These two deals are part of a slew of transactions A&O’s Stephen Gillespie has pulled off in the past few weeks.
Both the Virgin Mobile and Rank Holiday Division deals stand out in their own right. Virgin Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). It does not itself own a mobile licence but instead “borrows” bandwidth from joint venture partner One 2 One.
It is the first syndicated debt financing completed in London for an MVNO, and thus involved complicated allocation of risk issues.
The leveraged buyout of Rank Holiday Division is the biggest ever LBO in the UK leisure sector. The last exclusively domestic deal of a similar size done at Allen & Overy was the IPC buyout back in January 1998.
Having completed so many deals in October, Gillespie is now working on a Euro10bn (£6bn) jumbo financing for ENEL, the Italian utility giant, where he is acting for Mediobanca, Barclays Capital and ABN Amro.