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Record breaking $49bn Verizon bond issue sees Debevoise and Davis Polk secure lead roles

Debevoise & Plimpton and Davis Polk & Wardwell have landed roles on Verizon Communication’s record breaking $49bn US bond issue. The deal is bigger than the three previous record sized deals combined: Apple’s $17 billion deal in April, AbbVie’s US14.7 billion last November and Roche Holdings’ $13.5 billion transaction in 2009, according to Reuters, which also points out that the issue is larger than the GDP of 90 countries.

Debevoise is advising Verizon, with a New York team led by corporate chair Jeffrey Rosen, corporate partners Michael Dis and Steven Slutzky working alongside tax partner Peter Furci.

Davis Polk is advising the underwriters J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Bank, Merrill Lynch and Pierce, Fenner & Smith as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners. The Davis Polk team includes New York partner Jason Kyrwood together with Michael Mollerus and Harry Ballan. London partners Jonathan Cooklin, Will Pearce and Simon Witty are providing English law advice.

The bond sale is being used by the US telecoms group to raise capital to finance the debt portion of its$130bn acquisition of Vodafone’s 45% acquisition of Verizon Wireless, an M&A deal which handed roles to UK firms Slaughter and May and Macfarlanes.

The Macfarlanes team is being led by senior partner Charles Martin and corporate and M&A partner Graham Gibb and includes tax partner Ashley Greenbank. The team are working alongside Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.

Slaughter and May took the lead role for Vodafone led by corporate partner Roland Turnill, despite Linklaters being the company’s usual corporate adviser.

The deal is one of the largest corporate deals in history.