Camerons, Norton Rose scoop Accantia sell-off

CMS Cameron McKenna and Norton Rose are reaping the rewards of years of client care after turning around ABN Amro Capital’s sale of Accantia Health and Beauty to Duke Street Capital in 14 days.

The £225m secondary buyout of Accantia by Duke Street, represented by Clifford Chance corporate partner Tim Wright, comes three years after the Birmingham-based consumer products group was the subject of a management buyout (MBO) from parent company Smith & Nephew.

Norton Rose private equity partner David Baylis was again retained by Accantia after advising on the original MBO in June 2000 while at Hammonds, which he left in March last year.

Camerons, led by corporate partner Louise Wallace, reprised its role as counsel to ABN Amro Capital, the private equity arm of Dutch bank ABN Amro, after it acted on the 2000 MBO. Although ABN Amro Capital also uses Ashurst Morris Crisp, Camerons has a historical link with the private equity group through its chief executive Ian Taylor, who joined in 1999 from Legal & General Ventures.

The firm first worked with Taylor on Legal & General Ventures’ investment in Enterprise Inns, which Camerons still acts for, in 1991.

The sale marks the first major exit made by ABN Amro Capital since Taylor took the helm four years ago. DLA represented Bank of Scotland, the lead arranger and underwriter on the buyout.

Prior to the deal, Accantia was due to undergo a recapitalisation financing.

However, ABN Amro Capital opted to exit the vehicle, prompting the two-week turnaround of the secondary buyout.

Norton Rose doubled up as adviser to the original lenders, which included Royal Bank of Scotland and Mizuho Corporate Bank.