Pinsent Masons advises Osmond on £418 mln. Horizon float (UK)

Pinsent Masons was lead adviser on the biggest UK IPO in over a year, the £418 million (approx. €464.2 mln.) listing of restaurant entrepreneur Hugh Osmond's corporate acquisition company Horizon on the London Stock Exchange. Horizon is a special-purpose acquisition vehicle, launched by Pizza Express and Punch Taverns pub chain founder Osmond, which aims to acquire debt-stricken companies and restructure them.

Mr Osmond and Michael Fairey, former deputy chief executive of Lloyds are targeting consumer-facing businesses with an enterprise value of up to £3 bln.

Osmond plans to make a cash and shares deal for a "fundamentally sound" business but one that is constrained by heavy balance sheet debt and is looking to deleverage. Its focus will be privately-owned assets, including those held by private equity.

Analysts said the resurgence of acquisition vehicles, which were more common in the 1980s, is part of a wider trend of entrepreneurs and buy-out groups cutting out the banks. Osmond is a longstanding client of Pinsent Masons, which advised Horizon on UK law matters, while referring the US aspects to Morrison & Foerster (MoFo).

Leeds and London-based corporate partner Rob Hutchings led the Pinsent Masons team, which also included partners Robert Moir, Alison Starr, Tim Dolan and Jacob Ghanty. City corporate partner Kristian Wiggert advised for MoFo.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised main placing agent Credit Suisse, as well as co-lead manager Numis Securities.

Source: BLJ Financial

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