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Stephen M. Kessing

Partner, Corporate

Stephen M. Kessing is a partner in Cravath’s Corporate Department and serves as Practice Lead of the Firm’s Banking and Credit Practice. His practice involves advising financial institutions and corporate clients in a wide variety of matters, including syndicated loan transactions, capital markets transactions, and mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Kessing’s clients have included AdvanSix, AerCap, Akorn, Alliant Techsystems, AmerisourceBergen, Anheuser‑Busch InBev, British American Tobacco, Cincinnati Bell, Conduent, Cox Enterprise, CyrusOne, Element Financial, Eurazeo, FactSet, Genpact, Graham Holdings, HLS Therapeutics, Honeywell, IBM, J.M. Huber, Johnson & Johnson, Lazard, Martin Marietta, Minerals Technologies, Novartis, NTC Group, Orbotech, PG&E, Reservoir Media Management, SMBC Aviation Capital, Sound Point Capital, Stanley, Starwood Hotels, Unilever, Universal Orlando, Vista Outdoor, WorldStrides and Xerox. Mr. Kessing has also represented J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse, Citibank, Jefferies, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs in syndicated loan, equity, high‑yield bond and leveraged acquisition transactions.

Notable recent transactions include representing:

  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with $900 million of credit facilities provided to Leggett & Platt to finance its acquisition of Elite Comfort Solutions.
  • Vista Outdoor, as borrower, in connection with $600 million of credit facilities consisting of an asset‑based revolving credit facility, an asset‑based term loan facility and a junior term loan facility.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with $295 million of credit facilities provided to SurveyMonkey.
  • Bank of America, as agent and arranger, in connection with a $1 billion term loan facility provided to United Rentals to finance its acquisition of BlueLine Rentals.
  • HLS Therapeutics, as borrower, in connection with a $100 million term commitment and a $25 million revolving credit facility.
  • Genpact, as borrower, in connection with a $680 million term commitment and a $500 million revolving credit facility.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with $7.55 billion of credit facilities provided to Automatic Data Processing.
  • Graham Holdings, as borrower, in connection with a $300 million revolving credit facility and a $200 million revolving credit facility.
  • The agent and arranger in connection with a $1.3 billion league‑wide revolving credit facility made available to teams of the National Basketball Association.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with a $3.5 billion unsecured revolving credit facility provided to Freeport‑McMoRan.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with a $1 billion asset‑based revolving credit facility provided to CHS/Community Health Systems.
  • Citibank, as agent and arranger, in connection with a $4 billion senior unsecured revolving credit facility provided to HP.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with a $750 million revolving credit facility provided to Quest Diagnostics.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with a $400 million second lien term loan facility provided to Goodyear.
  • The agent and arrangers in connection with a $1 billion senior secured revolving credit facility provided to NetScout Systems.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with a $750 million revolving credit facility provided to CoStar Group and CoStar Realty Information.
  • Cincinnati Bell, as borrower, in connection with $800 million of credit facilities provided to finance the acquisitions of OnX and Hawaiian Telcom.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with $430 million of senior secured credit facilities provided to Procera Networks to finance its acquisition of Sandvine.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with $543 million of credit facilities provided to affiliates of Temasek Holdings to finance its acquisition of Global Healthcare Exchange.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with an increased and extended $3 billion senior unsecured revolving credit facility provided to Newmont Mining.
  • Credit Suisse, as agent and arranger, in connection with $605 million of senior secured term loan facilities and RBC, as agent and arranger, in a $75 million ABL revolving credit facility provided to an affiliate of Lone Star Capital to finance its acquisition of Arclin.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with a $150 million five‑year senior secured revolving credit facility provided to the New York Rangers.
  • AdvanSix, as borrower, in connection with $425 million of credit facilities provided in connection with Honeywell’s spin‑off of AdvanSix into a new independent public company.
  • J.P. Morgan, as administrative agent, in connection with a $200 million five‑year senior secured revolving credit facility for the New York Knicks.
  • J.P. Morgan, as agent and arranger, in connection with a $175 million ABL credit facility for Fanatics.
  • Citigroup, as agent and arranger, in connection with a $1 billion revolving credit facility for Legg Mason.

Mr. Kessing was recognized for his work in the banking arena by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in 2018; The Legal 500 from 2015 through 2018; IFLR1000 from 2014 through 2019; and Super Lawyers from 2014 through 2016. Mr. Kessing is the Board Secretary of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.

Mr. Kessing was born in Akron, Ohio. He received a B.S. from Miami University in 1995 and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California in 2001. Mr. Kessing received his J.D. magna cum laude from Duke University School of Law in 2005 where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. He was also awarded the Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Transactions and Bankruptcy. Mr. Kessing joined Cravath in 2005 and became a partner in 2013.

Mr. Kessing may be reached by phone at +1‑212‑474‑1152 or by email at skessing@cravath.com.

Mr. Kessing is admitted only in New York.

Contact
+1 (212) 474-1152
+1 (212) 474-3700