Tag: cleary gottlieb steen & hamilton

‘A super guy’: Cleary hires Travers Private Equity head Shawyer as City hiring spree continues

Cleary Gottlieb has brought in Travers Smith’s respected head of private equity Ian Shawyer (pictured) well to strengthen its City practice, as the firm continues its recently redoubled strategy of strengthening its corporate bench.

A Travers stalwart, Shawyer has spent almost all of his 25-year career at the firm, save for a brief stint at Weil Gotshal in 2005. His expertise spans a range of deals including leveraged buyouts, consortium deals, bolt-on acquisitions and carve-outs, while his client list includes Bridgepoint Development Capital and The Carlyle Group.

While Cleary’s reputation in the City has historically been one of cautious growth, Shawyer is the second corporate heavyweight to join the City office in recent months. In November, the firm caused a stir when it hired M&A guru Nick Rumsby from Linklaters.

Speaking to Legal Business, Cleary partner Tihir Sarkar pointed to Shawyer’s excellent market standing as a driver: ‘We are really glad to get Ian, and he is a really important part of our strategy in the PE market. Ian’s PE through and through. He’s been a part of the PE community for two decades. He is also a super guy, we are a very collegial/collaborative firm and place a lot of emphasis on fit in our process and it became apparent very early on that Ian did too. We are very collegiate, and in that way we are similar to Travers. Ian fits in really well in that regard. There are also some great client synergies as well as the potential to develop more.’

Shawyer’s arrival came amid a banner week for Cleary’s City office. The firm also bolstered its restructuring practice, as Solomon Noh and Alastair Goldrein joined from Dechert. Noh focuses on the representation of private capital funds and bondholder groups in distressed debt situations around the world, while Goldrein brings more than a decade of experience of creditors, sponsors, insolvent companies and insolvency practitioners on international restructurings, insolvency and corporate rescues.

Despite the flurry of new recruits, Cleary remains wedded to its long-term strategy of sustainable growth. ‘We are still committed to organic promotion within the firm; we promoted Naomi Tarawali and Chrishan Raja at the start of January. Ian and Nick were long term searches that coincidentally came together in a short time period, as were Solomon and Alastair. We still have great candidates internally that we will look to develop, and the new arrivals can help with that,’ Sarkar added.

For Travers, Shawyer’s departure is a further blow to its well-regarded PE group after leading light Paul Dolman, commonly thought to be a Travers lifer, left for Latham & Watkins in January 2021.


This article first appeared on Legal Business.

Partner promotions: Cleary Gottlieb makes up two in London as BCLP unveils 21-strong round

Cleary Gottlieb has made up nine new partners in its latest round of promotions, two of which are in London, while Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has included five UK lawyers in its latest cohort.

The promotion of Chrishan Raja and Naomi Tarawali to partner in Cleary’s London office is indicative of firm’s steady approach. Raja, a capital markets lawyer, has experience representing Barclays, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and UBS, while the disputes-focused Tarawali specialises in representing financial institutions, funds and sovereigns. The 2022 round matches last year’s efforts in the City, which saw Henry Mostyn and Gareth Kristensen welcomed into the equity, though in total, the latest class falls short of the 11 partners made up across the firm in 2021.

Speaking to Legal Business, Cleary M&A partner Tihir Sarkar (pictured) said: ‘In the UK we’re 23 partners so we’ve increased by 10%, which is significant. For us to do two is slightly unusual. It’s a reflection of practice groups where we’ve identified the right candidates. The UK-focused disputes practice started from scratch about 10 years ago, and Naomi is our second home-bred associate-to-partner candidate [James Brady-Banzet was made partner in 2019]. That shows the growth and continued importance of the disputes practice. On the capital markets side, we haven’t made up somebody for quite some time. Historically, it’s been a very important practice for Cleary Gottlieb, so we’ve bolstered our English law capabilities with Chrishan.’

Globally, the firm promoted a further three partners in New York, as well as two in Paris and one each in Hong Kong and Frankfurt.

On Europe, Sarkar added: ‘Europe is a big part of our DNA. We opened in Paris soon after we opened in New York, so we’ve been in continental Europe for a long time. If you look at the standard of our lawyers and matters in Paris, Brussels and Rome, we feel we have got one of the strongest European franchises. We need to continue to keep replenishing those areas.’

Meanwhile, BCLP has announced 21 new partners. The new cohort, which is spread across 13 offices, will take up their new positions on 1 January 2023.

Seven of the class are based in the UK, including five in the capital. Corporate and M&A lawyer Tom Bacon, real estate specialist James Banks, commercial litigator Benjamin Blacklock, construction-focused Kimberly Roberts, and tax lawyer Andy West have all made the grade this year. They are joined by a further two new partners in the Southampton office: Eleanor Penton, who focuses on real estate finance; and Emma Sadler, who advises on non-contentious real estate issues.

Though sizeable by the firm’s standards, this year’s class did not surpass the cohort of 2021, where the firm unveiled 25 new additions to the equity in November last year, the largest promotion round in its history.


This article first appeared on Legal Business.

Dealwatch: Big-ticket M&A back on track as Cleary and NRF lead on Alstom’s €6.2bn rail acquisition

Amid a relative dearth of substantial European buyouts recently, the proposed €6.2bn acquisition by France’s Alstom of the rail business of Canadian counterpart Bombardier will come as a boon for the international offices of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Norton Rose Fulbright.

Alstom said on Monday (17 February) it had signed an agreement with Bombardier and its shareholder the Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) to acquire 100% of the shares in Bombardier Transportation for between €5.8bn and €6.2bn.

As part of the deal, CDPQ will convert its current €2bn investment in Bombardier Transportation into shares in Alstom and will also invest another €700m in the French rail company, making it Alstom’s largest shareholder with 18%.

The extensive Cleary team advising Alstom was led by M&A partner Pierre-Yves Chabert with London partner Nallini Puri advised on UK corporate matters. Richard Sultman advised on tax from London.

Norton Rose advised Bombardier while Jones Day advised on the antitrust and competition aspects of the deal. Jones Day partner and co-head of antitrust and competition Bernard Amory led from the US. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP advised Bombardier’s financial advisor Citigroup.

Last year Alstom attempted a merger with German company Siemens with plans to create a European rail champion. The merger failed following a block from EU antitrust regulators. Bombardier has been disposing of several parts of its business recently and last year sold its regional jet business to Japanese engineering company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Meanwhile, Travers Smith advised TA Associates on the proposed sale of Merian Global Investors Limited to UK fund management group Jupiter Fund Management for £390m, paid through the issue of new Jupiter shares to Merian shareholders. The deal will create a combined portfolio of £65bn assets under management.

Merian provides investment expertise across major asset classes in fixed income, global emerging market equities, alternatives and global asset allocation. Jupiter Fund Management mainly manages investment trusts and private client portfolios as well as mutual funds, segregated mandates and investment trusts with investments worth £44.1bn for individuals and institutions across the UK and internationally. Jupiter’s fund covers equities, fixed income, multi-asset, multi-manager and alternatives asset classes.

The Travers team was led by head of private equity and financial sponsors and co-head of corporate Paul Dolman. Partner Tim Lewis provided financial regulatory advice, partner Simon Skinner advised on tax, Partner Philip Cheveley advised on equity capital markets and Partner Mahesh Varia advised on incentives and remuneration.

A Macfarlanes team led by M&A partner Luke Powell also advised Merian. Jupiter Fund was advised by Fenchurch Advisory Partners.

Speaking to Legal Business Dolman said that the deal brought together two market-leading asset managers and required a sizable Travers team, covering regulatory, public company, employment benefits and private equity specialisms.

‘We are seeing more and more trade buyers. Jupiter is a trade buyer, but quite unusual because it’s listed. The synergies that a trade buyer can bring gives them an advantage compared to a financial sponsor. It is consistent with what we are seeing in the market,’ said Dolman.

Finally, Travers also advised its long-term client Silverfleet Capital Partners on the acquisition of Danish-based credit management service provider Collectia.

The Travers team was led by private equity and financial sponsors partner Will Yates and worked alongside Danish firm Bruun & Hjejle on the cross-border transaction. Collectia was advised by Macfarlanes with a team led by partner Kirstie Hutchinson.


This article first appeared on Legal Business.

Dealwatch: Weil and Mayer Brown scoop leads on Nestlé’s $4bn US ice cream business sale

Weil Gotshal & Manges and Mayer Brown have advised on the sale of Nestlé’s US ice cream business to Froneri for $4bn.

Froneri is an ice cream focused joint venture by Nestlé and PAI Partners created in 2016. The deal means that brands such as Häagen-Dazs, Edy’s, Drumstick and Dreyer’s will join its portfolio which already includes Movenpick, Green & Blacks and Cadbury’s ice cream.

Weil advised Froneri with a team led by London managing partner Michael Francis and included London private equity partner Jonathan Wood, head of the technology and IP transactions practice Barry Fishley and banking partner Tom Richards.

Mayer Brown advised Nestle with a team led out of the US by partners David Carpenter, John Boelter and Michelle Gross.

Carpenter told Legal Business: ‘Nestlé has already contributed to the ice cream business in different parts of the world through this joint venture. The buyer is actually 50% owned by Nestlé and so it’s moving the ice cream business into a company that has a private equity partner. It will be focused on ice cream rather than being part of a big conglomerate.’

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised private equity firm CVC Capital Partners on the acquisition of a stake in WebPros Group by CVC Fund VII from Oakley Capital Private Equity and other investors.

WebPros is a web hosting automation software provider for server management and includes web hosting platforms cPanel and Plesk and web hosting management and billing software WHMCS.

The Freshfields team was led by global co-head of financial sponsors Charles Hayes, co-head of European leveraged finance Alex Mitchell and corporate and M&A lawyer Vincent Bergin.

Kirkland & Ellis advised Oakley Capital on the sale led by London corporate partners Rory Mullarkey and Jacob Traff as well as Ben Leyendeckerin Munich.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Elsewhere, White & Case advised on the $25.6bn IPO of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), making it the world’s largest IPO. The company began trading on the Saudi Arabian Tadawul Stock Exchange on Wednesday 11 December under TADAWUL: ARAMCO.

The offering included subscriptions from institutions and individuals, comprising of SAR 446bn ($119bn). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sold 3bn shares of Saudi Aramco which accounted for 1.5% Saudi Aramco’s share capital.

The White & Case team was led by Dubai partner Sami Al-Louzi and included London partners Inigo Esteve, capital markets partner Alexander Underwood, Ronan O’Reilly and employment compensation and benefits lawyer Jack Gardener. The Law Office of Megren Al-Shaalan also advised Aramco with a team led by Megren Al-Shaalan and Doug Peel and included London capital markets partner Ibrahim Soumrany.

The $1.7trn valuation makes Saudi Aramco the largest company by market capitalisation. Over 400 White & Case lawyers from around 20 offices advised Saudi Aramco on the transaction.

Latham & Watkins advised the underwriters of Saudi Aramco on non-Saudi law matters. The team was led by New York partners Marc Jaffe and Ian Schuman and included London partner Craig Nethercott. London partners James Inness and Jeremy Green offered advice on corporate matters, Chirag Sanghrajka advised on finance, Rob Moulton advised on regulatory matters while Karl Mah advised on tax.

Prior to the listing, the largest IPO spot was held by Alibaba Group Holding Limited which listed in September 2014 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for $21.8bn.

Finally, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advised Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) on the $450m acquisition of a 25.1% stake in Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML) from Adani Transmission Limited as well as a shareholder subordinated debt investment by QIA in AEML.

AEML is part of Adani Group, an integrated business conglomerate based in India which includes six publicly traded companies, focusing on resources, logistics, energy and agriculture.

The Cleary team was led by London partners Tihir Sarkar and Nallini Puri.

Puri told Legal Business: ‘QIA is a very big investor to be partnering with. The Adani Group is a big group with lots of diversified interests and historically they’ve engaged in a lot of acquisitions, particularly within India. India’s done less with foreign investors. In some ways this is a very significant partnership for them because they’ve tied up with a very high profile investor.’

AEMl was advised by Indian firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas led by partners from the Mumbai office.

The deal is expected to close in early 2020 subject to customary conditions and regulatory approval.


This article first appeared on Legal Business.