A&O muscles in on Ashurst’s client in Global Solutions deal

Ashurst’s client in Global Solutions deal” />Allen & Overy (A&O) has won its first instruction for mainstay Ashurst client Electra Partners Europe on the group’s joint £207.5m takeover of Global Solutions.
Electra Partners, along with Englefield Capital, is buying Global Solutions, the prisons and facilities management division of Denmark’s Group 4 Falck.

The sell-off comes just before Group 4’s £1.5bn merger with the UK’s Securicor, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.

A&O scooped the mandate after Englefield Capital initially instructed the firm prior to Electra Partners becoming involved in the buyout. It is understood that Bridgepoint Capital, represented by Travers Smith Braithwaite, had also expressed an interest in purchasing Global Solutions.
However, the deal with Electra Partners and Englefield Capital was finalised more than a week ago.

Ashurst, led by corporate partner Graeme Ward, is representing Global Solutions’ management on the deal.
A&O was targeted due to partner David Lee’s expertise in prison-related project finance work. His past transactions have included acting for the project company on Lowdham Grange Prison, as well as advising the banks on the Bridgend Prison project finance initiative.

The deal is a coup for A&O, which is working to build its private equity group. Corporate partner Susan Howard, who is leading the A&O team for Global Solutions, stepped down as managing partner of the corporate group in March this year to concentrate on the firm’s private equity practice.
While A&O is acting on the main aspects of the deal, SJ Berwin competition and EU partner Elaine Gibson-Bolton is handling issues relating to the European Commission Merger Regulations. SJ Berwin has, in the past, set up private equity funds for both Electra Partners and Englefield Capital.

While it is not clear if the Global Solutions buyout is part of a series of disposals required by the Commission for the Group 4 and Securicor merger to gain clearance, more sell-offs will be expected from the groups. Group 4 was represented by Norton Rose.