Linklaters advises on airBaltic’s €340m Secured High Yield Bond

Linklaters has advised the global coordinators and bookrunners, bookrunners and co-managers in airBaltic’s recent successful offering of €340m 14.5% Secured Bonds due 2029, pursuant to Rule 144A in the United States and Regulation S outside the United States.

The Bonds, which will refinance airBaltic’s €200m outstanding bonds due in July and an existing €36m loan from the Latvian state, as well as support its current liquidity requirements and be used for future fleet expansion, represent the largest-ever offering of debt securities by a Latvian corporate issuer. The coupon is the second-highest of any Euro-denominated debt security sold to date. Structuring and documenting the Bonds presented novel and challenging issues, with a complex security package, European state aid issues presented by the Latvian government’s purchase of Bonds in the offering and a closely tailored covenant package, which also incorporates a bonds service reserve account, a liquidity maintenance feature and a coupon step-up in the event of a bond service reserve account underfunding.

Linklaters demonstrated unparalleled cross-practice and cross-jurisdictional team strength in the execution of the transaction, with a team led by Cecil Quillen and Simon Few, partners in the London equity and debt markets practice, Caroline Courtney a partner in the London corporate and structured lending practice, Natura Gracia, partner in the London antitrust and foreign investment practice and James Martin, partner in the London banking practice, with key roles played by Scott James (US counsel), Sirae Chen (managing associate), Liam Jenkins (managing associate), Cassandra Dula (US associate) and Jennifer Zhao (associate) in the London equity and debt markets practice (all based in London); Fredrik Lowhagen (counsel) and Argyrios Papaefthymiou (associate) in the antitrust and foreign investment practice; Atish Shah (managing associate) and David Adler (senior US associate) in the London banking practice; and Michelle Lo (partner), Amanda Gabai (US counsel), Omer Harel (US counsel) and Young Jin Kim (US associate) in the US tax practice.

Neil Pallender, partner, and James Pearce, managing associate, in the Linklaters London equity and debt markets practice, represented the trustee and security trustee, U.S. Bank Trustees Limited.