Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
21-23 rue de la Ville l'Evêque
75008 Paris, France
T +33 1 53 43 4550
F +33 1 40 06 9606
Alexandra Bigot is a partner in the Business Reorganization and Restructuring Department of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in Paris. Ms. Bigot is regularly involved in out-of-court restructuring matters on behalf of debtors and shareholders, especially with respect to troubled leveraged buyout (LBO) cases and sales of underperforming or distressed branches of international groups. She also advises investors seeking investment opportunities in judicial and out-of-court insolvency cases. Ms. Bigot has significant previous experience advising private equity funds in LBO acquisitions with regard to corporate, finance and tax matters.
Ms. Bigot was named "2011 France Insolvency and Reorganization Lawyer of the Year" by France’s Best Lawyers. Chambers Europe (2012)
and Chambers Global (2012)
rank Ms. Bigot in the number 1 tier among leading individuals practicing in the area of Restructuring/Insolvency Law in France.
Selected Professional and Business Activities
Ms. Bigot is a member of the French chapter of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), Association pour le Retournement des Entreprises (ARE) and Droit et Commerce.
Prior to joining Willkie as a partner in 2003, Ms. Bigot was with Fonds Partenaires-Gestion, the management company of the French private equity funds of Lazard Bank, which focuses on majority LBO acquisitions. Here she was responsible for managing portfolio companies and she obtained significant experience handling restructuring matters. From 1991-1999, as a corporate tax lawyer in Willkie’s Paris office, Ms. Bigot specialized in advising private equity funds on an array of corporate, finance and tax matters.
Selected Significant Matters
Out-Of-Court Reorganizations of Distressed LBO’s:
Deutsch - Wendel (connecting devices, sales of €300M) (since August 2009)Oaktree - SGD
(glass packaging manufacturer for perfume and pharmacy, sales of €628M) (May 2009 - January 2010)CVC- CPI
(black and white printing, sales of €500M) (September 2008 -November 2009)Pragma Capital - Rétif
(office equipment, professional layouts, sales of €220M) (May - November 2009)
ING - Zodiac Marine
Assisted Pragma Capital in the financial restructuring of the Retif Group, the debt of which was fully held by HBOS. Net debt reduced from €268M to €133M through a debt to equity swap, equity stake kept by Pragma.
(pool equipments manufacturer, sales of €550M) (June - September 2009)PAI - Kaufmann & Broad
(Real-estate development, sales of €1,165M) (October 2008 - July 2009)
Assisted PAI in the financial restructuring of Kaufmann & Broad. Rescheduling of the senior debt, new money provided to the target by the lenders, conversion of part of the holding debt, sharing of capital gain at exit.
(screw distributor, sales of €70M) (2008 - 2009)International Outsourcing Services
(coupon business) (2007)Pragma Capital - DTS
(household cleaning materials) (2006 and 2008)
Assisted Pragma Capital and DTS in its financial reorganization, including a share capital increase, the rescheduling of its acquisition debt and the setting up of new credit facilities for the operational subsidiaries (2006 - 2007).
Teksid Aluminum (aluminum foundry, automotive part) (2006 - 2007)Almar/Jallatte
(security shoes) (2004 - 2005)Manoir Industries
(steel foundry and casting) (2002 - 2005 and Q4 2007)
Out-of-Court Reorganizations of Distressed Groups:
Assisted the group in its financial and operational reorganization, including a share capital increase, the sale of non profitable business units, and several renegotiations of its acquisition bank debt, its operational debts and letters of credit. (2002 - 2004)
Assisted the group and its shareholders (Fonds Partenaires-Lazard) in the negotiation of the group’s takeover by a distressed fund, Fin’Active, and the full renegotiation of its debt under these circumstances. (2004 - 2005)
Assisted the group in its negotiation with its private equity shareholder, Sun Capital, in the framework of a sale and lease back transaction (€70M) to repay debt.
Genodyssee (biotechnology) (2008)Hachette Livre
(book editors) (2007 - 2008)EADS-Sogerma
(aircraft maintenance) (2006 - 2007)Safeguard and Insolvency Proceedings:
Wagon Automotive (automotive subcontractor, sales of €425M) (December 2008 - August 2009)
Assisted the French companies of Wagon Automotive Group in its recovery proceeding, following the entry into Administration of its English parent company, COMI; negotiation with OEM; implementation of the assets sale plan in favor of two trade buyers, out of which one, FSD, benefited from an equity injection from the FMEA (French sovereign automotive fund); sale of a profitable subsidiary ACS to a trade buyer (CIE / VEP); settlement with the bank syndicate and the UK administration over €2 billion of proofs of claims.
Proven (household cleaning products, sales of €65M) (2008) - LBO Case
Assisted Proven in its eight insolvency proceedings and in the implementation of asset deals plans.
Assisted Pragma Capital in its attempt to sell DTS in the framework of a mandat ad hoc proceedings and a significant write-off of its acquisition debt.
Valiance (transport of funds) (2003 - 2004) - LBO case
Representing Investors (equity or debt):
Smoby/Strategic buyer (Sept 2007 - January 2008)
Eurotunnel (2006 - 2008):
Advised Quadrangle Master Funding as creditor in Eurotunnel safeguard proceeding (2007 - 2008).
Assisted Goldman Sach International lender trade desk in connection with Eurotunnel work-out, prior to and during its safeguard proceeding (analysis of scenarios) (2005 - 2007).
Advised HBK Investment LLP (a U.S.-based hedge fund), in connection with its investment in Eurotunnel’s senior debt prior to its work-out (2004-2005).
(2006 - 2007)Caravelle/General Trailers
Assisted Caravelle, a French turnover fund, in establishing an asset deal plan in connection with the acquisition of some major branches of General Trailers, under insolvency proceeding.
Dutch Distributor/Singer Futura France (sewing machines) (2004)
Royal Bank of Canada / Mecachrome (car and aeronautics subcontractor, sales of €303M) (2008 - 2009)Hachette
Teksid Aluminum S.r.l.
Assisted Hachette in relation to the safeguard proceedings - subsequently converted into liquidation proceedings - commenced against CELF, one of Hachette’s distributors, caused by a European Union decision requiring CELF to reimburse State aid (since April 2009).
Assisted Hachette in negotiating a settlement agreement in relation to the termination of a distribution contract entered into with Editions Anne Carrière under recovery proceedings (August - September 2009).
(2006 - 2007)Clarity/Biomega
(2006 - 2007)
Université Paris XI - Sceaux, LL.M.