Ropes & Gray Represents Numericable-SFR in the Largest Ever Single-Tranche High Yield Bond Issuance
Ropes & Gray advised French telecoms operator Numericable-SFR S.A. (“SFR”) on its USD $5.19 billion jumbo high yield bond offering, setting the record as the largest-ever single-tranche bond sale in the high yield market.
The deal, which closed yesterday, was upsized to USD $5.19 billion from the original offering size of USD $2.25 billion due to strong investor demand. The proceeds of the 7.375% senior secured notes due 2026 will be used by SFR to refinance existing senior secured notes due 2019, repay drawings under its revolving credit facility, and repay term loans due May 2020.
The Ropes & Gray team, led by London finance partners Michael Kazakevich and Benoit Lavigne, advised SFR on all aspects of the financing, with Nabarro & Hinge acting as French legal counsel, Luther S.A. as Luxembourg legal counsel, Franklin as French regulatory counsel and Mayer Brown as French tax counsel.
Michael Kazakevich said “This was the first liability management transaction by a portfolio company of our long-standing client, Altice N.V. after a series of successful acquisition financings in Europe and the U.S. We had the privilege of representing Altice and Numericable when they acquired SFR in 2014 and this latest record-setting transaction continues to build on that relationship. Favourable pricing in the U.S. high yield market enabled the entire deal to be done in dollars and the size of the deal and investor appetite for Numericable-SFR bonds evidences continued strength of the Altice franchise in being able to opportunistically access debt capital markets globally”.
The Ropes & Gray team included London associate Aditya Khanna, Amrita Khemka, Greig Lamont and Alexandru Mocanu, Partners Alexander Zeltser, Allie Aperovich and counsel Sabrina Glaser in New York and Partner David Saltzman, counsel Sara Clevering and associate Ariella Mutchler in Boston.