Weil’s Schwartz closes trio of high yield deals

London-based capital markets partner Peter Schwartz led the US firm advising Amsterdam-based investment company HAL Holdings on its €300m (£271.65m) bond issuance for eyewear manufacturer Safilo.

The issuer drafted in Linklaters to advise on the deal, with banking partner Alex Naidenov leading a team for the magic circle firm. Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker Milan-based partner Bruno Cova advised the bondholders on the deal.

Schwartz also led a team advising underwriters Citi and Deutsche Bank on an $870m high-yield bond issuance for the Central European Distribution Corporate (CEDC). As part-owner of Russian Alcohol Group, CEDC will be using the proceeds of the deal to acquire the rest of the company from private equity house Lion Capital.

Dewey & LeBoeuf London partner Steve Horvath and New York partner Frank Adams led a 40-lawyer team across the firm’s international network advising longstanding client CEDC on the deal.

Dewey has a longstanding relationship with CEDC. Last year The Lawyer reported on Dewey and Weil advising CEDC and Lion Capital respectively on the latter’s $600m (£525.1m) acquisition of Russian Alcohol Group (23 May 2008).

Horvath said: “This is really the kind of deal that only a few firms can advise on because of its international focus. We’d a very large team advising on this and there are still elements of the deal ongoing.”

In the third high-yield deal, Schwartz advised Polish television broadcaster TVN on a €405m bond issuance. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett London head Greg Conway advised underwriting banks Nomura and JPMorgan.

The deals come at a time when legal and financial commentators are expecting a surge in the high-yield market as companies seek alternative methods of refinancing while bank debt remains hard to come by.

Schwartz said: “There’s a lot of hope for the European market and we’ve seen quite a bit of movement in the market. It’s definitely early days, but we’re quite optimistic about opportunities for the high-yield market.”