A&O bags £4bn HBOS rights issue

A&O bags £4bn HBOS rights issueHBOS has called in magic circle firm Allen & Overy to advise on its £4bn rights issue.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is advising the brokers and underwriters Morgan Stanley and Dresdner Kleinwort after having also bagged the underwriters’ adviser role on the record Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) £12bn rights issue announced last week (as reported on www.thelawyer.com 23 April).

A&O’s HBOS relationship partner Alistair Asher said: “It is a healthy sign that people are prepared to invest in good clean equity.”

HBOS announced today that it would issue two new ordinary shares for every five existing ordinary shares at a 45 per cent discount to yesterday’s closing price of 495.75p.

HBOS said it also intends to raise its target Tier 1 and core Tier 1 ratios by 1 per cent to 9 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

Asher commented: “The key message is that this is a recognition of a step change in the market that banks require to take a more cautious view of capital requirements. That’s the principal reason why HBOS are doing this at this time and it puts them in a very strong position.”

Asher and A&O corporate partner David Broadley are leading the HBOS team alongside corporate associates Ben Jacobs and Nick O’Donnell.

Freshfields’ team is led by corporate partner Simon Witty, who also is also leading the RBS team advising underwriters Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and UBS.

Witty is assisted on HBOS by corporate partner Monica McConville and US corporate partner Sarah Murphy, as well as by financial institutions partners Will Lawes and Philip Richards.