Ropes & Gray has been named Transatlantic Finance Team of the Year at the Transatlantic Legal Awards 2019, in recognition of the advice it provided long-time client Altice USA on the structuring, financing, corporate and securities laws aspects of the combination of two of its businesses - Suddenlink (Cequel) and Optimum (Cablevision) - under a single credit silo.
The deal, which involved exchange offers and consent solicitations in respect of multiple series of Cequel’s high yield bonds (representing an aggregate principal amount of $5.5bn) and a $1.25bn Term Loan B refinancing, was completed in November 2018. It enabled the integration of the Suddenlink and Optimum businesses in a leverage-neutral transaction for Altice USA thereby simplifying Altice USA’s financing strategy and financial reporting requirements.
The Ropes & Gray team that advised on the deal was led by finance partners Michael Kazakevich and Aditya Khanna and counsel Alexandru Mocanu, supported by associates Luwam Mezue, Shabdita Gupta and Daniela Mozetic, all based in London.
The award crowns what has been a stellar start to 2019 for the Ropes & Gray London Finance Group. The seven-strong partner team of English and US qualified lawyers, supported by one counsel and 16 associates has acted on approximately $9.6 billion aggregate principal amount of transactions in the first six months of the year, covering the full spectrum of leveraged finance products: syndicated loans, high yield bonds and privately placed credit, tapping both the US and European debt markets.
Michael Kazakevich, Global Co-Head of Finance at Ropes & Gray, said: “This award is the latest external validation of the stellar work of the finance lawyers at Ropes & Gray. The combination of Suddenlink and Cablevision credit groups required creative thinking to design a structure that accomplished the outcome desired by the client and showcased the bank, bond and liability management expertise of our London-based team. The Transatlantic Finance Team of the Year award is a recognition of the dedication and hard work of the associates in the high yield practice at Ropes & Gray who were critical in delivering this multi-faceted deal on the compressed timeline, and we are fortunate to be able to deploy such a talented team of lawyers to continue providing elite level of service for our clients.”
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