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Index of tables
Private equity: fund formation
Other recommended firms
Clifford Chance has strong experience of advising leading investment funds on the structuring and fundraising of a wide range of funds, including private equity and private debt funds. The practice assisted Montefiore with the creation of a fourth LBO fund and acted for Bpifrance Investissement on the creation of a fund to invest in French funds which focus on distressed investments. Xavier Comaills is a market-leading figure. Counsel Tiana Rambatomanga is a rising star and tax experts Alexandre Lagarrigue and Eric Davoudet are other names to note.
The ‘very good’ team at Dechert LLP is ‘responsive, provides business-driven solutions and shows good knowledge of the French market and international environment’. The practice advises on the formation of a wide range of funds, including private equity, debt and infrastructure funds and also has experience of handling secondary transactions. The firm assisted Idinvest Partners with setting up Idinvest Dette Senior IV. Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity, Elaia Partners and Swen Capital Partners are also clients. The ‘proactive’ Antoine Sarailler gives ‘solution-oriented advice’. The recent arrival of tax expert Sabina Comis from Mayer Brown also adds further strength to the practice, which is headed by Olivier Dumas.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has ‘a very strong team’ which combines ‘speed, experience, access and quality of tremendous value’. The practice advises on fund structuring, regulatory and investment issues. It recently assisted Eiffel Investment with the creation of the first major crowdlending fund in France. Stéphane Puel is ‘an expert in asset management who provides fine analysis’. Ann Baker combines ‘responsiveness, knowledge of the local market and technical skills’.
At Jones Day, ‘clients get excellent service’ and its lawyers show ‘strong and continuous commitment at partner or senior levels’. The team attracted numerous new clients from Asia and elsewhere in 2016. The practice mainly advises on the formation of private equity and venture capital funds, with experience extending to infrastructure, debt and property fund formation. The team recently assisted South Korean company Naver with its investment in K-Fund 1, which is dedicated to helping European IT start-ups, and acted for NextStage Croissance in establishing an alternative investment fund linked to life insurance policies. Bpifrance Investissement and Idinvest Partners are clients. Practice head Florence Moulin is ‘smart, efficient, business-minded and well aware of the latest market practices’. Associates Guillaume Cavalin and the ‘very reliable and helpful’ Caroline Steil are also highly involved.
Index of tables
Private equity: LBO
Other recommended firms
Latham & Watkins advises the largest private equity funds on the largest LBOs and secondary transactions. It advised Partners Group on the €1.8bn buyout of Foncia and acted for Ardian on the €700m sale of Novacap. Astorg Partners, Bain Capital, BC Partners and Bridgepoint are other clients. Leading figures Thomas Forschbach and Olivier du Mottay are recommended along with Gaëtan Gianasso and Denis Criton.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s team is ‘best in class’, according to clients, and routinely advises the largest private equity funds on LBOs and secondary transactions. Highlights included advising Qualium Investissement with the divestment of Quick, acted for PAI Partners on the sale of Global Closure Systems, and helped Carlyle to sell B&B Hotels. Advent International, Apax Partners, Ardian, Astorg Partners and Chequers Capital are all clients. Practice head David Aknin is the rain-maker. The ‘experienced, hardworking and creative’ Jean Beauchataud is also recommended along with Frédéric Cazals, Alexandre Duguay and Emmanuelle Henry.
Ashurst LLP was recently instructed on a series of large LBO and other transactions for Charterhouse, including its buyout of Cooper and its €1bn divestment of Webhelp. The firm also advised ICG with the sale of Parkeon. The 14-lawyer team is led by the highly regarded Guy Benda, Bertrand Delaunay, Yann Gozal and Nicolas Barberis.
Clifford Chance advises leading private equity houses, such as Apax Partners, Carlyle and KKR on large LBOs. Highlights included assisting PAI Partners with the €800m acquisition of B&B Hotels, advising CD&R on the buyout of BUT and assisting Cinven with the sale of Prezioso. Fabrice Cohen, Gilles Lebreton and Laurent Schoenstein are the key names in the practice. Marianne Pezant is now a partner.
A market leader for mid-cap deals, DLA Piper fields over 30 lawyers and handles a high volume of transactions for a wide range of clients. The team is also increasingly earning large-cap mandates. Highlights included advising on Ardian’s acquisition of Solina and Montefiore Investment’s LBO of Isabel Marant. Abenex, BPI France, Bridgepoint and Carlyle are also clients. Xavier Norlain heads the practice, which notably also includes Michel Frieh, Laurence Masseran and Jérémy Scemama.
The ‘excellent’ team at De Pardieu Brocas Maffei includes ‘strong, rapid and smart professionals’. The practice often advises on mid-cap deals while also picking up instructions on the largest instructions. It assisted Siparex and Crédit Agricole with the acquisition of a minority stake in Prosol and assisted Cathay Capital with its LBO of DataWords. Jean-François Pourdieu is the key name in the practice, which also notably includes the ‘smart, quick and efficient’ Cédric Chanas. Maxime Dequesne joined Lamartine Conseil in December 2016.
US firm Goodwin made headlines when it opened in Paris in summer 2016 by hiring a top private equity team from the defunct King & Wood Mallesons Paris. The highly experienced 20-lawyer team is retained by major investment funds, is a leader in the mid-cap market and regularly attracts large transactions. Highlights included assisting the management with Foncia’s €2bn LBO led by Partners Group and acted for Equistone Partners Europe in the secondary buyout of Adista. The six partners are Maxence Bloch, Jérôme Jouhanneaud, Thomas Maitrejean, William Robert, Pierre-Louis Sévegrand and the ‘quick, courageous and loyal’ Christophe Digoy. The firm also hired Arnaud David, who co-headed King & Wood Mallesons Paris’ leading fund formation practice.
Linklaters ‘consistently outperforms clients’ expectations’. The team is ‘autonomous, provides sound and constructive advice, and approaches tough negotiations strategically’; the practice is ‘fully committed to its clients and shows an amazing degree of responsiveness’. It advises many leading international private equity firms on large transactions and is able to leverage complementary leading expertise in banking and tax. The team recently advised BC Partners and PSP Investments on their acquisition of a majority stake in Keter. Other work included acting for CVC Capital Partners, Eurazeo, ICG and other minority shareholders on the sale of Petit Forestier. Fabrice de La Morandière heads the practice. The ‘amazingly talented’ Vincent Ponsonnaille is ‘down-to-earth and gives insightful advice on how to approach a transaction’.
Mayer Brown’s 21-lawyer team assists many leading investment funds and ‘benefits from excellent tax and very good finance complementary expertise’. The practice is a recognised leader in the mid-cap market and ably handles large-cap transactions, where it often advises the management. Highlights included advising Alpha on the acquisition of Feu Vert, as well as acting for Sandro-Maje-Claudie Pierlot during its sale by LBO. LBO France, Eurazeo, Activa, Argos Soditic and Bridgepoint are also clients. The excellent Guillaume Kuperfils heads the practice. Xavier Jaspar, tax partner Laurent Borey and Olivier Aubouin are also highly recommended; Emily Pennec, Alexandre Dejardin, Thomas Philippe and Jean-François Louit are other names to note.
Paul Hastings LLP’s lawyers ‘do deliver, work hard and are experts’. The team is a leader in the mid-cap market and is slowly gaining market share in larger transactions. It assists investment funds as well as management clients. Highlight included advising Astorg Partners on the sale of Saverglass. Practice head Olivier Deren is recommended along with Pascal de Moidrey and Alexis Terray, who ‘combines diplomatic flairs with sound knowledge of how to structure a deal’.
Scotto & Associés has top-rated practice for management advice in large or mid-cap LBO transactions. The team notably assisted the respective management boards during SGD’s €800m acquisition by JIC and Armacell’s €960m buyout by Blackstone. The 25-lawyer team is led by the highly regarded Lionel Scotto le Massese. Other key figures in the practice include Nicolas Menard-Durand, Claire Revol-Renié and Isabelle Cheradame. Thomas Bourdeaut, who joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and who ‘perfectly understands clients’ expectations’, provides the firm with complementary M&A and capital markets expertise.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has strong experience of large LBO transactions and is entrusted by major private equity firms. The firm recently assisted PAI Partners with its €750m acquisition of Ethypharm and advised IK Investment Partners on the purchase of a majority stake in Marle International. Ekkio, Qualium and Latour Capital are also clients. Eduardo Fernandez, Christophe Garaud, Daniel Hurstel and Gabriel Flandin are the key contacts.
Venture and growth capital
Index of tables
Private equity: venture and growth capital
Other recommended firms
Dechert LLP advises major French and US and international investment funds, as well as start-up companies, especially in the healthcare sector. Highlights included assisting Accel Partners with a $30m fundraising by PeopleDoc; acting for Eurazeo and several entrepreneurs in their $110m series F investment in Farfetch.com; and advising Sofinnova Partners and Bpifrance on their investment in Gecko Biomedical. The team is led by Matthieu Grollemund and François Hellot, who combines ‘experience, insight and commitment’. Anne-Charlotte Rivière is another name to note.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. handles a high volume of transactions for investors and investees. Recent work includes acting for Legrand, Iris Capital and Fonds Ambition Numérique regarding their €30m investment in Netatmo, as well as advising Comuto (BlaBlaCar) on receiving a $200m investment by Insight Venture, Lead Hedge and Vostok New Ventures. Pierre Karpik is the key name in the practice.
Jones Day is praised for its ‘high-quality service, in-depth advice and quick response times’. The team is able to advise on venture and growth capital transactions, as well as capital markets and fund formation work. It advises some of the most promising French hi-tech and biotech companies and is increasingly retained by investors. It assisted NJJ and Idinvest with a €10m investment in Zenly, as well as acting for Alkemics during a €20m financing round. The firm also assisted Orange with a €75m investment in Africa Internet Group. Alven Capital, Bpifrance and Hi Inov are clients. The team is led by Renaud Bonnet, who co-chairs the practice globally, along with the highly recommended Charles Gavoty and recently promoted partner Jean-Gabriel Griboul.
Chammas & Marcheteau has ‘excellent knowledge of private equity matters’ and ‘always produces top-quality work’. The 15-lawyer team is ‘highly committed to its clients, responsive and always in a positive frame of mind’. The firm recently advised Idinvest Partners, Iris Capital, Bpifrance and Omnes Capital during a €40m fundraising round by Scality and acted for existing investors during Netatmo’s €30m fundraising. The practice is led by Lola Chammas, the ‘very good’ Denis Marcheteau, Camille-Maya Hurel and Nicolas Lecocq.
The ‘responsive and available’ team at Villechenon has ‘strong knowledge of the private equity industry’. The firm advises investment funds and start-ups. Recent mandates include assisting Witbe with its IPO on Alternext Paris; acting for Dayuse during a €15m fundraising; and advising In Vivo on a €20m investment in La Languedocienne. The practice is led by Francis Pinot de Villechenon, Morgan Hunault-Berret, Erwan Tostivint, Isabelle Burel-Blasoni, Gilles Roux and Tristan Segonds.