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Leveraged finance: Barcap’s US team wins first leveraged mandate

Chesapeake is first US energy issuer to target euro investors this decade.

In April 2006, Barclays Capital unveiled the latest stage of its US bond business expansion. Since raiding Goldman Sachs for its co-heads of leveraged finance – Joe McGrath and Rick van Zijl – the UK bank has recruited more than 100 professionals from various institutions, particularly Goldman, but also from Bank of America and JPMorgan.

With Barcap having made such a heavy investment, rivals were starting to snipe at it, wondering when the bank’s first deal would come. However, in early December Barcap won its first underwriting mandate, in which it played the leading role, from Chesapeake Energy Corporation.

“It was our first book running mandate [with Barclays Capital] although I have worked with several of the bankers in their prior lives, so I was quite comfortable with them personally,” says Marc Rowland, executive vice-president and CFO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation. He was also assured by the fact that Barcap is a leading bookrunner in euro bonds. “No one had done this before so I was looking for someone that had a footprint that reached right across Europe and I was convinced that they had as good a footprint as anyone else. We complemented them with other European underwriters and the deal was a big success,” he says.

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