Eversheds advises JP Morgan on Northern Rock deal

Eversheds is the latest firm to land a role on the Northern Rock saga, advising JP Morgan in the purchase of £2.2bn-worth of mortgages from the stricken lender.

This is the first time the firm has done transactional work for the investment bank.

The deal, announced today (11 January), sees JP Morgan take on Northern Rock’s portfolio of lifetime home equity release mortgages.

The proceeds of the sale will go some way in paying back the £26bn Northern Rock has borrowed from the Bank of England (BoE). The portfolio represents around 2 per cent of Northern Rock’s assets.

Finance partners Philip Vaughan and Nick Swiss are leading the team at Eversheds.

The sale comes just two working days before Northern Rock’s shareholders will have an extraordinary general meeting called by activist hedge funds RAB Capital and SRM, advised respectively by Nabarro and White & Case.

Together the funds own around 18 percent of Northern Rock’s shares. They want to rally other shareholders into agreeing that the bank must get approval to sell more than 5 percent of its assets at any one time.

In a statement, Northern Rock chief executive Andy Kuipers said that today’s sale “illustrates the quality of our assets, which has enabled us to achieve a sale at a premium despite continuing difficult financial markets, and will allow the company to reduce its debt to the Bank of England.”

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is advising Northern Rock. Head of structured finance Alan Newton is leading on this deal while global co-head of financial institutions Will Lawes is heading the team