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Clifford Chance

  • Private Equity
  • Buyouts & Growth Capital Transactions
  • Fund Management M&A
  • Infrastructure Fund Transactions
  • Portfolio Company Mandates
  • Private fund mandates
  • Real Estate Private Equity & Investment
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Private Equity

Buyouts & Growth Capital Transactions

We have been advising on private equity transactions since the first buyout and development capital deals in the early 1980s and our clients benefit from our longstanding focus on this area and deep understanding of the industry.

More about Buyouts & Growth Capital Transactions

Our award-winning, multi-disciplinary team advises financial investors across the globe on a diverse range of buyout deal types, (MBOs, MBIs and BIMBOs), secondary and follow-on transactions, take privates, joint ventures, PIPEs and pre-IPO and cornerstone investments, with a particular focus on large, cross-border transactions. Our team includes experts in both bank lending and capital markets financing to ensure that we deliver the best finance solutions.

We also advise our clients, who include various pan-emerging markets financial investors and development finance institutions, on growth capital transactions in the emerging and growth markets. Our extensive experience in this area, familiarity with the various local legal, regulatory and business landscapes, and close links with local counsel in all the key jurisdictions mean we can provide expert advice on the particular deal dynamics and issues that can arise.

The quality of our practice is reflected in the longstanding, close relationships we have established with our private equity clients, who include many of the world's leading financial investors.  It is also recognised in our repeated top tier rankings in key regional and global legal directories and numerous award wins, which include European Law Firm of the Year (Transactions):

  • Private Equity International Awards: European Law Firm of the Year (Transactions): for the last thirteen years running (2001 – 2013) and Asian Law Firm of the Year (Transactions) in 2006, 2009 and 2012-13
  • Legal Business Awards: Private Equity Team of the Year 2014
  • Financial Times and Mergermarket European M&A Awards: Private Equity Legal Adviser of the Year 2013
  • Private Equity Africa Awards: Advisor Awards for Transaction Services (2012, covering the period 2001-2011) and for Legal Services (2013)

Client experience

  • Cinven on the €1.49 billion acquisition of German-based CeramTec, a subsidiary of Rockwood Holdings
  • Permira on the c £300 million acquisition of  Dr Martens, makers of the iconic footwear
  • TPG Capital on the €310 million acquisition of the real estate servicing business of Servihabitat by a joint venture formed by TPG (51%) and Caixabank (49%). Servihabitat is the largest servicing platform in Spain with more than €21 billion assets under management
  • IK Investment Partners on the acquisition from the Norwegian foundation, Det Norske Veritas, of its subsidiary, DNV Petroleum Services (DNVPS), a global leader in fuel management services
  • Emma Delta on the €712 million acquisition of a 33% stake in OPAP from the Greek government (the first major Greek privatization) and on the ground-breaking €400 million high yield financing
  • CVC Asia Pacific on the over US$300m leveraged buyout of the business process outsourcing business of SPi Global Holdings, Inc. from Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company
  • EQT on its leveraged majority buyout of China F&B Group, which operates the franchise of two renowned international restaurant chains, Dairy Queen and Papa John's Pizza in the PRC - respectively the largest ice cream restaurant chain and the second largest pizza restaurant chain in China
  • Wendel on the US$125 million investment in the IHS Group, active in the telecom tower infrastructure business across Africa
  • Actis on the US$290 million investment for a 60% stake in Aela Energía, a renewable energy developer which is set to become Chile's largest wind and solar energy project 
  • The Carlyle Group on the US$1.93 billion acquisition of Korean security business, ADT Korea, from Tyco -  the largest private equity buyout deal in US dollar value in Korea since 2008

Private Equity

Fund Management M&A

We have market-leading experience of advising on the acquisition and divestiture of fund management businesses and portfolios across private equity, hedge, real estate and credit funds. Through our work on recent transactions, we have gained a real insight into the key issues that our clients may face, including the challenges presented by more stringent regulation and difficult market conditions. We are also experts in advising on the benefits and risks associated with different transaction structures and we can offer our clients flexible solutions, tailored to the structure of the fund business and what our clients want to achieve.

More about Fund Management M&A

We have advised major banks and investment advisers on a number of significant fund acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures and have a real insight into the key issues that our clients may face. This includes the challenges presented by more stringent regulation and difficult market conditions as well as the benefits and risks associated with different transaction structures, allowing us to offer flexible solutions tailored to the structure of the fund business and what our clients want to achieve.

Fund and asset management M&A transactions are typically highly complex, involving bespoke solutions across a number of disciplines, including M&A/private equity, investment funds, tax and regulation and usually in a number of jurisdictions. We operate fully integrated teams across the globe, providing our clients with coordinated and strategic input wherever they need it. 

Client experience

  • Abraaj Capital on the acquisition of:
    • Aureos Capital, a global private equity fund management group investing in small and medium-sized enterprises across Asia, Africa and Latin America
    • the general partner and limited partner interests of the Amundi Group's Kantara Regional Fund
  • Barclays Bank on the sale of Barclays Infrastructure Management to 3i Group
  • Macquarie Bank on the sale of MGPA, a private equity real estate investment advising company, to Blackrock, Inc.
  • UniCredit on the disposal of the private equity fund manager Sofipa SGR to the private equity fund manager Synergo SGR in a deal creating a merged business managing funds worth €1.3 billion
  • HSBC on the divestiture of its Canadian, Hong Kong, Middle Eastern and US private equity businesses and UK infrastructure business via five separate management buy-outs
  • CVC Capital Partners on the joint venture involving the combination of CVC's debt management business, Cordatus, with Apidos Capital Management, the debt management business of Resource America Inc, to create CVC Credit Partners

Private Equity

Infrastructure Fund Transactions

Specialist infrastructure funds benefit from the combination of our market leading private equity expertise and our in-depth market knowledge of the infrastructure sector.

More about Infrastructure Fund Transactions

We pride ourselves on our ability to manage complex and challenging transactions and to deliver specialist input and local expertise in an efficient and perceptive way. We have the in-depth market knowledge necessary to support all aspects of strategic transactions in the infrastructure sector. We work closely with:

  • our pre-eminent finance practice, which has been instrumental in shaping the infrastructure finance market; and
  • our regulatory and antitrust practice, which has extensive experience in advising acquirers and financiers on transactions within the infrastructure sector covering the full range of target assets, from regulated utilities through transport and energy to broadcasting and social infrastructure.

The quality of our team and the regard in which we are held by our clients are evidenced by our high profile mandates. We have had a role in every significant infrastructure M&A transaction in the UK – and the majority of significant infrastructure M&A transactions in Western Europe – in recent years. Infrastructure Investor has named us European Infrastructure Law Firm of the Year in their annual awards for excellence for the last four years.

Client experience

  • The lenders on the financing for the acquisition by a consortium led by Borealis and First State of Fortum’s Finnish electricity distribution business.  Separate teams also advised one of the under-bidders and the lenders to another under-bidder
  • Universities Superannuation Scheme on its acquisition of an 8.65% stake Heathrow Airport Holdings, formerly known as BAA, from Ferrovial
  • KKR on the acquisition of South Staffordshire Water and Cambridge Water from Alinda Capital Partners
  • Abertis Infraestructuras S.A. on a series of disposals that included all of the airports in the TBI airport portfolio, including Luton, Cardiff, Belfast and Stockholm
  • American Tower Corporation on the acquisition of a wireless communication sites portfolio from German mobile operator E-Plus, a subsidiary of Dutch operator KPN
  • Axa Private Equity on its acquisition of a 23.48% stake in Enovos from ArcelorMittal
  • A leading private equity infrastructure fund on the RMB271.25m investment in a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Stock Exchange listed Hengyang Petrochemical Logistics, a leading Chinese logistics service provider
  • InfraMed Infrastructure and EFG Hermes on the US$100m equity investment by the InfraMed Infrastructure Fund in a greenfield refinery project in Egypt, one of Africa's largest project finance deals

Private Equity

Portfolio Company Mandates

We work closely with our clients' portfolio companies throughout the lifetime of the investment, advising them on a broad range of mandates.

More about Portfolio Company Mandates

After the initial acquisition, we partner with our clients to achieve their long term investment objectives, advising on bolt-on acquisitions and asset sales, refinancings and restructurings, and working with them to plan and execute an effective exit (whether by way of trade sale, IPO, dividend recap or multi-track). Our full service capabilities also make us ideally placed to advise investee companies and assist in structuring management incentive plans.

The support we offer portfolio companies is enhanced by our sector focus. Our global sector groups have a detailed understanding of the commercial, legal and regulatory aspects of our clients' businesses and this means we are proactive in spotting issues and ensuring potential problems are acted on immediately and resolved.

Client experience

  • Clayton Dubilier & Rice portfolio company, British Car Auctions, on the acquisition of webuyanycars.com a leading online purchaser of consumer vehicles in the UK
  • Icelandic consortium on the merger of investee company, Refresco, with Gerber Emig to create a leading pan-European bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices to serve retail and branded customers
  • Acromas Holdings (owned by CVC Capital Partners, Permira and Charterhouse) on the refinancing of the AA group's existing bank debt through the whole business securitisation of the AA Group
  • Cinven and its portfolio company, Enserve on the £140 million sale of Inenco, the energy division of EnServe, to Vitruvian Partners, its management team and Intermediate Capital Group
  • Electra Partners on the US$1.3 billion sale of US/France based Allflex to BC Partners
  • IK Investment Partners and portfolio company, Doedijns International, on the acquisition of Singapore-based Wilmax Control Systems, a provider of control automation and process packages for the oil and gas and petrochemical industries, with facilities in Singapore, Indonesia and Dubai
  • Cinven and Warburg Pincus on the IPO of the Netherlands' largest cable operator, Ziggo, on NYSE Euronext with a total offering size of c.€804 million
  • Nielsen Holdings (the portfolio company owned by KKR, Blackstone, Carlyle, AlpInvest, Centerview, Thomas H. Lee and Hellman and Friedman) on the IPO and listing on the New York Stock Exchange in a deal which valued the company at approximately $8 billion

Private Equity

Private fund mandates

Clifford Chance is recognized as the global market leader in working with alternative fund managers to establish and operate the full range of alternative private investment funds. Our team works closely with our colleagues in the firm's Private Equity, Real Estate and Energy & Infrastructure groups.

More about Private fund mandates

The firm also advises investors in such funds, including pension funds, insurance companies, funds-of-funds and many sovereign wealth and other supra-national institutions. Our team has advised on some of the largest and most complex private fundraisings in the global market.

Our recognition as a global leader in the field has been established due to our expertise across our international network, with market-leading teams in Europe, Asia and the US. The global nature of the private funds market means that our extensive network of offices is a major benefit to clients.

The firm advises managers on fund establishment, structuring and marketing as well as ongoing operational issues, secondary transactions and restructuring mandates. We also actively advise our clients on their licensing and regulatory requirements. This is an area which has seen significant interest given the unprecedented regulatory change in the investment management industry, including the impact of the EU Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive (AIFMD) and the Investment Advisers Act in the US. Clifford Chance keeps its clients in the funds sector ahead of the pack by maintaining one of the largest financial services regulatory teams in the world. In addition to regulatory support, with one of the largest international tax groups of any law firm, our combined team provides clients with comprehensive advice on all aspects of private fund establishment and investment structuring issues. 

Private Equity

Real Estate Private Equity & Investment

Our property lawyers specialise and are experienced in the legal issues and commercial challenges involved in dealing with private equity structures, joint ventures, limited partnerships, unit trusts, REITs and other co-investment arrangements.

More about Real Estate Private Equity & Investment

Whether the underlying real estate transaction is an income producing investment, a portfolio acquisition, a mortgage portfolio transaction, a workout, a development project, a sale and leaseback or a trading transaction, the appropriate structure can be tailored to suit your deal – taking into account local market and currency issues, transfer tax, accounting treatment and risk allocation.

Our real estate lawyers are experienced in advising on the full life-cycle of corporate real estate structures, from the initial choice of structure, tax optimisation, creation of the vehicle, funding, the acquisition and asset or project management through to exit strategy.

Private equity has long been a key focus for Clifford Chance and our market-leading practice offers unrivalled expertise and resources across the globe. We represent a wide range of global, regional and emerging markets financial investors, including private equity houses, banks, specialist infrastructure and private equity real estate funds and other financial institutions.

With our combination of international reach, multi-disciplinary expertise and industry sector focus, we advise on all aspects of private equity. We work closely with our Funds & Investment Management sector to provide an integrated offering to all clients in the investment management industry.  The strength and depth of our private equity expertise is reflected in our consistent top tier rankings in the key legal directories, and numerous award wins.

  • Investments – our experience spans the globe. We frequently advise on complex, cross-border transactions and cover a variety of investment strategies, including: 
  • Portfolio company mandates: We work closely with our clients' portfolio companies throughout the lifetime of the investment, advising them on a broad range of mandates.
  • Fund management M&A: We have market-leading experience advising on fund management M&A transactions (including spin-outs and portfolio acquisitions and divestitures) across private equity, hedge, real estate and credit funds.
  • Private fund mandates: We are recognised as the global market leader in working with alternative fund managers to establish and operate the whole range of alternative private investment funds.  We are particularly focussed on closed-ended private equity, real estate and infrastructure funds.

Our wide-ranging experience, which includes many high-profile and market-leading mandates, gives us exceptional insight into the market and enables us to help our clients anticipate issues and develop commercial solutions.

International reach

With the largest geographic coverage of any single law firm, we provide truly global private equity expertise, enhanced by our understanding of local legal, regulatory and business issues. The extraordinary reach of our practice allows us to advise clients wherever their deal ambitions take them (including the key emerging markets) and we have a particularly strong focus on complex, multi-jurisdictional deals, operating cross-border teams to coordinate resources seamlessly.

Multi-disciplinary expertise

Our private equity team is a highly integrated, multi-disciplinary group with lawyers collaborating from across our network of offices to provide clients with seamless service, even on the most complex of mandates involving multiple specialisms. Our market-leading global M&A/Corporate practice works closely with our experts in all the key practice areas including; leveraged and acquisition finance, capital markets, private funds, restructuring, compliance, financial services regulation, anti-trust/competition, tax, and employment, employee benefits and pensions (including ERISA).

Industry sector focus

Our strong industry sector focus gives us a deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing our clients and a real competitive edge. We apply a sector focused approach on deals, combining profound industry expertise with our private equity transactional capabilities. This allows us to undertake timely and efficient due diligence, to identify industry specific risks early and to provide practical solutions. Between deals, we brief clients at the earliest stages on industry developments to ensure they are kept updated on the issues and opportunities in their chosen sectors.

Client experience

  • Cinven on the €1.49 billion acquisition of German-based CeramTec, a subsidiary of Rockwood Holdings
  • CVC Asia Pacific on the over US$300 million leveraged buyout of the business process outsourcing business of SPi Global Holdings, Inc. from Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company
  • Wendel on the US$125 million investment in the IHS Group, active in the telecom tower infrastructure business across Africa
  • KKR on the acquisition of South Staffordshire Water and Cambridge Water from Alinda Capital Partners
  • TPG Capital on the €310 million acquisition of the real estate servicing business of Servihabitat by a joint venture formed by TPG (51%) and Caixabank (49%). Servihabitat is the largest servicing platform in Spain
  • Electra Partners on the US$1.3 billion sale of US/France based Allflex to BC Partners
  • Acromas Holdings (owned by CVC Capital Partners, Permira and Charterhouse) on the refinancing of the AA group's existing bank debt through the whole business securitisation of the AA Group
  • Macquarie Bank on the sale of MGPA, a private equity real estate investment advising company, to Blackrock, Inc.
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC) on its Russian Bank Opportunity Fund (target $1 billion) which was formed to offer an opportunity for select investors to participate in the continuing investment program of the IFC in the Russian Federation's financial sector.
  • The Carlyle Group on the US$1.93 billion acquisition of Korean security business, ADT Korea, from Tyco -  the largest private equity buyout deal in US dollar value in Korea since 2008