Norton Rose steps up lending work for Chase and Deutsche

Norton Rose has consolidated its relationship with Chase Manhattan’s London-based global syndicated finance arm and acted on its first major deal for Deutsche Bank’s New York division.

Chase Manhattan and Deutsche Bank acted as arrangers and underwriters of a $1.5bn (£1.1bn) funding for the acquisition of listed US cement company Southdown by Compania Valenciana de Cementos Portland, the Spanish subsidiary of Cemex. A further $1.4bn (£985m) was raised in New York by Citibank and Chase Manhattan. Valenciana applied the proceeds of the invested funds to the financing of its $2.8bn (£2bn) acquisition of Southdown under a US tender offer.

The Norton Rose acquisition finance group won the work through its longstanding relationship with Chase Manhattan and was instructed by London-based managing directors Kristian Orssten and Janin Campos, with whom it has worked closely in the past.

The Norton Rose team was led by banking partners Andrew Bamber and Clive Wells, assisted by Malcolm Hitching, John Shum and Jon Richards, with tax advice provided by partner Louise Higginbottom.

The firm’s banking department already has a wealth of experience in leveraged finance work for Chase. But to date, relatively fewer instructions have come from the global syndicated finance arm, showing that this latest deal is an important step in the relationship, all the more so given the $1.5bn (£1.1bn) ticket.

Bamber says: “This was more of an investment grade deal than a leveraged finance deal in that it is likely to have a take-out through the capital markets.”

The deal also boosts Norton Rose’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, whose main UK advisers are Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy. Norton Rose has advised the bank in the past, most recently in its capacity as financial adviser to Prestige Acquisitions on its £507m recommended cash offer for Powell Duffryn. But this is the first time the Norton Rose team has been instructed by the New York arm of the bank.

Working with Chase Manhattan and Deutsche Bank, Norton Rose structured, negotiated and documented the deal and coordinated a multi-national group of law firms. The firms involved included Trenité van Doorne in The Netherlands and Belgium, Mourant du Feu & Jeune in Jersey, and Garrigues y Andersen in Spain.

Wells says: “The deal further developed the relationship with the personnel at Chase London, who focus on arranging investment grade deals, to add to the work we do for Chase on leveraged finance transactions. It was also pleasing to work for Deutsche Bank New York for the first time, having worked with their London colleagues.”