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Freshfields advises Esken on £200 million refinancing transactions

Freshfields advised Esken Limited (‘Esken’), the London listed aviation and energy infrastructure group formerly known as Stobart Group Limited, on its £200m refinancing transactions which consisted of:

  1. an investment by Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund into London Southend Airport (‘LSA’). The investment was structured as a £125m senior loan facility, convertible into 29.9 per cent of the entire issued share capital of LSA. The transaction constituted a class 1 transaction for the purposes of the UK’s Listing Rules and required shareholders’ approval;
  2. a £55m equity capital raise by way of a fully underwritten firm placing and placing and open offer (‘Capital Raise’). The Capital Raise represented approximately 62 per cent of Esken’s existing issued share capital and involved a firm placing commitment with a significant shareholder, which constituted a related party transaction for the purposes of the UK’s Listing Rules requiring the approval of independent shareholders; and
  3. entry into an amendment and restatement agreement in respect of Esken’s existing bank facility agreement pursuant to which a £20m new revolving credit facility was made available to Esken by its existing lenders.

The refinancing transactions will enable Esken to repay all outstanding bank debt, meet its transaction costs and ongoing working capital requirements, meet certain of its legacy obligations and underpin its business plan going forward.

The Freshfields team was led by partners Marcus Mackenzie, Ken Baird, Richard Johnson and Rhys Evans, counsel Richard Ho, senior associate Ethan Magid and associates Nikita Kumar, Wesley Tan and Katie Bentel.