ED&F Man restructuring plan approved by English Court

Niederer Kraft Frey has advised the ED&F Man Group and its Swiss subsidiary Volcafe Ltd, one of the world’s largest traders of agricultural products, on its successful restructuring, complex cross-border USD 1.5 billion refinancing and in connection with the implementation of its UK restructuring plan.

ED&F Man is a global commodities trader and broker with significant presence in Switzerland. Like many businesses in the commodities sector, ED&F Man has faced significant pressures arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic and soaring commodity prices. ED&F Man implemented its restructuring using a UK restructuring plan which allowed ED&F Man to restructure its borrowing base and revolving credit facilities, its term loan facilities, its private placement notes and its liabilities under a settlement agreement, and to amend its constitutional documents, under one procedure. The restructuring plan and refinancing comprised the ringfencing and recapitalisation of ED&F Man’s commodities businesses (sugar, coffee and molasses products) from legacy assets. It included a USD 300 million injection of new money to finance commodities trading, thereby addressing the business constraints arising from the steep commodity price increases over the last year.

NKF acted as Swiss legal counsel to the ED&F Man group and its Swiss subsidiary Volcafe Ltd in connection with the restructuring covering corporate, finance, tax and insolvency law aspects. The NKF team was led by partner Marco Häusermann (Finance/Restructuring), working with partner Lukas Beeler (Dispute Resolution), partner Markus Kronauer (Tax) and associate Nina Bremi (Finance/Restructuring).