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Latham & Watkins Advises Steering Committee of Benteler Group's Credit Lenders on Comprehensive Refinancing and Restructuring

January 29, 2021
Cross-border team advises on one of the largest European automotive suppliers' refinancing and restructuring.

Latham & Watkins LLP has advised the steering committee of the credit financiers of the Benteler Group, consisting of Commerzbank AG, DZ BANK AG, Erste Group Bank AG, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, and Norddeutsche Landesbank, as global lead counsel, on the now completed full refinancing, which is part of a fundamental restructuring of Benteler Group. The basis of the refinancing is a restructuring agreement, and a restructuring opinion prepared by PwC, under inclusion of the shareholders, as well as a restructuring loan agreement (including a Fresh Money Tranche). In the course of the new structuring of the financ-ing, all existing components of the financing, including special financings and promissory notes, with a total of almost 120 different financing partners, were transferred into a joint financing structuring which is backed by a security pool.

Benteler Group, a family-owned company with approximately 100 locations in almost 30 countries and about 28,000 employees worldwide, is one of the largest European automotive suppliers. Of the total revenue of almost EUR 8 billion in 2019, approximately 85% was generated by the automotive decision, with the remaining approximately 15% coming from the second main pillar, the production of steel products and tubes for industry customers. The Group holding company is based in Salzburg, while the operating business is managed from the two German division holding companies Benteler Automobiltechnik GmbH and Benteler Steel/Tube GmbH, both based in Paderborn. In addition to Germany, Benteler's main loca-tions are China, the USA, France, Spain and the Czech Republic.

The Latham cross-border deal team was led by Hamburg partner Jörn Kowalewski and counsel Hendrik Hauke, with associates Jan-Philipp Prass, Anja Kristina Hornbostel, Florian Doster, Philipp Schmalenbach and Frankfurt associate Ann-Sophie Rosenhagen. Advice on finance matters was provided by Frankfurt partner Sibylle Münch, Munich partner Christian Jahn, Frankfurt associates Martina Eisgruber and Philipp Seltzer; on corporate matters by Hamburg partner Dirk Kocher and associate Philipp Thomssen; on tax matters by Hamburg partner Tobias Klass and associate Verena Seevers; on regulatory matters by Frankfurt part-ner Markus Krüger.

Additional advice was provided on finance matters by New York partner Paul Bonewitz and associate Omar Jooma; by Madrid partner Fernando Colomina, counsel Luis Sanchez and trainee Claudia Mencia; by Paris counsel Etienne Gentil and associate Matthieu Herviaux, by London partner Jennifer Brennan, counsel Tristram Gargent and associate Annabel Cawood, by Moscow partner Mikhael Turetsky and associate Alexander Tombak; and on real estate matters by New York associate Thomas Ficchi.