January 13, 2010
Latham & Watkins LLP attorneys in the firm's New York, London, Frankfurt and Hamburg offices advised the senior agents on behalf of senior creditors on the financial and corporate restructuring of Global Safety Textiles (GST) Group, the manufacturer of textiles to the global automotive sector, in connection with their first lien facilities.
On June 30, 2009, several companies of GST Group filed for protection pursuant to chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, including the US holding company, and two German entities that moved their centres of main interest to the United States.
On January 8, 2010, as a result of implementing the reorganisation plan, the senior creditors became owners of all shares in a newly formed German holding company of the reorganised GST Group. In order to maintain the business of GST Group during the chapter 11 proceedings, it was essential to ensure that all non-US entities in Europe, including Germany, remained outside local insolvency despite the US proceedings.
"This is the first time in Germany that a company, working together with its lenders, used the advantages of a US Chapter 11 process together with European debt restructuring mechanics to achieve a restructuring of its debt," said Frank Grell, Hamburg-based finance partner at Latham & Watkins. "Completing this landmark deal would not have been possible without our global restructuring platform, involving experts in New York, London and Germany."
The Latham & Watkins team was led by London finance partner James Chesterman, New York finance partner Mitchell Seider and Hamburg finance partner Frank Grell, along with London finance partner Andy Kolacki, Hamburg corporate partner Dr. Dirk Kocher, New York finance partner Jane Summers, London finance associate Helen Matchwick, Frankfurt finance associate Daniel Ehret, Hamburg finance associate Constantin Alfes, New York finance associates Adam Goldberg and Cindy Caillavet, and Frankfurt corporate associate Dr. Stefan Wirsch. Hamburg partner Dr. Tobias Klass advised on tax aspects. New York litigation associate Melinda Franek also advised on the deal.