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Norton Rose's acquisition finance group has won two new banking clients on the back of existing relationships.
Deals made public this week secured Bank of America (BoA) and NIB Capital Bank as new clients. Lead partner on both deals Tom Speechley said that although there is nothing in the pipeline at the moment, he expects to get more work from the banks. In June, Norton Rose advised Fuji Bank on debt facilities to finance the acquisition of Electrolux by Erusiel. The relationship with BoA developed when one of the firm's longstanding contacts at Fuji moved there. Norton Rose advised BoA on SKr1.1bn (£102.3m) of secured senior credit facilities to finance the acquisition of Sapa Autoplastics. The deal involved nine jurisdictions and was unusual in that BoA took a huge amount of asset security over the facility. Then, in order to deal with withholding tax, a new Italian finance structure was used. Norton Rose bagged NIB when one of its old clients moved there from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). In its first deal for the bank, Norton Rose advised NIB, Westdeutsche Land-esbank Girozentrale and Intermediate Capital Group on the £240m senior and mezzanine debt facilities to finance the acquisition of Leisure Link Group. Unusually, the mezzanine was split into senior and junior tranches, making it more attractive to a variety of investors. Both deals were signed at the end of August (BoA was signed in Stockholm), but neither was funded until the end of last month. Speechley denies that the market is slowing down. "Even if there are less new deals being done, there are opportunities to restructure existing deals, and we've been involved in a number of these this year," he insisted.