Ashurst and Clifford Chance have benefited from the mini-revival of the private equity M&A market by landing lead roles on the sale of LGC Holdings to Bridgepoint.
Two Ashurst teams were advising both the seller, LGV Capital, and the bank club providing debt financing to the buyer.
Private equity partner Bruce Hanton led the Ashurst team acting for longstanding client LGV and other LGC shareholders. Loan markets partner Simon Thrower led on the debt side, advising Bank of Ireland, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Société Générale.
Bridgepoint bought the provider of chemical and biological analytical services and reference materials for £257m. The private equity house turned to Clifford Chance for advice, with global corporate chief Matthew Layton and private equity partner Kem Ihenacho leading the team.
Speaking of the renaissance of the private equity market, Hanton said: “It’s pleasing there’s been a definite upturn in the past couple of months. There’s a real feeling among clients that we’ve got stability now. Before, people were willing to spend their money but not willing to pay prices that sellers were demanding. That’s beginning to change.”
The deal is the third private equity buyout for Clifford Chance this month. Corporate finance partner Spencer Baylin led on Warburg Pincus’s £280m acquisition of defence equipment manufacturer Survitec (The Lawyer, 8 February), while finance partner James Butters acted for the banks on Intermediate Capital Group’s purchase of CPA Global (TheLawyer. com, 1 February).