Darrois and Orrick are worth it as L’Oréal buys back shares from Nestlé

French firms Bredin Prat and Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier, alongside Switzerland’s Homburger and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, have taken lead roles on L’Oréal’s buyback of €6.5bn in shares from Nestlé.

Darrois and Homburger advised Swiss-owned Nestlé on the deal, with Orrick leading for L’Oréal. Bredin Prat acted for the Bettencourt-Meyers family, a longstanding client which is a significant shareholder in L’Oréal.

The deal sees L’Oréal buy back 8 per cent of its share capital from Nestlé. The deal is financed partly through the disposal by L’Oréal of its 50 per cent stake in joint venture pharmaceutical company Galderma for €3.1bn, paid by Nestlé in L’Oréal shares, and partly through a €3.4bn cash payment for the remaining shares.

The transaction reduces Nestlé’s stake in L’Oréal to 23.3 per cent, from 29.4 per cent, while the Bettencourt-Meyers’ stake rises to 33.3 per cent from 30.6 per cent. The number of Nestlé representatives on L’Oréal’s board of directors drops to two.

Both Darrois and Homburger have advised Nestlé for years. On this deal, Darrois’ team was led by partners Emmanuel Brochier and Bertrand Cardi, alongside fellow corporate partner Christophe Vinsonneau, tax partner Vincent Agulhon and competition partner Igor Simic.

Homburger fielded a team led by corporate partners Daniel Daeniker and Frank Gerhard, with tax partners Dieter Grünblatt and Reto Heuberger also involved.

Orrick’s team was led by Paris-based partners Jean-Pierre Martel and Alexis Marraud des Grottes.

Bredin Prat’s advice to the Bettencourt family involved partners Didier Martin, Emmanuel Masset and Florian Bouaziz.