Travers lands 3i lingerie deal

Travers Smith has lent its support to private equity house 3i in the purchase of a £60m majority stake in designer lingerie chain Agent Provocateur.

Corporate partner Chris Hale, who manages the relationship with 3i at Travers Smith, led the purchase with corporate partner David Innes.

Husband-and-wife founders of Agent Provocateur, Joseph Corré and Serena Rees, sold their majority stake after separating. They were advised by Hammonds, Davenport Lyons and Goodman Derrick, with corporate partners Richard Burns, Rebecca Ferguson and Tanya Shillingford leading respectively.

Agent Provocateur is best known for using celebrities such as Kylie Minogue and burlesque performer Dita von Teese in advertisements for its high-end retro designs. The chain has around 30 shops in 14 countries and has plans to boost its profile in the US, Japan and the Middle East.

Management was advised by Pinsent Masons with corporate partner Tom Leman leading. Manches also co-advised, with corporate finance partner Melvin Pedro heading the team.

Travers Smith last year advised on the majority of 3i’s transactions over £100m. The private equity house also instructs Clifford Chance and Macfarlanes.

The new general counsel at 3i, Kevin Dunn, was also formerly at Travers Smith before moving in-house (www.thelawyer.com, 1 November).