29 August 2017
Clifford Chance advises Brazilian bank syndicate on Unigel restructuring
Clifford Chance advised a syndicate of five Brazilian lenders – Banco do Brasil S.A., Banco ItauUnibanco, Banco Santander (Brasil) S.A., Banco Bradesco S.A. and Banco Indusval S.A. – in a US$235 million debt restructuring of the Unigel Group, a leading Latin American petrochemical and plastics company ("Unigel").
The complex restructuring was novel for the Brazilian market, comprising a corporate reorganization and an acquisition financing that was used to deleverage the economic group. Specifically, the financing was composed of four syndicated export prepayment facilities and six bilateral loan facilities secured by Brazilian assets to four borrowers and two guarantors of Unigel. The facilities are part of a broader corporate restructuring conceived by Valuation Consultoria together with Pinheiro Guimarães and involving the issuance of local debentures and the sale of a principal subsidiary to an investor.
The structure successfully aligned the interests of exiting and remaining lenders, as well as investors, suppliers and Unigel itself. It also provided the requisite comfort to remaining lenders, given the prospect of a de-levered company, by way of a conversion of US-dollar debt to local debt, which reduced foreign exchange risk while re-profiling bank debt into potentially more liquid Brazilian exchange-traded debentures.
Led by Banking & Finance partner Chris Willott, the Firm's São Paulo-based team included associates Jeffrey Susskind and Richard Mailey and trainee Deborah Marmot.
Clifford Chance has been recognized for decades as a preeminent law firm in Latin America. The Firm has led the way in developing successful, novel financing structures for a diverse client base, and is constantly innovating its service offering, such as with a dedicated Latin America Capital Markets group specialized in sovereign, corporate and project bonds with both issuers and underwriters.