August 23, 2019
Latham & Watkins has advised the lead committee of creditors of Steinhoff Europe AG in the approximately €9 billion cross-border restructuring of the Steinhoff group, a major South African retailer with operations in Europe, Africa, the United States, and Australia.
The multi-jurisdictional transaction represents one of the most significant restructurings in recent years, and was set against a sensitive and public backdrop following accounting irregularities, litigation claims, and liquidity needs.
Latham advised on a variety of implementation mechanics, including an extensive lock-up agreement; two parallel and interdependent company voluntary arrangements (including an ultimately resolved challenge to one of the CVAS) and a UK scheme of arrangement with the benefit of US Chapter 15 recognition. Latham also advised the group of ‘DIP to Exit’ lenders to Steinhoff’s subsidiary, Mattress Firm which effected a restructuring of its lease portfolio through Chapter 11.
The cross-border Latham team was led from London by partner Simon Baskerville, Hamburg by partner Frank Grell and New York by partner Adam Goldberg, with London associate Ed Richardson and Hamburg associate Daniel Splittgerber. London partner Stephen Kensell and associate Matthew Hope advised on finance matters.