Private equity: Fund formation in France

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance specialises in French, Luxembourgish and pan-European funds, and has longstanding experience advising on a wide variety of funds, including LBO, mezzanine, infrastructure, real estate and secondary funds as well as funds of funds. Additionally, the team is very active in secondary transactions. Highly complex fund structurings are the group's mainstay, often involving large-cap target values. With the firm's wide geographical reach and full-service offering, the group is able to draw on other departments to offer its clients seamless service, both in France and abroad. Xavier Comaills heads the team, which also includes Marie Préat who made counsel in May 2019.

Practice head(s):

Xavier Comaills

Work highlights

  • Advised Archimed on the creation of a new platform fund focused on European companies involved in the health sector named MED Platform I.
  • Advised Keensight Capital on the fundraising of its fifth generation fund investing in growth stage companies focused in the following sectors: information technologies, media, service provider companies, health and well-being, reaching a total of €1bn.
  • Advised Bex Capital on the structuring and the fundraising of its third generation secondary fund, with the fundraising reaching a total of $365m.

Goodwin

Goodwin combines the capacity to work on large cross-border matters with the ability to advise on the full range of funds. Clients profit from the firm's strong European and US fund formation teams. Private equity, infrastructure, venture capital, tech, real estate, debt and impact funds account for the bulk of the workload, but the group also regularly advises on large secondary transactions. It is best known for its ability to assist with large-cap fundraisings, but is also active across a wide value span with the lowest target values starting around €100m. The team has a particularly deep bench with, practice head Arnaud David and Sarah Michel the key names.

Practice head(s):

Arnaud David

Testimonials

Strengths: a truly dedicated team, strong technical skills both in the Paris team and in the wider network of the firm to be able to respond to the client’s needs.

Essential quality: high availability that makes clients believe they are unique.

Work highlights

  • Advised Capital Croissance on the foundation of Cairn Capital II and K2 Business Club for an aggregated total amount of €350m.
  • Acted for L Catterton Europe on its fourth Europe-focused fund, L Catterton Europe IV with a total amount of €650m.
  • Advised Ring Capital on its fundraising of Ring Capital 1 with a total exceeding €180m.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has successfully established its fund formation team in the French market since spring 2018. The group is among the most experienced practices in Paris, with a wide range of expertise, including real estate,  private equity and infrastructure funds. The group acts for investment funds and investors and is able to draw on the wider firm's geographical presence, as well as its Paris-based tax team which has stellar credentials in fund formation-related tax work. Benjamin Aller and Julien Vandenbussche are the practice heads. Key support comes from senior counsel George Pinkham.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Aller; Julien Vandenbussche

Testimonials

Great advisers: clear, to the point, and very commercial.

Benjamin Aller was particularly commercial and efficient in his advice, qualities which we greatly appreciated in the fast moving work that we do.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. covers a broad range of funds, spanning private equity and venture capital funds, real estate, infrastructure and debt funds as well as UCITS funds. The team acts for both sponsors and investors and frequently contributes to the development of new regulations in France and the European Union. With its strong domestic roots in addition to its extensive track record in advising on cross-border matters, the group has one of the most diverse client lists in the market and counts global and European asset managers as well as French private fund managers among its clients. Ann Baker and managing partner Stéphane Puel are the key names, with counsel Rima Maitrehenry involved in a number of high-profile mandates.

Practice head(s):

Ann Baker; Stéphane Puel

Testimonials

The team is very attentive to the client’s needs and originality and builds a legal framework that truly addresses the client’s needs while maintaining each client’s individuality. The team does not try to push off-the-shelf answers but customizes its response providing high value to the clients.

Professional, strong sector knowledge, flexible and adaptable, personalised approach, creative thinking.

Rima Maitrehenry has been by far the most thorough and original lawyer we have worked with. She thinks outside of the box, protects the client’s original focus to situations, is very attentive to the overall context in which every document she produces come into play, thus providing us with high value added input and well thought-out answers and frameworks.

Rima Maitrehenry is very responsive and has an outstanding knowledge of industry practices. Furthermore, she is one of the very few lawyers on the market who actually understands the finance and accounting aspects of funds.

Key clients

Algonquin

Eiffel Investment Group

Eurazeo

Five Arrows Managers

Gaia Capital Partners

Omnes Capital

Primonial REIM

Schneider Electric

Swiss Life Asset Management

Tikehau Investment Managers

Work highlights

  • Assisted Sigefi Private Equity with the structuring of its second generation mezzanine fund Siparex Intermezzo 2.
  • Advised Gaia Capital Partners on the structuring of Gaia Growth I, a private equity fund dedicated to investments in late stage and growth venture transactions.
  • Advised Future Positive Capital on the setting up of its fund management company and the structuring of its first investment fund, which closed at €51m.

Jones Day

Jones Day primarily acts for general partners, but also has strength in work for investors and in secondary transactions. Private equity and venture capital funds form the core of the practice, especially funds aimed at assisting technology businesses, with real estate funds also very visible in the recent workload. The practice saw an uptick in work for international funds and investors, predominantly from Europe, Asia Pacific and North America, and is among the most prolific teams in the market. Florence Moulin is the practice head.

Practice head(s):

Florence Moulin

Key clients

Ardian

Argos Wityu

Bpifrance

Brownfields Gestion

Efficap II

Idinvest Partners

Serena Capital

Tikehau Investment Managers

Truffle Capital

Unigrains

Work highlights

  • Advised Brownfields Gestion on the formation and fundraising of ‘Brownfields 3’, achieving a final closing of €250m from major institutional investors, including the European Investment Bank, Caisse des Dépôts, Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites, and over twenty other banks, insurance companies and pension funds.
  • Advised Axeleo on the formation and fundraising of Axeleo Capital I, the leading enterprise technology acceleration fund in France and the first acceleration fund operated in conjunction with a business acceleration programme, closing in March 2019 at €45m.
  • Advising Idinvest Partners on the structuring and fundraising of its funds, including the formation of its third digital fund, ‘Digital Fund III’, closing at €180m.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons stands out for its exclusive focus on work for general partners, which the practice assists with a large variety of funds, ranging from private equity and venture capital funds to infrastructure funds, real estate funds and debt funds, among others. The team has become a key name for the largest fundraisings in the market, including a string of fundraisings for first-time funds. Part of a global fund formation team, the group benefits from the firm's strong international network, with a particular focus on Europe and Asia, especially Hong Kong. Practice head Agnès Rossi is the key contact. With the arrival of Jérôme Patenotte and his team from Gowling WLG in June 2019, the firm now also has a transactional private equity offering.

Practice head(s):

Agnès Rossi

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Capza

Edmond de Rothschild

Eurazeo SME

InfraVia Capital Partners

Meridiam

RGreen Invest

Serena Capital

Siparex

Weinberg Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Meridiam on the reopening of the Meridiam Infrastructure Africa Fund, closing at €546m, after having assisted the client with the fund’s initial fundraising in 2016/2017.
  • Acted for Unigestion on the setting up of Unigestion Direct II, a new private equity fund investing in resilient small and mid-market companies, which closed at €600m.
  • Advised RGreen Invest on the structuring of Infragreen III, an investment fund investing in energy transition infrastructure projects, as well as on the corresponding equity bridge financing.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's fund formation team is an integral part of the firm's international offering, with other key hubs located in New York, Washington DC and London. As such, the group's workload has a strong cross-border aspect. Adept at the formation of a wide range of funds, including buy-out, mezzanine, distressed and debt funds as well as funds of funds and infrastructure funds, the practice has wide sectorial breadth, with a particularly strong track record in the energy, real estate, infrastructure, software and financial services sectors. Nathalie Duguay heads the practice, which has recently been bolstered at junior associate level, confirming the group's status as a clear heavyweight in the market.

Practice head(s):

Nathalie Duguay

Key clients

21 Invest France

Abénex Capital

Apax Partners

BlackFin Capital Partners

Ekkio Capital

Five Arrows Managers

Latour Capital

PAI Partners

Sagard

Wendel

Work highlights

  • Advised 21 Invest France on the fundraising of 21 Centrale Partners V, a fund dedicated to mid-market companies, closing at €230m raised from European and US institutional investors and family offices.
  • Acted for Apax Partners on the fundraising of Apax Development, a new global fund dedicated to minority and buy-out investments in leading growth-stage companies. Assisted the client with the reorganisation of the Apax group by creating a new subsidiary and obtaining the asset management licence for the subsidiary from the Autorité des marchés financiers.
  • Advised Astorg Partners on the totality of its co-investment funds, including Astorg VII for which the team advised on the admission of Astorg’s historic and long-time limited partners and all its French limited partners, a €75m co-investment fund for IGM Resins and a €35m co-investment fund for SGG.

Allen & Overy LLP

Practice head(s):

Brice Henry

Testimonials

Very good knowledge of funds and the investment sector. Very good support as and when required.

The team led by Antoine Sarailler provides quality and rigorous work, making themselves always available and pleasant. The technical mastery and the great knowledge of the market by Antoine Sarailler and his team means we get good answers to our problems and there is a real creativity in the solutions proposed.

Antoine Sarailler and his team are essential to the proper functioning of our asset manager activity. Seriousness, thoroughness, very advanced technical knowledge in asset management, while remaining human, available and above all understandable to his client are all types of quality that we value in our relationship with Allen & Overy LLP.

Antoine Sarailler and his teams master perfectly both the law and the techniques essential to the creation of French and foreign investment funds, but also everything related to the creation, operation and development of a management company.

Antoine Sarailler is always attentive to our problems while describing precisely and intelligibly the regulatory constraints applicable to the problem posed. In this context, he always makes good suggestions and strives to reconcile our wishes with the applicable law in the matter.

Antoine Sarailler and Benjamin Lacourt are very professional, have a very good knowledge of the investment funds regulations which allow them to understand the business and provide business oriented solutions.

We have been working with Antoine and his team on two families of funds. We have appreciated Antoine and his team skills and expertise in putting together the LPAs for and with us and in providing assistance in discussing with LPs or other players (like auditors regulatory people for example). In addition, the team helped us in making our mind on some commercial decisions by providing us with a good view what is the market practice. Finally, let’s underline that Antoine and is team have a mindset that is very “business oriented” which very helpful for people like us.

Antoine Sarailler is always business minded and proactive. He always offers solutions when we have to face a difficulty. He is able to answer very quickly, always concerned to satisfy his clients. As a result, Antoine Sarailler is known, in Paris,  as one of the best lawyers specialized in financial and real estate asset management.

Key clients

Colony Northstar

Fonds européen d’investissement

Investisseurs & Partenaires

Ivanhoé Cambridge Europe

Amundi PEF

Tikehau Investment Managers

Swen Capital Partners

123 Investment Managers

Aqua Asset Management

Extendam

Apicap

Atlante Gestion

Audacia

Equitis Gestion

Flexstone

Groupe FFP

Essling Capital

CM-CIC Private Debt

CNP Assurances

Allianz Immovalor

Edmond de Rothschild Private

Equity

GRTgaz

Idinvest Partners

Lombard Odier Gestion

MACSF

Malakoff-Médéric

Montana Capital Partners

Natixis Investment Managers

Naxicap

New Alpha Asset Management

Oddo Meriten Asset Management

Paref Gestion

Alderan

Caisse des Dépôts et

Consignations

Five Arrows Managers

J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Real Estate

SOCODEN

Nextstage

Work highlights

  • Advising Essling Capital on the formation of a fonds professionnel de capital investissement dedicated to growth private equity investments.
  • Advising Swen Capital Partners on the formation of a French société de libre partenariat dedicated to investments in green gas infrastructure.
  • Advising Tikehau Investment Managers on establishment of the Tikehau Special Opportunities II fund.

Chammas & Marcheteau

Practice head(s):

Lola Chammas; Christophe Sevennec

Key clients

Supernova Invest

Bpifrance

CNP Assurances

Elaïs Capital

Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity France

NCI

Alter Equity

Isai Gestion

Hôtel Investissement Capital

Tertium Management

Capitem Partenaires

Iris Capital Management

Amundi Transition Energétique

Work highlights

  • Advising Supernova Invest, the leading France-based venture capital fund manager, on the formation of its €50m CAIT fund.
  • Advising Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity France, the leading France-based global financial services provider, on the formation of its Privileges fund.

CMS

Practice head(s):

Jérôme Sutour; Christophe Blondeau; Alexandre Delhaye; Arnaud Hugot

Key clients

123 INVESTMENT MANAGERS

Amundi Immobilier

HINES SGP

EQUISAFE

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Hines Group with the creation of its asset management company Hines SGP and the structuring of several alternative investment funds.
  • Assisting 123 Investment Managers with the setting up of a joint venture capital fund (FCPR) and the setting up of a professional investment capital fund (FPCI).
  • Advised Amundi Immobilier on the acquisition of the Mosaic Parcs business park portfolio from AEW.

Dechert LLP

Practice head(s):

Sabina Comis

Key clients

Rothschild Asset Management / RothschildMartin Maurel

NoCheyne Capital Management

NoGenerali

NoPartech Partners

NoTikehau YesAllianz

NoG4Partners (Geneo) YesBlisce / Alexandre Mars / EPIC Foundation

No17Capital

NoArtemis – Financière Pinault

LGT European Capital for ParisTruffle Capital

Groupe Artemis (Financière Pinault)

Work highlights

  • Advised Rothschild Asset Management and Rothschild Martin Maurel on the formation of various private equity feeder funds set up as société delibre partenariat of pan European master funds.
  • Advising Cheyne Capital Management on the establishment of a debt fund in France.
  • Advised the Generali group on the acquisition of a majority stake in the Sycomore Group.

Dentons

Practice head(s):

Guillaume Panuel

Joffe & Associés

Practice head(s):

Olivier Dumas

Key clients

ACE Management

ODDO BHF Private Equity

CM-CIC Investissement

Equitis Gestion

Swen Capital Partners

Banque Européend’Investissement

Impact Partenaires

New Alpha AssetManagement

50 Partners

Elaia Partners

Flandrin Finance

NoIsatis

Massena Partners

Pergam

Secret Company

Sofimac Innovation

Breega Capital

EnTrustPermal

Trust E-Sport

Keepers Family

Siparex Innovation

Tethys

Work highlights

  • Advising on the structuring of a seed capital fund dedicated to e-sport.
  • Advising on the EIB’s investment in a Mauritian private equity fund.
  • Structuring an infrastructure fund for the Mutex Group.

Lacourte Raquin Tatar

Practice head(s):

Damien Luqué; Émilie Capron

Key clients

Tikehau Capital Advisors

Naxicap Partners

Mandarine Gestion

Russell Investment

LaSalle Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Naxicap Partners on the regulatory aspects of its acquisition of Keys AM, a group specialised in real estate investments which includes Keys REIM, a French portfolio management company.
  • Advised Credit.fr, a subsidiary company of Tikehau Capital, on the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Homunity.fr, an internet crowdfunding platform specialised in connecting investors with real estate developers.

Stephenson Harwood

Practice head(s):

Tiana Rambatomanga

Key clients

Indigo Capital

Mirova

FFP Invest

Malakoff Médéric