Freshfields and Simmons handed RBS securitisation

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

and Simmons & Simmons have won the mandate to advise Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on the latest in a series of chunky collateralised loan obligations (CLOs) by the big banks as they clear up their balance sheets.

RBS plans to launch a £3.5bn securitisation linked to its sterling corporate loan book. The deal will be structured as a funded synthetic CLO and be issued in US dollars, euros and sterling. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the month.

Freshfields acted for RBS as lead manger and arranger of the notes, led by London capital markets partner Simeon Rudin. New York finance partner Perry Sayles advised on US aspects of the deals.

Meanwhile, Simmons, led by finance partner Ian Sideris, advised RBS as the originator.

The past 12 months have seen a number of banks launch large CLO transactions as they remove the debt risk from their balance sheets in order to comply with stricter rules governing the amount of regulatory capital they must set aside.

Sideris has already acted on the biggest of these – a £5bn deal by Barclays Bank late last year. HSBC and ABN Amro have also sold large CLOs.