Shearman advises Citigroup and Goldman Sachs on ISS bond issue

US firm Shearman & Sterling scooped the mandate to advise the lead managers on the long-awaited high-yield bond issue from Danish cleaning company ISS.

Capital markets partner Ward McKimm is advising Citigroup and Goldman Sachs on the offering. ISS plans to raise around E975m (£675m) from the 10-year bonds with a five-year non-call period.

The bond issue is part of the finance package put in place by the banks when private equity companies Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and EQT Partners bought ISS in a E2.7bn (£1.87bn) leveraged buyout (LBO) last year.

When plans of the LBO were revealed it caused the price of the exiting bonds to drop by 20 per cent. The bondholders threatened to take the new owners to court, but eventually settled. The action caused a delay to the high-yield offering.

The new bonds will be issued by FS Funding, the company set up by the private equity houses to buy ISS.

McKimm told The Lawyer: “This was a challenging transaction and we were delighted to continue to represent Citigroup on a landmark deal like this, as well as Goldman Sachs.”

McKimm regularly advises banks on high-yield issues, especially Citigroup. This year Shearman has also acted for the lead managers of the E500m (£346.2m) pay-in-kind notes from Greek mobile phone operator Tim Hellas.

Baker & McKenzie, led by partner Tom Philip, acted as issuer’s counsel, advising the two private equity firms as well as FS Funding. It also advised on the original acquisition.