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In Safe Hands - Financial Restructuring of BARTEC

A&O advises on debt restructuring of German safety equipment manufacturer and world market leader in explosion protection

BARTEC (2017)

A&O advised Commerzbank Finance & Covered Bond S.A. as Facility Agent (on behalf of the majority of the lenders) on the debt restructuring of the BARTEC group, a German safety equipment manufacturer, owned by private-equity company Charterhouse.

Initial restructuring proposals made by the shareholder in April 2016 were rejected by the lender group. This led to protracted negotiations among the various stakeholders against a backdrop of sustained economic distress for the BARTEC group.

In January 2017 the lenders unanimously approved the final restructuring proposal, which included (among other features) an amendment and extension to existing facilities, a new EUR20m facility provided by certain lenders, contingent upside instruments for those lenders that participated in the new money, a significant day one equity injection from the shareholder and a deferred equity commitment from the shareholder payable in certain circumstances. The restructuring provided the BARTEC group with an important boost to its liquidity in the medium term while the unanimous approval of the senior lenders avoided the need to use an English scheme of arrangement to implement the restructuring.

“Complex stakeholder dynamics”

Joel Ferguson (Partner, London) commented: “The stakeholder dynamics made this restructuring particularly complex and protracted. However, the service delivered by the A&O restructuring teams based in Munich and London was key in unlocking a consensual solution that ultimately was supported by all lenders.”

The A&O team

The restructuring involved teams across the LondonMunichLuxembourgSingapore and New York offices.

The London restructuring team was led by partner Carolyn Conner, assisted by Joel Ferguson.

The London banking team was led by partner Matt Moore, assisted by associates Megan Lawrence and Matthew Short.

The Munich banking and restructuring team was led by partner Walter Uebelhoer, assisted by counsel Ilja Baudisch

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