Pinsent Masons usurps Slaughters on Europcar refinancing mandate

Slaughter and May lost out on the mandate to advise client Europcar on the £500m refinancing of its UK business, with the car rental giant turning instead to Pinsent Masons on the deal.

Pinsent Masons finance partner Edward Sunderland in Birmingham and London-based Martin Bishop will lead on the £500m asset refinancing, which will allow Europcar UK to acquire new vehicles for its rental business. 

It is thought that Pinsents won the role following a competitive pitch process, marking the first time that its finance team has scooped a role for Europcar. The firm has previously advised on corporate matters for the client, thanks to a relationship led primarily by the firm’s Birmingham head Greg Lowson. 

Slaughter and May has previously advised Europcar on its high-profile deals. In 2006, the firm advised Eurazeo on its acquisition of the car rental business from Volkswagen in a deal worth about €3.1bn and its of subsequent purchases of National and Alamo Rent a Car in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Slaughters also advised the client on its last refinancing in 2012.

The client has particularly close ties to Slaughters’ banking and finance partner Matthew Tobin, while it turns to partner Rebecca Cousin for corporate advice. Sources suggest that the firm will retain a relationship with Europcar going forward.

Pinsents’ Sunderland said in a statement: “The firm fought off stiff competition from the incumbent firm to win the business. Pinsent Masons’ partner-led offering and sector expertise played a key role in our appointment.” 

It is thought that the competitive tender process touched on topics relating to pricing and service quality. Pinsents is expected to field a team branching across its various domestic offices on the deal, heavily utilising its paralegal team in Manchester. 

A spokesperson for the firm added: “Using paralegals in Manchester delivers greater efficiency in the routine work, which allows us to offer a greater number of partner hours on strategic issues.”