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Deals 19 March 2004

Deals 19 March 2004

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom International represented Deutsche Bank AG, Sydney Branch, and UBS AG, Australia Branch, as joint bookrunners in a $1 billion offering of 5.875 per cent…

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom International represented Deutsche Bank AG, Sydney Branch, and UBS AG, Australia Branch, as joint bookrunners in a $1 billion offering of 5.875 per cent notes due 2008 issued by the Republic of Italy under its SEC-registered Schedule B program.

According to the firm, the debt offering represented one of the largest Australian dollar-denominated bonds ever priced by a sovereign government. It was also the first time a European sovereign had raised debt in Australian currency since 1998. The size of the offering, initially planned to be $500 million, was doubled and priced one day early as the two bookrunners received $1.4 billion in orders in the first 24 hours after launch.

The underwriters were also represented by Mallesons Stephen Jacques on Australian law matters, and by Studio Legale Bisconti on Italian law. Skadden has also represented The News Corporation Limited and Fox Entertainment Group, Inc. in their US$430 ($585) million sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to Frank H. McCourt, Jr., a prominent real estate developer. The transaction, which closed on February 13, included: the team; Dodger Stadium; the club’s Vero Beach, Florida, spring training centre; and properties in the Dominican Republic. The consideration included cash, a secured promissory note from Mr. McCourt and an unsecured convertible note issued by a McCourt entity that owns the team and the other acquired assets.

Coudert Brothers has advised Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer, on its restructuring and reorganisation of investments and business in China. The three-year restructuring involved various approvals from national and local authorities.

In April 2001 the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation requested Carrefour to restructure and reorganise their overall business in China, which included the 27 hypermarkets and 13 companies that Carrefour had directly and indirectly invested and incorporated in within the 16 major cities in China. The deal was led by Coudert Brothers managing partner Jingzhou Tao, and included Jenny Sheng, Bertrand Theaud and Gang Zhao,.

Linklaters has advised Barclays Capital, as lead manager on the issue of £400 ($972) million 5.77 per cent permanent interest bearing shares (PIBS) for Nationwide Building Society and £400 million 5.77 per cent permanent interest bearing share receipts for The Law Debenture Intermediary Corporation plc. This structure is designed to protect the mutual status of Nationwide Building Society. The Law Debenture Intermediary Corporation plc issues receipts that show evidence of entitlement to all payments under the PIBS other than any windfall payment on a demutualisation. They also covenant that they will not transfer the PIBS, not exercise any voting rights in relation to the PIBS and assign to The Nationwide Foundation any benefits they might otherwise obtain on demutualisation.

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