Ropes, Latham and A&O engaged on another giant telecoms deal

Another week, yet another enormous cable M&A deal in the European market.

However, this time there’s a new face at the party. Following in the footsteps of Liberty Global and Vodafone, which have been gobbling up cable companies from Spain to the Netherlands like corporate Pac-Men, Altice has stepped up to take its own slice of the action.

Natalie Stanton

The Luxembourg-based cable group emerged triumphant from a very public bidding war with French industrial group Bouygues to acquire France’s second-largest telecoms operator SFR from Vivendi for roughly €17bn.

Funded by a combination of US and European high yield debt, covenant lite loans, revolving loans and an equity rights issuance sold into both Europe and the US, the deal is a prime example of the complex multi-jurisdictional road that acquisition finance is trundling down apace.

In fact, the deal marks somewhat of a turning point as the largest leveraged financing since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

Ropes & Gray and Latham & Watkins won spots on the financing side of the deal, while Allen & Overy and Parisian firm Franklin were instructed to advise on its M&A aspects.

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