Cleary and Stibbe lead advice as Dexia is broken up

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick and Stibbe have secured lead roles on the break-up of struggling Franco-Belgian bank Dexia.

The Dexia Tower in Brussels
The Dexia Tower in Brussels

The three firms all acted on the 2008 €6.4bn (£5.6bn) bailout by the Belgian government of Dexia and have retained the same positions as the state moves to acquire the bank’s retail arm.

Stibbe Brussels partners Marc Fyon and Jan Peeters are leading the firm’s advice to the Belgian state on the nationalisation alongside Liedekerke partner Thierry Tilquin, who represents the government holding company that owns the existing Dexia stake.

Cleary Brussels partner Laurent Legein is once again acting for Dexia and Clifford Chance partners Yves Herinckx and Johan Ysewyn are advising the Belgian finance ministry. The work is the first big mandate for Ysewyn since the competition specialist moved from Linklaters earlier this year (13 September 2011).

Under the terms of the deal, agreed early today (Monday 10 October), the Belgian government will pay €4bn for the entirety of Dexia Bank Belgium.

The Belgian, French and Luxembourg states have also guaranteed Dexia’s interbank and bond funding to a ceiling of €90bn for 10 years.

Dexia’s Luxembourg arm could also be sold, reportedly to an investment house owned by the Qatari royal family. An offer is expected within a fortnight.

In France, Dexia’s CEO Pierre Mariani is involved in negotiations with the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) and La Banque Postale over an agreement to finance local authorities.

Linklaters corporate partners Alain Garnier in Paris and François De Bauw in Brussels are understood to be advising regular client CDC.