Private Equity Team of the Year
The winner in this category must demonstrate an ability to land the most significant mandates in an incredibly competitive market for private equity-backed deals. Judges will look for evidence of an ability to move with the market and stand out from competitors in the most eye-catching transactions.
Kirkland & Ellis
Matthew Elliott, David Higgins
In a year bookended by the arrivals of David Higgins and Adrian Maguire from Freshfields in London, standout mandates include representing funds advised by BC Partners on its agreement to acquire majority ownership of United Group from KKR. This represented one of the most significant private equity deals to date in the CEE region.
Latham & Watkins - HIGHLY COMMENDED
Advising Carlye and GIC on the €10.1bn acquisition of AkzoNobel’s specialty chemicals businesses, which was achieved through a complex carve-out transaction. The deal involved teams working out of London and Washington and raised €6.5bn in debt financing.
Allen & Overy
Advising Blackstone on its €1bn acquisition of a majority stake in Luminor Bank, the Baltic region’s third largest bank, from DNB and Nordea. The deal has been touted as the decade’s largest majority-stake acquisition of a universal bank by a private equity fund.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Advising Warburg Pincus and other investors on their $1.25bn investment in Airtel Africa, a telecoms and mobile money services provider. The deal involved legal due diligence across 14 jurisdictions, and an investment structure and contractual framework that will help facilitate a future IPO.
Advising Partners Group on the parallel simultaneous acquisitions and subsequent merger of Ammeraal Beltech and Megadyne Group for a combined value of €2.5bn. The Ammeraal buyout was achieved via a competitive auction process, while Megadyne’s acquisition involved a pre-empt of a proposed Q1 2019 sale process negotiated bilaterally with its sellers.
In a bumper year that included acting for Bridgepoint and management on the sale of Pret A Manger, a major highlight was advising TA Associates on its complex £600m carve-out acquisition of asset management business Merian Global Investors, from Old Mutual Wealth.
White & Case
The firm has established a strong relationship with CVC Capital Partners, as demonstrated by its advice on a number of deals including the £602m IPO of the cybersecurity provider Avast on the London Stock Exchange. The listing represented 25.3% of the shares in Avast, and valued the company at £2.38bn.