A&O joins US duo on debt restructure for Wind Hellas

Allen & Overy (A&O) has lined up alongside US firms Bingham McCutchen and White & Case on the €1.9bn (£1.64bn) debt restructuring of Greek mobile phone operator Wind Hellas.

Katrina Buckley
Katrina Buckley

This is the second time the company, Greece’s third-largest mobile operator, has been restructured within 12 months.

Last year’s ­restructure was the largest prepackaged administration in UK history.

The company’s senior secured bondholders, which are owed around €1.2bn, have been chosen as the preferred bidders for the company by its parent Weather Finance III, allowing them to seek approval for their restructuring plan.

The decision was approved at the UK High Court on 4 November.

The bondholders group includes Anchorage Capital Group, Angelo Gordon & Co, Eton Park International, Mount Kellett Capital Partners (Ireland), Providence Equity Capital Markets and Taconic Capital Advisors.

The group is being represented by a Bingham team headed by London partner and co-chair of the firm’s global financial restructuring group James Roome. The team also includes London finance and restructuring counsel Neil Devaney.

Under the terms of the deal the bondholders would inject €420m and write off their debt in exchange for total control of the company.

Bondholder support for the deal is reported to exceed the 75 per cent needed to complete the arrangement. A second class of €355m of unsecured bonds will be wiped out under the plan.

The company continued to struggle after the restructure as the Greek economy worsened, in June deferring on a €17.5m payment on a revolving credit line. It also missed a e23m payment on its floating rate notes.

White & Case is advising Weather Finance III and its subsidiaries, including Wind Hellas. The team includes partners Christian Pilkington, who arrived from ­Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom earlier this year, and Mark Glengarry, along with associate Laura Prater.

George Link
George Link

Wind Hellas is being advised on Greek law by Karatzas & Partners, with a team led by Anna Manda, and in ­Luxembourg by partner Patrick Chantrain of local firm Kleyr Grasso Associés.

The creditors, led by ­Morgan Stanley, are being advised by an A&O team that includes partners Katrina Buckley and George Link.