Softbank sticks with Lovells for refinancing of Vodafone Japan

Lovells’ Tokyo office has acted for longstanding client Softbank Group on its refinancing of its acquisition of Vodafone Japan.

The firm advised Softbank on the £6.4bn refinancing, by way of securitisation, of its £8.9bn leveraged buyout of Vodafone Group’s Japanese business, which was completed earlier this year.

This instruction is the culmination of an existing client relationship between Lovells and Softbank. Earlier this year the firm bagged the lead role advising Softbank on its acquisition of Vodafone Japan, now Softbank Mobile.

Lovells Tokyo managing partner and head of securitisation Tim Lester, who led on the deal, told The Lawyer: “This transaction is especially important for our client because, in the rapidly evolving telecommunications industry, entitites need means of raising finance quickly as well as having sufficient operational flexibility to meet the changing market.

“We had to have a structure which provided flexibility, but also gave the funders sufficient comfort.”

The principal lead arrangers for the transaction were Citibank, Tokyo Branch, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Deutsche Bank, which were represented by Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Lovells’ Tokyo office coordinated its advice with its Hong Kong and London offices. The firm worked closely with Softbank’s Japanese counsel Mori Hamada Matsumoto, which provided local law advice.