Winner: The Royal Bank of Scotland Leverage Finance
Highly commended: Bank of Scotland
Highly commended: BNP Paribas
First it should be noted that in selecting a mid market debt provider transactions were decided to fall into this bracket when the bank involved operated predominantly in buyout transactions with total debt tranches that fall into the €15 million to €350 million total value range.
The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Leverage Finance Group takes the place of winner having worked on 48 UK buyouts worth $3.53 billion and on 7 European buyouts worth $272 million during the year 2000. With The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Leverage Finance Group currently concentrating on staffing continental European operations we can expect the European element of its portfolio to increase significant in 2001.
The bank’s balance sheet took on far greater proportions with the acquisition of NatWest, which eventually completed in the first half of 2000. The increase in activity by The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Leverage Finance Group can be attributed only in part to the incorporation of NatWest’s Acquisition Finance team. This is because by the time the merger was finally complete, at the end of the first quarter of 2000, the NatWest Acquisition Finance team barely reached double digits. This was thanks to a period of six months of uncertainty in which several members of the NatWest team sought job security elsewhere and some depletion resulted when NatWest made a number of staff redundant as part of its bid to defend its independence. In 1999 The Royal Bank of Scotland provided debt on just nine buyouts and NatWest Acquisition Finance worked on 27 UK buyouts.
Highly commended is Bank of Scotland. Its commitment to the buyout market remains strong and it has seen a sizeable shift upward in the buyouts that it financed in 2000. The Bank of Scotland financed 64 UK buyouts with a combined total value of $3.47 billion in 2000 (this was up from 63 UK buyouts worth a combined £1.2 billion in 1999). And it financed 10 European buyouts worth $302 million.
Also highly commended is BNP Paribas. This French bank supported European buyouts with debt financing of $1.88 billion in 2000, and buyouts of UK companies with a combined value of $213 million. Transactions included the buyout of Norway’s Dyno Nobel and the UK’s Interdean Ltd.