United Airlines’ $6.8 Billion Financing

Kirkland advised United Airlines Holdings on the deal.

United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: UAL) completed a $6.8 billion financing comprised of $3.8 billion of bonds and $3.0 billion of term loans secured by the airline’s loyalty program, MileagePlus.

The transaction was highly innovative in that it required the movement of the MileagePlus program to a newly-formed subsidiary that was structured to be bankruptcy remote and involved a covenant structure that is a hybrid between a securitization and a corporate debt issuance. The financing is the first loyalty program financing of its kind because it allows United to retain full ownership, and remain in operational control of MileagePlus, while providing United liquidity and flexibility as the airline navigates the most disruptive crisis in the history of aviation.

United Airlines Holdings, Inc. operates as a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides air transportation services. United Airlines Holdings owns and manages airlines that transports people and cargos.

Kirkland advised United Airlines with a team led by debt finance partner Michelle Kilkenney (Picture) and capital markets partner Sophia Hudson and the team also included debt finance partners Katie Bolanowski and Rustin M. Brown, associates Claire Rokita and Roxanne A. Walton and paralegal Henry Rosas, capital markets partner Alexander M. Schwartz and associate Eileen Katherine Kelly, transactional associates Joshua G. Bass, Joshua P. Cowin, Brian Guerinot, Keli Huang, Andrew D. Kang and Kevin Simms and paralegal Stephanie Levy, technology & IP transaction partners Adam V. Petravicius, Matthew Colman and Seth Traxler, and associates Chris Hinman, Jake Lipnik, Adine Mitrani, Melissa Moreno, Josh Patten and Jeffrey Seroogy and paralegal Raza Siddiqui, asset finance/securitization partner Jeffrey S. O’Connor and associate Joel E. Weinberger, litigation partners Atif Khawaja, Rachel M. Fritzler and Bobby Earles and associates Ariel Geist, Jenny Lee and Josh Mathew, taxation partners Sara B. Zablotney and Anthony Vincenzo Sexton and associate Rhonda Dinkins with support from taxation partners Oded Schein and Daniel Hiemer, transactional partner Peter Martelli and associates Romain Dambre and Adarsh Varghese, and restructuring partner Chad Husnick.

Involved fees earner: Joshua Bass – Kirkland & Ellis; Katie Bolanowski – Kirkland & Ellis; Rustin Brown – Kirkland & Ellis; Matthew Colman – Kirkland & Ellis; Joshua Cowin – Kirkland & Ellis; Romain Dambre – Kirkland & Ellis; Rhonda Dinkins – Kirkland & Ellis; Bobby Earles – Kirkland & Ellis; Rachel Fritzler – Kirkland & Ellis; Daniel Hiemer – Kirkland & Ellis; Christopher Hinman – Kirkland & Ellis; Keli Huang – Kirkland & Ellis; Sophia Hudson – Kirkland & Ellis; Chad Husnick – Kirkland & Ellis; Andrew Kang – Kirkland & Ellis; Eileen Katherine Kelly – Kirkland & Ellis; Atif Khawaja – Kirkland & Ellis; Michelle Kilkenney – Kirkland & Ellis; Jenny Lee – Kirkland & Ellis; Jake Lipnik – Kirkland & Ellis; Peter Martelli – Kirkland & Ellis; Josh Mathew – Kirkland & Ellis; Adine Mitrani – Kirkland & Ellis; Melissa Moreno – Kirkland & Ellis; Jeffrey O’Connor – Kirkland & Ellis; John Patten – Kirkland & Ellis; Adam Petravicius – Kirkland & Ellis; Claire Rokita – Kirkland & Ellis; Oded Schein – Kirkland & Ellis; Alexander Schwartz – Kirkland & Ellis; Jeffrey Seroogy – Kirkland & Ellis; Anthony Sexton – Kirkland & Ellis; Kevin Simms – Kirkland & Ellis; Seth Traxler – Kirkland & Ellis; Adarsh Varghese – Kirkland & Ellis; Roxanne Walton – Kirkland & Ellis; Joel Weinberger – Kirkland & Ellis; Sara Zablotney – Kirkland & Ellis;

Law Firms: Kirkland & Ellis;

Clients: United Airlines Holdings Inc;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti