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‘Challenging and complex’: Clifford Chance continues solid PE run with Allegro club deal

Clifford Chance (CC) and Allen & Overy have taken lead advisory roles on the $3.3bn acquisition of Allegro Group, Poland’s largest online marketplace and non-food shopping destination, to funds trio, Cinven, Permira, and Mid Europa.

Allegro, which was sold by Africa’s largest company Naspers, has more than 20 million registered users who carry out 14 million transactions each month. Strong structural growth in the Polish e-commerce market improved the company’s attractiveness to bidders.

CC advised the entire funds consortium comprising Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa on buying Allegro, with CC’s private equity chief Jonny Myers leading a cross-practice, cross-jurisdiction team together with corporate partner Graham Phillips and antitrust partner Jenine Hulsmann.

Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa ‘identified Allegro as an attractive investment opportunity’ according to a firm statement with CC helping secure the acquisition through a competitive bidding process. Allen & Overy advised longstanding client Naspers. The Magic Circle firm fielded a team including Amsterdam partner Justin Steer, Warsaw partner Jarek Iwanicki, Brussels partner Juergen Schindler and Warsaw antitrust partner Marta Sendrowicz.

Myers (pictured) said consortium bids are ‘some of the most challenging and complex to deliver for a private equity house’ and require seamless teamwork, team chemistry and, above all, mutual respect.’

The deal constitutes the second heavyweight deal for CC in a week, having days ago announced the firm, alongside Slaughter and May and Jones Day, acted on the acquisition of consumer finance provider NewDay by private equity powerhouses Cinven and CVC Capital Partners from Värde Partners.

The transaction is subject to antitrust clearance.

For more on private equity in the City see: ‘ABC – the brutally simple world of a private equity lawyer’