Gide and Links handle Mechel debt manipulation

Russian steel giant Mechel has secured a deal to ­refinance $2.6bn (£1.58bn) of its short-term debt, ­leading to mandates for Gide Loyrette Nouel and ­Linklaters.

Gide, acting for Mechel, is leading the transaction from Moscow, with banking ­partner Grigory Marinichev working alongside partner Michael Doran in London.

Linklaters was instructed by the 27 lending banks. Moscow head of banking Michael Bott is leading the advice.

Mechel, which is majority owned by Russian ­billionaire Igor Zyuzin, has amassed debt through its expansion over recent years. Allen & Overy M&A ­partner Richard Brown advised the ­company on its £750m acquisition of ­London-based Ariel Resources in March 2008, while in 2004 Latham & Watkins assisted Mechel during its flotation on the New York Stock Exchange.

The debt deal sees Mechel replace its short-term ­credit facilities with long-term agreements.

Doran said: “This is the first successful restructuring of internationally syndicated debt by a major Russian ­corporate since the credit crisis began.

“Its completion will be looked on favourably by other market participants, in particular those other Russian companies ­currently in refinancing ­discussions with banks.”

The bank coordination committee representing the lenders was made up of ABN Amro, Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank, Calyon, ING, Natixis, Société Générale and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe.