Birmingham law firm Wragge & Co has announced two major finance deals.
The Colmore-Row based firm has advised Germany’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler Phoenix Pharmahandel on the UK aspects of its £3.1 billion refinancing.
This involved a £436 million unsecured bond issue and a £2.3 billion syndicated loan through the company’s subsidiary Phoenix PIB Finance BV. Hengeler Mueller was the lead firm advising Phoenix Pharmahandel.
Banking director Edward Sunderland said: “This major, complex refinancing required expertise of handling multiple finance structures simultaneously and the ability to work seamlessly with advisers in 20 jurisdictions. It’s exactly what we delivered, ensuring the project was completed successfully and to schedule.”
The deal comes as banking and finance experts at Wragge & Co advised FTSE-listed Smiths News PLC on a £135 million banking facility with a syndicate of five banks.
The deal is the firm’s first banking instruction from Smiths News.
Partner Julian Pallett and associate Jonathan Segal advised the national newspaper, magazine and book distributor on the credit facility, which is secured until November 2014.
This will replace the existing facility of £85 million that was due to mature in June 2011, considerably extending the group’s debt arrangements.
Julian Pallett said: “A high-value transaction, the deal involved coordinating multiple advisers and
providing commercial advice within challenging timescales. It’s what we delivered. Our experience of
advising major corporates on syndicated loan facilities ensured we completed the transaction within just
Nick Gresham, group chief financial officer, added: “This new banking facility gives Smiths News the
security and flexibility with which to take our business forward over the next four years. The Wragge & Co team played a significant role and helped us to achieve this complex transaction within a tight time
Wragge & Co was appointed to Smiths News PLC’s full-service legal panel at the start of the year. Formerly part of the WHSmith Group, Smiths News has a £1.7 billion turnover.
Its businesses include Smiths News, the UK’s largest newspaper and magazine wholesaler, and Bertrams, a leading book wholesaler. In this latest transaction, Osborne Clarke advised the syndicate of lenders.