Legal Business

‘Another milestone’: White & Case and A&O take roles in $1.3bn software deal as Avast buys AVG


White & Case, Allen & Overy, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek have won advisory roles as security software giant Avast Software buys AVG Technologies for $1.3bn.

Backed by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, the acquisition will allow Avast Software to move into the ever-growing smartphone market, offering software to protect phones from malware and broadening out its international reach.

Avast will begin a tender offer for Amsterdam-based AVG Technologies at $25 a share in cash, the companies said in a statement today (7 July). The offer is 33% above AVG Technologies’ closing price yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange.

White & Case and Dutch firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek are advising Prague headquartered Avast, while AVG Technologies turned to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and Allen & Overy. Allen & Overy’s team, based in Amsterdam was led by partner Jan Louis Burggraaf with Christiaan de Brauw and Joyce Leemrijse.

For Orrick, corporate partner Peter Lamb led the team representing AVG, alongside M&A and private equity partners Ed Batts and Richard Vernon Smith.

Allen & Overy has advised AVG Technologies in the past, acting for the software provider last year when it acquired software firm Privax for $60m.

Ian Bagshaw leads the White & Case team advising Avast with London partners Caroline Sherrell, Justin Wagstaff working alongside US-based partners Chang-Do Gong, Farhad Jalinous and Rebecca Farrington, as well as Brussels-based Mark Powell.

White & Case has forged a close relationship with Avast, acting on a number of transactions including Summit Partners initial private equity investment years ago and CVC Capital Partners investment in 2014. Avast had planned to IPO back in 2012 but changed its mind due to market conditions.

Bagshaw (pictured) said: ‘Advising on this exciting acquisition is another milestone in our long relationship with the company, and a clear demonstration of the truly global nature of the integrated service White & Case provides to help clients achieve their ambitions.’

Legal Business

Dealwatch: Linklaters, Davis Polk, and De Brauw act on Vision Express owner’s €1bn IPO


US heavyweight Davis Polk & Wardwell, Dutch firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Magic Circle firm Linklaters have all scored roles advising on the €1bn Dutch IPO of Grand Vision, the world’s biggest opticians and owner of Vision Express.

The IPO consists of a secondary offering of up to approximately 23% of GrandVision’s issued ordinary shares by founding shareholder and Caribbean-based HAL, which plans to trade on Euronext in Amsterdam next Friday (6 February). Set to be valued at between €4.4bn and €5.4bn, GrandVision said the indicative price range for shares will be between €17.50 and €21.50.

De Brauw Amsterdam-based corporate partner Joost Schutte is acting as lead counsel to Hal and Grand Vision on Dutch law, while Davis Polk is advising Hal on US and UK law with a team led by London corporate partner John Banes.

Linklaters provided US, UK, and Dutch legal counsel to the underwriters including ABN Amro and JP Morgan, which are acting as joint co-ordinators on the deal, with US qualified London-based capital markets partner Jason Manketo leading the team.

GrandVision, which achieved revenue of €2.6bn in 2013, operates over 5,600 stores in 43 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.