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Freshfields advises on the first deal in the New York leveraged finance market using SOFR

The Freshfields leveraged finance team is advising an equity sponsor on the first TLB syndicated in the New York market that will calculate interest based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), the rate that is expected to replace LIBOR in the $1.2 trillion US leveraged loan market. The finance transaction, which supports the take-private acquisition of Sanderson Farms Inc. and merger with Wayne Farms to create one of the largest poultry companies in the United States, includes some tranches that will initially be utilizing SOFR at closing and others that will be utilizing SOFR beginning in January 2022. As recently noted by the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA), the US syndicated loan industry trade group, “[t]he market has been abuzz about the Sanderson Farms loan, the first publicly reported US leveraged loan to sport SOFR pricing.” The loan is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 or the first quarter of 2022.

The Freshfields team was led by leveraged finance partner Kyle Lakin, associates Aino Makisalo, Michael David Harris and Mia Tsui, and paralegal Larissa Baker.


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