Ropes & Gray finance partner Tania Bedi has had a great year since being promoted to partner at the beginning of 2011 – the firm’s first promotion since launching in the City in January 2010.
Tania Bedi, Ropes & Gray
Having joined the firm in April 2010 from White & Case, where she had two spells on secondment at Deutsche Bank, Bedi has made her mark on the mezzanine debt market. In one standout deal, Bedi scored a role acting on the largest European mezzanine loan of 2011, used by Swedish alarm maker Securitas Direct to fund its €2.3bn buyout by private equity houses Hellmann & Friedman and Bain Capital. Working alongside London chief Maurice Allen, Bedi advised the deal’s mezzanine investors Mezzvest, Partners Group, Noonday and Bain Capital’s credit arm Sankaty Advisors. The deal came about after the investment banks behind it, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Nomura and Nordea, opened up a tranche of financing to mezzanine investors.
Philip Bowden, Allen & Overy
Allen & Overy (A&O) partner Philip Bowden scored a real coup in 2011 when he won a mandate to advise the mezzanine lenders on Bain Capital and Advent International’s acquisition of RBS’s payment processing unit WorldPay for $3.2bn. At face value the instruction may seem run-of-the-mill, but given that A&O has senior lender bias it was truly eye-catching – even more so, given that the deal has since been hailed as seminal in that it established the principle that mezzanine lenders are entitled to contractual value protection. Elsewhere, Bowden joined Latham & Watkins and Shearman & Sterling in advising a syndicate led by Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan on the financing of cable company Liberty Global’s €3.16bn acquisition of Germany’s third-largest cable TV operator Kabel Baden-Württemberg (Kabel BW).
Jane Fissenden, Ashurst
RBS’s sale of a £2bn stake in card payment company WorldPay was the deal that kept giving in 2011, with Ashurst leveraged finance partner Jane Fissenden winning a key role on it. Fissenden advised senior mandated lead arrangers Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, RBS and UBS on a deal that has been seen as redefining relationships between senior and mezzanine lenders. In another standout deal Fissenden advised new client Nordic Capital on Ashurst’s first mandate after being appointed to the private equity house’s panel, taking a financing role on the £450m acquisition of Britax Childcare from Carlyle Group. Fissenden also advised HSBC and RBC Capital Markets as joint financial advisers to UK Water, a Hong Kong consortium controlled by billionaire Li Ka-Shing, in a landmark Asian investment into the UK market.
Matthew Kellett, Berwin Leighton Paisner
Matthew Kellett joined Berwin Leighton Paisner from RBS, where he was UK head of financial structuring, in March 2010 and was immediately tasked with building up the finance practice for the firm. His success speaks for itself. Among the hires the firm has taken on are Ashurst securitisation partner Simon Small and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom acquisition and leveraged finance counsel Paul Simcock, who joined as a partner. And the finance group has won some key instructions thanks to the reshaping. Perhaps the highest profile example was acting for RBS on Project Isobel, a deal to unload a stake in a £1.6bn commercial property loan portfolio. The team also advised on the debt financing for Rontec Investments’ purchase of Total UK’s downstream business, which comprised some 810 petrol stations, operations in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, fuel distribution and haulage operations, a terminal in Nottingham and a partial interest
in a pipeline.
Annette Kurdian, Linklaters
Linklaters finance partner Annette Kurdian had a standout year in 2011, advising on a seemingly never-ending string of deals. The acquisition finance specialist, who began her career at Australia’s Mallesons Stephen Jaques before joining Linklaters as an associate 10 years ago, advised the banks on Candover spin-out Arle Capital Partners’ joint acquisition of RBG from 3i, the new company’s first deal. Her real innovation, though, came when she advised the arrangers on the acquisition financing and secured
borrowing-based financing supporting the acquisition of European Petroleum Holdings by Petroplus International. The deal was groundbreaking as it saw complex commodity hedging arrangements used to enable private equity investors to invest in a sector not previously subject to leveraged buyouts due to the underlying price volatility in the oil refining sector.
Yen Sum, Linklaters
Yen Sum was promoted to partner in Linklaters’ banking practice in May 2010 and has proved to be a leading light ever since. But then, she does have a history of excellence. Having started her career at Allens Arthur Robinson in Australia before joining Linklaters in London in 2002, Sum spent three years from 2005 as an associate director in Barclays Capital’s European leveraged finance business, taking roles on a variety of private equity buyouts, refinancings and recapitalisations. The experience she gained has been invaluable for the Linklaters team. Since returning to the firm she has landed roles on countless killer mandates, such as acting for the banks on the Endemol restructuring, representing the lenders on Panrico’s capital injection and restructuring, advising investment group Alcentra on a range of debt restructurings, debt for equity swaps and amend and extends for the likes of Ineos, Dometic, Truvo, Stahl, Orion Cable, Primacom and Yell.