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Index of tables

  1. Private equity: LBO
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals

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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. Guy Benda, Bertrand Delaunay, and Nicolas Barberis joined Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

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 efficientCédric 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.

Linklatersconsistently 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.

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Legal Developments in France

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  • The new French regulation applying to national insurance contributions for managers and shareholders

    French insurance contributions on executive and shareholder remuneration (pay + dividends) have been substantially increased by the National Insurance Funding for 2013 Act, No. 2012-1404, of 17th December 2012. Until 31st December 2012, all dividends were subject to national insurance contributions on unearned income but henceforth, under Article L136-3 of the National Insurance Code, amended by Act No. 2012-1404, certain dividends   are considered as pay received by executives and shareholders and are therefore subject to the national insurance contributions on pay. The Act also abolished the ceiling on health insurance contributions payable by the self-employed and all this means that businesses must rethink the way that they have been structured until now.

    The People's Republic of China has initiated an overhaul of its social security system, reformed the personal taxation regime and has extended the scope of these laws to foreigners residing in China.

    The Kingdom of Morocco is supporting the ambition of becoming the leading financial place for Africa. In this context, a wave of draft laws is to be passed and implemented within the following months, amongst which, the Law No. 53.08, setting up a new financial authority, and the Law No. 54.08, reforming public offering rules, are of paramount importance to Moroccan and foreign issuers, and financial institutions.

    The opportunities offered to foreign investors by the Chinese mergers and acquisitions market are increasing every year: in 2010, transactions involving foreign companies came to 60.1 billion euros, an increase of 21.2% compared with 2009. Seen from the West, where markets are declining, all sectors of the Chinese economy seem to be undergoing promising development and the statistics indicate that the Middle Empire will be a lasting springboard for growth.
  • Prime de Partage des Profits

    Le dispositif L’article 1er de la loi de financement rectificative de la Sécurité sociale pour 2011 oblige les sociétés commerciales de 50 salariés et plus, dont les dividendes par part sociale ou par action sont en augmentation par rapport à la moyenne des deux années précédentes, à verser une prime à l’ensemble de leurs salariés

    Types of investors The private equity (PE) funds that are active in Bulgaria are not raised or registered in the country. Some Bulgarian PE funds were raised recently, but there are no statistics as to the sources of their funding, their number, the funds that were accumulated, etc.

  • Landmark decision by French Competition Authority in conditioned LPG case

    cartel case closed after discovery that leniency application was largely based on forgeries and rejection of collective dominant position objection.
  • 2012 supplementary budget

    The second supplementary budget published in the Official Gazette September 19, 2011 provides for two key measures that affect the deferral of tax losses and taxation of capital gains realized on the sale of equity securities .
  • Actualité législative fiscale

    Au delà des mesures applicables à l’ensemble des contribuables (telles que la limitation du report des déficits ou la réforme du mode de calcul des plus values sur cessions de participations),le plan de réduction des déficits annoncé le 24 août dernier par le gouvernement comprend des mesures qui intéressent spécifiquement les acteurs du secteur financier.

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