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Editorial

Private equity: Fund formation

Index of tables

  1. Private equity: Fund formation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Private equity: Fund formation clients in France using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Clifford Chance focuses on French, Luxembourgish and pan-European funds, which the practice assists with the full spectrum of fund formation-related services as well as with secondary transactions, an especially active area for the group both on the buyer and the seller side. Practice head Xavier Comaills is the key name; his recent highlights include advising Archimed on the creation of a new small- and mid-cap buyout fund with a focus on European companies from the healthcare sector and assisting Mirova with the creation and fundraising of its second infrastructure fund. Advising on debt funds and seed and growth capital funds are other areas of expertise. Other clients include Cathay Capital, Bpifrance Investissement and Ardian. Counsel Tiana Rambatomanga joined Stephenson Harwood.

The 'extremely reactive' team at¬†Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.¬†provides 'pragmatic advice' and, 'due to its expertise, network and capacities', provides a 'one-stop shop' approach, which is 'a strong asset'. The group also impresses with its 'technical expertise and creativity' and fields a varied funds practice, ranging from private equity and venture funds to real estate funds, infrastructure funds, debt funds and UCITS funds. Managing partner¬†St√©phane Puel, who 'provides tailor-made and business-oriented advice', and the 'very responsive'¬†Ann Baker, known for her 'great knowledge of international standards', lead the team. 'Extremely reliable' counsel¬†Rima Ma√ģtrehenry¬†'has outstanding knowledge of funds practices, including on non-legal matters such as financing, accounting and regulatory'. In addition to advising Sigefi Private Equity on the structuring of a French cross-border fund created with the purpose of making investments in France and Canada, the group also assisted Idinvest Partners with the structuring of its third private equity fund investing in mid-sized companies in the technology sector. Isatis Capital, Five Arrows Managers and Partech Partners are also clients.

Goodwin¬†combines 'a pragmatic approach' with 'efficiency' and 'responsiveness', providing clients with 'a¬†high-value service'. Buyout, mezzanine, infrastructure, life sciences and technology funds are areas of particular expertise, but the practice's track record includes a much broader range of funds, including real estate, debt and venture funds. 'Rigorous' and 'extremely experienced' practice head¬†Arnaud David, who clients appreciate for his 'constructive approach',¬†and recently promoted partner¬†Sarah Michel¬†'always try to optimise and find solutions instead of new problems'. Chequers Capital instructed the team to advise on the fundraising for its Chequers Capital XVII fund with a total commitment of ‚ā¨1.1bn from approximately 40 institutional investors. Other clients include Antin Infrastructure Partners, L Catterton and new client Ring Capital.

Dechert LLP's team of 'well-rounded experts' is 'unique because of its ability to deal with highly complex technical issues and ability to combine tax matters with fund formation matters'. Known for its 'strong business acumen', the 'excellent' team advises sponsors, institutional investors, principals of private investment and private equity funds, with expertise in the full range of investment fund-related services. Secondary transactions are a particular strength. Following the departure of former practice head Olivier Dumas to Joffe & Associés, Antoine Sarailler and 'very responsive', 'private equity leader' Sabina Comis jointly head the practice. In a recent highlight, Comis led in advising Rothschild Asset Management on the creation of a French société de libre partenariat as a feeder fund for PAI Europe VII-1, including advice on regulatory and tax issues. 123 Investment Managers and 17Capital are new clients, while Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity is among the firm's other clients.

Jones Day¬†is experienced in advising limited and general partners on the creation of funds as well as on secondary transactions. The group fields a strong domestic practice but is increasingly active for clients from other European countries, Asia and North America. In a recent cross-border transaction involving the US and France, practice head¬†Florence Moulin¬†joined forces with Chicago- and New York-based colleagues to act for Ardian on the formation and fundraising of Ardian Growth Fund II, a ‚ā¨230m venture capital fund dedicated to innovative companies. In other work, Moulin advised Brownfields Gestion on the setting up of Brownfields 3, a ‚ā¨250m fund created for the depollution and redevelopment of industrial and tertiary brownfield sites, especially in large conurbations. Truffle Capital, Idinvest Partners and Indigo Capital are also clients.

The 'wonderful' team at¬†Simmons & Simmons¬†is 'a very strong presence in the market' and impresses with its 'knowledge of what limited partners want to structure the best possible funds'. Mandates concerning private equity funds, infrastructure funds, real estate funds and debt funds form the core of practice head¬†Agn√®s Rossi's workload;¬†Rossi's expertise is of 'enormous value'. In evidence of the team's cross-border strength, Rossi cooperated with Luxembourg-based¬†Augustin de Longeaux¬†to advise InfraVia Capital Partners on a pan-European infrastructure fund,¬†which closed at ‚ā¨2bn. Another highlight was assisting Eurazeo PME with the formation of parallel funds and a fundraising for Eurazeo PME III. Capzanine, Meridiam and RGreen Invest are also clients.¬†Marcela Moraru¬†joined from Axa IM - Real Assets.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP¬†specialises in advising on buyout and credit funds in addition to funds in the energy, real estate, software and reinsurance sectors. Latour Capital is one of several new client wins, while Astorg Partners, Ab√©nex Capital and Apax Partners are also among its clients.¬†Practice head¬†Nathalie Duguay¬†advised PAI Partners on the creation of its seventh pan-European fund for which French limited partnerships were used alongside a Luxembourg limited partnership and a total of ‚ā¨5bn was raised. Duguay also led in advising BlackFin Capital Partners on the fundraising for BlackFin Tech Fund 1, dedicated to European fintech, insurtech and regtech companies.


Private equity: LBO

Index of tables

  1. Private equity: LBO
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Private equity: LBO clients in France using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Active in the large- and mid-cap segments of the market,¬†Clifford Chance¬†acts for private equity houses, banks and specialised infrastructure funds. With considerable sector expertise and strong cross-border capabilities, the team, which is led by¬†practice heads¬†Fabrice Cohen¬†and¬†Marianne Pezant, has handled several recent¬†high-profile instructions. Highlights included advising PAI Partners on the acquisition of Asmodee group from Eurazeo, valued at ‚ā¨1.2bn, and assisting Permira with the acquisition of Exclusive Networks from Cobepa, Edmond de Rothschild, Sogecap and the management.¬†Laurent Schoenstein¬†led the advice to¬†Cube Infrastructure Managers on the disposal of Idex Group and Taranis.¬†Gilles Lebreton¬†is also noted. Benjamin de Blegiers¬†is now with¬†Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Clients also include Apax Partners, Cinven and BlackRock.

'Clearly one of the best teams in the market',¬†Latham & Watkins¬†continues to advise on headline-grabbing transactions, frequently working with the firm's finance, corporate, tax and antitrust departments.¬†Thomas Forschbach, who splits his time between Paris and London, recently led in advising the Caisse de d√©p√īt et placement du Qu√©bec on its acquisition of a 30% stake in GE Water & Process Technologies (GE), a complex carve-out as part of Suez's acquisition of GE.¬†Ga√ętan Gianasso, who splits his time between Paris and London, assisted¬†Intermediate Capital Group and Sagesse Retraite Sant√©¬†with the ‚ā¨2.4bn acquisition of a majority stake in DomusVi. In a recent Franco-Chinese cross-border transaction,¬†Olivier du Mottay¬†acted for Citic Capital on its acquisition of Axilonea from funds managed by Oaktree Capital. 'Very efficient negotiator'¬†Denis Criton¬†has a reputation for being 'clearly the best among the younger generation of private equity lawyers'.¬†Alexander Crosthwaite¬†was recently promoted to the partnership. Ardian, Bridgepoint and PAI Partners are among its other clients.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP¬†is frequently sought out by some of the most high-profile players in the market. The team, which is led by¬†David Aknin, acts for domestic and international private equity sponsors across all market segments on high-value transactions. In recent work, it advised Sagard and the managers on the sale of Alvest Group to a consortium formed by the Caisse de d√©p√īt et placement du Qu√©bec and Ardian as well as on a subsequent reinvestment by Sagard and the managers in the group. Other highlights include Aknin and¬†Alexandre Duguay¬†assisting Montagu Private Equity and Astorg with the sale of their interests in Sebia to CVC and Tethys.¬†Emmanuelle Henry's recent stand-out instructions include advising Oaktree Capital Management on the sale of Axilone to Citic Capital.¬†Fr√©d√©ric Cazals¬†is another key contact. Benjamin de Blegiers¬†joined from Clifford Chance. 3i, Advent International and Carlyle are also clients.

Bredin Prat acts for investment funds and companies alike, including family offices and smaller funds. Led by Benjamin Kanovitch and Florence Haas, the group advised Core Equity Holdings on the acquisition of ID Verde while Barthélémy Courteault led a team assisting TDR Capital with its acquisition of Buffalo Grill from Abénex and Nixen. In other work, the group handled several transactions for Tethys Invest, including the acquisition of a stake in Galileo Global Education. It also handled work for Eurazeo, Groupe Delachaux and KKR. Olivier Assant, Patrick Dziewolski and recently promoted partner Adrien Simon are also noted.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei¬†focuses on instructions from investment funds in the mid-cap market, acting for buyers and¬†sellers¬†alike. The 'reliable' and 'creative'¬†Jean-Fran√ßois Pourdieu,¬†Guillaume Toutt√©e¬†and¬†C√©dric Chanas¬†form the core practice, with counsel¬†Sandra Benha√Įm¬†providing key support. In addition to advising assigning investors Siparex, Cathay Capital, BPI and BNP Paribas D√©veloppement on the acquisition of an equity stake in Ginger CEBTP Group by EMZ Partners, the team also assisted Five Arrows Managers with the acquisition of Menix Group from LBO Partners, closely cooperating with the firm's tax and financing departments. The group also handled work for 21 Centrale Partners, UI Gestion and Weinberg Capital Partners.

DLA Piper impresses with its 'very business-oriented team' that is 'very aware of the market practices in France'. Traditionally strong in the mid-cap market, the group has recently gained traction in the large-cap space. The team's client portfolio spans private equity houses, management teams, debt providers and portfolio companies, with especially strong expertise in the retail, technology and manufacturing sectors. 'Industry veteran' and practice head Xavier Norlain, whose 'knowledge of the French market makes him a great addition during negotiations', recently advised the founders and management team of French telecoms infrastructure player Circet on the sale of its majority stake in Circet to Advent International and their reinvestment alongside the private equity house. Jeremy Scemama led in assisting The Carlyle Group and Montefiore Investment with the sale of a 40% stake in European Camping Group to Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) and the reinvestment of the remaining shares into a new holding vehicle alongside OTPP. Abénex Capital, Cathay Capital and Ardian also feature on the client roster. Matthieu Lampel made counsel. Michel Frieh left to found Frieh Associés.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP¬†has established itself as a key market player following the arrival of the former¬†Ashurst LLP¬†team in June 2017. In a major cross-border highlight,¬†Alan Mason¬†and corporate practice head¬†Guy Benda¬†joined forces with the Berlin-based¬†Stephanie Hundertmark¬†to advise Advent International on its exclusive negotiations to acquire Zentiva from Sanofi for ‚ā¨1.9bn, involving a carve-out.¬†Florent Mazeron¬†and¬†Yann Gozal¬†assisted the Caisse de d√©p√īt et placement du Qu√©bec with its joint investment alongside PSP Investments in industrial engineering player Fives. In other work, private equity head¬†Nicolas Barberis¬†acted for¬†Charterhouse Capital Partners on its proposed acquisition of Siaci Saint Honor√© from Ardian and Rothschild. Other clients include Warburg Pincus, Ardian and Carlyle Group.

Goodwin¬†acts for investors, portfolio companies and management teams and has a very active practice in the Paris market. French domestic transactions account for the majority of its recent stand-out highlights, but cross-border mandates involving US and UK components are also part of the team's workload. In evidence of its cross-border strength and its track record in the technology sector, the group advised Exclusive Networks and its management on a substantial new investment from Permira. In a recent highlight from the retail sector, the practice assisted Equistone Partners Europe with its acquisition of Bruneau from Weinberg Capital Partners. Practice head¬†Maxence Bloch¬†led in acting for EMZ Partners on its acquisition of Ginger Group by way of a mix of equity and third-party funding. J√©r√īme Jouhanneaud¬†and Thomas Maitrejean¬†are other key contacts. Apax Partners, Compagnie Marco Polo and¬†La Financi√®re Patrimoniale d'Investissement are also among its other clients.

The 'very professional' team at Mayer Brown 'makes legal matters and risk analyses clear and understandable'. 'Experienced and talented', the 'responsive and very pragmatic' group 'goes into detail on complex matters' and 'takes the time to understand and discuss before engaging in negotiations'. Primarily active in the mid-cap market, the team specialises in acting for investment funds and also has strength in advising managers and other executives on transactions. Jean-François Louit assisted the managers of Industrial Parts Holding (IPH) with the acquisition of IPH by Brammer France from PAI Partners and practice head Guillaume Kuperfils advised FEF, a joint venture between CDC-IC and Mubadala, on its minority investment in DomusVi within the context of the acquisition of DomusVi by ICG and SRS from PAI Partners. Olivier Aubouin, Emily Pennec and Thomas Philippe are other names to note. Caroline Lan made partner and Hadrien Schlumberger made counsel. Xavier Jaspar left to establish his own practice. Primonial, LBO France and Bridgepoint are also clients.

Paul Hastings LLP has 'a strong reputation in the market' and 'a very dedicated' team that 'has an excellent knowledge of market practices' and 'is well balanced, providing both safe legal advice and a business-minded approach'. Domestic mid-market transactions are the practice's mainstay, but its track record also includes cross-border mandates. The key contacts are practice head Olivier Deren, who has 'an excellent deal-making attitude', Alexis Terray, Guillaume Kellner and the 'technically very strong' Sébastien Crépy, who is commended for his 'time-keeping in delivering a deal'. Antin Infrastructure Partners, CM-CIC Investissement and Eurazeo are among its clients.

Scotto Partners¬†'combines legal, finance and tax skills in a unique way' and¬†impresses with its 'deep market knowledge'.¬†The 'very responsive' team is 'ready to vigorously defend managers' interests against private equity companies and their consultants'. With a clear focus on private clients, in particular family groups and the top management of listed and non-listed groups, the boutique firm fields an impressive practice, especially in the large-cap and mid-cap market. Recent stand-out transactions include advising the management of roofing specialist Imerys on the group's acquisition by Lone Star Funds for ‚ā¨1bn, led by firm founder¬†Lionel Scotto le Massese¬†and the 'very responsive'¬†Isabelle Cheradame, who is 'a tough and resilient negotiator, yet able to compromise where required'.¬†Nicolas Menard-Durand¬†and¬†Claire Revol-Reni√©¬†are also noted. Kiloutou is a new client. Atotech and Buffalo Grill are other clients.

The 'outstanding' and 'very flexible' team at¬†Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP¬†has strength across all market segments, with a high proportion of cross-border matters in addition to a strong domestic practice.¬†Eduardo Fernandez,¬†Christophe Garaud¬†and¬†C√©dric Hajage¬†are the core names, with key support coming from¬†Gabriel Flandin. Hajage's recent highlights include advising CVC Capital Partners Strategic Opportunities on its acquisition, alongside T√©thys Invest, of a controlling stake in Sebia from Astorg and Montagu Private Equity, in a matter that spanned France and Finland. Garaud assisted PAI Partners with the ‚ā¨1.5bn sale of Kiloutou to HLDI and HLD Europe and, in a stand-out domestic highlight, Fernandez acted for IK Investment Partners on its contemplated acquisition of a majority stake in Mademoiselle Desserts from its current shareholders. Other clients include Qualium Investissement, Carlyle Group and Weinberg Capital Partners.


Private equity: venture/growth capital

Index of tables

  1. Private equity: venture/growth capital
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Private equity: venture/growth capital clients in France using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Dechert LLP¬†has core strengths advising on¬†financing rounds in the life sciences sector, especially biotech and medtech matters where the team focuses on innovative technologies. The group acts for funds and target companies, with French and international investors making up a significant portion of the client list. Practice heads Fran√ßois Hellot and Anne-Charlotte Rivi√®re are the key names. Recent highlights including acting for Sofinnova, Morningside Ventures Investments, Bpifrance Investissement and Inserm Transfert Initiative as existing investors on a new Series B financing round for Enyo Pharma, totaling ‚ā¨40m, and assisting Paris Region Venture Fund and Educapital with their ‚ā¨1.1m investment in AppScho, a company offering mobile solutions in the higher education sector. Senior associate Xavier Leroux¬†provides key support. BNP D√©veloppement, new client Gecko Medical and Lysogene also feature on the client list.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.¬†has particular strength in the technology sector. The group acts for start-ups, new economy players and investors alike, with a particularly notable track record advising on private investment in public equity (PIPE). Pierre Karpik and David-James Sebag¬†head the practice. Recent highlights include advising Idinvest as investors of Secret Escapes, a members-only travel club, on its $111m investment, to assisting Partech Ventures with its ‚ā¨60m investment in ManoMano, an e-retailer specialising in DIY, home improvement and gardening products. A key highlight related to the financial services sector was acting for online crowd-lending platform Younited on the full range of issues pertaining to its development, including financial services regulatory questions. Electranova Capital, Eurazeo and Meero are among its other clients.

Jones Day¬†fields one of the 'best teams in Paris' according to one client and its¬†practitioners are 'super responsive, reliable and have an outstanding knowledge of industry practices'. Technology and biotech sector-related matters form the core of the team's busy workload, with instructions spanning all financing stages from seed financing to late stage financing, with the team's experience in initial public offerings and follow-on offering another strength.¬†Renaud Bonnet, Charles Gavoty¬†and¬†Jean-Gabriel Griboul, who are 'extremely talented', jointly head the practice with¬†Geoffroy Pineau-Valencienne. Bonnet recently led advice to Recommerce and its existing investors on its ‚ā¨50m Series C financing round led by Capzanine and Creadev and assisted Bpifrance as co-investor alongside Eurazeo with a ‚ā¨35m financing round for Doctolib. In other highlights, Gavoty advised OpenClassrooms on a $60m financing round led by General Atlantic alongside existing investors Alven Capital, Citizen Capital and Bpifrance Investissement, which included US investment. Deezer, Lunchr and Wellington Partners are also clients.

Baker McKenzie¬†is increasingly active in venture and growth capital transactions.¬†St√©phane Davin¬†and¬†Matthieu Grollemund¬†head the practice. Highlights included advising Ledger on its ‚ā¨65m Series B financing by a range of French and international investors led by Draper¬†Esprit and assisting Long Arc Capital with its ‚ā¨53m investment in Tinubu Square, the client's first investment in Europe. The group also handled matters for Accel Partners, Idinvest Partners and Cr√©dit Agricole and its subsidiary Cr√©dit Agricole Innovation and Research Fund.¬†Antoine Caillard¬†made senior counsel and¬†Aur√©lie Goville¬†was promoted to the partnership.

Bird & Bird is especially active in the life sciences and technology sectors. Recent highlights include advising Enterome on the creation of a joint venture with Nestl√© Health Science for the development of an inflammatory bowel disease test, assisting Tilak Healthcare with its ‚ā¨250,000 Series A fundraising with Ibionext Growth Fund and acting for the Caisse des d√©p√īts et consignations on its minority investment in Baluze, a French start-up that aims to produce and distribute photographs resulting from collaborations between photographers and art institutions. Les Villas de Porto Vecchio, Enyo Pharma and Pixium Vision are also clients. Emmanuelle Porte in Paris and David Malcoiffe in Lyon head the practice.¬†Bertrand L√©vy joined from¬†DLA Piper.

Chammas & Marcheteau assists with the full range of venture and growth capital transactions, including fundraising and investment, profit-sharing remuneration and incentive plans for managers and employees, and exit preparations. The group's workload crosses an array of sectors, with instructions from the life sciences and technology sectors at the core of the practice, but matters from the media, hotel and leisure and automotive sectors also featured. Recent highlights include advising Fonds Ecotechnologies, Safran Corporate Ventures and A√©roports de Paris as investors on the ‚ā¨3m fundraising for Safety Line. Co-founders Lola Chammas and Denis Marcheteau jointly head the practice with Camille Hurel and Nicolas Lecocq. Senior counsel¬†Julien Naginski joined from¬†McDermott Will & Emery AARPI.

Goodwin's practice focuses on mid-market venture capital and growth equity in the life sciences, technology, retail and hotel and leisure sectors. The team is experienced in advising investors and companies on domestic and cross-border matters, with recent highlights including advising KKR on its Series C preferred stock investment in spend management software player Ivalua. The group also assisted Hong Kong-based private equity firm Morningside Venture Investment with its Series A financing of Alms Therapeutics. Unigrains, Surgivisio and Lemon Way are also clients. Maxence Bloch¬†is the practice head.¬†J√©r√īme Jouhanneaud and Christophe Digoy¬†are other key contacts.

Neptune Avocats acts for start-ups and investors alike, with David Sitruk and Patrick Douin the key practitioners in Paris. Jean-Pierre Chaux is the main contact in the Lyon office.

The 'very sharp team' at Orrick Rambaud Martel has 'an¬†impressive knowledge of business' and is 'extremely solid both at partner and associate level'. The team's Silicon Valley Europe Desk, run by Olivier Edwards, who splits his time between Paris and San Francisco, and the San Francisco-based Matteo Daste is a clear stand-out feature. Edwards jointly heads practice with Benjamin Cichostepski, who 'shows impressive client dedication'; Cichostepski's recent highlights include advising Zenly on its acquisition by Snapchat and assisting Klaxoon with its ‚ā¨42.8m Series A financing round, led by Idinvest Partners and Bpifrance Investissement. Other clients include Airbus Ventures, AnotherBrain and Payfit.¬†Saam Golshani¬†is now with¬†White & Case LLP.¬†Of counsel Barbara Jouffa joined Gowling WLG.

The 'business-oriented' team at¬†Villechenon¬†is composed of 'efficient problem solvers'. The boutique firm is experienced in advising start-ups and investors alike, with a strong focus on clients from the technology sector, for which it handles matters ranging from seed financing all the way to an eventual exit by way of initial public offering or sale.¬†Morgan Hunault-Berret¬†led in advising Horama on a ‚ā¨19m investment from Omnes Capital, Go Capital, Kurma Partners, Fund+, Pontifax and Idinvest.¬†Erwan Tostivint¬†assisted Vectalys, as one of the investors, with a ‚ā¨3.3m investment in Flash Therapeutics. The 'exceptional'¬†Isabelle Burel-Blasoni¬†is 'very professional'. Other clients include Youscribe, Stentys and Ekinops.


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