Permira calls on CC for spinoff Avalon’s first investment

Jonny Myers

Jonny Myers

Avalon Acquisitions, a vehicle backed by Permira, paid 76p a share to take AIM-listed Just Retirement private.

Macfarlanes corporate partner Kevin Tuffnell acted for Just Retirement.

Clifford Chance corporate partner Johnny Myers has led the firm’s relationship with Permira since former relationship partner Matthew Layton became global head of corporate a year ago. Myers represented Avalon alongside corporate partner Hilary Evenett.

Langholm Capital, the majority shareholder in Just Retirement, was represented by Mayer Brown partner Alistair Bird.

Clifford Chance is considered the main corporate adviser to Permira in the UK, although Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has also worked on several deals.

Macfarlanes has remained close to Just Retirement since acting on its flotation in 2006. Tuffnell also led the team on the IPO.

The Just Retirement deal is the first investment for Avalon, which was set up by Permira earlier this year as a bid vehicle to target the financial services sector.

It is one of only a few ­private equity investments to get off the ground in recent months. The private equity industry has been hit hard by the lack of cheap credit in the wake of the banking crisis, although there have been recent signs of recovery.

Last month, former Clifford Chance partner Adam Signy, who is now at the London office of US firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, advised private equity group Blackstone on its £77m investment in the City of London’s Broadgate Estate.

In August, Clifford Chance’s German practice was instructed by Montagu Private Equity on the e212.5m (£196.1m) sale of sausage skin manufacturer Kalle, which was one of the largest leveraged deals of the year.