Travers Smith secures lead role on 3i’s Chorion take private bid

Travers Smith has strengthened its relationship with private equity house 3i, securing the lead advisory role on its £110.7m bid to take children’s books brand manager Chorion private.


Travers Smith has strengthened its relationship with private equity house 3i, securing the lead advisory role on its £110.7m bid to take children’s books brand manager Chorion private.

Chorion owns the licensing rights to classic children’s toys, books and brands, including copyrights to the Mr Men and Noddy books, as well as the majority of Agatha Christie’s titles.

Travers, a longstanding adviser to 3i, advised on the M&A and finance aspects of the the multimillion-pound management buyout, led by Chorion’s chairman Lord Waheed Alli. The team was led by Travers head of corporate Chris Hale, head of corporate finance Spencer Summerfield, IP partner Richard Marke and banking partner Simon Buckingham.

Chorion’s management was advised by Macfarlanes corporate partner Charles Meek, while Berwin Leighton Paisner acted for Chorion.

Latham & Watkins represented GE Commercial Finance as the sole bookrunner on the £78m senior and mezzanine facilities committed in support of the takeover bid. Finance partners James Chesterman and Dominic Newcomb led on the deal. Local security law and IP advice was provided by Latham’s US, Paris and Tokyo offices.

Chorion agreed recently to Alli’s 425p per share offer, stating that it had received irrevocable undertakings representing 44 per cent of the business. However, those undertakings could lapse if the company receives a separate offer of 460p or more.

Chorion has since confirmed an approach by Hit Entertainment, which owns the rights to the Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine titles.