The £4.9bn cash call has been on the cards for almost a year in order to finance the €12.6bn (£10bn) acquisition of Spanish tobacco company Altadis that completed in January.
A&O’s Jeremy Parr led the team advising Imperial Tobacco on the takeover and subsequent transactions, working alongside general counsel John Downing.
In April this year Parr also advised the company on the divestment of its fine cut and pipe tobacco brands to Philip Morris International for €254m (£201.75). At the same time Parr advised on an unconditional mandatory cash offer for the shares in Logista and on the disposal of Imperial Tobacco’s 49.95 per cent Stake in Aldeasa to Autogrill Espana.
All these transactions were a follow-up of the original Altadis purchase by Imperial Tobacco.
Ashurst‘s Nicholas Holmes advised the underwriters Hoare Govett, Morgan Stanley, Citi and Lehman Brothers on today’s rights issue.
“We were brought in at the outset of the [Altadis] takeover because the funding of the acquisition was very significant from day one,” he said. “We’re very pleased with this deal as an extension of our investment banking practice.”
Today’s cash call is the UK’s second-largest underwritten rights issue. The largest, at £12bn, came from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and was announced last month (TheLawyer.com, 23 April).