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A&O advising on easyJet’s rights issue and new revolving credit facility

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Roe James
James Roe

Partner

London

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Hendrickson Jeff
Jeff Hendrickson

Partner

London

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Nelson Paul
Paul Nelson

Partner

London

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10 September 2021

A team from across Allen & Overy’s Banking, Corporate and International Capital Markets practices is advising on easyJet plc (easyJet)’s GBP1.2bn rights issue and the company’s new GBP400m revolving credit facility (RCF). 

A&O is advising Greenhill and BNP Paribas as Joint Sponsors, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs as Joint Global Co-ordinators and Santander and Société Générale as joint bookrunners on the rights issue. The firm is also advising BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Santander and Société Générale as lenders under easyJet’s new RCF, which was announced simultaneously with the rights issue.

The rights issue represents the largest UK equity capital raising of 2021 so far. easyJet expects the proceeds will enhance its balance sheet strength and resilience by restoring its balance sheet position to pre Covid-19 levels. The company also expects the proceeds will provide it with the flexibility to capture strategic growth opportunities, gain greater benefits from ancillary revenue and the easyJet holidays business, and invest in sustainability with new generation aircraft.

This transaction follows a number of other mandates on which A&O has advised easyJet’s financiers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, including acting for the underwriters on the company’s £400m equity “cashbox” placing in June 2020, advising UK Export Finance (UKEF) and the lenders on the January 2021 USD1.87bn combined UKEF and EDG commercial facility for easyJet – the first ever secured transaction under the UKEF Export Development Guarantee scheme, and advising the dealers and trustee on easyJet’s GBP1.2bn bond issuance in February 2021. A&O also advised on the recapitalisation plan for Rolls-Royce plc announced in October 2020.

The A&O team advising on the rights issue was led by London equity capital markets (ECM) partners James Roe and Jeff Hendrickson and counsel Harsha Kumar, with support from associates Philip Whitehead and Baxter Schooley and U.S. law clerk Shivani Agarwal. Paris ECM partner Olivier Thebault and associate Jordan Amsellem provided advice on the French prospectus and liaison with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). Partner Lydia Challen provided tax advice. Senior associate Pieter Huizing and associate Jochem de Kok provided specialist advice on the EU Air Services Regulation. 

The team advising the RCF lenders was led by A&O’s head of aviation finance, Paul Nelson, with support from senior associate Evgenia Erakhtina and associate Jacob Southgate.