12 March 2021

Independent UK law firm Burges Salmon has advised C&J Clark Limited – Clarks – on the refinancing of its debt facilities, undertaken alongside the acquisition by LionRock of a majority equity stake in the group.

Founded in 1825, Clarks is an international shoe retailer, wholesaler and e-commerce business and an iconic brand. It operates stores globally, and its head office and distribution centre is based in Street, Somerset.

The firm also advised Clarks on the pensions aspects of the refinancing and restructuring of the business, working with the pension trustees and other stakeholders to ensure that the c. £1.1 billion Clarks pension fund is properly supported.

The restructuring involved coordinating with a number of other legal and financial advisers across multiple jurisdictions (including UK, Hong Kong, PRC, US, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands) in relation to multiple work streams including the equity acquisition and a Company Voluntary Arrangement in addition to the debt restructuring.

The Burges Salmon team was led by Banking partner Graham Soar, alongside partners Michael Hayles (Pensions) and Chris Worrall (Competition), senior associates Nick Middleton and Crispin Freeman and associate Chris Herford.

Graham says: “The global pandemic has placed even more pressure on high street retailers over the past year and exacerbated pre-existing challenges. We’re delighted to have supported Clarks – a trusted and iconic brand with a rich heritage - through its restructuring and to have helped the business secure a position from which it can grow in the post-COVID world.”

Key contact

Graham Soar

Graham Soar Partner

  • Banking and Finance
  • Derivatives, Debt Capital Markets and Securitisations
  • Project Finance

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