Lovells guides AIB on €230m BWG refinancing

Lovells has won its first instruction from Allied Irish Bank (AIB) to act on the €230m (£154.4m) refinancing of retail distribution company BWG Group.

AIB is leading a consortium of six banks, including Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and Barclays.

Lovells partner Adam Freeman handled the original financing several years ago for CIBC, where AIB was in the syndicate. “AIB had seen us on that transaction and liked what they saw,” said Freeman. “It’s a vote of confidence in the team we’ve been building here.” Freeman was assisted by Mark Donald at Lovells, while Orla O’Connor of Arthur Cox acted on Irish law matters.

The deal came about after Electra Partners made a partial exit from BWG. Electra originally backed a management buyout from Pernod Ricard in August 2002, and the recapitalisation means the private equity house will own 65 per cent of the company. The deal
will pay off €95.6m (£64.2m) of shareholder loan notes and a €17.3m (£11.6m) vendor note, and will undoubtedly fund further acquisitions.