Simmons shepherds Barclays through £5bn CLO transaction

Simmons & Simmons has advised Barclays Bank on the largest collaterised loan obligation (CLO) to be fully placed on the bond market.

The £5bn transaction, known as Gracechurch Corporate Loans Series 2005-1, is structured as a fully funded synthetic securitisation of £5bn of loans from Barclays’ loan portfolio. The structure references 775 loans and was issued by special purpose vehicle Lambda Finance.

The CLO gives Barclays regulatory and financial advantages. By removing loans from its balance book, the bank can reduce the amount of regulatory capital it must set aside, as well as having just raised an extra £5bn through the sale. The CLO also transfers the credit risk of the loans from the bank through the credit default swap structured into the CLO.

The sale by Barclays follows hot on the heels of a CLO issued by HSBC. The bank sold £2bn of large corporate loans, but used a True Sale structure rather than the synthetic model adopted by Barclays.

Other recent bank-issued CLOs include a $2bn (£1.12bn) CLO from Standard Chartered, plus transactions from Spanish financial institutions.

Simmons, which sits on the Barclays general advisory legal panel, advised the bank when it set up Lambda Finance a few years ago.

The Simmons team was led by capital markets partners Ian Sideris and US partner Charles Hawes. Clifford Chance advised Bank of New York in its role as trustee.