KLegal-KPMG target private equity houses

KLegal is making a multidisciplinary push for mid-market private equity. The firm has set up a joint team with KPMG that will target private equity houses for acquisitions and non-transactional work.
The team is headed by KPMG partner Oliver Tant and includes KLegal partner Moray Macpherson. The bulk of the team comes from KPMG’s transaction services, which has provided five partners and 10 assistants to handle due diligence, one partner and four assistants come from the insurance group, and two partners and six assistants from tax. Macpherson, plus three assistants, come from KLegal. The group will be supported by KLegal’s 12-strong private equity team, which is headed by partner Patrick Martin.
Macpherson said: “The principal purpose is to get away from being transaction driven. The easy part is actually doing the deal, the hard part is making money out of it. The market is very hard at the moment for transactions. Private equity houses need to maximise what they’ve actually got, for instance by restructuring portfolio companies.”
Macpherson said that while the group did not yet threaten the private equity practices of firms such as Travers Smith Braithwaite, Macfarlanes and Ashurst Morris Crisp, KPMG’s multidisciplinary offering was targeting the same clients. Of the accountants, Macpherson said that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) is the closest competitor, although PWC does not offer an integrated legal service.
KPMG also intends to target the portfolio companies and particularly the management in any transaction. Macpherson said: “We look at private equity houses as mini-conglomerates.”
According to Macpherson, the firm will target opportunities at every level of the process. He said: “Things start with lawyers preparing the terms of funding and some firms are very good at that. They’re not necessarily the same ones who are good at actually doing the deal.” He said that KLegal intends to expand the private equity group if the venture is successful.