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Dealwatch: Fieldfisher wins role opposite Slaughter and May on private equity takeover of Currencies Direct

Tech-focused firm Fieldfisher bagged an advisory role opposite a five-partner team from Slaughter and May as private equity duo Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital purchased online foreign exchange provider Currencies Direct for £200m.

Founded in 1996 by Asian businessman Mayank Patel, Currencies Direct exchanges currency for businesses and individuals buying property overseas. The business serves more than 150,000 retail clients and has grown into continental Europe, Australia, South Africa and the US over the past decade. The acquisition is structured so that Currencies Direct management increase their ownership of the company, with Patel maintaining a share and becoming honorary president of the firm.

The London-based company enlisted Fieldfisher to advise on its sale to the private equity houses. Fieldfisher’s team was led by corporate partner David Wilkinson, with support from tax partners Andrew Prowse and Derek Hill, pensions partner Mike Calvert and corporate partner Nicholas Thompsell.

A large deal for Fieldfisher, a revived M&A scene for mid-market deals has helped to propel the firm past the £100m barrier, with revenue rising 19% in the past two years to push turnover to £113m in 2014.

Meanwhile, Slaughters‘ rising star Susannah Macknay led in advising Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair on the purchase of the FX company. Macknay, who last year was instructed on mining giant BHP Billiton’s huge demerger that saw its less profitable aluminium, silver, coal, manganese and nickel businesses spun off into a new company estimated to be worth around $14bn, led a five-partner team at the Magic Circle firm. She was supported by tax specialist Mike Lane, pensions partner Jonathan Fenn, financial regulation lawyer Jan Putnis and finance partner Caroline Phillips.