Ashurst, Simpson Thacher lead on Candover takeover

Ashurst and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett have bagged leading roles on the proposed takeover of private equity firm Candover by Canadian pension fund Alberta Investment Management Company (Aimco).

Corporate partner Bruce Hanton led the Ashurst team acting for the private equity house’s listed parent company Candover Investments on the mooted £230m swoop.

Aimco turned to Simpson Thacher corporate rainmaker Adam Signy, who has ties with Candover’s fund management arm going back 20 years to his days at Clifford Chance, which he left for the US firm last year.

Any deal would see Aimco take on a significant chunk of the troubled investment group’s assets. Earlier this year affiliate Candover Partners was forced to pull a £2.6bn fund set up in 2008.

Over the years Candover has also turned to Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, Macfarlanes and Travers Smith for corporate work, while Kirkland & Ellis funds partner Mark Mifsud has become its go-to adviser for fund formation work.

Talks between the pension fund and Candover are ongoing, with no deadline in place for a firm offer. However, any bid is expected to be priced no higher than £10.38 per share.

Aimco currently has a portfolio of assets valued at around $70bn (£46bn).

It would be the latest Canadian pension fund to enter the UK market ­following March’s sale of National Lottery operator Camelot to the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan (, 26 March), on which Baker & McKenzie and Mayer Brown secured the lead mandates.