Ashursts seals first deal for Cinven in two years

Ashurst Morris Crisp has done its first buyout for private equity house Cinven since 1999, advising on the £204m acquisition of two Burmah Castrol chemical divisions.
Ashursts corporate partner Bruce Hanton was called up to do the deal when Cinven decided to bid for the metallurgical and releasants chemicals divisions.
Cinven's two main corporate firms are Ashursts and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, each receiving about half of the work. Hanton said the private equity house spreads out the work evenly, and the firm chosen depends on whether there is a conflict, which team at Cinven is doing the deal and on keeping things even.
The last big acquisition Ashursts did for Cinven was advising it on its £825m purchase of bookmaker William Hill in March 1999. It then advised on the equity issues on Cinven's £322m acquisition of Dynacast in April that year, though Freshfields did the acquisition itself.
The firm's Paris office has done acquisitions for the client, but this is the first for the London office in two years.
Hanton said: “We got involved because we often act for Cinven and they asked us to act when they were proposing to bid for the business.”
This purchase will be satisfied in cash and the assumption of debt and the businesses will be held by a new company funded by Cinven. Cinven and the management members of the two teams, led by former chief executive of Burmah Castrol Chemicals Jamie Pike, will hold equity in the new company.
Debt financing is provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland and JP Morgan, advised by Clifford Chance. The management is represented by Allen & Overy and Burmah Castrol is represented by Linklaters & Alliance.
Ashursts called in a team that included lawyers from its competition, employment, pensions, real estate, intellectual property, environment and finance teams, involving offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Tokyo.
Hanton said: “It's a complex business all over the world and it's one of several that BP has been looking to divest from Burmah Castrol.”
Ashursts called on Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in the US and Freehills in Australia to deal with local issues.