White & Case beats Dewey to major Greek telco acquisition

White & Case beats Dewey to major Greek telco acquisition” />White & Case has pipped US rival Dewey Ballantine to land a lead role on Naguib Sawiris’s latest Mediterranean acquisition in its first corporate instruction from the Egyptian telecoms magnate.

White & Case advised Sawiris’s Weather Investments on its €3.4bn (£2.28bn) purchase of Greece’s third-largest mobile phone operator TIM Hellas from private equity houses Apax Partners and Texas Pacific Group (TPG).

The instruction is a coup for White & Case because, although the firm has previously advised Sawiris’s businesses on financing, this is its first instruction on an acquisition.

Dewey missed out on a major role on the deal, having previously advised Weather on its landmark acquisition from Italy’s Enel of phone company Wind in 2005, which at the time was Europe’s largest buyout.

Dewey did, however, advise on Italian aspects of the latest acquisition.

Ashurst and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advised respective longstanding private equity clients Apax and TPG. Shearman & Sterling advised the private equity houses on financing, with Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley as financial advisers.

Weather will assume €2.9bn (£1.94bn) worth of debt. Banca IMI and Deutsche Bank are providing the acquisition financing for Weather, with Clifford Chance advising the banks.

The sale represents a €1.7bn (£1.14bn) profit for Apax and TPG after just 20 months of owning TIM Hellas. The private equity houses bought the company from Telecom Italia in June 2005 for €1.6bn (£1.07bn).

Corporate partner Mats Sacklén led the team at White & Case, with help from global co-head of technology, media and telecoms David Eisenberg, corporate finance partner Brian Conway and competition partner Mark Powell.

White & Case used local firm TJ Koutalidis on Greek law issues.