Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has taken the role for Hellman & Friedman in one of Europe’s largest-ever buyout deals.

The magic circle firm advised Hellman on the $5.3bn takeover of Nordic-based digital payment provider Nets.

The company is to be acquired by Evergood, a newly-formed company controlled by funds managed and advised by Hellman.

Freshfields team was led by partners David Higgins, Tim Wilmot, Andrew Hutchings and senior associate Keir MacLennan.

The magic circle firm was supported by Danish firm Kromann Reumert, as well as Latham & Watkins which handled financing aspects of the deal.

The seller Nets meanwhile sought counsel from Danish firm Gorrissen Federspiel, who fielded a team led by partners Rikke Schiøtt Petersen and Olaf Carl Ehrenskjöld.

Paul Hastings London office was further involved with partner Luke McDougall acting for the second lien investors in the deal.

Evergood will consist of funds from Hellman & Friedman, as well as minority investors GIC Private, Advent and Bain.

Hellman is understood to have approached Nets with an offer in June, although a number of other private equity buyers are believed to have expressed an interest in the company.

The offer is the largest buyout in Europe this year and is the largest in the continent in the past few years.

Background to the deal

Hellman & Friedman has been on an acquisition spree in 2017, earlier this year purchasing Allfunds Bank from Intesa Sanpaolo, Santander, General Atlantic and Warburg Pincus. The transaction was valued at €1.8bn. Freshfields also took the lead for Hellman on this deal, acting as the main counsel for Hellman and GIC. The transaction had a Swiss law aspect, seeing Bär & Karrer work on local law aspects.