Linklaters has landed its first private equity mandate for BC Partners, with private equity star Alex Woodward leading alongside Vincent Ponsonnaille on a $1.6bn deal for a majority stake in Israeli furniture maker Keter Plastic.
BC Partners, which has traditionally used Dickson Minto, turned to Woodward and fellow private equity partner Ponsonnaille as it trumped private equity rivals Carlyle and CVC Capital Partners to acquire an 80% stake in Keter from its founders the Sagol family. The deal duo worked alongside Linklaters finance partners Brian Gray and Kathryn Merryfield, and tax partner Edouard Chapellier.
In a case of student becomes the master, Woodward faced off against Ian Bagshaw, White & Case’s co-head of private equity, for the first time on a deal since Bagshaw left Linklaters for the US firm in 2013. Bagshaw led a legal team that included PE partner Ken Barry, who joined White & Case from Debevoise & Plimpton late last year, finance partner Martin Forbes and tax partner Prabhu Narasimhan.
Israel-headquartered Keter designs, engineers, produces and distributes indoor and outdoor furniture. It operates 18 factories in nine countries with over 4,000 employees around the world. ‘This was a fantastic transaction for our EMEA private equity practice, the sort of deal that does not come along very often and a source of pride and inspiration for our team,’ said Bagshaw. ‘The deal represents a vote of confidence in Keter’s potential and in the Israeli economy, demonstrates the strength of our practice and the role we play in ensuring our clients have success in pursuing their strategic ambitions.’
The BC Partners instruction comes as part of a hot deals streak for Linklaters in what has been a flatter deals market in 2016. Woodward, alongside corporate partner Tracey Lochhead, acted for buyout firm Cerberus on its $4.6bn acquisition last month of GE’s French consumer finance business, GE Money Bank, and recent hire Ben Rodham ran Linklaters first private equity deal for French house PAI Partners when it purchased Atos Medical for €830m in May.
Linklaters was also instructed on two deals for longstanding client Apax Partners this month as it acquired German pharmaceutical company neuraxpharm Arzneimittel and three subsidiaries of Spanish pharmaceutical group Invent Farma.
Read more on private equity in the City in the feature: ‘ABC – the brutally simple world of a private equity lawyer’