Ashurst, Travers, SJ Berwin land Candover Partners divestment

Ashurst, SJ Berwin and Travers Smith secured the key mandates on the ­spinning off of Candover Investments’ private equity investment management division Candover Partners Ltd (CPL) and the ­subsequent investment into the new vehicle by private equity fund Pantheon.

Chris Hale
Chris Hale

Ashurst advised longstanding client Candover Investments on the sale of CPL to Arle Capital Partners as part of its ongoing asset divestment programme. Corporate ­partner Bruce Hanton led the Ashurst team on the transaction.

Arle, a new entity set up by the remaining member of the CPL executive team, turned to Travers for advice on the buy side of the deal. Corporate chief Chris Hale, who has acted for CPL for more then 20 years, and ­private equity partner Helen Croke led. The City firm’s team also featured regulatory partner Tim Lewis, funds partner Sam Kay and tax partner Kathleen Russ.

Hale commented: “The unique feature of this is that it was the spin-off of a private equity house combined with the stripping of its assets [in a separate deal].

“It was a big role for us and we had a substantial team on it, so we’re pleased to get it to this stage.”

The deal is still subject to shareholder approval from Candover Investments.

In a separate transaction, SJ Berwin advised secondary investor Pantheon on its investment into Arle and the subsequent £64m purchase of 29 per cent of Candover Investments’ managed assets. The SJ Berwin team was led by corporate partner Ed Harris and funds partner Nigel van Zyl.

Harris commented: “SJ Berwin’s relationship with Pantheon goes back many years and it was great for us to be involved in such an innovative secondaries transaction.”

Pantheon has invested £60m in the new entity, with the remaining £4m coming from the former CPL executives.

SJ Berwin has acted for Pantheon for several years and advised it on its sale to Affiliated Managers Group. New managing partner Rob Day led the SJ Berwin team on that transaction earlier this year.