John Watson, a partner in the London office, is the Vice Chair of the firm's global Corporate Department. In this role, Mr. Watson assists in the coordination, resource allocation and strategic development of the firm's transactional practice in Europe.
Mr. Watson's practice focuses on capital markets transactions, representing issuers and underwriters in Rule 144A financings and registered public offerings of common stock and high yield debt.
Since moving to Europe in 2001, he has focused on the representation of issuers and underwriters in leveraged finance transactions. He has also represented underwriters in US registered IPOs of several European issuers.
From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Watson was resident in the firm's Frankfurt office where he was involved in the development of the firm's German practice. From 2005 to 2012 his focus was in Paris working with the firm's French Capital Markets Practice.
In addition to his securities work, Mr. Watson has developed a specialty in the exemption of entities from regulation under the Investment Company Act.
Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, Mr. Watson served as a law clerk to the Hon. Ralph K. Winter of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1983 to 1984.
Mr. Watson's representative experience includes advising:
- Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and UBS, the joint book runners banks on their high-yield bond offering in the acquisition vehicle of Orange Switzerland by Apax Partners from France Télécom, for an aggregate amount of CHF 1,1 billion
- Compagnie de Financement Foncier (CFF) in US securities matters, including the SEC order exempting CFF from regulation under the Investment Company Act
- Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs & Co. and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., joint book-managers, in connection with Elster IPO of 16,200,000 American Depository Shares listed on the NYSE. This was the first NYSE IPO by a German company since 2006 and only the second since the adoption of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in 2002
- J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank, the initial purchasers, on two issuances by global car rental group, Europcar, for an aggregate amount of €350 million 9.75% senior secured bonds due 2017 (governed by New York law) to refinance in part a European senior asset financing loan facility
- Citigroup Global Markets Inc., HSBC Securities Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, the initial purchasers, on the issue by RCI Banque of US$300 million 3.4% Fixed Rate Notes due 2014, US$500 million 4.6% Fixed Rate Notes due 2016 and US$450 million principal amount of its Floating Rate Notes due 2014. The Notes are governed by New York law
- Axa private Equity and Permira in the Issuance by Geo Travel Finance S.C.A. of €175 million10.375% Senior Notes due 2019 (governed by New York law) in connection with the pending acquisition of Opodo Limited by Axa Private Equity and Permira and related combination of Opodo Limited, Go Voyages and eDreams Inc.