Carlyle and Cinven return to Clifford Chance for €337.5m Altice share sale

Carlyle and Cinven have returned to longstanding adviser Clifford Chance to sell 7.5m shares in European cable and telecoms company Altice in a deal valued at €337.5m. 

Private equity co-head Jonny Myers led the team advising the private equity houses along with capital markets partner Iain Hunter, in a deal marking the firm’s continued grip on the trophy client.

Joint bookrunners JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs turned in-house for legal advice on the deal. The private equity firms increased the number of shares to be sold to 7.7m up from 5.5m last week, a sign of increased demand for the shares, priced at €45 per share. 

The private equity houses acquired stakes in Altice earlier in the year as part of a €337.5m deal selling French domestic broadband provider Numericable to Altice.

Altice raised €1.3bn in its initial public offering in January after selling shares at €28.25 each.

Background to the deal

Clifford Chance’s relationship with Carlyle has been tested in recent months by exits to the team, including partner Kem Ihenacho (18 February 2014) and both Linklaters and Latham & Watkins have taken a large chunk of the PE house’s recent work.

In September Linklaters trumped Clifford Chance to advise Carlyle on the sale of RAC to Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC (29 September 2014). Carlyle turned to Linklaters for advice on both the proposed IPO and sale process, fielding a team led by private equity partner Alex Woodward and corporate partner Charlie Jacobs. The pair were supported by private equity partner Stuart Boyd, antitrust partner Nicole Kar and corporate partner John Lane

Despite advising Carlyle on the £1bn acquisition of RAC from insurance group Aviva in 2011 the firm was not on the roster. That could have been linked to the fact it was former Clifford Chance and current Latham partner David Walker who led on that deal (8 April 2013).

His exit shook the firm’s relationship with Carlyle, as did Ihenacho’s departure to the same firm. That firm has strong ties to the client and further strengthened its links earlier this year with the hire of in-house counsel Tom Alabaster to its London office (23 April 2014).

But Clifford Chance took on a $1.93bn buyout of Tyco International’s South Korean fire protection and security unit earlier this year, led by corporate partner Simon Cooke (5 March 2014).

Meanwhile Cinven has moved away from longstanding adviser, Ashurst partner Bruce Hanton, in favour of Clifford Chance in recent months (21 February 2014).