CC handed second KKR mandate in three months

Clifford Chance has landed its second European buyout for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) within three months, after the US private equity giant paid $1.7bn (£915.4m) for German automotive business Auto-Teile-Unger (ATU) Holding.

KKR’s secondary buyout of ATU from owner Doughty Hanson was led by Clifford Chance Frankfurt-based M&A and private equity partner Christopher Kellett.

In April the magic circle firm landed a role acting for a consortium, made up of KKR, Change Capital Partners and AlpInvest Partners, on the £1.4bn acquisition of Dutch retail group Royal Vendex KBB.

Last year Clifford Chance’s German office acted for KKR and consortium member JF Lehman & Co on the purchase of MTU from DaimlerChrysler, where ironically the winning bidders beat off competition from rival Doughty Hanson.

On the ATU mandate, Allen & Overy reprised its role as debt finance adviser to KKR, with head of the firm’s leveraged acquisition finance practice Tony Keal leading the charge.

Doughty Hanson had hoped to exit its investment in ATU via a flotation earlier this year, which would help bolster its fourth fundraising exercise. However, due to adverse market conditions, the IPO was pulled, leaving local firm Nörr Stiefenhofer Lutz, which had been mandated by the issuer out of the job.

However, Lovells, which had been retained by Doughty Hanson for the float, was kept on to see through the private equity firm’s sale of ATU to KKR.

Advising Doughty Hanson was a Lovells team headed up by relationship London partner Julie Bradshaw and Frankfurt-based partner Oliver Felsenstein. Shearman & Sterling acted for HypoVereinsbank and Mizuho Bank.