Herbert Smith LLP advises on a €920 million credit facility

Herbert Smith has recently advised Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and UniCredit Corporate Banking S.p.A (as Documentation Agents), Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank (as Facility Agent), the Mandated Lead Arrangers and the Lenders in connection with a €920 million financing granted by a syndicate of 16 banks for Italcementi Finance to refinance existing credit facilities and finance its general corporate needs.

Italcementi Finance is a member of the Italcementi group, the world’s fifth largest cement producer with an annual production capacity of approximately 70 million tons of cement, operating in 22 countries on 4 continents. The group’s parent company, Italcementi S.p.A., is one of Italy’s 10 largest industrial companies and is included in FTSE/MIB Index of the Italian Stock Exchange.

This transaction, which provides early refinancing of expiring credit lines (including a €700 million syndicated credit facility granted in 2005 to Ciments Français, a French subsidiary acquired by Italcementi S.p.A. in 1992) is an important new step in plans to tighten the organisation of the Italcementi group’s financial management, with Italcementi Finance as centralised treasury unit of the group.

The financing was implemented via a two-step syndication arranged by Banc of America Securities Limited, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Intesa SanPaolo S.p.A., Natixis, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and UniCredit Corporate Banking S.p.A.

The Herbert Smith team was led by Paris banking and finance partner Régis Oréal, assisted by Benjamin Guilleminot, with Legance Studio Legale Associato (Alberto Giamperi and Andrea Russo) acting as Italian counsel to the Mandated Lead Arrangers and the Lenders.

Régis commented:

“We are delighted that this transaction was conducted and completed efficiently to the satisfaction of all parties, especially given the size of the syndicate and the short timeframe requested by the borrower.”

Italcementi was advised by d’Urso Gatti e Bianchi Studio Legale (Paolo Garbolino).