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A&O advising the French state on its Covid-19 financial support package to strategic companies

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Marc Castagnede



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Julien Roux



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22 May 2020

Allen & Overy has been appointed as the global legal adviser to the French state as it implements exceptional measures aimed at supporting strategic companies in the country through the Covid-19 outbreak. 

As part of its role the Allen & Overy team in Paris advised the French state, acting through the Agence des participations de l’Etat (APE), on the EUR7 billion liquidity funding it recently granted to Air France (the French arm of Air France-KLM). 

The French government's emergency measures include a state guarantee on bank loans or direct financings such as shareholder loans and are being implemented in accordance with the European Commission's State Aid Temporary Framework. 

Julien Roux and Marc Castagnède, partners in Allen & Overy's Paris office, commented: "It is an honour for Allen & Overy to be appointed to advise the French state and the Agence des participations de l’Etat as it acts to provide financial support to strategic companies across the country.

"We have already seen with the Air France-KLM financing the benefits of our cross-practice expertise, and we are looking forward to advising the French state and all of our clients in defining solutions against the impacts of Covid-19." 

The Air France-KLM financing is the largest financial support package so far granted by the French state during the Covid-19 epidemic. The EUR7 billion package is comprised of a EUR4 billion loan granted by a syndicate of nine banks, guaranteed up to 90% by the French state, with an initial maturity of 12 months which may be extended by one or two additional years. It also includes a EUR3 billion shareholder loan granted by the French state, with an initial maturity of four years which may be extended by one or two additional years.

The A&O team was led by Paris-based banking practice partners Marc Castagnède and Julien Roux who were supported by the Paris corporate team with partner Frédéric Moreau, counsel Olivier Thébault and associate Jade Billère-Mellet; the Paris public law team with partner Romaric Lazerges and counsel Luc Lamblin; the Paris antitrust/state aid team with partner Florence Ninane and senior associate Alexandre Fall; the Paris international capital markets team with partner Hervé Ekué; and the Paris regulatory team with partner Brice Henry and senior associate Eric Roturier