Macfarlanes instructed on Four Seasons debt restructure

Macfarlanes has claimed the prize role acting for longstanding client Four Seasons Health Care on the restructuring of £800m of debt.

Ian Martin
Ian Martin

The debt was left outstanding following a deal last year that saw the company reduce its debt package.

Corporate partner Ian Martin led on a transaction that extended the maturity of various classes of commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS) notes issued to investors from September 2010 to September 2012. He worked alongside finance partner Bronwen Jones and corporate partner Kevin Tuffnell on the deal.

The same team also acted for the care homes operator on last December’s restructuring, which saw the debt pile reduce from £1.7bn to around £800m.

Martin said the structure of the new deal, and his client’s next move, will be watched with interest by the CMBS market, adding: “With around e100bn [£83.3bn] of CMBS due for repayment in the next four years, the market’s rightly followed the Four Seasons transaction closely. A novel structure helped accommodate the interests of various noteholder groups as part of the agreement to extend the loan by two years.

“We’ve created a two-year runway to do something interesting. One of the advantages is that this client is doing well and has outperformed its competitors.”

Other firms involved in the deal include Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, acting for a group of noteholders, and Bingham McCutchen for Deutsche Bank, which has a role refinancing for some investors. Restructuring partner Richard Nevins led for ­Cadwalader, while finance partner Sarah Smith took the lead role for Bingham.

Allen & Overy restructuring chief Earl Griffith acted for the servicer to the senior lenders Hatfield Philips.

There were also roles for Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) for the Irish special purpose vehicle that issued the notes, and Linklaters for note trustee Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Banking partner Nick Butler led for BLP, while senior associate Paulette Martin took the lead for Linklaters.