Herbies, Kirkland scoop major roles on Caudwell Group buyout

Herbert Smith scooped the Barclays Capital and ING Bank acquisition finance mandate, while Kirkland & Ellis landed its first UK deal from Providence Equity Partners, with the £1.46bn acquisition of Phones 4U owner The Caudwell Group.

On 4 August private equity firm Providence agreed to acquire Caudwell for £1.46bn. Providence then sold the distribution arm to Doughty Hanson for £347m.

Herbert Smith was appointed to act for Barclays Capital and ING Bank by Providence. Former Denton Wilde Sapte partner Ian Yeo worked on the £617m finance package along with leveraged finance partner Malcolm Hitching. Allen & Overy (A&O) and Kirkland represented Providence. Partner Matthew Hurlock led the Kirkland team in the first deal the firm has advised Providence on from London. A&O leveraged finance partner Ian Borman also acted for the private equity house.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom acted for Doughty Hanson, led by private equity partner Allen Murray-Jones, while Shoosmiths provided employment, IT and property expertise.

Mizuho provided the financing for Doughty Hanson, which features senior, mezzanine and revolving debt facilities. The bank was advised by Lovells leveraged finance partner Penny Angell.

Angell said: “The deal involved a complex structure to achieve the split of the group into the retail and distribution divisions.

“This was coupled with a tight timetable, but we worked with Mizuho and Doughty Hanson to finesse a structure that worked for both Doughty Hanson and Providence and was at the same time ‘bankable’ from the lenders’ perspective.”

Eversheds represented longstanding client Caudwell, led by Manchester corporate partner Danny Hall.