Press Release

AIG-Mezzvest Launches New Mezzanine Fund--Kirkland Represents $161 Million Fund

AIG-MezzVest, a division of CapVest Limited, today announced the formation of a new offshore mezzanine loan fund, called AIG-MezzVest, L.P. The fund, based in the Cayman Islands, has raised approximately €162.5 million ($161 million) from its limited partners as of its closing on July 15, 2002 and additionally has €200 million ($198 million) available to it from a senior loan facility provided by CIBC and Merrill Lynch.

Kirkland & Ellis represented AIG-MezzVest in the formation, led by London corporate partners Stuart L. Mills and M. Gilbey Strub.  London corporate partner Matthew H. Hurlock  also worked on the formation, as did tax partner Patrick C. Gallagher in New York. Associates Abrielle Rosenthal and Pamela R. Henry in London and Lee E. Allison in New York assisted in the establishment of the fund.

"Mezzanine is the traditional source of subordinated debt for European buyouts," said Strub. "High yield bonds have made inroads, but for a variety of reasons they are not always the best source for financing. Mezzanine has roared back, and the formation of an innovative, competitive new fund like Mezzvest with top drawer professional management can only help," she added.

The fund, which was in development for more than two years, will make mezzanine loans primarily to western European portfolio companies. Its limited partners are both European and U.S. institutional investors.

Paul Flanigan of Allen & Overy in London represented the fund on the debt side; Christopher Hilditch of Maples and Calder in London was Cayman Islands counsel to the fund. The U.K.-based law firm Ashurst Morris Crisp assisted with the deal as well.

Kirkland & Ellis is an 850-attorney law firm handling litigation, transactional, insolvency, and intellectual property matters from its offices in Chicago, London, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. The London office practices U.S., English, German and international law and has been primarily engaged in private equity and capital markets transactions, including equity and high yield debt offerings, and also works in the intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, and arbitration fields. The Firm was recently named the "International Private Equity Law Firm of the Year" by the Chambers publishing group.

Kirkland & Ellis regularly represents general partners and major limited partners in the formation of a wide variety of private equity funds. More than $65 billion in new capital commitments was raised in the last six years alone in deals in which Kirkland played a part.