Clifford Chance and Freshfields lead on Spanish debt restructuring

London finance partner Jeffrey Rubinoff and Madrid-based corporate partner David Franco and finance of counsel Fernando Bautista led the Freshfields team advising Inmobilaria Colonial on its second restructuring exercise in 18 months.

Clifford Chance acted for the syndicate of banks arranging the debt, led by RBS. Madrid finance partners Carlos Hernandez-Canut and Stuart Percival led the team for the magic circle firm.

The bank group also included Crédit Agricole CIB, formerly Calyon, and Eurohypo. Goldman Sachs, which had been among the original arrangers and continued to supply debt after a restructuring in September 2008, sold its stake to US real estate funds Colony and Oreon.

Ashurst acted for Goldman Sachs on its exit from the group of arrangers, with Madrid-based international finance partner Jose Christian Bertram leading.

The original restructuring, which also saw Freshfields and Clifford Chance win mandates, involved the re-arrangement of €7.5bn of debt, with almost €2bn being switched into convertible notes, which have now been reclaimed.

Freshfields’ Franco said: “We’re happy for the company and very lucky to be on this deal. It’s a very complicated one, but Colonial is a fantastic client. We really enjoy doing complex deals where there are components from different countries.”

The latest deal came about after it became clear that the troubled company was not going to be able to make debt repayments.

Franco added: “It’ll take a while to implement the whole restructuring. There are a lot of interesting and complex features underway and the implementation should see more people coming in to help with the job.”