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Clifford Chance and Freshfields advise on Bridgepoint’s sale of German chemicals company to Permira

Magic Circle firms Clifford Chance (CC) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have taken the lead on the latest big corporate transaction to come out of Germany, the sale of speciality chemicals and manufacturing company CABB International to private equity firm Permira Advisers, providing an exit for Bridgepoint Capital, with the asset reported in the financial press to be valued in excess of $1bn.

The deal, which was announced on Tuesday and is expected to complete in June this year, sees CC advise London-based Permira and Freshfields represent Bridgepoint, which acquired CABB from AXA Private Equity for an undisclosed sum in March 2011 when it employed 750 people with 2010 sales of €311m.

The manufacturer, which supplies chemicals used in pesticides, cosmetics and food, now has around 1000 employees and a circa €440m turnover.

Leading the Freshfields team on the transaction is Frankfurt-based co-head of the firm’s global financial investors group, Markus Paul, supported by environmental and regulatory of counsel Marcus Emmer, M&A counsel Christian Zeppezauer and associates Hendrik Braun, Christoffer Bortz, Marius Fritzsche, Olga Gurman and Sherry Xu.

Freshfields also advised Bridgepoint last year as it acquired Austrian commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturer AHT Cooling Systems from Quadriga Capital for €585m, which completed in October.

Clifford Chance lawyers working on the deal are understood to include Dusseldorf-based employment partner Thomas Hey, antitrust partner Marc Besen, Frankfurt-based M&A counsel Joachim Hasselbach and Jörg Futter, litigation and dispute resolution counsel Jochen Pörtge, senior associates Christoph Crützen, Amrei Fuder, Achim Gronemeyer and Frederik Mühl, and lawyers Paul Bock and Florian Lechner.

Leading the in-house team on the other side is former Clifford Chance lawyer and Permira partner Ulrich Gasse.

Last October, CC advised key private equity client Permira on its £300m acquisition of iconic footwear brand Doc Martens, which completed in January 2014, led by heavyweight corporate partner Jonny Myers and global corporate head Matthew Layton, who will take over as the Magic Circle firm’s managing partner on 1 May.

Layton also advised Permira on its €3bn (£2.5bn) sale of frozen foods business Iglo Group in 2012, while Myers previously led on its €220m acquisition of a majority stake in Irish healthcare equipment manufacturer Creganna.