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Paul W. Hespel

Mr. Hespel specializes in finance and restructuring transactions, with a particular focus on transactional finance matters (including leveraged acquisition financings and transactional finance matters in distressed settings), mezzanine and multi-tranche financings, high yield debt offerings, out-of-court restructurings and liability management transactions. Mr. Hespel handles both domestic and cross border engagements.

Mr. Hespel represents corporate borrowers, financial sponsors, portfolio companies, arrangers, agent banks, financial institutions and alternative capital sources. He has extensive experience in structuring and negotiating secured and investment grade credit facilities, first lien, second lien, mezzanine and multi-tranche financings, liquidity lines, letter of credit facilities and high yield debt offerings. Mr. Hespel also counsels clients on forbearance arrangements, out-of-court restructurings and debtor-in-possession and exit financings.

During his more than fifteen years of practice, Mr. Hespel has developed sector expertise in education, financial services, REITs, health care, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Mr. Hespel’s financing matters include the representation of:

  • a financial sponsor and its subsidiary, a financial adviser, as borrower and issuer in $425 million of senior credit facilities, and $350 million of senior subordinated notes, for the acquisition by such financial sponsor of an interest in the borrower and for working capital purposes of the borrower
  • a real estate investment trust active in the hospital space, as borrower in $300 million of senior secured bridge loan facilities for the acquisition by the borrower of a portfolio of properties from a competitor
  • a private equity firm in numerous debt financings for portfolio companies in the education sector
  • a food distribution company, as borrower, in $300 million of senior secured credit facilities for general corporate purposes, to refinance certain existing indebtedness and for permitted acquisitions
  • a corporate entity active in the mobile phone arena, as borrower, in a $980 million leveraged recapitalization consisting of first and second lien credit facilities
  • a mezzanine fund in a $45 million second lien term loan and a $15 million holdco loan to finance the acquisition by a private equity sponsor of an interest in a leading online data room provider
  • a mezzanine fund in $31.5 million of senior subordinated notes to finance the acquisition by a private equity sponsor of an interest in a leading provider of wireless data radio solutions
  • a debt fund in the structuring, negotiation and documentation of a $125 million second lien term loan for the acquisition by a private equity sponsor of a power plant.

Mr. Hespel’s restructuring matters include the representation of:

  • existing bondholders in the Plan of Reorganization of Simmons Company and as debt providers in the $425 million senior secured exit financing associated therewith
  • a financial institution, as borrower/issuer in the restructuring of its $350 million of revolving credit facilities and $105 million of senior notes
  • a financial sponsor and its portfolio company in forbearance arrangements in respect of its senior secured credit facilities, and the structured sale of such portfolio company
  • the administrative agent and lead arranger in the restructuring of $1.3 billion of senior secured credit facilities
  • a joint venture partner in the creation of a distressed debt fund and representation of the fund, as borrower, in an uncommitted loan facility for the acquisition by the borrower of more than $300 million in loan portfolios from troubled financial institutions.

Mr. Hespel frequently speaks on matters of current interest in the finance arena. Recent engagements include:

  • “Deal Financing: Outlook, Options and Opportunities,” panel discussion on the deal financing environment for 2013, New York (July 25, 2013)
  • “Deal Financing: Behind the Numbers and in Front of the Curve of the Deal,” panel discussion on the deal financing environment for 2012, New York (May 10, 2012)
  • “Filling the Capital Gap: Do Non Bank Lenders Have an Up Market?” panel discussion on financing provided by alternative capital sources, New York (November 1, 2011)
  • “Emerging Markets Summit 2011: BRIC & Beyond,” panel discussion on Fixed Income and Infrastructure Investing: The Current Climate, New York (January 19, 2011)
  • “The Deal Economy 2011 - Reanimating Capitalism and the Markets,” panel discussion on Capital Markets, New York Stock Exchange (December 3, 2010).

Mr. Hespel graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1995, where he obtained an LL.M. degree. He also received an LL.M., cum laude, in 1994 from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. He was a 1993 magna cum laude ERASMUS exchange student at the University of Poitiers in France and he holds an M.B.A. from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

Mr. Hespel was named to New York Super Lawyers in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012.

Mr. Hespel is a member of the Advisory Board to the Belgian American Chamber of Commerce, the Duke University School of Law, Law Alumni Association Board and the Duke University School of Law, International Advisory Board.

Mr. Hespel is admitted to practice in New York. He is fluent in French and Dutch and conversant in German and Spanish.

Single Candidature in Philosophy 1991 Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
ERASMUS Exchange Student 1993, magna cum laude, University of Poitiers (France)
LL.M. 1994, cum laude, Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
LL.M. 1995 Duke University School of Law
M.B.A. 2003 INSEAD (France)

Bar Admissions
Admitted to practice in New York

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