Europe awards: private equity

Author: | Published: 18 Mar 2010

Private equity deals of the year

L-R: Roy Papatheodorou of Linklaters, Donald Guiney of Freshfields, Gavin Brown of Slaughter and May

WINNER: Oaktree/Countrywide
This was the first time that a private-equity house successfully pulled off a loan-to-own strategy. Not only that, but when Oaktree began to buy up Countrywide’s debt in order to try and take control, existing sponsor Apollo began doing the same thing to maintain its seat at the table – this was also unique. Oaktree brought in fellow fund Alchemy to help with the financing and Apollo brought in Polygon. Together they cut Countrywide’s debt to £170 million and provided £75 million in new capital, and shared control of the company.

This was also the first time a scheme of arrangement had been used in the UK with a simultaneous Cayman scheme and simultaneous Chapter 15 organisation in the US.