Latham makes its mark in Spain as Carlyle relationship pays off

Latham & Watkins has hit the Spanish market in style, advising private equity house Carlyle Group on its 1.5bn (£1.01bn) acquisition of engineering company Applus.

The deal is the largest-ever private equity buyout in Spain and marks the arrival of Latham in the Spanish market. The firm launched its Madrid and Barcelona offices at the end of last year with the hire of Cuatrecasas corporate star José Luis Blanco.

On the current deal London finance partner Dominic Newcomb handled the UK finance aspects.

Newcomb said: “Carlyle is an existing client of the firm, but the deal came through the local relationship José had with Carlyle previously. All the corporate and M&A aspects were run by the offices in Spain and there was no help from London.

“The financing, with the current market conditions, was a little more difficult than it would have been a few months ago, but it’s a testament to everyone involved that we got it done at a fast pace.”

Latham put out a multijurisdictional team with more than 10 lawyers and four partners on the deal.

In Spain alone Blanco was assisted by eight lawyers. In the firm’s Washington DC office partners William McGlone and Marc Williamson worked on competition and regulatory matters.

Blanco faced his old firm Cuatrecasas on the other side after it was chosen as lead adviser for the shareholder vendors Agbar, Caja Madrid and Union Fenosa, along with Roca Junyent.

Linklaters advised the banks, which included Barclays Capital, Caja Madrid and Calyon, out of its Madrid office.