Gareth Eagles is White & Case's Global Head of the Firm's Private Credit & Direct Lending pillar, and the leading private credit lawyer in the European market. He has been at the forefront of the market during its path to maturity, including working on some of the most high-profile leveraged buyouts of recent times, and in 2021 was hailed by Chambers UK as "exceptionally smart, rigorous and incredibly knowledgeable about the market." Gareth's private credit practice focuses on representing investors who take and hold risk. He has advised on all major types of private investments, including unitranche, senior, second-lien, mezzanine and PIK debt financings, as well as preferred equity, warrants and minority co-investments. He has also advised on the taking of control equity positions, and he is adept at fusing multiple strategies and structuring novel solutions in both performing and distressed situations, whether the assets are privately held or publicly listed. In addition to private credit work, Gareth has represented arrangers and underwriters on some of the most significant syndicated financings in the market, and is equally at home in the large-cap and mid-market spaces. The only leading private credit lawyer to be dual-qualified in New York and England & Wales, Gareth also spent two years in White & Case's New York office, as well as six months in our Singapore office, and has acted on market-leading transactions in a broad variety of jurisdictions.
Gareth led White & Case's team in representing Blackstone Credit and its affiliates on their three-tier financing package to support Advent International's approximately £4 billion acquisition of leading global technology and services innovator Cobham plc. Gareth was included in The Lawyer's prestigious "Hot 100" list for 2019. He has been described by Legal 500 UK as "superb" (2018) and "technically brilliant" (2014); in 2019, Chambers UK called him "extremely smart, extremely knowledgeable and a very good negotiator".
While much of Gareth's work is highly confidential, a short list of example transactions includes representing:
- Blackstone Credit on a variety of its investments, including:
- the combined debt and equity financing of a structured insurance demerger of Fidelis Insurance Holdings Limited and the existing insurance companies, the Fidelis Insurance Group. The transaction creates a new Bermuda-based managing general underwriter, Fidelis MGU.
- three-tier financing package to support Advent International’s approximately £4 billion acquisition of leading global technology and services innovator Cobham plc.
- the financing of Advent International's £1 billion take-private acquisition of Laird PLC, which won the "Loans Deal of the Year" award at the 2019 IFLR European Awards, where the firm also won the awards for "Loans Team of the Year" and "Most Innovative US Law Firm in Europe".
- their debt and minority equity investment to support iAero Group in a highly complex transaction aimed at creating a pan-American aviation business, including the acquisitions of AeroThrust Holdings, LLC and Miami Tech Aircraft Maintenance Inc.
- their debt and equity financing for the management buyout of the XLN Telecom group from ECI Partners LLP.
- their highly-innovative financing of the reverse takeover by Ring International Holding AG of the Slovenian-listed Helios Domžale D.D.
- various other acquisitions and financings or refinancings, including KP1, The Miller Group Limited and Welcome Break.
- Armira Investment Holding, a Germany-based investment holding, on the financing and M&A aspects of its acquisition of Factor Eleven, a leading German digital marketing software company.
- the existing lenders to TES Global on the bolt-on acquisitions of Teach Starter and The Safeguarding Company.
- Oak Hill Advisors and York Capital in connection with their investment in Globalworth.
- the unitranche lender in connection with the financing of Bain Capital's acquisitions of a European group specialising in the design and manufacture of high performance pre-cast concrete products and, separately, of an Italian tyre wholesaler by way of the issuance of Italian mini-bonds.
- the arrangers, including Barclays and Jefferies, on Leonard Green's £420 million bridge to bond and super senior revolving facilities for the acquisition of PureGym.
- the arrangers, including Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Rabobank, ABN Amro and ING, in connection with their financing of the EUR1.212 billion take-private acquisition of Mediq N.V. by Advent International Corporation.
- Deutsche Bank AG as Sole Lender with respect to a £522 million senior secured bridge credit facility provided to KSE, UK, Inc. in connection with its recommended mandatory cash offer made for Arsenal Holdings PLC, the UK listed holding entity for Arsenal Football Club.
- Wind Telecomunicazioni S.p.A. in connection with the €6.6 billion refinancing of existing senior and second lien facilities and high yield notes.
- Nordea in connection with senior debt facilities provided for the purposes of EQT's acquisition of AcadeMedia AB (publ).
- Deutsche Bank in relation to the €530 million acquisition by Oaktree Capital Management LLC of Richmond Foods plc by way of a scheme of arrangement.
- Goldman Sachs, Citibank, HSBC, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, Société Générale, Caja de Ahorros y Monte De Piedad de Madrid, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Rabobank in connection with the €10.8 billion financing for the cash portion of Mittal Steel N.V.'s €25.8 billion bid to acquire Arcelor SA.
- CIBC and JPMorgan in connection with the bolt-on acquisition of the Flint Ink Group by way of amending and restating the BASF Drucksysteme GmbH/ANI Printing Inks senior facilities agreement to include further term debt, a cash bridge and a second lien facility, the total amounting to US$1.35 billion in new term facilities and a €60 million increased revolver.
- Nordic Capital in connection with the SEK 9.4 billion senior, second lien, mezzanine and PIK recapitalisation of Ahlsell AB.
- Nordic Capital in connection with its €599 million acquisition of Outokumpu Copper Products Oy.
- Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers in connection with the financing of the €630 million purchase by Warburg Pincus from Candover of Clondalkin Group Holdings Limited.
- Deutsche Bank in connection with the US$500 million exit from Chapter 11 of Exide Technologies in 2004 and the subsequent refinancing of the exit facilities in 2007.
Co-author, "Credit bidding: law and practice," Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, May 2013
Co-author, "US v European loan terms: countdown to convergence," JIBFL, October 2011
Co-author, "Problems of interpretation in dealing with audit qualifications," JIBFL, May 2011
Sole author, "Perverse consequences? How the LMA Ancillary Facilities provisions distort pro rata sharing," JIBFL, March 2011
The Lawyer – "Hot 100" UK Lawyers, 2019
Ranked Individual, Chambers UK, 2019-2021
Gareth Eagles is praised as an "exceptionally smart, rigorous and incredibly knowledgeable about the market" by clients, Chambers UK 2021
"He is highly knowledgeable and very responsive." Legal 500 UK 2021
"He is extremely smart, extremely knowledgeable and a very good negotiator." Chambers UK 2019
Clients draw attention to his "exceptional levels of service, responsiveness and commerciality" Chambers UK, 2017
Loans deal of the year – Advent International/Laird acquisition financing, IFLR European Awards 2019
Loans team of the year, IFLR European Awards 2019
Most innovative US law firm in Europe, IFLR European Awards 2019
Next Generation Lawyer, Legal 500 UK, 2018