A&O and Latham score top roles on £500m Manchester Utd bond issue

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Latham & Watkins have taken lead roles on Manchester United’s £500m bond issue.

A&O advised the Premier League club – a longstanding client of the firm – with a team led by recently recruited high yield partner Kevin Muzilla.

London corporate chief and relationship partner Andrew Ballheimer is advising the club on all related corporate matters.

The deal will see Man Utd subsidiary MU Finance raise £500m from a collection of senior secured notes due in 2017, which will be used to finance some of the club’s debt.

Latham advised a consortium of banks on the deal, including JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank and KKR Financial, acting as joint lead managers.

A&O has retained its position as Man Utd’s lead corporate adviser after acting for billionaire US businessman Malcolm Glazer on his £790m acquisition of the club in 2005.

The news comes as a number of major football clubs feel the effects of the recession.

Portsmouth FC is currently facing a winding-up petition from HM Revenue & Customs after changing ownership twice at the end of last year, with a full court hearing set to take place in February.

Taylor Wessing and Mayer Brown advised on the first buyout in September, which saw an Arab investment company owned by Sulaiman Al Fahim agree to purchase the south coast club for an undisclosed fee, before Mayer Brown, Denton Wilde Sapte, Berwin Leighton Paisner and Taylor Wessing all took roles on Al Fahim’s sale of a 90% stake in the club to Saudi businessman Ali Al-Faraj just six weeks later.

Allen & Overy on the Legal Week Wiki