Francesco Lione

  • Partner
  • Efrancesco.lione@lw.com
  • 99 Bishopsgate
  • London EC2M 3XF
  • United Kingdom
  • T +44.20.7710.5832
  •  
 

Profile

Francesco Lione, a partner in the London office of Latham & Watkins, regularly represents investment banks, private equity firms, and corporate clients in a wide array of international financing transactions, including financings of acquisitions and joint ventures, recapitalizations, bond offerings, bridge facilities, private placements, and spin-offs. Mr. Lione also advises investment banks and issuers in connection with liability management transactions, encompassing debt tender and exchange offers, consent solicitations, and out-of-court restructurings.

Mr. Lione has counselled clients from a variety of industries in high yield, cross-over, and investment grade debt transactions. These assignments have mostly involved cross-border financings for clients based in Europe, the United States, Asia, and Latin America. He has also represented European companies on cross-border acquisitions, as well as corporate and sovereign clients in connection with public offerings of securities in the United States.

Experience

Mr. Lione’s experience includes representing:

Corporate Clients and Private Equity Firms
  • CVC and its portfolio company Domestic & General, the UK’s leading appliance care specialist, in the bridge financing of the sale of a circa 30% stake in D&G to an entity ultimately wholly-owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and in the refinancing of D&G’s existing capital structure with new bond issuances and revolving credit lines
  • Intermediate Capital Group in the €470 million committed bridge loan financing and floating rate notes offering for its acquisition of leading Italian generic pharmaceutical company DOC Generici
  • DXC Technology, the world's leading independent end-to-end IT services company, in its offering of €650 million of senior notes
  • Schoeller Allibert, Brookfield, and Schoeller Industries in connection with their joint and several offer to purchase Schoeller Allibert’s existing Senior Secured Notes due 2021 at a price of 101% of their principal amount, following the consummation of Brookfield’s acquisition of a controlling stake in Schoeller Allibert
  • Refresco, the world’s largest independent bottler of retailer and A-brand soft drinks, in its offering of €445 million of senior notes
  • Domestic & General, the market-leading appliance care specialist in the UK and a portfolio company of CVC, in its offer to exchange new floating rate notes due 2020 for its outstanding floating rate notes due 2019, and in its concurrent private placement of £43.5 million of additional floating rate notes due 2020
  • PAI Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation in the €2.6 billion committed term loan and bridge loan financing of their recommended cash tender offer for the ordinary shares of Refresco, the world’s largest independent bottler of retailer and A-brand soft drinks
  • HomeVi, a leading provider of services to elderly people in France, Spain, and China, and its new controlling shareholder, Intermediate Capital Group, in the €1,150 million syndicated loan financing supporting ICG’s leveraged buyout and the refinancing of HomeVi’s existing debt
  • AkerBP, a Norwegian oil production and exploration company listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, in its debut bond offering
  • PAI Partners and its portfolio company Cerba HealthCare, the leading clinical pathology laboratories company is France, which holds strong market positions in Belgium, Luxembourg, and Africa in the €1.1 billion staple financing package underwritten by BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, and Natixis in connection with the sale and auction of the company
  • PAI Partners and its portfolio company HomeVi in connection with the bridge, bank, and bond financing for DomusVi's acquisition of Spanish nursing home business SARquavitae Servicios a la Dependencia
  • Shandong Ruyi in connection with the bridge, bank, and bond financing for its acquisition of international apparel and accessories retail group SMCP
  • PAI Partners and its portfolio company HomeVi in connection with the bridge, bank, and bond financing for DomusVi's acquisition of Spanish nursing home business Geriatros
  • Onex Partners and its portfolio company Onex Wizard Acquisition Company in connection with the bridge, bank, and bond financing for their acquisition of global packaging company SIG Combibloc
  • PAI Partners and its portfolio company HomeVi in connection with the bridge, bank, and bond financing for their acquisition of French nursing home company DomusVi
  • PAI Partners and its portfolio company Cerba European Lab in the €80 million bond financing of Cerba’s acquisition of French laboratory group JS Bio
  • CVC Capital Partners in the £500 million bridge and bond financing of its leveraged buy-out of UK warranty provider Domestic & General
Private Placements and Hybrid Financings
  • An investment bank in connection with its purchase of £40 million of senior secured notes privately placed by Virgin Media, a leading UK cable and telecommunications company
  • An investment bank in connection with its purchase of £50 million of receivables financing notes privately placed by Virgin Media, a leading UK cable and telecommunications company
  • Investment management firms in connection with the purchase by several of their investment funds of £50 million of receivables financing notes privately placed by Virgin Media, a leading UK cable and telecommunications company
  • Albacore Capital in its redeemable preferred equity investment in Algeco Scotsman, a world leader in modular space and secure storage solutions controlled by TDR Capital
  • Domestic & General, the market-leading appliance care specialist in the UK and a portfolio company of CVC, in its offer to exchange new floating rate notes due 2020 for its outstanding floating rate notes due 2019, and in its concurrent private placement of £43.5 million of additional floating rate notes due 2020
  • BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, ING Bank, Banca IMI, and DNB Markets in the £300 million offering of receivables financing notes by UK cable and telecommunications company Virgin Media
  • Credit Suisse, Banca IMI, ING, and Mediobanca in the £450 million tap offering of Virgin Media’s receivables financing notes
  • Credit Suisse, Banca IMI, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and ING in the innovative off-balance sheet funding of Virgin Media’s vendor financing program through the high yield bond market for which the bond financing was awarded the High Yield Deal of the Year recognition at the IFLR European Awards 2017
  • CPPIB Capital in its €480 million commitment of Mandatory Convertible Notes as part of TDR’s acquisition of LeasePlan Corporation, the largest vehicle leasing and fleet company in the world
Liability Management Transactions and Restructurings
  • A group of bondholders led by CQS and HIG (including New York and London funds CVC, Southpaw, 400 Capital, Millstreet, Bluecrest, Muzinich, Ironshield, and TT International) in negotiating a number of changes to the indenture governing Global Ship Lease’s 9.875% First Priority Secured Notes due 2022, designed to secure better protection of creditor rights following the company’s announcement of an all-stock merger transaction with Poseidon Containers
  • Schoeller Allibert, Brookfield, and Schoeller Industries in connection with their joint and several offer to purchase Schoeller Allibert’s existing Senior Secured Notes due 2021 at a price of 101% of their principal amount, following the consummation of Brookfield’s acquisition of a controlling stake in Schoeller Allibert
  • Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch International, and Morgan Stanley as dealer managers and solicitation agents in connection with the offer to exchange existing senior notes due 2022, 2025, and 2027 for new senior notes due 2028 (and the concurrent consent solicitation) by Softbank, a leading global technology company
  • Domestic & General, the market-leading appliance care specialist in the UK and a portfolio company of CVC, in its offer to exchange new floating rate notes due 2020 for its outstanding floating rate notes due 2019, and in its concurrent private placement of £43.5 million of additional floating rate notes due 2020
  • Credit Suisse as dealer manager in connection with Virgin Media’s offer to exchange its 2021 senior secured notes par-for-par for new sterling-denominated 2025 notes and the related solicitation of consents from holders of the 2021 notes aimed at aligning the covenants of the existing indenture with those of senior secured notes more recently issued by the company
  • Cerba European Lab, the leading clinical pathology laboratories company is France, in connection with its solicitation of consents from its bondholders to facilitate a corporate reorganization

 

Mr. Lione has broad finance experience spanning numerous industries. Notable transactions include representing:

Telecommunications and Media
  • Citigroup, BNP Paribas, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, and HSBC in the US$600 million tap offering of senior secured notes by UK cable and telecommunications company Virgin Media
  • Citigroup, Rabobank, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, ING, and Merrill Lynch in the offering of €550 million senior notes offering of Dutch cable and mobile telecommunications company Ziggo
  • Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, and Scotiabank in the US$825 million and £300 million senior secured notes offering of UK cable and telecommunications company Virgin Media
  • Deutsche Bank in the offering of £40 million of senior secured notes by Perform Group, a global leader in the commercialization of multimedia sports content
  • Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch International, Daiwa Capital Markets, Mizuho Securities, Nomura, and SMBC Nikko in the offering of €1.45 billion and US$750 million of senior notes by Softbank, a leading global technology company
  • Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Rabobank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs International, J.P. Morgan, RBC Capital Markets, Scotia Capital, and Société Générale in the US$1 billion senior secured notes offering of Belgian cable company Telenet
  • Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, Rabobank, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International, J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, and Société Générale in the €600 million senior secured notes offering of Belgian cable company Telenet
  • Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Scotiabank, and Société Générale in the US$550 million senior notes offering of European cable company UPC
  • Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Mizuho, Credit Agricole, BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, UBS, Barclays, BNP Paribas, SMBC Nikko, NOMURA, Credit Suisse, Daiwa Capital, and ING in the offering of US$3.35 billion and €2.25 billion of senior notes by Softbank, a leading global technology company
  • Goldman Sachs, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Scotia Bank in the US$700 million high yield bond offering of Cable & Wireless, a leading telecommunications company in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Seychelles
  • Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs International, ING Bank N.V., and Société Générale in the €600 million secured notes offering of European cable company UPC
  • Credit Suisse, ABN AMRO, Crédit Agricole CIB, HSBC, Mediobanca, Morgan Stanley, NatWest Markets, Nomura, Société Générale, and UBS Investment Bank in the €635 million unsecured notes offering of European cable company UPC
  • Deutsche Bank, Banca IMI, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Mediobanca, NatWest, Nomura, RBC, and UBS in the £675 million bond offering of UK cable and telecommunications company Virgin Media
  • Credit Suisse, ABN AMRO, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Rabobank, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International, HSBC, ING, J.P. Morgan, Mediobanca, Merrill Lynch International, Nomura, and Scotiabank in the €3,145 million equivalent bond offering of Dutch cable and telecommunications company Ziggo, supporting its proposed joint venture with Dutch mobile telecommunications company Vodafone Libertel
  • J.P. Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Barclays, Crédit Agricole, HSBC, and Mediobanca in the US$750 million bond offering of UK cable and telecommunications company Virgin Media
  • The underwriting banks in the committed bridge financing for Liberty Global’s acquisition of Latin American telecommunications company Cable & Wireless Communications
  • Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International, Mizuho Securities, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Crédit Agricole, NOMURA, SMBC Nikko, UBS, Daiwa Capital Markets, and Citigroup in the US$4.5 billion bond offering of Softbank, one of Japan's leading mobile communications companies, which was, as of the date of the transaction's completion, one of the largest high yield bond offerings out of Asia on record
  • Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, RBC Capital Markets and Société Générale in the €530 million bond offering of Belgian cable company Telenet
  • Credit Suisse, Crédit Agricole, and Nomura in the US$340 million bond offering of European cable company UPC Holding
  • J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, ING, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, and Scotiabank in the US$800 million bond offering of European cable company UPC Holding
  • J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, ING, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, and Scotiabank in the €600 million bond offering of European cable company UPC Holding
  • Goldman Sachs International, Barclays, BNP PARIBAS, and Deutsche Bank in the US$500 million bond offering of UK cable and telecommunications company Virgin Media
  • Deutsche Bank, Barclays, BNP PARIBAS, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs International, HSBC, and Société Générale in the £846 million (equivalent) bond offering of UK cable and telecommunications company Virgin Media
  • Credit Suisse, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and UBS in the €700 million bond offering of German cable and telecommunications company Unitymedia KabelBW
  • Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, and The Royal Bank of Scotland in the €500 million bond offering of German cable and telecommunications company Unitymedia KabelBW
  • Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley in connection with a US$570 million bridge loan, as well as US$1.1 billion high yield bonds and US$80 million super-senior revolving facility, provided to the Altice Group to finance the acquisition of the remaining 31% stake in HOT Telecommunications not already owned by Altice and to refinance existing debt
  • DXC Technology, the world's leading independent end-to-end IT services company, in its offering of €650 million of senior notes
Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Intermediate Capital Group in the €470 million committed bridge loan financing and floating rate notes offering for its acquisition of leading Italian generic pharmaceutical company DOC Generici
  • HomeVi, a leading provider of services to elderly people in France, Spain, and China, and its new controlling shareholder, Intermediate Capital Group, in the €1,150 million syndicated loan financing supporting ICG’s leveraged buyout and the refinancing of HomeVi’s existing debt
  • PAI Partners and its portfolio company HomeVi in connection with the bridge, bank, and bond financing for DomusVi's acquisition of Spanish nursing home business SARquavitae Servicios a la Dependencia
  • PAI Partners and its portfolio company Cerba HealthCare, the leading clinical pathology laboratories company is France, which holds strong market positions in Belgium, Luxembourg, and Africa, in the €1.1 billion staple financing package underwritten by BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, and Natixis in connection with the sale and auction of the company
  • PAI Partners and its portfolio company HomeVi in connection with the bridge, bank, and bond financing for DomusVi's acquisition of Spanish nursing home business Geriatros
  • PAI Partners and its portfolio company HomeVi in connection with the bridge, bank, and bond financing for their acquisition of French nursing home company DomusVi
  • PAI Partners and its portfolio company Cerba European Lab in the €80 million bond financing of Cerba’s acquisition of French laboratory group JS Bio
  • J.P. Morgan, Banca IMI, and Mediobanca in the €400 million bond offering by Italian pharmaceutical company Rottapharm
  • Goldman Sachs International and another leading financial institution as global coordinators in connection with bridge, bank, and bond LBO financing for the acquisition of Four Seasons Health Care by Terra Firma
Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • CVC and its portfolio company Domestic & General, the UK’s leading appliance care specialist, in the bridge financing of the sale of a circa 30% stake in D&G to an entity ultimately wholly-owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and in the refinancing of D&G’s existing capital structure with new bond issuances and revolving credit lines
  • Domestic & General, the market-leading appliance care specialist in the UK and a portfolio company of CVC, in its offer to exchange new floating rate notes due 2020 for its outstanding floating rate notes due 2019, and in its concurrent private placement of £43.5 million of additional floating rate notes due 2020
  • Deutsche Bank, Nordea, DNB Markets, Mizuho Securities, Nykredit Bank, and SEB in the debut post-initial public offering bond offering of Nets A/S, a leading provider of digital payment services and related technology solutions across the Nordic region
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS, Banca IMI, J.P. Morgan, and Goldman Sachs International in the €600 million offering of senior secured PIK Toggle Notes of ICBPI, the largest diversified payments company in Italy
  • CPPIB Capital in its €480 million commitment of Mandatory Convertible Notes as part of TDR’s acquisition of LeasePlan Corporation, the largest vehicle leasing and fleet company in the world
  • CVC Capital Partners in the £500 million bridge and bond financing of its leveraged buy-out of UK warranty provider Domestic & General
Industrials and Manufacturing
  • Refresco, the world’s largest independent bottler of retailer and A-brand soft drinks, in its offering of €445 million of senior notes
  • PAI Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation in the €2.6 billion committed term loan and bridge loan financing of their recommended cash tender offer for the ordinary shares of Refresco, the world’s largest independent bottler of retailer and A-brand soft drinks
  • Albacore Capital in its redeemable preferred equity investment in Algeco Scotsman, a world leader in modular space and secure storage solutions controlled by TDR Capital
  • Onex Partners and its portfolio company Onex Wizard Acquisition Company in connection with the bridge, bank, and bond financing for their acquisition of global packaging company SIG Combibloc
  • Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and another leading financial institution in the €342 million bond refinancing of UK specialty films and polymer substrates manufacturer Innovia
Natural Resources
  • AkerBP, a Norwegian oil production and exploration company listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, in its debut bond offering
  • Goldman Sachs, CaixaBank, PNC Capital Markets, Santander, and B. Riley & Co in the debut issuance of high yield bonds by Ferroglobe, one of the world’s largest producers of silicon metal, silicon-based alloys, and manganese-based alloys
Services and Retail
  • HSBC and Goldman Sachs in the £550 million senior secured bond refinancing of Iceland, a leading frozen food and grocery retailer in the UK
  • Shandong Ruyi in connection with the bridge, bank, and bond financing for its acquisition of international apparel and accessories retail group SMCP
  • Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Nordea, and Handelsbanken in the SEK3,225 million bank and bond refinancing of Swedish installation services company Bravida
  • BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International, and J.P. Morgan in the €450 million bond refinancing of French textile and hygiene services company Elis

Thought Leadership

  • Green Bonds – Financing a Sustainable Future -  July 01, 2017
  • What Is The Future of High-Yield Green Bonds? -  March 04, 2015
Francesco Lione is a widely praised practitioner in the high yield capital markets sector. "He is a very competent, commercially-minded partner who is always a pleasure to work with and shows very strong technical expertise," according to interviewees.Chambers UK 2018
Bar Qualification
  • England and Wales (Solicitor)
  • Italy (Avvocato)
  • New York
Education
  • LL.M., Columbia University School of Law, 2005
    Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Advanced Diploma in Law and Economics, Sapienza - Università di Roma, 2004
    cum laude
  • JD, Sapienza - Università di Roma, 2001
    cum laude
Industries
  • Communications
  • Healthcare Services & Providers
  • Internet & Digital Media
Languages
  • English
  • Italian
Practices
  • Capital Markets
  • Restructuring & Special Situations
  • Private Equity Finance