City quartet advise on Yell buyout
Legal Week reports
Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Weil Gotshal & Manges and Travers Smith Braithwaite have all had a hand in the long-awaited £2.14bn buyout of Yell – BT’s telephone directory and Internet business.Allen & Overy has secured a significant coup by advising BT on the sale of Yell for £2.14bn to a consortium of private equity firms BT had traditionally alternated between Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters & Alliance for its heavyweight corporate advice.Clifford Chance, led by corporate partners David Walker and Adam Signy, scored a new client by representing the Yell management team.Private equity groups Hicks Muse Tate & Furst and Apax partners have achieved funding in the region of £1.55bn from Merrill Lynch and CIBC to help finance the purchase.A £500m bridge loan is also expected to be re-financed through the European bond market.Weil Gotshal & Manges corporate partner Mike Francies and Travers Smith Braithwaite corporate partner Charles Barter advised regular clients Hicks Muse and Apax partners respectivelyThe deal – which was announced on May 26 – is to be financed with the biggest leverage loan and high yield bond package ever seen in the buoyant European junk market.The sale price, nonetheless, is around £600m lower than anticipated.The Government’s imposition of a ceiling on the advertising rates that Yell can charge led to a significant drop in the company’s valuation.Yell, which was formerly known as the Yellow Pages Group, comprises a number of classified advertising businesses in printed and online media.
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