Private equity: Fund formation in France

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s private funds team excels in structuring and fundraising in relation to a wide range of vehicles, such as LBO, mezzanine, infrastructure, real estate and venture capital. It also assists with secondary portfolio transactions on both the seller and buyer sides. Practice head Xavier Comaills has expertise in the formation of French, Luxembourgish and pan-European private equity investment funds. Eric Davoudet specialises in the tax aspects of property investments, REITs and OPCIs. Alexandre Lagarrigue is another key individual.

Practice head(s):

Xavier Comaills

Testimonials

‘Team capable of assembling investment vehicles in France and Luxembourg with extensive expertise in taxation.’

‘Xavier Comails is an excellent lawyer who really masters all the challenges of structuring investment funds. Marie Préat is an excellent lawyer who listens to her client and offers effective solutions to any type of problem.’

Key clients

Eurazeo

Vauban Infrastructure Partners

Archimed

Andera Partners

Montefiore Investment

Bpifrance

Investissement

Flexstone Partners

Raise Conseil

Generali Global Infrastructure

Kartesia Management

Lauxera Capital Partners

Cathay Innovation

Cathay Capital Private Equity

Eurazeo Investment Managers (formerly Idinvest Partners)

Sofinnova Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Eurazeo on the set up and fundraising of a newly created continuation fund acquiring a stake in Eurazeo Growth assets which were financed through Eurazeo balance sheet.
  • Advised Vauban Infrastructure Partners on the creation and fundraising of its third infrastructure fund.
  • Advised Kartesia Management on the structuring and fundraising of a successor secondary debt fund named Kartesia Credit Opportunities V.

Goodwin

Goodwin covers a wide range of private investment funds, including private equity, infrastructure, venture capital, hedge and listed funds. It assists with large-scale GP-led liquidity events, co-investment pools and complex incentive arrangements. The team also comprises of embedded tax, regulatory and finance experts. Practice head Arnaud David advises funds of funds on a wide range of matters, including fundraising, separately managed accounts and fund investments. Sarah Michel advises French and European investment funds on matters such as fund formation and structuring, carried-interest schemes for management teams and structuring co-investments.

Practice head(s):

Arnaud David

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Michel 

Testimonials

‘The team is distinguished by its capacity for execution, its availability and its reactivity.’

‘The partner in charge has a transversal vision of the various market negotiations. He stands out for his ability to analyze complex situations with regard to the negotiations and exchanges in which he has participated in the past.’

Key clients

Andera Partners

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Artemid

Azulis Capital

Cerea Partners

Committed Advisors

Jolt Capital

Latour Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Antin Infrastructure Partners on the fundraising of Antin Infrastructure Partners MidCap I totalling €2.2bn of commitments.
  • Advised Latour Capital on the fundraising of Latour Capital III totalling €1bn of commitments.
  • Advised Committed Advisors on the fundraising of Committed Advisors Secondary Fund IV totalling €1.6bn of commitments.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons’ fund formation team advises both European and international sponsors on the establishment of private funds across a wide range of investment strategies, such as buyout, renewable energy and credit. It also covers secondary transactions, fund restructurings, portfolio sales and other liquidity solutions. The team is led by Agnès Rossi, who acts for asset managers on the structuring and establishment of mid-market and large private equity, infrastructure, debt, real estate funds and carried interest/co-investment arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Agnès Rossi 

Key clients

Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity

Mirova

Bridgepoint

Quaero Capital

Meridiam

InfraVia Capital Partners

Eurazeo

Weinberg Capital Partner

Siparex

Motion Equity Partners

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

The fund formation team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP advises clients on a wide ambit of private funds mandates, with a particular focus on buyout, credit, energy, infrastructure, real estate, software and reinsurance funds. It assists French and European buyout funds with the creation of private equity investment funds and the establishment of regulated portfolio management companies. The team is led by Nathalie Duguay, who has more than two decades of experience in the asset management arena. Tiana Rambatomanga was a new arrival in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

Nathalie Duguay

Other key lawyers:

Tiana Rambatomanga

Testimonials

‘Excellent understanding of the needs of investors and the fund management team. Very good knowledge of market practices and the limits set by AMF regulations or doctrine. Great ability to innovate on subjects that are not always “marked “.’

‘Nathalie Duguay (Partner) and her team know how to make themselves available and always react extremely quickly.’

‘Willkie is the benchmark practice in Paris for the private equity training fund with perfect integration with Willkie ‘s M&A and transaction team.’

‘I have been working with Nathalie Duguay, the partner in charge of the funds team, for 20 years. What sets her apart and characterizes her: extensive knowledge of French and international private equity (LBO, Infra, Private Debt, etc.), expertise in asset management regulation (AIFM, MiFid …) & good introductions to the regulator,  fiercely and tactfully defends the interests of her client in negotiations with investors.’

Key clients

21 Invest France

Abénex Capital

Adagia Partners

Aglae Management

Alpha Private Equity

Apax Partners

Astorg Partners

BlackFin Capital Partners

BNPP Agility Capital

Ekkio Capital

Five Arrows Managers

PAI Partners

Sagard

Wendel

Work highlights

  • Advised PAI Partners on the closing of its inaugural €920 million PAI Mid-Market Fund.
  • Advised Apax Mid-Market on the structuring and fundraising of its tenth vehicle, Apax France X.
  • Advised BlackFin Capital Partners on the structuring and raising of its €985 million third buyout fund, BlackFin Financial Services Fund III, a fund dedicated to the financial sector.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP’s funds team advises institutional investors on co-investments and financing, in addition to acting for management companies on fundraising and launches of investment funds. It also assists with regulatory and tax issues associated with the structuring of investment funds. The team is jointly led by Antoine Sarailler and Brice Henry.

Practice head(s):

Antoine SaraillerBrice Henry

Testimonials

‘Antoine Sarailler and Romane Chery are very attentive to our issues and have excellent technical knowledge that they combine with very good knowledge of the sector and practices.’

‘Antoine Sarailler and Romane Chery demonstrate great professionalism and great pedagogy. They thus facilitate our understanding of legal issues and allow us to easily position ourselves when certain decisions need to be made. They quite easily identify the different issues for our management.’

‘Very good level of technicality, great mastery of the subject.’

‘Excellent team in Paris and Luxembourg. This firm is distinguished in particular by the quality of the professionals on the Luxembourg part.’

‘Brice Henry, Antoine Sarailler and their teams have a good knowledge of the market and investment fund practices.’

‘The Allen & Overy team is an expert and multidisciplinary team. Available and endowed with a strong capacity for resilience. It calls on specialists in all areas of law and can count on its international presence to guarantee immediate deployment within often constrained deadlines.’

‘The Allen & Overy team offers a privileged relationship to its clients through a project manager, a real interface and coordinator of the teams.’

‘Antoine provides rigorous quality technical work. He knows how to adapt legal solutions to business issues or regulatory constraints, always with very good suggestions. Antoine has very good knowledge of market practice, and the latest legal and regulatory developments, and knows how to describe in a precise and intelligible manner the applicable legal and regulatory issues.’

Key clients

Amundi Private Equity Funds / Amundi Asset Management

AXA Investment Managers & AXA REIM

BNP Paribas Asset Management & BNP Paribas REIM

Banque Européenne d’Investissement & Fonds européen d’investissement

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Real Estate

Generali Group

UBS

Scor Investment Partners

Swen Capital Partners

Siparex

CIC Private Debt

Extendam

Nextstage AM

BOLD (L’Oréal Group)

Aliad Venture Capital (Air Liquide Groupe)

AG2R

Alderan

Proparco

Aqua Asset Management

Audacia

ISALT

Equitis Gestion

FAMAE

Work highlights

  • Assisted BNP Paribas Asset Management with the framework of the setting-up of (i) two direct lending funds dedicated to the financing of infrastructure projects, one fund being a senior debt fund and the other one a junior debt fund and (ii) a real estate debt fund.
  • Advised BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel, BPCE/Natixis and La Banque Postale networks on stimulating investment to boost the economy under the Plan France Relance.
  • Assisted Swen Capital Partners with the structuring of “Swen PE Select Europa 6”, a private equity fund structured as a French société de libre partenariat (SLP) dedicated to both direct and indirect unlisted companies having identified ways to address ESG issues.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP’s team is a strong choice for advice on the formation of venture capital, growth capital and buyout funds. In addition, its other work includes exits and IPOs, secondary transactions, fund reviews and transactions for management companies. The firm's roster of clients includes sponsors, PE funds and institutional investors. The group is led jointly by Sabina Comis and Cyril Fiat.

Practice head(s):

Sabina ComisCyril Fiat

Other key lawyers:

Antoine Pian

Testimonials

‘Cyril Fiat: exceptional technical level and ability to understand the needs of his clients. Very favourable customer experience. Transparency of fees and responsiveness.’

‘Cyril Fiat, who leads the fund creation team, has been trained with the largest lawyers/firms in this field and as such benefits from experience and perspective which already make him a key player in the sector. He is available and attentive to his customers.’

‘The team is very experienced in the field of fundraising. They are also creative in setting up innovative carried interest mechanisms.’

‘High availability, knowledge of the sector and current fundraising which allows sharing of best practice, an ability to negotiate in our best interests with our institutional investors. The partners I have worked with are Sabina Comis and Cyril Fiat.’

‘Outstanding team led by Sabina Comis. Technical skills and deep industry knowledge of the private equity space. Without a doubt amongst the best teams in that space in France.’

‘Sabina Comis is extremely valuable to us as she is the only practitioner in France who couples outstanding legal, regulatory and tax expertise on PE fund formation. She has a team of dedicated, responsive and smart associates working with her.’

Key clients

KKR

Artémis – Financière Pinault

Rothschild & Co Asset Management Europe / Rothschild Martin Maurel

17 Capital

Cheyne Capital Management

Blisce / Alexandre Mars / EPIC Foundation

Truffle Capital

Capital Croissance

Bpifrance Investissement

Domnin de Kerdaniel and Filippo Monteleone

Work highlights

  • Advised Domnin de Kerdaniel and Filippo Monteleone on the acquisition of Essling Capital, a French management company approved by the AMF.
  • Advised Blisce on the structuring and fundraising of its second venture capital fund, Blisce Fund II.
  • Advised Capital Croissance on the creation and fundraising of a French impact investing private equity fund (Edelweiss Transition & Impact I) set-up as a fonds professionnel de capital Investissement to invest in small-caps SMEs.

DLA Piper

The investment funds team at DLA Piper, which is well known for its longstanding experience of fund formation, has a strong profile among fund managers. Its expertise spans a wide range of private funds vehicles, such as venture capital, buyout, debt, infrastructure, private equity real estate and funds of funds. Benjamin Aller has two decades of experience advising on private investment funds and related transactions. He co-heads the practice with Julien Vandenbussche, who specialises in financial regulation and the structuring of investment funds. George Pinkham, Raphaël Béra and Sylvie Vansteenkiste are the other key contacts.

Key clients

Access Capital Partners

Albarest Partners

Bpifrance Investissement

New Wave

Quadrille Capital

Sparring Capital

SPE Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Albarest Partners on the formation of Albacap 1.
  • Advised NW Manager on the formation of New Wave and New Wave International.
  • Advised Quadrille Capital on the formation of Quadrille Technologies IV.

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

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. excels in forming and structuring a broad cross-section of funds, such as private equity, real estate, infrastructure, debt and open-ended vehicles. In addition to acting for fund managers, the firm also attracts investor-side mandates. The practice is led by Stéphane Puel, who advises French and global financial institutions on regulatory matters. Guillaume Goffin and Benjamin Delaunay are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Stéphane Puel

Testimonials

‘Excellent team, excellent knowledge of the market and institutional players. Very responsive and committed.’

‘Stéphane Puel: excellent strategic view of the market, excellent communication and diplomatic approach to sensitive issues, precise and concrete answers, pragmatic approach to risks.’

‘Excellent knowledge of the market and the different types of actors.’

‘Stéphane Puel, has perfect knowledge of the subject of fund formation. The best specialist in France.’

‘Stéphane Puel is undoubtedly in my eyes the best specialist in the structuring of private equity funds.’

‘Very good level of expertise and ability to express it around clear issues for rapid implementation. The quality of the deliverables is of a very good level and the interactions are efficient and relevant. Our main contact is Me Stéphane Puel.’

‘The great capacity of the Gide firm comes from the fact that they are capable of handling many cases, even very complex ones. The team is able to deliver a high quality result on time and can offer high quality work in an emergency context.’

‘Stephane Puel and his teams are always available, relevant in their responses and creative when faced with problems.’

Key clients

Amundi

Eiffel Investment Group

Eurazeo

Mirova

BlackRock

Tikehau Investment Managers

Primonial REIM

Oddo BHF Asset Management

Siparex

Omnes Capital

Jones Day

Jones Day is strong in the formation and structuring of retail, venture capital and LBO funds, as well as debt and real estate funds. Its team has extensive experience of both primary and secondary transactions and handles a workload that contains both domestic and cross-border matters. It works in synergy with its tax, venture capital, regulatory, real estate and capital markets team to provide comprehensive support to clients. Florence Moulin heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Florence Moulin

Other key lawyers:

Andras CsonkaMarine L’Hostis

Testimonials

‘We worked with Florence Moulin and Pauline Demars. Overall the responsiveness and relevance of advice was of an excellent standard.’

‘Very good knowledge of the French regulation of investment funds.’

Key clients

ACE Capital Partners

Ardian

Brownfields Gestion

Creadev SAS

Eutopia Gestion

Flexstone Partners

Frst Capital

Idinvest Partners

Ixo Private Equity

Letus Private Office

Partners Group

PE Trust

Raise Conseil

SERENA CAPITAL

Singular Capital Partners

Sigefi Private Equity (Siparex group)

Starquest

Tikehau Investment Management

Unigrains

Xerys Gestion

Work highlights

  • Advised Ace Capital Partners on the formation of ACE Aero Partenaires, with a target size of €1 billion.
  • Advised Tikehau IM on the creation and fundraising of T2 Energy Transition Fund.
  • Assisted Bpifrance Investissement with the formation of “FCPR Bpifrance Entreprises 1”, the first retail fund managed by Bpifrance, sponsored by the French Ministry of Economy.

Chammas & Marcheteau

Chammas & Marcheteau handles a wide range of fund formation mandates, including UCITS and AIFs, index funds, funds of funds, exchange-traded funds, hedge funds and debt funds. Lola Chammas is a specialist in the formation of private equity funds and acts for both public and private clients. She jointly leads the team with Christophe Sevennec. Associate Thomas Abulius is also recommended.

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Abulius

Key clients

Bpifrance

CNP Assurances

Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity France

NCI

Alter Equity

Isai Gestion

Hôtel Investissement Capital

Tertium Management

Iris Capital Management

Supernova Invest

Amundi Transition Energétique

SCHNEIDER Electric

Raise

African Development Bank

Orange Ventures

Vintage IP

GRT Gaz

Andera Partners

Extens

Aquiti Gestion

Karista

Epopee Gestion

Dentons

Dentons' private equity practice is highlighted for its vast experience in the creation, financing and operation of closed-ended funds and management companies. It provides investment funds with ongoing corporate assistance on transactional, governance and regulatory issues. It also advises management teams on vesting arrangements, options, stockholdings, deferred compensation, co-investments and dismissal packages. The team is led by Guillaume Panuel, who focuses on the structuring of investment funds and secondary transactions of fund portfolios.

Practice head(s):

Guillaume Panuel

Testimonials

‘Dentons is a firm that is truly able to think outside the box, work under pressure and thrive within an ever changing environment. They help us stay always a step ahead of our competitors and give us a privileged analysis of the latest market trends.’

‘We rely on Guillaume Panuel for the PE business on a permanent basis. He is business-oriented, client-friendly and regulatory-conscious, responding instantly and creatively.’

Key clients

Amundi Private Equity Funds

BEX Capital SARL

BNP Paribas Capital Partners

CA Indosuez (Switzerland) SA

Cedrus Partners

Equitis Gestion SAS

Eurazeo Investment Manager

Eurazeo PME

Five Arrows Managers

ODDO BHF Private Equity

Omnes Capital

Quilvest Capital Partners

Swen Capital Partners

Vivalto Partners

White Star Capital General Partner Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Vivalto Partners on the structuring and the first closing of its fund Vivalto Capital Investors I.
  • Advised BNP Paribas Capital Partners on the launch and first close of BNP Paribas Singularity Fund I, with commitments totalling €80 million.
  • Advised Omnes Capital on the raising and the final closing of their fund Omnes Real Tech FPCI, which raised commitments for a total amount of €130 million.

Joffe & Associés

Clients instruct Joffe & Associés on a wide range of fund formation mandates, including venture capital, LBO, debt, real estate, infrastructure and fund of funds. It also advises on a wide range of corporate and M&A, tax, regulatory and financial issues. Olivier Dumas, who heads up the team, is a seasoned practitioner in fund structuring and formation matters.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Dumas

Other key lawyers:

Justine Blanc-Deleuze

Testimonials

‘The firm is medium in size, which makes access to partners very easy. They are always available. In addition, the overheads are lower than in large firms, which allows us to benefit from a very good quality of work/price ratio.’

‘Olivier Dumas, with whom we work regularly, is a recognized professional in the private equity market in France, with extensive experience in teams, transactions and legal and tax regulations.’

‘Extremely helpful and knowledgeable team, who always are able to assist very competently with our queries.’

‘Olivier Dumas has a lot of knowledge and technicality & very good availability and rapid feedback.’

Key clients

ELAIA PARTNERS

PRIVATE INVESTOR

SWEN CAPITAL PARTNERS

50PARTNERS GESTION

ESSLING CAPITAL

PERGAM

ENTRUST GLOBAL

IMPACT PARTNERS

ALTIS CAPITAL

CALAO FINANCE

FAMILY OFFICE

PATRIVAL

FLANDRIN FINANCE

KEEPERS

EQUITIS

MASSENA PARTNERS

ISATIS

Work highlights

  • Advised Elaia Partners on the creation of the DELTA II Fund, now DV4 Fund, a €150 million venture capital fund: €200m.
  • Advised Altis Capital on obtaining approval of the AMF in order to conduct PE activies, obtained in March2021: €150m.
  • Advised Pergam on the structuring of the new Pergam Aurickx 3 Fund, a growth capital and small LBO PE fund: €100m.

Chabrerie Baert Associés

Chabrerie Baert Associés' practice operates at a high level in the fund formation arena, as is evidenced by its work for both LPs and GPs. In addition to advising on complex and innovative fund structuring, it is able to assist clients with operational and governance issues. and also handle distressed situations. Founding partner Chabrerie Baert heads up the team and specialises in fund formation, domestic and cross-border private equity M&A and secondary transactions.

Practice head(s):

Chabrerie Baert

Testimonials

‘The tight team knows its customers extremely well and especially the environment in which they evolve. Christophe Baert is a key player in the fund of funds.’ 

‘Christophe Baert is a perfect technician, and an excellent negotiator working with him on a file is always a pleasure thanks to his constant good mood.’ 

‘Our main interlocutor is Christophe Chabrerie. – perfect mastery of the legal aspects of fund creation- excellent knowledge of market practices- excellent knowledge of the classic and particular requests of investors- ability to prioritize issues and propose solutions – very pleasant relationship for all his interlocutors.’

Key clients

Citizen Capital Partners

Daphni

Finovam Management

Work highlights

  • Assisted Citizen Capital Partenaires with the challenges of the crisis and disruptive strategies.
  • Advised  Finovam Gestion and Albedaran on the growing role of the regional funds to coverall of the territory, as well as decentralised financing needs.
  • Advised Breizh Rebond Gestion on a new trend in the fund formation market in 2020-2021, which is directly related to the COVID-19 crisis: Funds dedicated to complex and special situations for companies.

CMS

CMS Francis Lefebvre Lyon Avocats leverages strengths across multiple disciplines to advise clients on all aspects of the funds lifecycle. It has a diverse set of clients, including investment funds, asset management companies, listed and private companies, as well as institutional and family investors. The team is jointly led by Jérôme Suntour and Thomas Hains.

Lacourte Raquin Tatar

Lacourte Raquin Tatar's financial services and asset management team works with the real estate, corporate and tax departments to cover a full range of investment funds mandates. Its work covers the formation of private equity funds, alternative investment funds, mutual funds and other collective investment vehicles, as well as advice on regulatory issues. The practice is led by Damien Luqué.

Practice head(s):

Damien Luqué

Testimonials

‘The team was able to listen to us by offering a response adapted to the expressed need, while providing advice on solution optimization. The firm has leading partners and collaborators, truly multidisciplinary, available and open to discussions. The team formed around Damien Luqué has been remarkable in all respects.’

‘Damien Luque demonstrates extremely valuable expertise. Unlike many others, Damien Luque also offers the advantage of having general training allowing him to assist clients on many subjects ranging from the structuring of funds strictly speaking to specific questions relating to the procedures for exercising a regulated activity.’

‘Damien Luqué has extensive experience and is ready to listen & provide clear and pragmatic explanations.’

Key clients

Aviva Investors France

Lucky Oldstone

Turenne Capital Partenaires

Russell Investments

LaSalle Investment Management

Sogelym Dixence

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa – Federal Finance Gestion

Tikehau Investment Management

Aquila Asset Management

Axipit Real Estate Partners

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood's team advises fund managers on the creation and fundraising of French and pan-European private funds. It also assists limited partners with fund investments and the secondary sale of the portfolio of fund interests. It covers all aspects relating to general and sector-based investment funds such as private equity, debt, infrastructure and real estate. Tiana Rambatomanga left the firm in 2021.

Testimonials

‘Team made up of experts, available, responsive and with excellent knowledge of the market.’

Key clients

APAX PARTNERS

CNP ASSURANCES

MIROVA

EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK

INDIGO CAPITAL

ACCESS CAPITAL PARTNERS

EURAZEO (FORMERLY IDINVEST PARTNERS)

HORIZON AM

EDF

SELWOOD ASSET MANAGEMENT

Work highlights

  • Advised Apax Partners on the creation and launch of its new investment vehicle, Apax Private Equity Opportunities.
  • Advised EIB on its investment in the Fonds Tourisme Côte d’Azur, a debt fund set up and managed by M Capital.
  • Advised Mirova, an investment manager on the negotiation of a joint venture within the framework of a large co-investment project in the renewable energies sector.