Herbert Smith wins first CVC instruction with Euronext float

Herbert Smith has won its first instruction from private equity house CVC Capital Partners through the firm’s alliance with Stibbe, bolstering both firms’ equity and capital markets practices.

Herbert Smith senior associate Adam Wells and Stibbe head of corporate Heleen Kersten led the deal, which sees Dutch plastic pipe supplier Wavin float for e370m (£248.7m) on Euronext.

Historically, CVC has instructed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Loyens & Loeff and Clifford Chance for its Dutch investments.

CVC’s investment director, Bart Meuter, told The Lawyer: “We’re not married to any firm. It’s important that banks feel comfortable with the lawyers, so we tend to use international rather than only Dutch firms.”

On this occasion, he said, ABN Amro, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch had chosen Clifford Chance. CVC picked Herbert Smith and Stibbe because the Wavin management had been happy with Stibbe’s work in the past, said Meuter.

CVC initially bought a 43 per cent stake in Wavin from Shell in 1999, increasing its stake to 81 per cent in 2005.

The Herbert Smith and Stibbe team won the instruction through a beauty parade, beating off four firms. “I think CVC was impressed with our track record,” said Wells. “We’ve done a great number of Dutch equity capital markets deals together, and I think that’s one of our strengths.”

Most recently, Kersten and Wells led on the e540m (£363m) IPO of Tom Tom, one of the largest floats of a technology company in Europe over the past five years.

Wavin began trading on 12 October at e11 (£7.39) a share, at the bottom of its indicative price range.