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LBO debt provider of the year

Winner: Deutsche Bank

Highly commended: Merrill Lynch

Highly commended: JP Morgan/ Chase

In selecting a debt provider in leverage buyout (LBO) transactions during 2000 those banks supporting deals with total debt tranches that fall, in the main, at €350 million or above were considered.

Deutsche Bank was selected as the winner thanks to the range of transactions on which it worked during 2000. In total it worked on transactions with total debt tranches of $3.48 billion. The German bank provided debt facilities on three French buyouts – those of Carreman, Elior and Michel Thierry – on four UK buyouts – those of Center Parcs and the public to private transactions of Finalrealm, Powell Duffryn and Mckechnie – and one German public to private deal: Kiekert.

Merrill Lynch is highly commended. This results from its work financing seven transactions with total debt tranches of $6.96 billion. It co-led the financing for Callahan Associates bid for 55 per cent of the North Rhine Westphalia telecoms networks being sold by Deustche Telekom alongside Salomon Smith Barney (SSB). Over exposure to European telecoms paper meant Merrill Lynch, SSB and their co-leads on the deal, Bank of America, Chase, Dresdner and West LB had their work cut out. Merrill Lynch co-led the debt on the Kiekert deal with Deutsche Bank, with whom it also acted on the Center Parcs buyout. Other transactions included Ciba Performance Polymers, Laporte, Necta Vending and Odeon, for which it took the sole lead on the debt financing.

JP Morgan/Chase is highly commended. It underwrote nine transactions worth $7.27 billion; four of these buyouts were of UK-based companies. JP Morgan-led deals made a considerable contribution to the activity levels with transactions including Rank Hovis McDougall (co-leads were Bank of Scotland, Lehman and The Royal Bank of Scotland), Germany’s TMD Fiction, Gala and Friedrich Flender, which was co-led with West LB. Alongside the Callahan Associates-led Deutsche Telekom buyout mentioned earlier, the bank was involved in financing for Acordis, Memec, Wengen (Wassall) and Gerresheimer Glas.