Bird & Bird's Banking & Financial Services Group Advise Åkers AB in International Refinancing

23 January 2003

SEK 575 million multi-currency, syndicated loan facility

International law firm Bird & Bird has recently advised the Åkers Group, one of the world’s leading steel products producers, on its SEK 575 million refinancing facility. The deal, which involved a team across Bird & Bird’s European offices, will enable the Åkers Group to continue to consolidate its existing production and sales activities and expand into new markets.

Headquartered in Sweden, the Åkers Group is the world’s leading producer of steel and non-ferrous rolls for the steel industry. Its principal manufacturing plants are located in Sweden, the United States, France and Belgium. The banks, led by SEB Merchant Banking as mandated arranger and facility agent, were represented by Allen & Overy.

Bird & Bird acted for all parts of the Åkers Group involved in the refinancing which required close collaboration between the firm’s London, Swedish, Belgian and French offices. Brett Israel assisted by Anthony Olsen in the London office’s Banking & Financial Services Group and John Kadelburger in the firm’s Stockholm office as client contact partner led the team.

Commenting on the transaction, Axel Alström, Chief Financial Officer of Åkers AB, said:

“As we regularly work with John Kadelburger and the Paris office, we turned to him and his firm Bird & Bird specifically for this deal because they have offices with the required banking and finance capability in all our key jurisdictions. Their presence in Europe assisted greatly with getting the deal done smoothly and efficiently and knowing we only had to deal with one firm sealed the decision for us. Of course, knowing Bird & Bird’s proven capability in the banking sector was also a crucial factor.”

Commenting on behalf of Bird & Bird, Brett Israel added:

“The firm’s international capability and our increasing focus on banking and finance work were important factors in the successful outcome of this deal. We were able to offer our client a fully integrated service addressing a range of multi-jurisdictional issues raised under English, Belgian, French and Swedish law. We were delighted to have acted on this deal”.

For more information, please contact Brett Israel on +44 (0) 20 7415 6000 or Larry Cattle, Director of Marketing, on +44 (0) 20 7415 6156.