Rob Bennett's practice focuses on financial restructurings, international leveraged acquisition finance and general bank lending. Rob has worked on an impressive list of transactions both in Europe and the United States and has been recognised in a number of professional publications as a leading lawyer and as a rising star.
Rob transferred from White & Case's London team to the New York office in 2017. Since transferring to New York, Rob has advised on a number of key transactions including the restructuring of offshore oil drilling company Seadrill Limited, the financing of the distressed acquisition of Australian fintech business Sargon Capital, and the refinancing of senior facilities in connection with the sale of UP Offshore, as well as the provision of new unsecured and secured facilities to Urban One.
Notable transactions on which Rob advised prior to making the transition to New York include former Icelandic bank Kaupthing's successful composition with unsecured creditors, the restructuring of Danish oil tanker group TORM, the proposed capital and financial restructuring of Afren plc and the refinancing of Racing Post.
An eclectic range of clients from a variety of industry sectors have benefited from Rob's knowledge and experience, including Credit Suisse, Jefferies and RBS, the coordinating committee on the original 2012 restructuring of TORM, Doughty Hanson & Co, Lamda Partners and Three Delta LLP.
Prior to joining White & Case's London office in February 2011, Rob worked in the London and Frankfurt offices of a leading UK firm and in the London office of a leading US firm.
Having received a legal education in both the UK and Germany, and having qualified both as an English solicitor and as a New York attorney, Rob is comfortable with working and thinking across borders, which is vital in the international world of bank finance. In a relatively short space of time, he has established himself as a reliable fixer with an ability to stick with a deal from start to finish.
Rob is also an active participant in discussions surrounding the latest developments in international bankruptcy, restructuring and banking law, and has written on finance-related matters for a range of publications.
Representation of secured lenders to Borr Drilling, 2020
Representation of secured lenders under Borr Drilling Limited's US$450 million bank facility and US$100 million bank facility in connection with the amendment of Facility Agreements which helped provide a total liquidity improvement of more than US$315 million.
Financing of distressed acquisition of Sargon Capital, 2020
Represented a US-based bid financier in connection with the distressed acquisition of Australian fintech business, Sargon Capital, a provider of corporate trustee, custodian and superannuation (i.e. pension fund) services, with a focus on building innovative technology-based financial infrastructure in this sector.
Refinancing of General Ore, 2019
Represented senior lenders in the restructuring and refinancing of a US$805m revolving credit facility to dry-bulk and gas shipping company General Ore.
Restructuring of offshore oil drilling company Seadrill, 2018
Rob advised the coordinating committee of facility agents and export credit agencies representing holders of more than US$7.4 billion of senior secured indebtedness across 13 credit facilities in the restructuring of the liabilities and obligations of Seadrill Limited.
Refinancing of senior facilities in connection with sale of UP Offshore, 2018
Rob advised a group of lenders on the refinancing of the US$70 million facilities of UP Offshore (Bahamas) Limited in connection with its acquisition by MEXMAR Offshore International LLC. In addition he advised a lender in connection with the amendment and restatement of a guarantee facility agreement.
Financing of Urban One, 2018
Rob advised an affiliate of the Carlyle Group L.P., as Lead Arranger and a Lender, in connection with the syndicated financing of two 4-year term loan facilities, a US$192 million unsecured term loan facility to Urban One, Inc. and a US$50 million secured term loan facility to Urban One Entertainment SPV, LLC, an unrestricted subsidiary of Urban One, Inc.. The proceeds of the unsecured term loan facility were used to repurchase and refinance outstanding 9.25% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2020. Certain of the proceeds of the secured term loan facility were distributed by Urban One Entertainment SPV, LLC to Urban One, Inc. and its immediate parent, Radio One Entertainment Holdings, LLC.
Kaupthing's composition with unsecured creditors, 2015
Rob advised Kaupthing, the fifth largest bankrupt estate ever, on the successful implementation of a composition with respect to US$22 billion of general unsecured debt.
Proposed restructuring of Afren plc, 2015
Rob advised Afren plc, a UK listed company with oil & gas assets in Africa on its proposed capital and financial restructuring. Prior to entering into administration in July 2015, the Afren transaction was expected to be the largest ever restructuring in the oil & gas sector.
Restructuring of Danish shipping company Torm, 2015
Rob advised a group of lenders on the US$1.4 billion restructuring of Danish shipping company TORM A/S by way of an English scheme of arrangement.
Racing Post Corporate Restructuring and Refinancing, 2014
Rob advised the Racing Post group on the financing aspects of its corporate restructuring and refinancing. The transaction involved the acquisition (via a public auction process) from Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (in Special Liquidation) of all of the Racing Post's existing debt and a 28.8 per cent. equity interest in the Racing Post group.
Sale of NHP Care Homes Group, 2014
Rob advised NHP on its acquisition by US private equity firm Formation Capital, global investment firm Safanad and healthcare turnaround specialist Court Cavendish. NHP is one of the largest owners of care homes in the UK, owning 275 nursing and residential care homes, representing over 12,500 beds.
Rhône Capital's acquisition of ASK Chemicals, 2014
Rob advised global private equity firm Rhône Capital LLC on the financing aspects of its acquisition of ASK Chemicals GmbH from Ashland Inc. and Clariant.
DX's IPO and admission to AIM, 2014
Rob advised DX (Group) plc, a leading independent logistics operator in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, in connection with the establishment of new debt facilities following the successful pricing of its initial public offering and admission to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
Mid Europa Partners' sale of T-Mobile Czech Republic to Deutsche Telekom, 2014
Rob advised Falcon Group (a consortium of investors 75 per cent. controlled by funds managed or advised by Mid Europa Partners, the leading buyout investor, which focuses on Central & Eastern Europe and Turkey) on the financing aspects of the €828 million sale of its entire stake in T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s. to Deutsche Telekom AG.
Credit Suisse, Jefferies and RBS, 2014
Rob advised Credit Suisse, Jefferies and RBS as arrangers with respect to term and revolving facilities of up to €305 million in connection with the acquisition by CVC of a controlling stake in Skrill, one of Europe's largest online payments systems and among the world's largest independent digital wallet providers with over 35 million account holders.
Empark Aparcamientos y Servicios, S.A., 2013
Rob advised Empark Aparcamientos y Servicios, S.A. as borrower with respect to a new €30 million super senior revolving credit facility, launched concurrently with a New York law governed high yield bond offering of €235 miliion 6.75% senior secured notes due 2019 and €150 million senior secured floating rate notes due 2019. Empark Aparcamientos y Servicios, S.A. is the leading operator of car parks in Spain and Portugal, as well as having operations in England, Andorra and Turkey.
US$2 billion financing of the acquisition of a Russian company, 2013
Rob advised a leading Russian commercial bank on the approximately US$2 billion financing of the acquisition by five non-affiliated buyers of shares in a Russian company engaged in coal extraction and conversion.
GAZ Group refinancing, 2011
Rob advised the borrower on RUB38 billion term and revolving loan facilities provided by VTB Capital plc with respect to the refinancing of existing syndicated loans of the leading Russian automobile manufacturer GAZ Group.
Rob has spoken at a number of events, including co-hosting a seminar with Moscow partner Natalia Nikitina on the the role of unitranche and mezzanine finance at the LMA's Moscow Training Day on 14 April 2016 and, together with London partners John Cunningham and Dipen Sabharwal, delivering a presentation on commercial law at the Bright Network Festival on 15 September 2015.
US v European loan terms: countdown to convergence, JIBFL, (co-author)
Problems of interpretation in dealing with audit qualifications, JIBFL
Mercury's impact – cost and delay, IFLR
Name Your Terms: How term sheets have changed as banks fight for private equity mandates, IFLR
UK Financial Assistance: Good Riddance or Rogue's Charter?, IFLR
Recommended, The Legal 500 UK 2016, Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - London
Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters' "Super Lawyers – London 2015"