O’Melveny and SJ Berwin join Burness on Lloyds’ £1bn private equity sell-off

O’Melveny & Myers and SJ Berwin led alongside Scottish firm Burness on Lloyds Banking Group’s sale of £1.05bn of private-equity assets to secondary specialist Coller Capital.

Solomon Wifa
Solomon Wifa

Coller, the UK private equity group run by Jeremy Coller, acquired the investment portfolio for a fee of approximately £1.03bn, in one of the largest European secondary transactions to date.

O’Melveny advised longstanding client Coller, with London office head and funds partner Solomon Wifa leading. Other members of the City team included funds partner John Daghlian, tax partner Jan Birtwell, corporate finance partner Sherri Snelson and disputes partner David Foster. Washington DC regulatory partner Heather Traeger also advised.

The team worked with a Coller in-house legal team including former Allen & Overy and Covington & Burling lawyer Paul Koffel and former Dewey & LeBoeuf and Bingham McCutchen lawyer Amyn Hassanally. Both are execution partners at Coller.

Lloyds was advised by Daghlian’s former firm, SJ Berwin. The team was led by London corporate finance partner Jonathan Pittal alongside funds partner Warren Allan, corporate partner Andrew Wingfield, financial markets partner Tamasin Little and tax partner Stephen Pevsner. They were assisted by associates Delphine Jaugey, Jonty Warner, Leanne Moezi and Adam Creed.

Burness won the role advising on Scottish matters for Lloyds, fielding a team led by Edinburgh-based corporate head Alan Soppitt alongside funds director Paula Kennedy and funds senior solicitor Ruaridh Cole. SJ Berwin and O’Melveny frequently turn to Soppitt for the Scottish angle on deals.

The purchase follows Coller’s reported acquisition of a number of European buyout funds from Lloyds earlier this summer in a deal thought to be worth close to £500m.

The group also closed its $5.5bn secondaries fund earlier this year, with Coller buying Crédit Agricole’s private equity manager Crédit Agricole Private Equity (CAPE) and the French bank’s remaining investments in funds that CAPE manages before the Coller fund has reached its final close.

Background to this deal:

Daghlian brought Coller to O’Melveny as a client when he joined the US firm from SJ Berwin, advising it most recently on the closing of its latest secondaries fund (23 July 2012). Wifa led on the latest deal with Lloyds. O’Melveny also advised Coller on the Crédit Agricole deal earlier this year.

SJ Berwin’s Pittal has advised on numerous deals for Lloyds, a longstanding client for private equity transactions.

Burness’ Soppitt is a frequent choice for Scottish advice on private equity deals led by O’Melveny or SJ Berwin, with Daghlian working with him on mandates while he was at SJ Berwin and continuing to do so at O’Melveny. Dickson Minto is the frequent alternative if Burness is conflicted.