Lovells lands SocGen work

Lovells has scooped its first acquisition finance mandate for Société Générale (SocGen) since the bank put together its global panel earlier this year.

SocGen, with Fortis Bank and ING Bank, provided senior facilities of e198m (£118.3m) and e30m (£17.9m) of mezzanine funding for 3i’s secondary buyout of Dutch soft drinks company Refresco. 3i bought e240m (£143.4m) of shares from original funders Hay Hill Capital, NESBiC, ISIS Equity Partners, CBG Commerzbank and Capiton.

An increasing number of banks are content to run pan-European deals from the City, and the Refresco transaction was no exception.

Lovells finance partner Adam Freeman managed the majority of the deal from London for a SocGen team led by Michael Lynch.

“We’ve got to know the SocGen team in London well over the last few months from a number of potential instructions and it was good to be able to close this deal for them, especially in light of our appointment to the panel,” said Freeman.

3i retained Allen & Overy (A&O) Amsterdam for Anglo-Dutch advice rather than Nauta Dutilh, its other preferred external adviser in the Netherlands, after A&O acted for Fortis on the original buyout.

Corporate partner Karine Kodde and banking partner Julian Harris acted for 3i on the transaction – one of the biggest undertaken by the private equity house on the Continent. ABN Amro gave financial advice.

Refresco’s management was represented on the deal by Simmons & Simmons corporate partner Leo Verhoeff.

The consortium of original investors retained Linklaters and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, while KPMG Corporate Finance was the financial adviser on the deal.