PwC boosts debt advisory

Consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has boosted its debt advisory practice in what it said was a “response to active debt markets, despite the difficult economic climate”. The firm made existing practice member Jason Green a partner, as well as recruiting Paul Ambrose and Ruud Kole from Barclays.

PwC’s distressed-debt activities give the firm what Green terms “a natural hedge” in the current environment. The firm’s staff in that area are busier than ever before, he said.

But the new appointments are more targeted at the area of leveraged finance. The firm’s debt advisory practice now consists of 33 people within an M&A franchise of 160 staff, and, particularly in the leveraged field, is assuming ever greater importance as clients look for more innovative ways of tapping the debt markets.

The firm is currently working on an acquisition facility and a recap, both of which require more than £500m of debt, as well as several other deals that need £30m–£100m of debt, for both LBOs and corporate acquirers.

In deals such as these, and others over the last 12–18 months, clients are requiring more advice than before on the options available to them. Rather than merely looking at the traditional ABC debt, second-lien or mezz, borrowers need to access markets such as property finance or invoice discounting that they might not have considered previously, particularly in deals that are private equity-backed.

Ambrose is a corporate leveraged finance specialist and has 20 years of corporate banking experience, while Kole has a focus on private equity-backed LBOs. He has 10 years’ experience at NIB Capital, HVB and Barclays.