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Freshfields lands major Carlyle deal with $3.2bn Atotech acquisition

In its first major mandate for The Carlyle Group in recent years, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has advised as the private equity firm picked up chemicals firm Atotech from Total for $3.2bn.

Carlyle turned to Freshfields for advice with London-based corporate partners David Higgins, Adrian Maguire and Paris-based corporate partner Florent Mazeron taking the lead. Finance partner Sean Lacey also acted on the deal.

Latham & Watkins also advised Carlyle, on financing aspects,with a deal team led by Washington DC partners Jeff Chenard and Manu Gayatrinath and London partner Dominic Newcomb. Washington partners Patrick Shannon and Jason Licht acted on high-yield and bridge financing matters. Antitrust advice was provided by Marc Williamson, Luca Crocco and Peter Todaro while David Dantzic advised on corporate matters.

Meanwhile Total turned to a Jones Day Paris team including M&A partners Audrey Bontemps and Sophie Hagege, government regulation partner Francoise Labrousse, labour partner Jean Michel Bobillo and capital markets partner Linda Hesse.

Freshfields partner Higgins said: ‘The international nature and complexity of the deal played to our strengths as a firm and we look forward to working with The Carlyle Group in the future’.

This is the second significant private equity deal Freshfields has acted on in recent months with corporate partner Charles Hayes taking the lead advising CVC Capital Partners as it looked to sell off Formula One to Liberty Media Corporation for £6.4bn.

Gaining its fair share of private equity work, last month it was revealed Jones Day advised co-owner of Penton Business Media Wasserstein & Co through FTSE 100 publishing company Informa’s $1.56bn bid for the US trade publisher.

Carlyle has long been a client of Clifford Chance (CC) and Linklaters, although that has waned in recent years, with Latham & Watkins the beneficiary of several departures from CC. On the other hand, Freshfields has proven resilient to exits and is viewed by clients and private practitioners as having overtaken Clifford Chance as the top City player in high-end private equity.

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