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Dealwatch: Clifford Chance, Travers Smith, Debevoise and BLP advise on £1.2bn BCA sale

A quartet law firms including Clifford Chance (CC), Travers Smith, Debevoise & Plimpton and Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) have all secured instructions on the £1.2bn sale of BCA (formerly British Car Auction) to publicly listed investment vehicle, Haversham Holdings.

Travers Smith senior partner Chris Hale led a team advising management on the proposed sale of BCA, which is owned by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). Other Travers team members included tax partner Russell Warren and corporate finance partner Adrian West.

CC corporate partner Simon Tinkler served as legal adviser to CD&R, while BLP partner Benjamin Lee acted as adviser for Haversham, alongside Debevoise & Plimpton, leading a team including corporate finance partner Julian Stanier and finance Partner Derek Hrydziuszko.  Debevoise’s team was led by London-based partner Alan Daviesand included Frankfurt-based international counsel Philipp von Holst.

The deal will see shareholders receive £701m in cash and £104m in stock in what constitutes Europe’s largest used-vehicle marketplace. BCA operates in 13 countries, and in 2014 remarketed an estimated 1m vehicles and bought more than 140,000.

Last October saw the high-profile initial public offering of BCA Marketplace, which also owns, with hopes to raise £200m in proceeds but the deal was scrapped due to volatile markets. On that deal, Magic Circle pair Linklaters and CC advised with the former’s senior corporate partner trio John Lane, Charlie Jacobs, and Jason Manketo advising BCA Marketplace, while the latter’s finance partners Simon Thomas and Chris Walton advised the bookrunners JP Morgan and UBS.

The latest transaction is conditional on, amongst other things, Haversham’s share placing becoming unconditional and is expected to close in early April.