Cuatrecasas, Clifford Chance advise on ECI´s €600m bonds issuance

Cuatrecasas has advised El Corte Inglés on the placement of senior bonds worth €600 million, with Clifford Chance advising the banks

El Corte Inglés has successfully completed a placement of senior bonds worth €600 million. Demand was heavy, outpacing the amount offered more than fourfold and prompting the company to raise the initial issue from €400 to €600 million.

The issuance has a term of three and a half years, maturing in March 2024. The bonds have been issued at par and will pay an annual coupon of 3.625%. The senior bonds are backed by the company’s assets and feature a similar structure to the bonds issued in 2018.

The issue is aimed at qualified investors, and has attracted heavy demand from national and international investors. Key investors include the European Central Bank, which has acquired a significant institutional position.
The operation sets a new financial milestone for the company, as it is now its second issuance with an assigned rating. This particular bond issue has been rated investment grade BBB- by Standard & Poor’s, Ba1 by Moody’s and BB+ by Fitch.

The funds will be used to bolster the group’s liquidity and meet general corporate needs, including debt repayment.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as global coordinator and underwriter for the issue, with El Corte Inglés’ main banks taking part as active bookrunners and bookrunners (BBVA, Banco de Sabadell, Banco de Santander, Bankia, BNP Paribas, CaixaBank, Goldman Sachs, Commerzbank, Crédit Agricole CIB, Intesa Sanpaolo, JP Morgan, Société Générale and UniCredit Bank).

Cuatrecasas advised El Corte Inglés with a team led by Madrid office Finance partner Miguel Cruz Ropero (pictured left) and included Finance associate Nuria Burillo.

Clifford Chance represented the Banks with a cross-border team formed by Madrid office partners José Manuel Cuenca (pictured centre) and Antonio Henríquez (pictured right), together with London office US Law partner Michael Dakin and senior associate Patrick Meson. The rest of the team was formed by Madrid office senior associates Francisco Pizarro, Leonardo Fernandez and Stacey Zverev, along with associates Sydney Sawyier (London), José María Eguía and Mariana Ceballos (Madrid).

Vinson & Elkins was also legal counsel to ECI, with a team led by partners Federico Frühbeck and Noel Hughes, with the assistance of counsel Cason Moore.

Desire Vidal