Clifford Chance advises Montagu on £438m sale of Host Europe to Cinven

Clifford Chance advised longterm client Montagu Private Equity on the £438m sale of the Host Europe Group to Cinven.

Host Europe offers small and medium enterprises (SMEs) services including domain name registration, web hosting and cloud storage. Montagu invested in the business in October 2010, and has since then made four bolt-on acquisitions to grow revenues by 60 per cent. It is hosted in the UK, with the bulk of revenues generated in the UK and Germany.

Clifford Chance partner Chris Kellet, who was the lead partner on the deal, said: “Montagu have been a longterm client since the last century, and we’ve always helped them with Host.”

Kellett was joined as lead partner on the deal by fellow Montagu relationship partner Simon Tinkler. The pair were assisted by senior associate Dan Royle and associate Patrick Lloyd.

Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer represented Cinven on the buy-side, led by corporate partners David Higgins and Adrian Maguire, and senior associates James Scott and Victoria Sigeti.

Travers Smith advised Host Europe’s management, led by corporate partner Edmund Reed and senior partner Chris Hale.

Background to this deal:

Cinven previously used Ashurst partner Bruce Hanton as its main legal adviser, but has recently shifted its work towards Clifford Chance and Freshfields.

In May 2013, David Higgins and Adrian Maguire at Freshfields also guided the private equity fund through the £1.4bn IPO of Partnership Assurance, the annuity provider it bought for €200m in 2008 (15 May 2013).

In July, Clifford Chance represented Cinven and its portfolio company EnServe on the sale of its energy division Inenco to Vitruvian Partners, its management team and Intermediate Capital Group Plc for an estimated £150m. The deal was led by Cinven’s relationship partner at the firm, Jonny Myers.