City firms check in for £282.5m Malmaison refinancing brief

A host of firms won roles advising on the £282.5m refinancing of hotel chain Malmaison.

Malmaison: deal reduces hotel chain’s debt to £180m
Malmaison: deal reduces hotel chain’s debt to £180m

Ashurst, Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), Clifford Chance, Dechert, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and PwC Legal all obtained mandates.

The deal enables Malmaison’s owner, MWB Group Holdings, to reduce the chain’s debt to some £180m.

As part of the arrangement, MWB entered into an agreement with the Bank of Scotland and RBS as well as Riverland, an associate of RBSM Investments, a ­private equity fund in which RBS has a stake.

The agreement sees the extension of a £282.5m ­facility until the end of 2014 and the payment of an increased preferred return by MWB to RBSM Investments in exchange for all of the future residual economic value of the Malmaison hotel ­business.

MWB instructed Dechert for corporate advice and dealings with the UK Listing Authority, hiring corporate partner Sean ­Geraghty and associate James Stonehill.

BLP advised Malmaison, MWB’s hotel business, on corporate and real estate aspects of the process, fielding a team consisting of ­corporate partner David McLeish and real estate partner David Battiscombe. The refinancing was complemented by five property sales and leasebacks.

PwC Legal acted for ­Malmaison on banking aspects, with a team led by banking head Penny Bruce, while Clifford Chance was also involved on the banking side.

Freshfields banking partner Jeffrey Rubinoff advised RBS and Bank of Scotland assisted by finance associate Lisa Seifman, corporate partner Christopher Mort, tax partner Helen Lethaby and real estate partner Emma Kendall.
Ashurst, meanwhile, was drafted in to advised RBSM Investments and Riverland. The team was led by private equity partner David Carter alongside associate Nicola McKenzie, loan markets partner Simon Thrower and Stockholm finance counsel Eric Halvarsson.

The deal follows RBSM’s £30m investment in ­Malmaison in 2005, when Ashurst’s Carter acted for RBSM opposite BLP, which advised MWB.