An Orrick team from Paris and Düsseldorf recently advised Ubisoft Entertainment in its successful placement of a €200 million “Schuldschein” loan, in a private placement governed by German law. Ubisoft is a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services with a portfolio of world-renowned brands, including the popular Assassin's Creed series of games.
The Schuldschein loan was structured and arranged by Commerzbank and Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking, and placed with pan-European and Asian banks and institutional investors. The notes have a five-year maturity and carry a mix of fixed and floating rates, with an average borrowing cost of approximately 1.8 percent.
Alain Martinez, Chief Financial Officer of Ubisoft, stated, “The very high take-up for this placement underlines strong investor confidence in Ubisoft and our business strategy. By taking advantage of the current market conditions, which are particularly favorable, we have broadened our investor base and diversified our sources of financing, and will be able to speed up our growth.”
Although Schuldschein loans have been around for years, a growing number of international borrowers, including those in France, are now turning to Schuldscheine as an alternative to syndicated loans, despite their higher spreads. This is because a Schuldschein loan, while commercially akin to a bond and thus allowing the borrower to tap the capital markets, does not involve the issuance of securities and therefore the cost and cumbersome process of a securities issue. In addition, the documentation for a Schuldschein loan is simple, flexible and light on the covenants.
The Orrick team advising Ubisoft was led by Hervé Kensicher (Banking & Finance, Paris) and included Michel Courtois (Banking & Finance, Paris), Kerstin Henrich (Corporate, Düsseldorf) and Nikita Tkatchenko (Corporate, Düsseldorf).