White & Case, Freshfields and Latham lead on landmark €10bn cross-border high-yield bond deal

White & Case, Latham & Watkins and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have taken roles on one of Europe’s largest ever high-yield bond deals, with Italian telecoms company Wind Tre raising more than €10bn via a cross-border financing arrangement involving 20 international banks.

Wind Tre has raised €7.3bn in high-yield senior secured notes, alongside a €3.4bn senior credit facility consisting of a €3bn term loan and a €400m revolving credit facility.

The deal, which closed on Friday (3 November), is reportedly one of the largest ever high-yield deals in Europe and also one of the largest ever cross-border high-yield deals.

Wind Tre was formed by a 2016 joint venture between Amsterdam-headquartered telecoms company VEON, formerly VimpelCom, and Hong Kong holding company CK Hutchinson.

White & Case took the key role for the company with a team including lawyers from the US firm’s London, New York and Milan offices.

Key London lawyers on the deal include finance partners Chris Utting and Ben Wilkinson, high yield partner Rob Matthews, capital markets partner Ingrid York and capital markets associate James Greene, who will become a partner at the firm on 1 January next year.

The London team is working with Milan corporate partners Michael Immordino and Iacopo Canino and New York tax partner Raymond Simon.

Wind Tre’s legal team is being led by general counsel Mark Shalaby, while Freshfields is advising the company on Italian tax issues with Italian tax head Renato Paternollo playing the lead role.

Latham, meanwhile, is advising more than 20 banks participating as bookrunners. Banking partner Stephen Kensell, who joined Latham from Allen & Overy (A&O) last year, is leading the US firm’s team alongside London capital markets partner Brett Cassidy and Milan banking partner Marcello Bragliani.

The 2016 creation of Wind Tre came after Italy’s Wind Telecomunicazioni was taken over by VimpelCom in 2011.

While at A&O, Kensell advised the banks on London, Italian and Luxembourg aspects of a €6.6bn high-yield refinancing deal for Wind in 2010.

That deal saw White & Case and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advise Wind, while Latham also took a role for the underwriters.