Links and SJ Berwin lead on CIC’s Apax investment

SJ Berwin’s head of corporate Steven Davis led the team acting for longstanding client Apax. Corporate partners Michael Halford and Nigel van Zyl also worked on the deal.

Hong Kong capital markets partner Ed Smith led the Linklaters team acting for CIC.

The deal will see CIC claim a 2.3 per cent stake in the private equity house as a whole through the investment in its Apax Europe VII fund.

It will let investors in the fund, which is nearly 50 per cent invested, transfer any of their unfunded commitments to the Chinese fund.

Van Zyl said: “The deal allowed Apax, which won’t be raising any new funds in the short term, to bring in new investors.

“It also allowed existing investors to scale back without the fund itself having to scale back.”

Davis added: “People thought that the era when private equity houses had the ability to sell minority stakes was finished. This proves the appetite for investors in private equity is still there.”

Apax has been one of the more active houses in what has been hailed as a mini-revival in the private equity market over the last two months. The firm acquired pharmaceutical logistics company Marken in a £975m takeover in December 2009.

It also has a stake in the holding company that owns a majority stake in New Look, whose recently announced £650m IPO (8 February 2010) has been delayed.