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Deal watch: Ropes & Gray advises on £1.3bn private equity deal as White & Case and Eversheds score major mandates

Major transactions continue to flow after Ropes & Gray’s London arm acted on the largest-ever UK private equity software buyout while White & Case and Eversheds Sutherland also landed on sizable deals.

Private equity powerhouse Helen Croke (pictured) led a team from Ropes & Gray advising Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) on a £1.3bn joint partnership investment. The investment, alongside HG Saturn Fund, is in IRIS, a business-critical software provider for the UK accountancy, education and business market.

Ropes & Gray finance partner Alex Robb advised on the debt aspects of the transaction.  The same team of Croke and Robb advised ICG in June last year, when the private equity house acquired Visma in a $5.3bn consortium buyout – Europe’s largest-ever software takeover.

Elsewhere, Eversheds has acted for the shareholders of UK engineering company John Guest Holdings on its £687m sale to Australia-based plumbing supplies group Reliance Worldwide Corporation (RWC).

John Guest Holdings is a family-owned company and ranks as one of Europe’s largest suppliers of plastic fittings for the engineering and plumbing sectors.

Eversheds’ team was led by M&A partner Chris Halliday, while support was provided by employment partner Elizabeth Graves, tax partner Ben Jones and real estate partner Iftkhar Ahmed.

Halliday told Legal Business the firm had known the family-owned business for a while. He commented: ‘The time was right to sell. We are seeing a very busy M&A market at the moment with a number of deals closing and in the pipeline. The wider sector is seeing plenty of activity in goods and services so all the drivers for M&A are in place.’

Wrapping up the week, White & Case advised private equity firm CVC Capital Partners on the €1.01bn loan financing of a consortium buyout of Finnish private healthcare provider Mehiläinen.

White & Case’s team acting consisted of banking partner Martin Forbes and banking partner Justin Wagstaff.

Forbes said the firm had a ‘proven track record advising on both private equity and healthcare transactions’, and the deal ‘will propel Mehiläinen into its next growth phase.’