Latham joins Swiss duo in Kuoni’s £1bn sale to EQT

Bär & Karrer, Homburger and Latham & Watkins have all won roles on private equity house EQT’s acquisition of Swiss-listed Kuoni Travel Holdings.

Tourism company Kuoni turned to Swiss firm Homburger for advice, with Zurich-based managing partner Daniel Daeniker and corporate partner Daniel Hasler leading the team. They were assisted by partner Marcel Dietrich, who handled competition and regulatory issues.

Meanwhile European private equity house EQT sought Swiss legal counsel from Bär & Karrer partner Till Spillmann, who was supported by partners Dieter Dubs and Rolf Watter.

Under the terms of the transaction, Kuoni has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of EQT, called Kiwi Holding, which has launched the tender offer valuing the company at approximately CHF 1.5bn (£1bn).

Latham & Watkins also provided financial advice to EQT, with vice-chair of the firm’s finance department Dominic Newcomb handling the mandate from London.

The announcement follows a competitive process with EQT, as well as a number of other parties. EQT intends to take Kuoni private and the transaction is due to complete in the second or third quarter of 2016 when Kuoni is delisted from the Swiss Stock Exchange.

Background to the deal 

Homburger has had a busy year working with Kuoni as it set about implementing an exit from its tour operating business in Europe, Hong Kong and India. Just before the end of 2015, the firm advised Kuoni on the sale of travel activities in India and Hong Kong to Thomas Cook. The company also sold its European tour operating businesses to REWE-Zentralfinanz in September.

EQT on the other hand has used a number of different firms in recent times. The private equity house was advised by Linklaters back in 2006, then Clifford Chance in 2009. However, the US firms have played more of a role in EQT’s transactions since then, with White & Case working with EQT in Stockholm in 2011 and Duane Morris joining with Schoenherr and Clifford Chance in 2012.