The Paris office of Ashurst Morris Crisp has completed one of Europe's largest ever buyouts for longstanding clients CDC Equity Capital and Charterhouse General Partners.`The pair of private equity houses have bought the contracting sector of Alstom Holdings for euro770m (£466.4m) plus more than euro600m (£363.4m) of extracted cash.`Alstom's contracting sector employs 25,000 people in more than 20 countries and has a turnover in excess of euro2.5bn ($1.5bn). The buyout is thought to be the largest in France this year, though it is similar in size to Candover's recent buyout of Picard Surgelés.`Ashursts M&A partner Thomas Forschbach led the deal along with banking partner Laurent Mabilat, and the pair had a team of 10 assistants working with them.`BNP Paribas and the Royal Bank of Scotland provided the loan to the consortium. Both were advised by White & Case.`Alstom was advised by Hughes Hubbard & Reed and Duclos Thorne Mollet-Vieville.`Ashursts was involved from the tendering stage, and once the clients were selected, the deal was closed within two months.`Forschbach says: "It was a procedure with a limited number of candidates, and they were the preferred bidders. At the beginning the fate of the lawyers was very much in the hands of the clients.`"Ultimately, probably in terms of turnover and the number of people employed, it was one of the three biggest buyouts in Europe."`Ashursts' other private equity clients in the Paris office include the likes of Cinven, Candover, Apax, Electra, PPM Ventures, Legal & General Ventures, Morgan Grenfell Private Equity and Bridgepoint Capital.`The firm missed out on advising Candover in the Picard Surgelés deal to Linklaters & Alliance. It was conflicted because it was already advising UBS Warburg.