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Baker & Mckenzie

Baker McKenzie Advises Monomoy on Engineering Acquisition

Baker McKenzie advised private investment firm Monomoy Capital Partners in its acquisition of Kauffman Engineering Inc., an Indiana-based manufacturer of wire harnesses and cable assemblies for electrical systems.

Founded in 1973, Kauffman operates about 20 facilities across the United States and Mexico and serves clients across the HVAC, commercial equipment, specialty vehicle, lawn care, marine, medical and other industrial markets.

“We partner with our private equity clients to add value wherever we can and ensure a smooth process in negotiating and closing deals, so they are able to realize as much growth as possible. We are pleased to help Monomoy do just that in this acquisition,” said Michael Fieweger, Baker McKenzie’s lead M&A partner on the transaction.

Baker McKenzie has the world’s largest M&A practice, with nearly 1,400 lawyers executing more cross-border transactions than any other law firm.

The Baker McKenzie team included Michael Fieweger, Garry Jaunal and Emeka Chinwuba.

About Monomoy Capital Partners

Monomoy Capital Partners is a private equity firm with $1.5 billion in committed capital that invests in middle-market businesses in the manufacturing, industrial, distribution and consumer products sectors. The firm invests in the both the equity and debt of middle-market businesses that can benefit from operational and financial improvement. Monomoy designs and executes a customized value creation plan for each acquisition that seeks to generate significant cash flow and improve earnings within 12 to 18 months of an investment. Over the past 14 years, Monomoy has closed over 50 middle-market acquisitions. To learn more about Monomoy and its portfolio companies, please visit the firm’s website at www.mcpfunds.com.

 

White & Case Advises Naspers on US$1.16 Billion Acquisition

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Naspers, a global internet and entertainment group and one of the world’s largest technology investors, on its US$1.16 billion acquisition of an additional 29.1 percent shareholding in Avito, the leading Russian online classifieds site.

The transaction values Avito at an implied enterprise value of US$3.85 billion. Following the acquisition Naspers stake in Avito will increase from 70.4 percent to 99.6 percent (on a fully diluted basis). The remaining shares are held by existing management.

White & Case also advised Naspers on its minority investment in Avito in 2013 and on Naspers’ subsequent US$1.2 billion investment in 2015, when Naspers became the majority owner of Avito.

Avito was established in 2007 by Filip Engelbert and Jonas Nordlander together with founding investors Vostok New Ventures and Kinnevik. It achieved revenue of US$286.5 million and EBITDA of US$127.6 million for its last full financial year to March 2018 and Avito currently has 10.3million unique visitors per day.

The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partners Eric Michailov (London / Moscow) and Johan Steen (Stockholm) with support from counsel Sophie Sahlin (London) and associates Hanna Wingren (London / Stockholm) and Ksenia Tyunik (Moscow).

 

EU court advisor sides with Airbnb against French restrictions

The European Court of Justice Advocate General submitted an opinion Tuesday siding with Airbnb in a case challenging strict French rules.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Paris France filed an indictment for infringement of Hoguet law (real estate law) concerning real estate agents against Airbnb Ireland. Airbnb Ireland denies acting as a real estate agent and the Court of Justice agreed. The opinion found that Airbnb services fall within the scope of “information society services.” The AG rejected that the Irish company would be covered by the nation’s Hoguet Law because there was not proper notification of the intention to apply French law to the Irish company.

In a press release accompanying the opinion the court said that the AG found that Airbnb is a “service consisting in connecting potential guests with hosts offering short-term accommodation, via a electronic portal, in a situation in which the provider of that service does not exercise control over the essential procedures for the provision of those services, constitutes an information society service.”

The opinion is not binding on the court, but is likely to be adopted.

Conyers advises AXA on agreement to acquire XL Group

Conyers advises AXA in connection with an agreement to acquire 100% of Bermuda-based XL Group Ltd (NYSE: XL), a leading global property and casualty commercial lines insurer and reinsurer, for a total consideration of US$15.3 billion, to be fully paid in cash. Completion of the transaction, which was unanimously approved by the boards of AXA and XL Group, is subject to approval by XL Group shareholders and other customary closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals, and is expected to take place during the second half of 2018.

White & Case Advises on Conforama’s €316 Million Bond Issue

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Steinhoff group’s main creditors on the financial restructuring of its subsidiary Conforama, through a €316 million two-tranche bond issue.

Conforama, the leading European player in furniture retail in-store and online, finalized the bond issue on April 15, 2019 with around 30 equity and debt funds, all Steinhoff group creditors, in order to finance its activity.

Steinhoff executed an agreement in August 2018 with all of its creditors, which was approved by a Company Voluntary Arrangement in London in March 2019, enabling its global debt to be rescheduled and restructured and making it possible for its subsidiaries to be directly financed by its creditors. This approach was previously adopted with Steinhoff’s subsidiary, Mattress Firm, as part of a Chapter 11 procedure.

The White & Case team in Paris which advised on the transaction was led by partner Saam Golshani and included partners Denise Diallo, Colin Chang, Alexandre Ippolito, Brice Engel, Alexandre Jaurett, Bertrand Liard and Alexis Hojabr, counsel Jean Paszkudzki and associates Aurélien Loric, Léa Grédigui, Alexandre Giacobbi, Laure Elbaze, Jeremy Lucas Tong, Bettina de Catalogne, Thomas Chardenal, Anne Sauvebois-Brunel, Céline Martinez, Ginevra Marois and Alice Léonard. Partner Iacopo Canino and associate Bianca Caruso (both Milan) advised on Italian law aspects of the transaction.

Switzerland

PSP Swiss Property optimizes its real estate portfolio

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has advised PSP Swiss Property (PSP) on the acquisition of the so-called “Carba Portfolio” in Bern-Liebefeld, valued at CHF 180.5 million, which was purchased by a share deal.

The portfolio consists of several properties with approximately 36’000 m2 of usable floor space; it offers state-of-the-art and representative premises for offices and services as well as attractive commercial space. The “Carba portfolio” is practically fully let and generates a gross yield of 3.9%.

“We are very pleased to have supported PSP in their acquisition of their real estate portfolio with our legal and tax expertise,” commented Martin Furrer, partner in Zurich.

PSP Swiss Property owns a real estate portfolio worth CHF 7.4 billion in Switzerland’s main economic areas; its market capitalisation amounts to CHF 4.7 billion. The 92 employees are based in Geneva, Olten, Zug and Zurich. Since March 2000, PSP Swiss Property has been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange

Baker McKenzie provided comprehensive advice to PSP with regard to all legal and tax aspects of the acquisition and during negotiations. The Baker McKenzie team comprised Martin Furrer (Partner Zurich), Samuel Marbacher (Partner, Zurich) as lead partners, Mario Kumschick, Selina Mani, Valeria Knöpfel, Michael Zeller, Cathrin Marxer, Basil Kirby, Philippe Monnier and Andrea Puricelli.

handshake deal

U.S. legal/tech provider Elevate acquires NewLaw firm Cognatio in HK

Elevate, a U.S.-headquartered provider of legal and technology services has acquired Cognatio Law, a Hong Kong-based contract-lawyer firm.

Cognatio Law was founded in February last year by Lesley Hobbs, previously the head of client solutions in Hong Kong for Lawyers on Demand together with Tim Fawcett, formerly the interim COO of boutique family law firm CRB. Elevate provides consulting, technology, tech-enabled managed services and flexible lawyering support to the legal sector. ‘

It recently also acquired legal AI technology consultancy LexPredict, contract lifecycle management provider Sumati Group, UK NewLaw legal resourcing firm Halebury, and Yerra Solutions, company providing consulting, technology and managed services.

Byron Romain Joins White & Case as a Partner in Houston

Global law firm White & Case LLP continues to expand its Houston office with the addition of new partner Byron Romain. Romain will be part of the Firm’s Global Project Development and Finance Practice and will work closely with its Global Oil & Gas Industry Group.

“Byron is a highly skilled and experienced lawyer who has an impressive track record working on significant projects across the oil & gas industry,” said Philip Stopford, Co-Head of White & Case’s Global Oil & Gas Industry Group. “His arrival coincides with the first anniversary of the Firm opening our Houston office, which signals our commitment to expanding the leading capability of our oil & gas expertise within the region.”

Romain’s practice includes representing major and independent oil & gas companies, sovereigns, quasi-governmental agencies, private equity sponsors and portfolio companies in the acquisition, disposition and development of oil & gas projects in the upstream and midstream sectors. He also advises on asset and equity deals, joint venture/development arrangements, equity investments and financing/lending arrangements.

Romain joins White & Case from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he was previously the head of its North American oil & gas A&D practice.

“Expanding our industry expertise across the oil & gas industry is a pillar of our 2020 strategy,” said Jason Webber, Co-Head of the Firm’s Global Oil & Gas Industry Group. “Byron’s arrival reinforces this goal, and his sophisticated technical skills and extensive knowledge of the oil & gas sector will play an integral role in further enhancing our client offering in Houston, and across the wider Americas region.”

London City

Another $10m scalp for Kirkland as Freshfields star Maguire quits

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Adrian Maguire is understood to be joining his former boss David Higgins at Kirkland & Ellis, over a year after the US firm made a concerted push to expand its corporate credentials in the City.