Ashurst, Milbank, Slaughters land roles on Porterbrook sale

<a class=Ashurst, Milbank, Slaughters land roles on Porterbrook sale” />A trio of City firms have scooped instructions on one of the largest leveraged buy-outs this year, after a consortium of banks and investors bought rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook Leasing Company from Abbey.

The deal is one of the few big transactions to complete in the City using leveraged finance since the credit crunch turned a river of cheap credit into a trickle this year. Press reports ­estimate the deal value to be around £1.4bn.

The London office of ­Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy advised the consortium of investors, which included Deutsche Bank, Lloyds TSB and Antin Infrastructure Partners, owned by BNP Paribas.

Slaughter ;and ;May ­corporate partner Mark Bennett acted for long-term client Abbey, while Ashurst leveraged finance partners James Hogben and Nigel Ward were drafted in to advise the mandated lead arrangers.

The Milbank team was led by corporate partner Stuart Harray, finance partner Suhrud Mehta and tax partner Russell Jacobs.

Those close to the deal expect the transaction to complete before the end of this year, subject to regulatory approval.

Earlier this year, the Milbank London finance team advised the arranging banks on one of the largest-ever M&A deals to hit the market – the $50bn (£31.29bn) financing for the proposed bid by Vale, the world’s ­second biggest mining ­company, for Xstrata.

The banks included BNP Paribas, ;Calyon, ;Citi, Lehman Brothers and ­Credit Suisse First Boston, but the deal fell through.

Abbey National Treasury Services has owned Porterbrook since 2000. The ­company is one of the biggest rolling stock leasers in the UK, providing trains for 17 of the 24 passenger train operating companies. The group owns nearly a third of all the UK’s passenger rail rolling stock.

Milbank, Ashurst and Slaughters could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.