Herbies leads ABN’s, ING’s restructuring of TNK

Herbert Smith’s Moscow team has won a role on the largest Russian debt restructuring of 2005 on behalf of ABN Amro and ING.

The investment banks restructured $1.4bn (£780,000) of OAO TNK’s secured debt in the second-largest transaction of its kind in Russia. The debt reorganisation was completed in preparation for the corporate restructuring of TNK into a new Russian holding company later this year, to be called TNK-BP Holding. The deal was unusual in that the old and new company will eventually merge. The restructuring had to take account of the current status of TNK and the future status of TNK-BP Holding.

Herbert Smith has a strong relationship with ABN Amro thanks to a recommendation by TNK because of its work on previous financings. As a result, Herbert Smith was also appointed to the ABN Amro finance panel in 2004.

Moscow-based finance partner John Balsdon led the TNK restructuring, supported by insolvency partner Alison Deeth in London. Partner Jason Fox and associate Susan Fong also worked on the deal.

Herbert Smith’s Moscow office has advised on more than $3bn (£1.68bn) worth of financings in the first quarter of the financial year. They include acting for ABN Amro, Citigroup and Calyon on a $600m (£336.3m) secured debt facility for TNK-BP Holding. It has also advised BNP Paribas in relation to a $300m (£168.2m) secured facility for OAO Belkamneft.

OAO TNK instructed its in-house counsel on the deal.