Ropes & Gray Represents Altice on $1.1 Billion Financing in First High-Yield Israeli Deal

December 10, 2012

Ropes & Gray advised Altice VII S.à r.L. on a $1.1 billion financing in connection with the take-private and refinancing of HOT-Telecommunications Systems Ltd., an Israeli telecommunications company. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2012 and is the first international high-yield financing for an Israeli company.

The Ropes & Gray team was co-led by recently promoted London high-yield partner Michael Kazakevich and partner Mike Goetz, with support from associates Eric Issadore, and Aditya Khanna.

“The required flexibility, speed of execution and regulatory oversight of this transaction resulted in an offering with many cross-border challenges. We were able to overcome these in large part thanks to our experience with complex European structures. We were delighted to support Altice in obtaining financing commitments and consummating the first high-yield offering by an Israeli issuer,” said Mr. Kazakevich.

“This transaction shows that the high-yield market is open to investing in quality Israeli businesses such as HOT, and given the number of successful companies in high-tech industries, we believe Israel makes for fertile ground for additional high-yield issuances,” said Mr. Goetz.

Ropes & Gray advised Altice on the bridge facilities, the high-yield offering, and the related super-senior revolving credit facility and security arrangements. Altice was also advised by Meitar Liquornik Geva & Leshem Brandwein in Israel, and by Luther and ATOZ in Luxembourg.

“We are delighted to be working with the HOT management team and look forward to continuing to help make HOT the leading telecommunications company in Israel,” said Jérémie Bonnin, director at Altice. “The capital structure we have put in place by tapping both the U.S. and the rapidly maturing European high-yield markets not only provided the financing for the Israeli take-private and related M&A transactions, but gives us the flexibility to finance growth of the Altice portfolio of investments within the group’s current corporate finance framework,” he added.

After only three years in London, Ropes & Gray has established itself as a leader in European high-yield financings and was ranked fourth by volume and eighth by deal count in the Bloomberg Euromarket High Yield inc-EM Issuer Legal Advisers table (Q3 2012).

Ropes & Gray, a global law firm with more than 1,100 lawyers and professionals, provides clients with execution of their transactions from offices in the world’s major centers of business, finance, technology and government –London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The firm is consistently ranked for its practices in private equity, M&A, finance, investment management, hedge funds, life sciences, health care, intellectual property, litigation, securities litigation and government enforcement.