3i chooses Travers for Lord Foster coup

Private equity house 3i has turned to Travers Smith in its innovative plan to buy a stake in one of the UK’s most famous architecture practices.

Lord Foster, one of the most prominent British architects, has agreed to sell a stake in his Foster & Partners company to 3i in a deal that is reportedly worth £300m.

Foster and three principal shareholders turned to Addleshaw Goddard, under head of private equity Andrew Carpenter, while the company’s management instructed Eversheds, with head of private equity Mark Spinner leading.

At Travers Smith, private equity partner Edmund Reed led for 3i, with assistance on IP matters from new partner Dan Reavill. The transaction had significant IP issues because Foster’s name trademark will be wrapped into the business in which 3i are buying a stake.

The deal effectively plans for Foster’s succession, although he will remain a chairman at the practice. The architect, whose buildings include both Allen & Overy‘s Spitalfields offices and Norton Rose‘s new South Bank premises, wants to double the size of Foster & Partners across the globe.