A Travers Smith cross-departmental team completed the refinancing and restructuring of the Acertec Group, an international supplier of car body products and services under its Stadco division whose customers include Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, BMW Mini and Aston Martin.
Over the past 18 months, a multi-disciplinary team from Travers Smith has worked closely with the Group on this complex restructuring. Specific actions taken include acting for the Group on the sales of ventures in Asia, Ireland, Bahrain and Russia and of the Group´s construction products division. The proceeds of these sales have been used to reduce indebtedness. In June 2009, Travers Smith advised Acertec PLC in delisting and re-registering as a private company.
The firm also assisted the Group in addressing its significant retirement benefit obligations under two defined benefit pension schemes where, in March 2009, contributions had been suspended. Discussions with the Pension Trustees, the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund followed for the transfer of the schemes´ assets and liabilities into the PPF.
At the end of April 2010, the Group was refinanced and restructured in conjunction with its shareholders, bankers, Pension Trustees and the PPF. As part of that restructuring, a new company, Stadco Automotive Limited, was created. Stadco Automotive, with subsidiaries in the UK and Germany, is now able to continue its restructuring of the UK business as well as continuing to work with Ford on the launch of its new Focus model in Germany. Banking facilities (which had expired) have now been secured until June 2012.
The Travers Smith team included partners Keith Bordell (Head of Corporate Recovery), Neal Watson (Corporate), Andrew Block (Pensions), Tim Gilbert (Employment), Margaret Moore (Competition) and Simon Yates (Tax), together with members of their respective teams.