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Ropes & Gray Advises Virgin Media on Two Ground-Breaking Financings

Practices: High Yield, Finance, Securitizations & Structured Finance

Ropes & Gray has advised the Virgin Media group on two truly innovative financings: the first ever issuance of receivables financing notes and the UK’s first ever handset securitization.

In the first deal, which raised £350m, Ropes & Gray advised on the structuring of the first ever issuance of receivables financing notes (RFNs).  The RFNs are secured on accounts payable by the Virgin Media group, while the Issuer’s excess cash is lent to the Virgin Media. The structure is a significant development in the supply chain finance market since it allows corporates to term out their accounts payable until the maturity of the RFNs – in this case eight years.

The London-based Ropes & Gray team that advised on this deal was led by high yield partners Jane Rogers and Robert Haak, who act for Virgin Media’s parent, Liberty Global plc, on all of their high yield issuances across their operating businesses.

Separately, Ropes & Gray also advised on the first ever handset securitization seen in the UK, which provides up to £125m of ‘AA’ equivalent senior funding.  As the first securitization of this asset class in the UK, the deal posed a number of unique legal and commercial challenges and Ropes & Gray worked closely with Virgin Media to develop solutions to these issues while maintaining operational flexibility.

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