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Appleby Cayman advises on USD3.7bn restructuring of Ocean Rig Group

Appleby Cayman has acted as Cayman Islands counsel to the Ad Hoc Group of Creditors on the financial restructuring of Ocean Rig UDW Inc and three of its subsidiaries by way of four inter-connected Cayman Schemes of Arrangement and Chapter 15 recognition.

The restructuring resulted in a net debt reduction of approximately USD 3.25 billion and involved the provision of a new USD 450 million credit facility. Creditors received ordinary shares, cash and new loan notes in consideration of the release of debt. In addition, potential claims against the group were transferred into a preserved claims trust to allow creditors to share ratably in any recoveries from such claims.
 
The Appleby team was led by David Bulley on restructuring and corporate matters and Tony Heaver-Wren and Jeremy Snead on litigation matters with assistance from Benjamin Woolf, Katie Fleming and Appolina Bent (corporate), Sally Peedom and Victoria King (litigation) and David Pytches and Esmond Brown (trusts). 
 
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP acted as counsel for the Ad Hoc Group in the US and UK and Houlihan Lokey acted as financial advisors to the Ad Hoc Group.
 
Bulley says: “This was a highly complex deal involving the re-domiciliation of Ocean Rig UDW Inc. and a COMI shift for three subsidiaries from the Marshall Islands to Cayman. More importantly, this is a deal which almost certainly wouldn’t have been possible in a US Chapter 11 and highlighted the flexibility of the Cayman scheme of arrangement which may be utilised going forwards by other entities incorporated in jurisdictions with limited restructuring toolkits.”
 
The Cayman Islands is the leading offshore jurisdiction for the registration of investment funds and is the second largest captive domicile in the world with more than 700 captives. The jurisdiction is also recognised in providing trusts, structured finance, company and partnership formation and vessel and aircraft registry services.
 
The Corporate team at Appleby is among the largest and most widely recognised in the offshore world. Its multi-disciplinary teams advise a large number of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies on all aspects of corporate and commercial law, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, joint ventures, capital markets and investment funds.

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