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Baker & McKenzie’s burgeoning London-based private equity practice advised US private equity house Platinum Equity on its £102.4m acquisition of Hays Logistics.
Bakers’ relationship with Platinum was fostered in the US shortly after Platinum was founded in 1995. London private equity partner Adam Levin now manages the relationship, a sign of Platinum’s increased activity in Europe.
Following last year’s acquisition of Alcatel’s distribution and services business, with Bakers advising, this was Platinum’s second acquisition of a European company with revenues of more than $1bn (£578.9bn).
Bakers obviously has an advantage when it comes to deals that cross a number of jurisdictions. The Hays deal involved 10 European countries and the US and the Alcatel deal involved 17 jurisdictions.
Bakers’ private equity practice has evolved from a strong German base. Of the current clients, relationships with Apax Partners, Allianz Capital Partners and EQT Northern Europe have come from Germany.
“[Germany] has been extremely valuable to us… Now it’s more of a two-way street,” said global head of private equity Charles Whitefoord. “We’ve been using our international network to break into the UK domestic market as opposed to our competitors doing things the other way round.” However, several UK firms, particularly Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and to a lesser extent Lovells, would also like to cross-sell strong their German private equity practices to London.
Bakers’ other private equity clients include Deutsche Bank, Advent International, ABN Amro Ventures and 3i Group.
Freshfields partners James Davis and David Sonter advised regular client Hays.