Freshfields among firms to win role on Barclays’ £5.8bn rights issue

Clifford Chance, Sullivan & Cromwell and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have taken lead roles on Barclays’ bumper £5.8bn rights issue – the world’s largest rights issue by a bank since 2009.

The cash call follows demand from the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority that Barclays find £12.8m to cushion the high street bank against potential financial shocks. It was first flagged in July, but formally announced on Monday (16 September).

Clifford Chance have been instructed to provide English law advice to Barclays, led by corporate partner Patrick Sarch and capital markets partner Simon Thomas.

A team from Sullivan & Cromwell advised the bank on US law, headed by corporate partner George White and finance partner John O’Connor.

Freshfields acted as counsel to the bookrunners, who include Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, BofA Merrill Lynch and Citi. Capital markets partner Sarah Murphy worked on the deal, alongside partners Will Lawes, Mark Austin and Julian Makin and a team of associates. The same team advised the underwriters on the first phase of the re-privatisation of Lloyds Banking Group announced yesterday (17 September).

“It was pretty complicated and within a tight time-frame,” Murphy said of the Barclays transaction, which kicked off in July and will come to a close in October.

In addition to the rights issue, Barclays also plans to issue £2bn of convertible debt and shrink the size of the bank by £2.5bn to close the funding gap.

Barclays also announced on Monday that it is to contest a £50m fine, which was slapped on the bank by the Financial Conduct Authority for acting “recklessly” by failing to disclose £322m in fees paid to Qatari investors during two fundraisings in 2008.