White & Case joins European duo on $1.2bn Chinese loan to Telefónica

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Uría Menéndez and White & Case have all landed roles advising the China Development Bank (CDB) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) on a $1.2bn (£740m) loan to Telefónica.

The trio of firms advised the CDB and the ICBC, with White & Case leading.

White & Case China practice head Li Xiaoming acted as lead adviser from Beijing, together with fellow Beijing-based banking and capital markets partner Baldwin Cheng and associate Victoria Yu.

Spanish firm Uría fielded a joint Beijing-Madrid team. M&A and finance partner Juan Martín Perrotto led the team from Beijing, while tax partner Rafael García Llaneza managed the team from Madrid. Beijing-based senior associate Verónica Iezzi and Madrid-based associate David López Pombo also advised on the deal.

Geert Potjewijd, the resident partner in Dutch firm De Brauw’s Beijing office, also acted for the banks, together with finance partner Berend Crans in Amsterdam, senior associate Diederik Maessen in Beijing and Amsterdam-based Henk van Ravenhorst, who advised the lenders on Dutch law.

The deal sees the CDB and the ICBC grant a ten-year credit line to allow Telefónica to purchase productions and solutions worldwide. The facility has been structured with a balloon repayment to Telefónica Europe, which is incorporated in the Netherlands, as borrower and Telefónica as guarantor.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) acted as the facility agent on the deal, but it is understood that neither BBVA nor Telefónica used external counsel.

Background to this deal:

The three firms were also retained in identical roles earlier this year when they advised CDB on financing a $375m (£230.7m) loan to Telefónica. The transaction was believed to be the first publicly announced vendor financing granted by CDB to a Spanish entity (23 March 2012).

Both De Brauw and Uría announced their plans to open offices in Beijing in 2008 alongside best-friend firm Slaughter and May (16 September 2008). They opened offices beside each other in the Chinese capital in 2010.

Uría has made moves to forge stronger links with Chinese firms by providing Chinese lawyers with training and work placement programmes for the past four years (7 May 2012).