Milbank LLP advised Ellaktor, S.A., one of Greece’s largest and leading infrastructure companies, in connection with its debut €600 million Rule 144A/Reg. S high-yield international bond offering. The Company’s core business segments include concessions, renewable energy, environmental services, real estate and construction.
Apostolos Gkoutzinis, Milbank’s co-head of European Capital Markets and Leveraged Finance, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have assisted our client Ellaktor in this transaction, which is of strategic importance for a number of reasons. First, it is the inaugural capital raising of Ellaktor in the international financial markets at a critical juncture in the group’s further growth and development. Second, it is the largest high-yield bond out of Greece since, if my memory serves me well, 2005. Third, and perhaps more important, it was the first inaugural high-yield bond offering out of Greece in more than five years, after a long period of financial weakness, capital controls and feeble prospects for economic growth.”
He added, “This deal, in particular, represented a change of direction for capital markets access by Greek companies and renewed investor confidence in the sub-investment grade sector. While a number of investment grade and/or ‘cross-over’ issuers have issued very successfully in the international markets, including very recently (e.g., Mytilineos, Hellenic Petroleum, OTE), Greece had not seen the market debut of a first-time issuer in the high-yield space since April 2014. This is a long time for an important segment of the economy not to have access to the corporate debt market. For this and other reasons, we really welcome this transaction and we are very glad we were part of it.”
This is the tenth “debut” bond representation by Milbank’s London team since July 2019. Other recent “debut” bond offerings include the debut bonds by Mytilineos, Victoria PLC, GEMS Education, Inmarsat, Sazka, Forgital, Vivion, Schoeller Allibert and Unifrutti. In the same period, the team has also advised on 15 other benchmark bond transactions by well-known “repeat” issuers in the European market.
The Milbank team was led by European Leveraged Finance/Capital Markets partner Apostolos Gkoutzinis, special counsel Joji Ozawa and Ana Grbec, of counsel Patrick Holmes and associates Alastair Gillespie, Delia Solomon, Anastasia Kontaxi, Anish Mohanty and Tom Neilson. The team also included Tax partner Eschi Rahimi-Laridjani and associates Archan Hazra, Jules Mugema and James Seddon, Corporate associates James Mackay and Jag Diogan and Alternative Investments partner Catherine Leef Martin.