Clifford Chance and Freshfields guide Cinven’s Partnership IPO

Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Travers Smith and offshore firm Ogier are advising on the potential £1.4bn IPO of Partnership Assurance, the annuity provider bought by private equity house Cinven for €200m in 2008.

Cinven, advised by Freshfields, is reportedly hoping to raise more than £1bn from the planned listing, which was announced on Monday (13 May). The buyout group currently owns 80 per cent of the company, with the rest held by management.

Freshfields’ team acting for Cinven and Partnership is led by corporate partners Mark Austin and Adrian Maguire alongside corporate associates Rós Ní Dhubháin and Bob Lehner, corporate David Higgins and employment and benefits partner Simon Evans, with US advice from London partner Sarah Murphy.

Clifford Chance equity capital markets partner Adrian Cartwright is leading for co-ordinators Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley with assistance from lead associate Iñigo Esteve and City-based US securities partner John Connolly.

Travers Smith private equity partner Edmund Reed is advising Partnership’s management alongside corporate associates Athene Blakeman and Ian Keefe and tax partner Kathleen Russ.

Ogier advised Partnership on Jersey matters, fielding Hong Kong corporate finance partner Nathan Powell.

Background to this deal:

Freshfields’ Higgins and Maguire guided Cinven through its 2008 investment in Partnership, which it bought from Phoenix Equity Partners, advised by Clyde & Co corporate partner Gary Thorpe (23 June 2008). Travers’ Reed and Russ advised management on the original deal, with the relationship original coming through Russ several years before.

Clifford Chance, which was approached by the banks for the deal, is also an established adviser to Cinven through relationship partner Brendan Moylan and Jonny Myers, who advised on its £465m acquisition of Mercury Pharma from HgCapital last year (22 August 2012). Cinven previously used Ashurst partner Bruce Hanton but has recently shifted its worked towards Clifford Chance and Freshfields’ Higgins, with Kirkland & Ellis also winning a role for Cinven and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners on its £1.5bn sale of Swedish tool distributor Ahlsell earlier in 2012 (29 February 2012).

Clifford Chance also advised joint global co-ordinators Barclays and HSBC and lead manager Numis on housebuilder Crest Nicholson’s IPO earlier this year, with equity capital markets partner Simon Thomas leading alongside Connolly.