who are known to Enterprise and who understand and meet the needs from both the legal and commercial perspective. This is very much a partnering approach between Camerons and Enterprise and results in Enterprise, in the closing stages of its transactions, working out of CMS Cameron McKenna's offices with its lawyers." The acquisition is being financed by borrowings that are being drawn down from a new facility of £1.28bn and the net proceeds of the £295m rights issue. Norton Rose advised the consortiums of banks involved in both Enterprise's rights issue and the financing of the Laurel acquisition. The firm split the two sides of the deal over its corporate and banking departments. This deal was the third Enterprise deal which Norton Rose has advised banks on this year. The firm's banking department, led by leveraged finance partner Michael Ings, advised a consortium of banks, including Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers International and the Royal Bank of Scotland, which arranged the financing of the Laurel acquisition. The firm's corporate finance team, led by corporate finance partner Jonathan Coppin, advised Deutsche Bank and HSBC as underwriters of the rights issue. Laurel Pub Holdings was advised by a team at Freshfields, led by corporate partner Patrick Gaynor.