Hogan Lovells Advises HSBC and RBS on Duke Street's L.M. Funerals Acquisition

LONDON, 11 April 2012 - Hogan Lovells advised mandated lead arrangers HSBC and RBS in relation to the senior debt facilities for Duke Street Capital's acquisition of L.M. Funerals from Sovereign Capital. L.M. Funerals is one of the country's largest independent funeral services providers with over 60 branches across the UK. In addition to senior debt provided by HSBC and RBS, the transaction also saw Babson Capital, Metric Capital Partners and Alcentra provide mezzanine and PIK facilities and co-invest alongside Duke Street and management in the capital structure.

The transaction marks the second Duke Street buyout in three months on which Hogan Lovells has advised the lenders - having advised Ares Capital, Lloyds TSB, Santander and RBS in relation to Duke Street's acquisition of a majority stake in Parabis, the first ever LBO of a law firm, which was announced in January 2012.

The Hogan Lovells team was led once again by London banking partner Stuart Brinkworth, assisted by senior associate Tom Richards.

Commenting on the transaction, Stuart said:

"It is our pleasure to once again act for Duke Street's lenders on what is an important acquisition for Duke Street. This deal was conducted on an extremely tight timeframe with some complex intercreditor issues to resolve due to the complexity of the capital structure. Closing this deal in just under two weeks was therefore a great achievement for all concerned."

Duke Street were once again advised by SJ Berwin (led by corporate partner Tim Wright and finance partner Ian Borman). Babson, Metric and Alcentra were advised by Ropes and Gray (led by finance partner Matthew Cox). Sellers Sovereign Capital were advised by CMS Cameron McKenna (led by corporate partner Jason Zemmell).

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