Private equity: LBO in France

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has quickly become a major presence in the French LBO market since the opening of its Paris office back in 2019. Lead duo Vincent Ponsonnaille and Laurent-Victor Michel both enjoy an outstanding reputation and leverage their good relationships with US and European private equity players to attract an impressive number of large-cap transactions. The team's strength was further boosted in January 2020 with the arrival of tax specialist Nadine Gelli and her team, formerly at De Pardieu Brocas Maffei.

Practice head(s):

Vincent Ponsonnaille; Laurent Victor-Michel

Testimonials

‘Excellent level of the two main partners in private equity, Vincent Ponsonaille and Laurent Victor-Michel, who are among the best in the market. Great experience of Laurent and Vincent, seasoned professionals in whom you have complete confidence.’

‘Vincent Ponsonaille and Laurent Victor-Michel: they are very, very strong in private equity. Strong expertise, good negotiators, pay attention to details, good pedagogues with clients and in addition very friendly!’

‘The team was very responsive and with immediate answers on very specific and key points ’

‘Both partners are very professional and dedicated to the execution of the deal. They are both deal-driven and find ways to come to a positive conclusion with the right protection of our interests.’

‘Extensive private equity experience with very good complementary teams.’

‘Given the experience of Laurent Victor-Michel and Vincent Ponsonnaille, they know how to handle tough negotiations with very different people in front of us.’

‘Kirkland & Ellis provide a fantastic service – they are commercially aware, very responsive and give high-quality advice.’

‘Vincent Ponsonnaille and Laurent Victor-Michel are both outstanding.’

‘Best in class execution combined with a team of thoughtful and highly commercial lawyers. Best in the industry.’

‘Adrian Maguire and Laurent Victor-Michel are stand-out lawyers. Highly commercial with not only a strong understanding of the legal framework, but also their commercial & financial implications. Would stress their creativity in finding constructive solutions.’

‘Laurent Victor-Michel: Paris-based partner who combined deep local French M&A experience with the ability to clearly explain how French market terms differed compared to NY/London market practice.’

‘Kirkland’s practice is global, but more uniquely it is one that is highly coordinated on a global basis, so working with the team in Paris, London and New York always feels as if it is one team. The firms level of expertise is also highly valued – they have an expert for every specialty area and jurisdiction. They are relentless workers and always put the client first. ’

‘Laurent Victor-Michel is a relentless partner who puts the client-first and is highly responsive and proactive. He is a French legal expert, but with a global perspective which is highly valued for cross-border/global deals. Guillaume Nivault is a high-quality associate who is very technically strong, but also able to effectively communicate with clients and other constituents. ’

‘The K&E Paris M&A team is lean, but very mighty. They showed an absolute ownership mentality and cared about every aspect of our deal as if it was their own. Their unflappable poise and determination was a sight to behold and invaluable.’

‘Laurent Victor-Michel is excellent. Extremely knowledgable about private equity practice and focuses on what matters while taking care of everything else. Guillaume Nivault is an excellent associate who seemed on top of every detail and always available.’

Key clients

Apollo Global Management

Warburg Pincus

Vista Equity Partners

Continental Grain Company

Technicolor

Financière CEP

Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

TDR Capital

Vitruvian Partners

Advent, Cinven and the RAG-Stiftung (RAG foundation)

Water Street Healthcare Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and a consortium of long-term global investors -consisting of CPP Investment Board Europe and Montagu, alongside existing shareholders Téthys Invest and Bpifrance- on the acquisition of Galileo Global Education.
  • Advised Continental Grain Company on its investment in Ceva Santé Animale.
  • Advised Warburg Pincus on its investment in Polyplus-transfection, a developer of innovative and cost-effective technology used in gene and cell therapy.

Latham & Watkins

The team at Latham & Watkins continues to build on its reputation as a clear market leader by consistently attracting the biggest buy-outs in the French market. With seven partners and a seasoned banking and finance team that includes capital market expertise as well as US and English law capabilities, the group remains an outstanding choice for both domestic and cross-border transactions. The firm's international presence, in particular in other European hubs (especially London), as well as in the US, ensures that clients receive seamless advice. Thanks to the practice's broad scope -including the healthcare, technology, food and beverage, insurance and telecoms sectors- its caseload is highly varied. The key contacts are Alexander Benedetti, Denis Criton, Alexander Crosthwaite, Thomas Forschbach and Gaëtan Gianasso, (who splits his time between the Paris and London offices), along with Charles-Antoine Guelluy and Olivier du Mottay.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Benedetti; Denis Criton; Alexander Crosthwaite; Thomas Forschbach; Gaëtan Gianasso; Charles-Antoine Guelluy; Olivier du Mottay

Key clients

Ardian

Astorg Partners

Bridgepoint

ICG

KKR

Platinum Equity

PSP Investments

Summit Partners

TA Associates

Temasek

Work highlights

  • Advised KKR on its €3.3bn acquisition of a majority shareholding in the Elsan group alongside new investors.
  • Advised Ardian on its €1.7bn sale of Les Dérivés Résiniques et Terpéniques (DRT).
  • Advised Bridgepoint on its €1.3bn acquisition of a majority stake in Financiere CEP.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP offers a team of versatile practitioners who have a long track-record of advising on France's biggest transactions. Under the lead of practice head David Aknin, the group acts for a diverse client roster that includes private equity sponsors as well as family-owned groups and industrial and financial players. Stand-out features include the practice's experience in restructuring matters and it's accumulated know-how regarding the infrastructure segment, where Benjamin de Blégiers is the key figure. Clients also benefit from the firm's banking and finance capabilities in France, London and New York, which allow for tailor-made advice thanks to the breadth of the three teams' expertise.

Practice head(s):

David Aknin

Other key lawyers:

Benjamin de Blégiers; Emmanuelle Henry; Jean Beauchateaud; Frédéric Cazals; Alexandre Duguay

Key clients

3i

Advent International

Alpha Private Equity

A&M Capital

Antin Infrastructure

Apax Partners

APG

Archimed

Ardian

Astorg Partners

Carlyle

Chequers Capital

Cinven

CVC Capital Partners

Ergon Capital Partners

Eurazeo

EQT

Equistone

HLD

InfraVia

L-GAM

Montagu Private Equity

Naxicap

Omers

Oaktree

Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan

PAI Partners

Parquest

Permira

Providence

Qualium Investissement

Sagard

TCV

Téthys

Towerbrook

Work highlights

  • Advised Ceva and its controlling shareholders (top management) on the reorganisation of the shareholding structure.
  • Advising CVC on the sale of Elsan to KKR.
  • Advised Téthys Invest as leader of a consortium on the acquisition of Galileo Global Education.

Bredin Prat

The prestigious team at Bredin Prat acts for an impressive list of French and international private equity houses, family offices and shareholders or target companies. The LBO practice is a core pillar of the firm's wider private equity offering that also includes P-to-P and PIPE transactions, with mid-cap and large-cap transactions account for the majority of matters. The complementary expertise in tax and financing, along with the group's experience in management packages, allow for seamless service from the French firm. Florence Haas, Olivier Assant and Adrien Simon form the heart of the practice.

Other key lawyers:

Florence Haas; Olivier Assant; Adrien Simon

Testimonials

‘Bredin Prat is a law firm that covers all areas of law in France, which is a real advantage. Very few firms can offer this in France with this level of excellence.’

‘Olivier Assant is not only an excellent lawyer, but he also has a business vision of cases, which is relatively rare.’

Key clients

Apax France

Bain Capital

Blackstone

Bridgepoint Capital

Carlyle

CDPQ

Clayton Dubilier & Rice

Dentressangle Initiatives

Eurazeo

Five Arrows

HLD

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

PSP Investments

Téthys Invest

Wendel

Work highlights

  • Advised KKR in connection with the proposed public offer to be filed for audiovisual content company, Mediawan, by a consortium formed by the founders of Mediawan, Pierre-Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse, KKR and Mutuelle d’Assurances du Corps de Santé Français (MACSF).
  • Advised Téthys Invest in connection with the shareholding reorganisation of Galileo, Europe’s largest higher education group.
  • Advised Dentressangle Initiatives in connection with the buyout of European orthopaedic-implants manufacturer, Marle International from IK VII Fund.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance strengthened its Paris presence with the partner promotions of private equity specialist Emmanuel Mimin and finance expert Pierre-Benoit Pabot du Châtelard, whose focus areas include leveraged financing. The private equity team under the lead of Fabrice Cohen and Marianne Pezant is primarily active for large- and mid-cap private equity houses as well as banks and shoulders a substantial caseload for infrastructure funds. With its broad area engagement, including the hospitality, energy, insurance aerospace, defence, healthcare and technology sectors, the practice is able to continuously remain among the most active players in France. Moreover, its international network -particularly the close ties with colleagues in its UK and German offices- make the team an excellent choice for clients seeking expertise in multi-jurisdictional transactions. Strong finance capabilities in France and abroad constitute another clear asset.

Practice head(s):

Fabrice Cohen; Marianne Pezant

Other key lawyers:

Laurent Schoenstein; Gilles Lebreton; Thierry Schoen

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical / practical knowledge of the market. Fine negotiators. Ability to defend their clients. Listening skills, ability to explain complex issues in simple terms, and quality advice.’

Key clients

3i

Apax Partners

Blackstone

BpiFrance

Bridgepoint

The Carlyle Group

Cinven

Clayton Dubilier & Rice

KKR

PAI Partners

Partners Group

Perceva

Permira

Triton

Wendel

Apollo

Ardian

Macquarie

Meridiam

Mirova

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole

Natixis

Société Générale

Ardian Private Debt

Ares Capital

Barings

BlackRock

LBPAM

SCOR Investment Partners

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Barclays

Crédit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

IKB

JP Morgan

UniCredit

Capzanine

Omnes Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised PAI Partners on the sale of the B&B Hotels group to Goldman Sachs.
  • Advised Capenergie 4 (a fund managed by Omnes Capital) on its partnership with Prosolia International to develop, build and operate photovoltaic farm-projects in Spain, France and Portugal.
  • Advised Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), via Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4, on the sale of its interest in the Renvico group (which operates wind farms located in Italy and in France), to Engie.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei

At De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, practice heads Jean-François Pourdieu and Cédric Chanas handle the transactional LBO caseload, with the firm's financing, tax and restructuring teams complementing the corporate offering. The group is known for its strong mid-cap practice, its longstanding experience in distressed LBO transactions and its ability to also draw on the firm's expertise in competition and employment law. In addition, the French firm bolstered its bench in January 2020 with the arrival of M&A and private equity expert Magali Masson, formerly at Franklin. The parallel strengthening of the tax team through a combination of lateral hires and internal promotions, added further heft to the firm's offering.

Practice head(s):

Jean-François Pourdieu; Cédric Chanas

Work highlights

  • Advised Siparex and EMZ Partners on the acquisition of a majority stake on the capital of the French transport group Jacky Perrenot (primary LBO).
  • Advised Five Arrows Principal Investments alongside Maxime Dutscher on the sale of Dutscher group to LBO France.
  • Advised Ergon Capital Partners on its investment in the group Telenco.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's LBO team is a key pillar of the firm's Paris private equity practice. Group heads Xavier Norlain and Jeremy Scemama and their team assist private equity houses, managers and financial institutions on a very high number of transactions, making the group one of the most experienced in the French market. Mid-cap transactions are the team's mainstay, which, in combination with its broad sector expertise, allows the practice to maintain its reputation as one of the country's most prolific advisers. However, the group is also increasingly visible on large-cap matters. Additionally, thanks to the firm's exceedingly broad international footprint, the French practice can draw on the expertise of its colleagues abroad for cross-border matters on an as-needed basis.

Practice head(s):

Xavier Norlain; Jeremy Scemama

Other key lawyers:

Matthieu Lampel; Julia Elkael

Key clients

Andera Partners

BPIFrance

Bridgepoint

Premium Partners

Capzanine / Barings

Montefiore Investment

Cathay Capital Private Equity

Circet

Eurazeo

Hivest Capital Partners

LFPI

Metric Capital Partners

The Carlyle Group

Tikehau Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Cube Infrastructure Fund and Partners Group on the sale of the entire share capital of Covage.
  • Advising The Carlyle Group on its investment in the Euro Techno Com Group.
  • Advised the funds managed by Montefiore Investment on the acquisition of Valeur & Capital.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP maintained its reputation as one of France's finest private equity practices.

Goodwin

Goodwin stands out as one of the most stable teams in the French market. As a core practice in the firm's global private equity offering, the caseload consists predominantly of mid-cap transactions, often involving cross-border elements for which the Paris-based practitioners can join forces with their international colleagues - notably the firm's US teams. The practice assists with the gamut of private equity matters, from fundraisings to buy-outs, making the group a notable port-of-call for clients seeking a full-service offering. With a track record of advising buyers as well as sellers, managers and investors, flexibility is one of the team's hallmarks, and the firm's finance, tax, real estate and restructuring practices are available to add their expertise as-and-when required. Maxence Bloch directs the practice.

Practice head(s):

Maxence Bloch

Other key lawyers:

Christophe Digoy; Thomas Maitrejean; Jérôme Jouhanneaud; Thomas Dupont-Sentilles

Testimonials

‘Christophe Digoy is a deal maker, great technician and at the same time able to find a solution that suits all parties. Very appreciated by all, in several deals that we have made with him. Really advises and guides his clients.’

‘A very strong involvement on the part of the partner, exceptional technical skills and ability to resolve complicated situations. We always enjoy working with Christophe Digoy and David Diamant. In addition, an ability to deliver on time and very good availability.’

‘Team of great seniority, seasoned both on technical aspects and in more commercial negotiations. Given the long history of relationships, we have strong work habits in place, which makes them very successful.’

‘Thomas Maitrejean is really excellent at problem-solving/finding solutions and who is pragmatic. He became a real partner on my operations and I have complete confidence in him.  He is able to take the right initiatives at the right time (without going beyond his prerogatives).’

Key clients

Alpha Private Equity

Ares Management Europe

B & Capital

BIP Capital Partners

Equistone Partners Europe

Initiative & Finance

IK Investment Partners

Keensight Capital

LFPI Group

Lion Capital

NiXEN Partners

Parquest Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Keensight Capital on the LBO acquisition of international online-marketing specialist, Datawords, from Cathay Capital.
  • Advised NiXEN Partners and Initiative & Finance on the sale of Vulcain to Equistone Partners Europe.
  • Advised the sellers on the sale of a majority stake in  multi-energy distribution solutions group TSG to private equity firm HLD.

Jeausserand Audouard

Since its foundation in 2016, Jeausserand Audouard has established itself as a key player in management-package matters in the context of LBO transactions - as demonstrated by the team's work on the country's most significant buy-outs. In addition to the management-package core specialty, the group is also active in employee shareholding matters, as a transactional adviser on private equity and M&A deals, in the venture capital sector and in governance matters - especially for families and family offices. Alexandre Dejardin, Erwan Bordet and tax experts Jérémie Jeausserand and Tristan Audouard lead the team. Arnaud Levasseur left for Villechenon in March 2020, while Carole Degonse subsequently arrived from McDermott Will & Emery AARPI in December.

Practice head(s):

Alexandre Dejardin; Erwan Bordet; Jérémie Jeausserand; Tristan Audouard

Other key lawyers:

Carole Degonse

Key clients

Moria Surgical

Sintex

Point Vision

Verallia

Vervent Audio Group

DOMIDEP

Volta

Biscuit International

Kley

Class’Croute

April

Zadig & Voltaire

Apollo Courtage

French Gourmet Food

La Romainville

Batibig

Cyrus Conseil

Ingeliance

DRT

Saint Cie (Elivie)

Argon

Naf Naf

Devoteam

Acces Industrie

Elsan

Microwave Vision Group

COFIGEO

Babilou

Finzaxy Group

Work highlights

  • Assisted the management team with one of the largest IPOs on the French market in the last 10 years.
  • Assisted the management team with the takeover by Ardian and KKR.
  • Assisted the management team with a public tender offer.

Linklaters

At Linklaters, practice heads Bruno Derieux and Fabrice de la Morandière impress with the strength of their team in cross-border matters, as well as their ability to assist with large-cap and mid-market transactions alike. Clients benefit from the broad practice offering of the Paris office, which includes tax expertise and notable restructuring capabilities, and also form the firm's own international footprint, including capabilities in London. The team primarily assists private equity houses and family offices, with its experience including primary and secondary buy-outs, refinancings and consortium deals.

Practice head(s):

Bruno Derieux; Fabrice de La Morandière

Key clients

Ardian

Argos Wityu

Golda Darty Partners

Groupe Bruxelles Lambert

Vauban Infrastructure Partners

Montagu Private Equity

Peninsula Capital

Sofina

Work highlights

  • Advised Argos Wityu on the potential indirect acquisition of the controlling interest of Société Anonyme d’Explosifts et de Produits Chimiques.
  • Advised GBL on its acquisition of a majority stake in Webhelp, together with its co-founding shareholders who would retain their role as founding executive directors, and its management team.
  • Advised Montagu Private Equity on its acquisition of Galileo Global Education Group from Providence Equity Partners (and certain managers).

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's practice group experienced a period of renewal during 2019 and 2020, with the arrival of former Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP practitioner Gautier Elies, the partner promotion of Hadrien Schlumberger and the counsel promotion of Ségolène Dufétel in January 2020, following the departures of Jean-François Louit and Caroline Lan in September 2019 (to Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.), and of Thomas Philippe (to Shearman & Sterling LLP) the following month. Under the lead of practice head Guillaume Kuperfils, the team mainly advises on mid-cap transactions, but also has experience in large-cap deals, with the Paris office's tax and finance teams as strong complementary practices. The group's wide-ranging sector expertise, including the real estate and healthcare sectors, ensures a healthily varied caseload.

Practice head(s):

Guillaume Kuperfils

Other key lawyers:

Olivier Aubouin; Hadrien Schlumberger; Emily Pennec

Testimonials

‘Stars!’

‘Olivier Aubouin and Patrick Teboul are two amazing lawyers – super helpful to get past roadblocks.’

‘Technically very advanced practice, while remaining commercially aware and a deal maker, and always aware of all the latest market practices’

‘Olivier Aubouin is is well aware of the points on which we are sensitive and watches over each new transaction.’

‘In my opinion, Mayer Brown’s strengths lie in the quality of the teams in all fields of expertise, which is very important in a transaction. Indeed, it is difficult/inefficient to work with several specialised firms and the firms are rarely of a homogeneous quality between the specialities! Furthermore, I appreciate the mindset and the availability of everyone.’

‘ I work with Hadrien Schlumberger and Ségolène Dufétel are both technically excellent and available, and take intelligent positions with the opposing party, depending on the situation.’

‘Partner very involved, very business-oriented, efficient and rounded in their relations with stakeholders.’

Key clients

Ardian

Bridgepoint

Intermediate Capital Group

Montefiore Investment

Naxicap Partners

NewAlpha Verto

Oaktree Capital

Parquest Capital

Primonial

Qualium Investissement

Quilvest Private Equity

Raise Equity

Sagard

UI Gestion

Work highlights

  • Advised ICG in connection with its investment in frozen food distributor, Picard, through the portfolio company Invest Group Zouari (IGZ).
  • Advised Panhard Group, the founding shareholder and the managing shareholder, on the acquisition of a minority stake in the Group’s capital by Andera Partners’ Winch Capital 4 fund.
  • Advised Parquest Capital on the sale of its interests in Accès Industrie to Equistone.

McDermott Will & Emery AARPI

McDermott Will & Emery AARPI has become a well-known private equity practice, with the caseload mainly consisting of sponsor work and assistance for managers. As with the firm's US presence, the French team focuses on mid-market transactions for sponsors, while the management package practice revolves mainly around large-cap deals. The group demonstrates particular strength in the healthcare and life-science sectors, as well as in the energy, transport and telecoms industries, thanks to its Paris-based regulatory experts, and the office's banking and finance specialists also regularly join forces with their transactional colleagues. Grégoire Andrieux and Henri Pieyre de Mandiargues direct the practice. However, Carole Degonse moved to Jeausserand Audouard in December 2020.

Practice head(s):

Grégoire Andrieux; Henri Pieyre de Mandiargues

Other key lawyers:

Diana Hund; Fabrice Piollet

Key clients

Bridgepoint Development Capital

Ardian Growth

Montefiore

Azulis Capital

Siparex

Amundi Private Equity

Activa Capital/Atlas for Men

Socotec

CAPZA

Ubitransport

Aryballe Technologies

Webhelp

Work highlights

  • Advised Bridgepoint on its acquisition of Cyrus.
  • Advised Socotec, backed by private-equity groups Cobepa and Five Arrows, on the acquisition of Vidaris.
  • Advised Montefiore on the sale of Cruiseline to Abénex.

Paul Hastings LLP

At Paul Hastings LLP, the arrival of Guilhem Bremond and seven associates from former restructuring boutique Bremond & Associés in April 2020 has turned the firm's Paris office into a key port-of-call for matters at the intersection of private equity and restructuring. Practice head Olivier Deren also welcomed former Dechert LLP partner Charles Cardon to the team, adding more clout to the practice group's already strong bench. The team specialises in complex mid-cap transactions, often domestic in nature, but with a sizeable portion of cross-border mandates, and has succeeded in growing its share in the market with its proven strength in buy-out transactions and leveraging its broad service offering - with the tax, finance, employment and competition teams as strong additional selling points for clients.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Deren

Other key lawyers:

Sébastien Crépy; Alexis Terray; Edith Boucaya

Key clients

21 Invest

Abénex

Amundi Private Equity Fund

Andera Partners

Antin Infrastructure Partners

Astorg

B & Capital

Bpifrance

Equistone

Eurazeo

FCDE

Five Arrows Principal

Gimv

Intermediate Capital Group

Meeschaert Capital Partners

Montefiore Investment

Naxicap Partners

Parquest Capital

Qualium Investissement

RAISE

Tikehau Capital

Turenne Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Astorg Asset Management and the other selling shareholders of Luxembourg-based European pay-tv operator M7 Group, on the latter’s sale to France-based global audiovisual media group, Canal+.
  • Advised Equistone Partners Europe on all stages of its leveraged buy-out of France-based engineering consulting services group, Vulcain Ingénierie.
  • Advised Keensight Capital on all stages of its leveraged buy-out of France-based vertical software solutions provider, Sogelink.

White & Case LLP

Since December 2018, White & Case LLP has continued to ramp up its French private equity practice under the leadership of practice head Saam Golshani, whose arrival brought significant additional restructuring expertise to the practice. The team excels in transactions requiring seamless advice across practices in which the combined strength of the private equity, finance (including capital markets), tax, employment and real estate practices comes to the fore. Given the firm's wide international scope and the growth of its private equity teams in London, the US and Asia, cross-border matters are an area of particular strength. The bulk of the caseload originates in the mid-market segment. Delphin Boucher made counsel in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Saam Golshani

Other key lawyers:

Julien Bensaid; Guillaume Vitrich; Nathalie Nègre-Eveillard; Alexis Hojabr; Guillaume Valat; François Leloup

Key clients

Access Capital Partners

Altitude Infrastructure

Andera Partners

Ardian

Arts et Biens

BC Partners

Boussard & Gavaudan

Bpifrance

Bridgepoint

Cardif

Carlyle Group

Centerbridge

Chequers

Cobepa

Crédit Agricole CIB

Cube Infrastructure

Davidson Kempner

DRT

Emerging Capital Partners

Enodev

Eurazeo

FCDE

Financière Eurinter

Goldman Sachs

Global Media & Entertainment Limited

Groupe Colisée

Hilding Anders

Hg

IK Investment Partners

InfraVia Capital Partners

KKR

Legris Industries

LBO France

LFPI

Nordic Capital

Oaktree Management Capital

OncoDNA

Otium Capital

Predica

Qatar Investment Authority

Sogecap

Starwood Capital

Tempocap

Tikéhau Capital

Triton

Zadig & Voltaire

Wendel

Work highlights

  • Advised DRT (‘Les Dérivés Résiniques et Terpéniques’) and its majority shareholer, Ardian, on Firmenich’s exclusive agreement to acquire DRT from Ardian, Tikehau Capital and family shareholders for €1.7bn.
  • Assisted Cobepa with the acquisition of Gerflor group, a specialist and a world leader in resilient flooring solutions, from ICG, making Cobepa the majority shareholder.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs on its €45m primary investment in Back Market, a French e-commerce platform company specialized in the sale of refurbished electronic goods, along with Eurazeo and Aglae Ventures as part of a Series C round financing of an aggregate amount of €110m.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is highly regarded for its experience in transactions across all market segments, with a particularly busy caseload of mid-cap deals and a noticeable uptick in matters from the growth equity market. The team is a mainstay of the Paris market and a cornerstone in the firm's pan-European private equity offering which, particularly when combined with the firm's powerful US practice, make it an impressive proposition. The practice group's broad sector scope, with the healthcare industry -in particular- generating numerous transactions, further adds to the team's appeal for both domestic and multi-jurisdictional transactions. Grégory de Saxcé, Edouardo Fernandez, Grégoire Finance, Gabriel Flandin, Christophe Garaud and Cédric Hajage co-lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Grégory de Saxcé; Eduardo Fernandez; Grégoire Finance; Gabriel Flandin; Christophe Garaud; Cédric Hajage

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical skills, Great availability of the team. Creativity in solving problems.’

Key clients

PAI Partners

IK Investment Partners

Oaktree Capital Management

CVC Capital Partners

Qualium Investissement

Latour Capital

Sagard

Equistone Partners Europe

Aleph Capital

Arch Capital Group

Ekkio Capital

The Carlyle Group

Warburg Invest

Weinberg Capital Partners

Intermediate Capital Group

Cobalt Capital

OpenGate Capital

Vaultier7

Montefiore Investment

B I M

Work highlights

  • Advised Latour Capital and its management, on its investment  in Primonial Group, in conjuntion with Bridgepoint and Société Générale Assurances.
  • Advised IK Investment Partners on the sale of Cérélia to Ardian.
  • Advised Sagard on its acquisition of Sterimed from Meeschaert Capital Partners.

Allen & Overy LLP

Practice head(s):

Marc Castagnède; Romy Richter

Key clients

Weinberg Capital Partners

Eurazeo

PAI Partners

Ardian

BNP Paribas

Société Générale

Natixis

LFPI Gestion

Goldman Sachs

Advent International

Crédit Mutuel Equity

Chequers Capital

ICG

Work highlights

  • Assisted the client with the sale of its minority stake in Gerflor, and with its re-investment as a minority co-investor alongside Cogepa (acting as majority investor and purchaser).
  • Advised the clients on the leveraged financing of the acquisition of Webhelp by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert.
  • Assisted PAI Partners with its acquisition of global  flexible-foam-products manufacturer, Armacell Group, from Blackstone.

AyacheSalama

Practice head(s):

Bernard Ayache; Olivier Tordjman

Key clients

ICG

Luneau Technology

FCDE

L-GAM

IK Investment Partners

TowerBrook Capital Partners

EDF Pulse Croissance

Groupe Open

Work highlights

  • Advised the founders of Groupe Open, who have entered into an exclusive negotiation agreement with Montefiore Investment aimed at launching a public takeover bid in order to acquire all shares issued bythe company (listed on Euronext Paris – compartment C).
  • Advised FCDE on the acquisition of all the private shareholdings in Groupe Récréa.
  • Assisted ICG’s European Infrastructure team with its acquisition of a majority stake in OSB, including the financing of the transaction.

Gide Loyrette Nouel

Practice head(s):

Olivier Diaz

Testimonials

Strong experience in assisting managers in LBO transactions. A real help.

Excellent LBO and PE practice specialising in management remuneration and in particular management packages.

Multi-disiciplinary tax and legal team. The two partners Jean-Francois Louit and Caroline Lan work well together and the team is always available thanks to this efficient duo. The presence of the two partners on our matter has allowed us to think bigger in our brainstorming sessions and negotiations with the opposing parties. The team also has a good knowledge of the investment funds and their counsel in France, thanks to their experience, which goes a long way in making negotiations run more smoothly.’

Caroline Lan is efficient, quick and gives pertinent advice.

Very flexible and creative team in the way they structure operations and their approach to negotiations. Great ability to absorb stress and pressure while staying calm, collected and pragmatic when faced with difficulties. Able to take on a major workload while always staying available for their client.

Key clients

Groupe Bruxelles Lambert

CEP

Cérélia

Primonial

Socotec

April

Vitalliance

Five Arrows Principal Managers

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

Work highlights

  • Advised Belgian holding company Groupe Bruxelles Lambert on its exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of business process outsourcing group Webhelp.
  • Advised the management of Céréliaon its sale to Ardian by IK Investment Partners.
  • Advised Groupe CEP’s executive team on the acquisition of a majority stake in the group by Bridgepoint, from JC Flowers & Co and M Hubert Guillard.

HOCHE AVOCATS

Practice head(s):

Jean-Luc BLEIN

Testimonials

‘Flexibility, support and determination.’

‘Very good availability of teams.’

‘In-depth knowledge of the most up-to-date private equity practices. Understanding of the expectations and requirements of entrepreneurs. Ability to handle all sizes of deals in France and internationally.’

‘Grine Lahreche: hyper-technicality associated with a practical intelligence of transactional situations.’

‘Like many business firms, the team has very good technical skills, works deeply on issues and is extremely responsive. In addition to that, this team is able to manage structured processes with multiple counterparties, knows how to adapt to the size of the client, which is very useful on mid- and small-cap deals.’

‘Very high availability and responsiveness of the teams, who are constantly looking for a solution to resolve any problems we may be facing. Very good management of the closing and post-closing monitoring.’

‘We worked with Grine Lahreche, who was able to collaborate admirably with all the stakeholders and maintain a very cordial atmosphere, even during negotiations with the sellers and their advisers. Very professional lawyer, very good technically and commercially, which is quite rare.’

‘Very complete team on all angles of an LBO operation: social, fiscal, management package, governance.’

‘Beyond the technical qualities of the partner Grine Lareche, he has a real business sense, he is interested in people and their issues. He has an excellent capacity for work and foresight. in addition, post-operation, he continues to support and advise company executives.’

‘Very solid team that knows how to mobilize when there is an emergency’

‘Competence, seriousness, respect for commitments, commercial dimension.’

‘The private equity team led by Grine Lahreche is among the very best teams on the market. It stands out for its homogeneity, very high technical reliability and in-depth and highly sought-after knowledge of ‘market standards’, and those for all types of clients, management, funds and manufacturers. The private equity team also seems to me to be particularly suited to the requirements of ‘competitive processes’, both by its ability to manage constrained timings and by its ability to innovate/create by finding legal solutions adapted to sometimes complex transactional situations, in particular thanks to the fact that the team knows how to advise managers, funds and manufacturers at the same time.’

‘Grine Lahreche is undoubtedly one of the great talents of the market. Very solid technically, at ease with domestic deals as well as those involving foreign elements, being assisted by Grine Lahreche in the context of competitive processes is undoubtedly an undeniable asset. Intuitive and fine negotiator, Grine Lahreche is distinguished by an exceptional understanding of the context of the operation and of the various actors. In short, a very big future ahead of him. Grine Lahreche is also surrounded by a solid, united and very competent team (Jérôme Mas, Christophe Bornes and Audrey Szultz).’

‘Grine Lahreche is an excellent professional, with very good interpersonal skills, which makes him particularly effective when we are working on a deal together.’

‘Dynamic and very responsive team listening to its customers. Business and consensual approach to arrive at a deal. Very good advice.’

‘Listening Availability at all levels. Clear explanations and advice. Avoiding overly technical vocabulary.’

‘The Grine Lahreche team is made up of very great professionals. Excellent respect for deadlines, clear answers on complicated subjects, the team is able to carry out several projects simultaneously and manage processes involving an impressive number of stakeholders. Exceptional responsiveness, hard workers, the team perfectly knows how to integrate operational constraints into the strictly legal calendar of an operation by demonstrating great technical mastery.’

‘Educator, workaholic, keen on negotiations that are sometimes difficult and extremely reassuring at key moments, Grine Lahreche has a (fairly exceptional) gift for understanding the expectations of his clients and counterparts well upstream which makes him extremely effective. It is essential to have him by ones side in a process because he has a 360 degree view of the deal. A real added value to have him at ones side. His team (including Jérôme Mas, Christophe Bornes and Audrey Szultz) is built in his image: organized, reliable and extremely qualified. In short, a real pleasure to be assisted by the Grine team on a project!’

Key clients

Arges

Carthagea

ChateauForm

EuroSnack

Groupe Labruyere

Meeschaert

Sofren Group

UI Gestion

smartTrade Technologies

Eurofeu Company

Work highlights

  • Advised the founder, management and shareholders of multi-asset electronic trading solutions group smartTrade, in conjunction with Keensight Capital and Pléiade, regarding Hg’s acquisition of a shareholding in the group.
  • Advised energy distribution infrastructure services group TSG Capital regarding its takeover by  HLD.
  • Advised Omnes on its acquisition of a minority stake in Belgian consulting company Intys, alongside the management.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP

Practice head(s):

Stéphane Huten

Key clients

Apax Partners

Group April and CDC Capital Partners

Andera Partners

IDI

Hivest Capital Partners

Arkéa Capital Managers and Raise Investissement

Ardian Growth

Activa Capital

Chevrillon

Azulis Capital

Hivest

LFPI

Andera Partners

Tikehau Capital

Naxicap

Chequers Capital

Cathay Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Apax Partners Development on its re-entry into the capital of Rayonnance, as a majority shareholder, alongside the management team.
  • Advised Andera Partners, alongside the management team, on the takeoverof Ingenico’s Healthcare France business by Olaqin.
  • Advising Cathay Capital Private Equity on the sale of Datawords to Keensight Capital.

LL Berg

Practice head(s):

Olivier Abergel

Key clients

Omnes Capital

FCDE

BPI

Mademoiselle Desserts

Cathay Capital

Providence Equity

Globe Educate

Telenco

Protectim

Work highlights

  • Advised the majority stakeholders of Telenco on the LBO led by Ergon.
  • Advised the majority stakeholders of Enrcert on the LBO led by its management.
  • Advised the majority stakeholders of Protectim on the LBO led by Dzeta.

Orrick Rambaud Martel

Practice head(s):

Patrick Tardivy

Other key lawyers:

Olivier Jouffroy

Key clients

3i Infrastructures

Advent International 3i

Capzanine 3i

AXA Reim 3i

CNP Assurances 3i

DIF Capital Partners

EOS Holding

Impax Asset Management

LBO France

Malakoff Médéric

Schröders

Société Générale Insurance

TVM Capital Life Science

Work highlights

  • Advised 3i on the c. €220m secondary buyout of cold sterilisation specialists Ionisos, from French investment funds Ardian.
  • Advised AXA Infrastructure Equity and Crédit Agricole Assurances on exercising their Right of First Offer to acquire an additional 9.22% of share capital and voting rights in Atlandes (A63 motorway project), from DIF, for $112m.
  • Advised Geogas LNG – a joint venture formed of private equity players DIF Core Infrastructure Fund I, Geogas Maritime and Access Capital Partners – on the acquisition of a 50% stake in a French incorporated company that will own and operate five 174,000 cubic-metre LNG carriers, currently under construction.

Scotto Partners

Practice head(s):

Lionel Scotto le Massese; Claire Revol-Renié; Isabelle Cheradame; Adrien Badelon; Jérôme Commerçon

Key clients

Gerflor

Armacell

Looping Group

Wifirst

Pyrex

Idinvest

Work highlights

  • Advised Gerflor’s management team on the acquisition by Cobepa of a majority stake in the group’s share capital.
  • Advised Armacell’s management team on the acquisition of the group by PAI Partners, in conjunction with Blackstone Group’s Kirkbi, for an entreprise value of €1.4bn.
  • Advised Idinvest’s management team on Eurazeo’s acquisition of the group’s remaining capital following-on from transactions made in 2018 (on which the firm also assisted).

Dechert LLP

Practice head(s):

François Hellot

Testimonials

‘The Dechert team provides clients with a very strong technical expertise in all areas, including corporate, IP, banking, regulatory and tax. This multi-expertise approach coupled with strong commitment make Dechert a reliable partner.’

‘Strong commitment, inventive and rigourous. Those are the 3 big reasons why we appreciate working with Dechert.’

‘Dechert’s PE team is quite unique as they work as one unique team across all the expertises within their firm required to achieve the best deal (private equity, healthcare, regulatory, tax, etc.). Some peers have experts teams, but they usually work simultaneously, but not together as one team. Strong commitment and expertise of the PE/healthcare team.’

‘Alain Decombe is a strong asset for the deal, thanks to his true expertise of the healthcare industry, strong relations with key players and deep knowledge and involvement throughout the project.’

‘Availability, wide scope of skills, business sense.’

‘François Hellot is always available and responsive. It is above all his pragmatism and ability to understand the entire context of a situation that make the difference beyond the pure legal/legal aspect. His collaborators and in particular Xavier Leroux are sharp and master their subjects well.’

‘Very professional and very responsive. Very strong regulatory skills.’

Key clients

Archimed

Mérieux Equity Partners

GIMV

Creadev

Caravelle

Motion Equity Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised ArchiMed on the sale of Polyplus-transfection to Warburg Pincus – as well as on its reinvestment, alongside Warburg Pincus, in the Polyplus group.
  • Advised Mérieux Equity Partners in connection with a new LBO of Ceva Santé Animal, both as seller of its previous fund, Mérieux Participations 2, and as a reinvesting shareholder in the new LBO via new fund Mérieux Participations 3.

Desfilis

Desfilis

Practice head(s):

Philippe Rosenpick

Key clients

Vivalto

Sparring Capital

Frial

Adenia

EMZ Partners

Bee2Link

Naxicap

Petit Forestier

Perwyn

G7 Taxis

Coutot-Roehrig

Novaxia

Onepoint

Liberty Group / GFG Alliance

Webedia

M80

Latecoere

Evernex

AD Industrie

Work highlights

  • Advised Vivalto Vie’s founder and shareholders regarding the entry of Amundi Private Equity Funds and Société Générale Capital Partenaires into its capital and the exit of Azulis.
  • Advised Adenia Capital in connection with the sale of its 95% shareholding in Mauvilac, a leading paint and coatings manufacturer in Mauritius, to AkzoNobel, the third largest paint manufacturer worldwide.
  • Advised the founder of bee2link, a publisher of SaaS software and digital solutions for automobile players, in connection with the investment of Bridgepoint Development Capital in bee2link (minority shareholding).

Gibson Dunn

Practice head(s):

Bernard Grinspan; Ariel Harroch

Key clients

Brookfield

KKR

Propel Equity Partners

RedBird Capital Partners

Coffim

TPG

Bpifrance

Argos Wityu

Alliance Entreprendre

OFI Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised RedBird Capital Partners on its acquisition of a majority stake in Toulouse Football Club.
  • Advised Alliance Entreprendre on the acquisition of a controlling stake in French HR advisory group, Holding Oasys and its subsidiaries.
  • Advised French private equity firm Bpifrance Investissement in connection with a number of key transactions, including the sale of its interest in construction and infrastructure company Groupe NG.

HPML

Practice head(s):

Thomas Hermetet; Nada Sbaï; Aurélie Bonsch

Key clients

UI Gestion

Proprietesprivees.com / Sparring Capital

Alliance Entreprendre / BpiFrance

Chabe

NCI

CCL Capital

Adaxtra Capital

Makares

Ciclad

NCI Gestion / Swen Capital / Maif Avenir

Hello Asso

WaterStart

Work highlights

  • Advised UI Gestion on its acquisition of Brasserie Licorne from the Karlsberg group.
  • Advised Sparring Capital and Groupe Propriétés Privées.com on the framework of a new LBO for proprietésprivées.com (deal value €70m).
  • Counsel to Alliance Entreprendre and Bpifrance on the LBO of Acial.

Lamartine Conseil

Practice head(s):

Olivier Renaud; Stephane Rodriguez; Maxime Dequesne

Testimonials

‘Responsive, pragmatic team attentive to the needs of its clients. A ‘deal-maker’ attitude that makes all the difference.’

Key clients

Ciclad

Naxicap

MBO Partenaires

Turenne Capital

Initiative & Finance

Eurazeo PME

Siparex

LFPI

Andera Partners

IXO

CM CIC Investissements

Archimed

Capital Export

Abenex

Parquest

Keensight

Essling

Work highlights

  • Advised Ciclad on its LBO acquisition of Edenly.
  • Advised the management of Polyplus-transfection on Warburg Pincus’ LBO of Polyplus.
  • Advised IXO Private Equity on the LBO of CD Sud.

Opleo Avocats

Practice head(s):

Pierre-Olivier Bernard

Testimonials

‘A very good combination of all the levels necessary to support management, both regarding the manager himself and regarding the management team, taking into consideration team dynamics, while drawing on, of course, a detailed knowledge of the various actors of the market. Tremendously effective.’

‘Pierre-Olivier Bernard and his team, in addition to their excellent technical level, know how to put themselves in their clients’ shoes to support them in an efficient, business- and result-oriented manner, while securing key legal elements. It is remarkable and I am glad to have them by my side.’

‘The Opleo Avocats team is extremely efficient and innovative in the LBO/private equity structuring solutions provided to its clients. A human-sized team, it is always available and responsive for both purely French and cross-border issues. Their network of regional lawyers is proving to be extremely efficient! A law firm boutique in Paris that is certainly one of the best!’

‘Pierre-Olivier Bernard is extremely sharp in LBO operations. He also masters to perfection international taxation! Thomas Fitte is also extremely efficient and proactive!’

Villechenon

Practice head(s):

Gilles Roux; Tristan Segonds; Arnaud Levasseur

Testimonials

‘Human-sized firm with a real commercial vision of transactions.’

Key clients

Omnes Capital

Naxicap Partners

Bpifrance

Amundi

Acto Mezzanine (Andera Partners)

Société Générale Capital Partenaires

Siparex “Equity”

Apax Développement

Idinvest

Siparex Intermezzo

ISAI

Paluel-Marmont Capital

B&Capital

LT Capital

Azulis

Work highlights

  • Advised Amundi PEF on the LBO of Adit group led by Qualium.
  • Advised the managers on the LBO of Star Services.
  • Advised Arkea Capital and IRDI Soridec on the LBO of HDV group.

VOLT Associés

Practice head(s):

Emmanuel Vergnaud; Lucas d’Orgeval

Testimonials

The team is very close to its clients and demonstrated a high degree of flexibility while always staying responsive and professional.

Know-how and reputation in the market.

Excellent technical skills and creative solutions.

Flexibility, closeness to clients, professionalism.

Alexandre Tron is pragmatic and efficient.

Key clients

Andera Partners

IK Investment Partners

Groupe Chevrillon

Vespa Capital

Idinvest Partners

Sewan

Management of Sapian

Sterimed and its management

Work highlights

  • Advised Andera Partners on the acquisition of Auxig.
  • Advised the management team and shareholders of Sterimed on the secondary buy-out with Sagard.
  • Advised the management team of Sapian on their buy-out with Weinberg Capital.