Eversheds wins slice of stricken Lehman’s private equity sale work

Eversheds has landed a place alongside a host of US firms in a deal to spin off the ;European ;private equity business of Lehman Brothers.

South African investor Johann Rupert has teamed up with the managers of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Partners (LBMB) to buy out the investment arm of the collapsed bank.

Eversheds got the call from LBMB and American counsel Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.

Rupert, who will take on liabilities ;of ;$230m (£167.23m) in return for his share of the business, called on Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Lehman Brothers was represented ;by ;Weil ­Gotshal & Manges, which is handling the bank’s Chapter 11 proceedings in the US.

Linklaters was conflicted out of the transaction because of its role acting for PricewaterhouseCoopers as administrators of Lehman, with Eversheds taking up the baton over the Europe-based funds of LBMB.

Head of private equity Mark Spinner led the ­Eversheds team. The firm had built a relationship with LBMB after advising it on a deal for Graphite Resources in June.

Skadden associate David Barrett represented Rupert, while Paul Weiss corporate partner Bob Hirsh acted for the LBMB in the US.

Weil ;funds ;­partner Shukie Grossman acted for the Lehmans estate.

LBMB is expected to be launched as a new private equity fund with offices in New York and London. ­Vittorio Pignatti-Morano, the former head of European ­private equity at Lehman, is thought to have paid $10m (£7.27m) for a 51 per cent share, with Rupert acquiring the other 49 per cent.

Total ;funds ; ;under ­management at LBMB are thought ;to ;be ;around $3.3bn (£2.40bn). At the time of going to press, investors in the funds were voting on whether to approve the deal.