Ropes & Gray leads Liberty Global on German cable TV acquisition

Ropes & Gray lined up alongside a raft of leading UK and US firms on cable ­company Liberty Global’s proposed e3.16bn (£2.76bn) acquisition of Germany’s third-largest cable TV ­operator Kabel Baden-­Württemberg (Kabel BW).

If the deal gains approval from regulators it will bring together Germany’s second- and third-largest cable ­companies. It would also become one of the most highly leveraged deals completed in Europe since 2007.

Ropes advised Liberty on finance matters, including a high-yield offering and related super loan and ­security arrangements, with a team led by high-yield partner Jane Rogers and finance partner Tania Bedi, supported by London office founding partners Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz.

“Working with Liberty Global allows for creative thinking. This deal is yet another example of this,” said Rogers. “We worked with them to implement an innovative structure and ­execution. Liberty didn’t take the traditional bridge-to-bond route and still provided maximum certainty of ­execution to all parties while reducing risk and costs.”

A team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised Liberty on the M&A aspects of the deal, led by Hamburg corporate partner Michael Haidinger. Financing was provided by Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and ­JPMorgan. The syndicate of banks was advised by ­Latham & Watkins partner Scott Colwell in London, Shearman & Sterling ­partners Stephan Hutter and Jacques McChesney and Allen & Overy finance ­partner Philip Bowden.

Kabel BW’s owner EQT was advised on the sale and bond issance by Hengeler Mueller Munich-based partners Hans-Jörg Ziegenhain and Steffen Oppenländer, Düsseldorf partners Maximilian Schiessel and Christian Möller, alongside Frankfurt partners Alexander Rang, Christian Hoefs and Martin Klein. Alf-Henrik Bischke provided antitrust advice from Hengeler’s Brussels office. Cravath Swaine & Moore London managing partner Philip Boeckman also advised EQT. A separate Hengeler team led by partner Torsten Busch advised EQT on the proposed IPO.