CC, Freshfields picked for Metrovacesa restructure

Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have landed roles on Spanish real estate group Metrovacesa’s e5bn (£4.4bn) restructuring.

Freshfields advised Metrovacesa on its scheme of arrangement for a e3.25bn syndicated credit agreement governed by English law. Spain managing partner Iñaki Gabilondo led the firm’s Madrid team, with restructuring partner Richard Tett and senior finance associate Geoff O’Dea dealing with the ­London aspects of the deal.

Clifford Chance advised the banks, with dual-­qualified banking and restructuring partner Stuart Percival acting on both the Spanish and UK sides. Madrid banking partner Pablo Bieger and London banking partner Nicholas Frome also acted on the deal. The lending syndicate was made up of around 40 banks, with a coordinating committee comprising ­Barclays, Catalunya Caixa, HSBC, ING, RBS and ­WestLB.

The English scheme of arrangement forms part of Metrovacesa’s restructuring and became effective on 19 April.

The deal was innovative in that none of Metro-vacesa’s business is in the UK. The English High Court sanctioned the scheme of arrangement based on the e3.25bn ­credit agreement being governed by English law.

The success of the scheme means that the company has avoided having to shift its centre of interests to the UK. This may end up being used as a template in similar situations, with many European companies with debt ­governed by English law that could need to be restructured in the next couple of years.