Deals Comment

Linklaters’ role advising Montagu Private Equity on the sale of the Actaris group to LBO France is further evidence that the firm did well to secure the lateral hire of private equity expert Michel Frieh last year.


Linklaters private equity hire pays off as it scores deal for Montagu

Linklaters’ role advising Montagu Private Equity on the sale of the Actaris group to LBO France is further evidence that the firm did well to secure the lateral hire of private equity expert Michel Frieh last year.

Frieh personally won the instruction for the firm – his first from Montagu – after having previously impressed the private equity group when acting alongside it on other transactions.

The budding relationship is a coup for Linklaters, which has been attempting to develop a steady relationship with Montagu. However, Linklaters’ French private equity practice had looked less than likely to build such relationships after the firm lost star private equity partner David Aknin to US rival Weil Gotshal & Manges last year.

The hire of Frieh from Willkie Farr & Gallagher, where he had been tagged as the heir to private equity stalwart Daniel Payan’s practice, appears to have gone a long way to correcting any gap left by Aknin.

LBO France instructed Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw on the Actaris deal, while Allen & Overy advised Mizuho Corporate Bank.

Pinsent Masons sees fruits of merger with first lend lease deal

Pinsent Masons’ win of its first corporate deal for Lend Lease Europe Holdings is the kind of reward the firm anticipated from its 2004 merger.

The firm, led by partner Jeremy Phillips (pictured), advised Lend Lease Europe, a subsidiary of the listed Australian property company Lend Lease Corporation, on the £261m acquisition of the Crosby Group from Berkeley Group Holdings.

The marriage between legacy firms Pinsents and Masons was received with scepticism by the market. Pinsents’ management defended the merger, arguing that the two firms had complementary practices, which would enable the combined entity to offer clients a broader service. It seems Pinsents was right. Lend Lease’s appointment of Pinsents onto its panel alongside Allen & Overy, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, Eversheds and Linklaters represents a show of confidence by the company, which has a strong pre-merger relationship with Masons’ construction team. The acquisition completed on 8 July.