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Dorda, FWP, Linklaters, Binder Groesswang, A&O, and Eisenberger & Herzog Advise on Steinhoff Restructuring

Dorda, FWP, Linklaters, Binder Groesswang, A&O, and Eisenberger & Herzog Advise on Steinhoff Restructuring

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Dorda, working alongside international lead counsel Latham & Watkins and Dutch counsel Resor N.V. has advised the Ad Hoc Committee of SEAG Lenders of Steinhoff Europe AG on Austrian law matters related to the out-of-court restructuring of its debt.

In this regard a Lock-Up Agreement was concluded among the Steinhoff Group and a majority of the creditors of around EUR 9.6 billion, which took effect on July 20, 2018. Steinhoff Europe was advised by Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner and Linklaters, as international lead counsel.

The Coordinating Committee of the Banks was represented by Binder Groesswang and Allen & Overy as international lead counsel, while the convertible bondholders by Eisenberger & Herzog and Kirkland & Ellis as international lead counsel.

Dorda describes the German/South African/Dutch Steinhoff Group as "one of the biggest retailers in the world with more than 12,000 stores in more than 30 countries, and more than 130,000 employees.” It is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the stock exchange in Frankfurt.

In its own press release, Binder Groesswang reported that “the successful signing of the Lock-up Agreement is result of intense and multilateral negotiations starting in December 2017 when accounting irregularities relating to Steinhoff became public and put the group under severe pressure. Since then, numerous steps have been taken in order to enable a successful restructuring, including certain asset disposals and the agreement of two support periods since the beginning of June.”

Dorda Managing Partner Felix Horlsberger said: “Today is an important step in this out-of-court restructuring, even if the commercial agreement has still to be implemented in the upcoming month and years." And Dorda Partner Tibor Varga added: "The dynamic of this restructuring was exceptional, as it was driven by the different creditor groups on different group levels of the Steinhoff Group as well as the international complexity of the current financing. Thereupon the Lock-Up Agreement is now the basis for the out-of-court restructuring, even if the Austrian public was focused on the relatively smaller kika/Leiner transaction."

Horlsberger and Varga led the Dorda team, which also included Associate Magdalena Nitsche, Of Counsel Alexander Schopper, and Attorney Christoph Hilkesberger.

The FWP team consisted of Partners Markus Fellner, Paul Luiki, and Florian Kranebitter, Junior Partners Elisabeth Fischer-Schwarz and Benedikt Kessler, and Associates Philipp Bunzl, Pia-Alena Havel, Armin Sommerauer, and Julian Zarre.

The Binder Groesswang team advising the Coordinating Committee consisted of Lead Partners Tibor Fabian and Gottfried Gassner and Attorney-at-Laws Georg Wabl and Maximilian Holtl, supported by Partners Christian Klausegger and Christian Wimpissinger, Attorney-at-Law Clemens Willvonseder, Senior Associates Mona Holzgruber and Felix Kirkovits, with Associate David Rotzer.

The London-based Allen & Overy team included Partners Earl Griffith and Partner Andrew Trahair.