Result leaves G+T on cloud Nine

By Andrew Jennings|23 January 2013

Gilbert + Tobin believes it has cemented its position as a leader in the Australian corporate restructuring market after Nine Entertainment’s lenders approved the company’s $3.4 billion recapitalisation.

G+T has played a key role advising in the long-running negotiations involving Nine in the past 12 months, including helping broker the 11th hour deal to pull the company back from the brink of receivership late last year.

On Monday (21 January), Nine parted ways with owners of six years CVC Asia-Pacific, as lenders agreed the share restructuring.

“It’s a great result for Gilbert +Tobin,” Dominic Emmett (pictured), a partner at the firm and one of the chief negotiators on the restructuring, told Lawyers Weekly.

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“The firm has advised Nine for many years and we will continue to do so.”

Emmett added that the multi-billion dollar debt restructure was undoubtedly “the restructuring deal of the past year” and said it highlighted the firm’s position as a leader in the legal restructuring market.

While the deal struck to save Nine last October required two days of tense negotiations, the meeting this week about the refinancing proposal passed without incident.

“It went extremely smoothly … all of the negotiations had long since been resolved, so really the meeting this week was a formality,” said Emmett, who worked alongside G+T partners Rachel Launders and David Clee during the negotiations.

Approval will now be sought from the Federal Court on 29 January for the scheme of arrangement, just a week before the senior debt on the company was set to mature.

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 “Everyone is confident that will be a formality,” said Emmett.

The deal will see CVC lose out on $1.9bn in the deal, with US lenders Apollo and Oaktree taking the leading stakes in the company.

The move also paves the way for the company to once again be floated on the stock market in the next 18 months and for the introduction of a new board, which will likely include former top Fox television executive David Haslingden and former Howard government treasurer Peter Costello.

Result leaves G+T on cloud Nine
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