Burness, BLP called in on BlueGem bank project

Scottish firm Burness and Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) have been handed mandates in private equity group BlueGem’s investment in Panmure Gordon, the loss-making investment bank.

Scottish firm Burness and Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) have been handed mandates in private equity group BlueGem’s investment in Panmure Gordon, the loss-making investment bank.

AIM-listed Panmure raised £17.3m selling a 40 per cent stake to BlueGem, after announcing a £28.8m pre-tax loss for 2008.

The private equity group turned to regular adviser Burness, led by corporate partner Grant Stevenson.

BLP partner Benjamin Lee acted for Panmure, which has been rocked by falling deal volumes and declining revenue from trading commissions.

The deal required a waiver from the takeover panel as the investment breached the 30 per cent threshold, which triggers a full bid. It is subject to shareholder approval.

Burness helped former Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity head Marco Capello launch BlueGem in 2006.

Stevenson said private equity groups and other funds were increasingly attracted to the tax benefits of using the Scottish legal partnership structure.

Earlier this month, Burness acted alongside UK counsel SJ Berwin on the launch of a $5.5bn (£3.75bn) Goldman Sachs private equity fund, Vintage Fund V.

BLP had previously acted for Panmure in 2007, when it bought US investment bank ThinkEquity Partners for $62m (£42.33m). Lee also acted on that deal.