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Nick Syson

Banking Partner, London

“I am a banking lawyer with specialist knowledge of leveraged finance and debt restructurings. I ensure that even the most complex deals are executed, combining an extensive knowledge of the law and changing market practice with sharp understanding of clients’ commercial requirements.”

Overview

Professional experience

Education and qualifications

Overview

Nick is a market-leading leveraged finance specialist. He acted on his first leveraged buyout in 1988, he set up the firm’s leveraged finance practice in 2001 with Gideon Moore and he was Co-Head of the Leveraged Finance Practice until 2016. Nick was elected by the Partners to the firm’s supervisory board for consecutive terms and he remains on the firm’s audit committee. He is also the firm’s Health and Wellbeing Partner.

Within his practice, he advises arranging banks on financial sponsor-backed leveraged finance transactions and coordinating bank and steering committees on debt restructurings. He also advises on bank/bond financings.

Nick has been involved in a number of pioneering developments in the leveraged finance sector, most recently acting for the underwriters on the financings for both the acquisition of Coty and the bid for MasMovil, being the financing transactions that reopened the European leveraged loan market post Covid19 and, prior to that, on a number of transactions that established and evolved the European cov-lite leveraged loan product. He has also acted on some of the early “Opco/Propco” financings (in which the finance is divided between operating companies and property-owning businesses), regulatory life insurance arbitrage transactions, transactions involving hedging uneven cashflows, infrastructure acquisition financings and numerous debt restructuring transactions. Nick was based in Singapore for two years where he focused on, and developed his knowledge of, regional debt restructuring.

Work highlights
  • MasMovil Ibercom S.A.: advising the underwriters on the €3bn facilities for the bid by Cinven, KKR and Provident.
  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company (KKR): advising the underwriters on most of KKR’s European acquisitions, including US$ 1.3bn acquisition of the professional beauty and retail haircare business of Coty Inc, the €350m facilities to acquire Exact Holdings BV, the €640m facilities to acquire Webhelp, the £315m facilities to acquire LGC and the £955m acquisition of Pets at Home.
  • Alliance Boots: advising the underwriters on the £8bn facilities for the leveraged buyout (LBO) in 2007, the largest ever European LBO until the acquisition of the elevator business from Tyssenkrupp in 2020.
  • Hugo Boss: advising the underwriters on the €2.4bn facilities to acquire Valentino Fashion Group which included both an Italian P2P and a German P2P and was also the first time under English law that the financial sponsor required arranging banks to underwrite the issuance equity, as well as the debt.
  • Apax Partners: advising the underwriters on the NOL 11bn facility to acquire Evry, a Norwegian technology company.
  • General Health Care Limited: advising the lenders on the debt restructuring and subsequent pre-packaged sale of General Health Care Limited.
  • Gala: advising the underwriters on the Opco/Propco financing for the betting and gaming company and the £2.3bn acquisition of Coral Eurobet, a debt restructuring and subsequent bond refinancing.
  • Paroc: advising the lenders on the restructuring of the Finland-based insulation manufacturer, which was notable for being one of the first two transactions that was subject to lender led pre-packaged sale using non-cash consideration.

Professional experience

  • Elected for consecutive terms to the Linklaters supervisory board
  • Elected for consecutive terms to the Wilde Sapte executive board.

Education and qualifications

Nick studied law at the University of Southampton.