Category Archives: M&A and Private Equity

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Bridging the Gap Between Infrastructure and PE Requires a Fresh Approach to Deal Terms

PE firms seeking to attract a broader range of bidders to portfolio company sales should assess the changing needs of infra-investors. By Tom D. Evans, John Guccione, Brendan Moylan, David J. Walker, George Venables, and Catherine Campbell As the boundaries of what constitutes “infrastructure” assets have blurred in recent years, PE firms are more frequently … Continue Reading

Direct Lending Goes Large

PE deal teams can increasingly access direct lending for large, cross-border buyouts but regulatory and structuring challenges across jurisdictions remain. By Marcello Bragliani, Tom D. Evans, Michel Houdayer, Joseph Kimberling, David J. Walker, Thomas Weitkamp, Antonina Semyachkova, Catherine Campbell, and Yien Ee Direct lending has long been a feature of the debt market, and has … Continue Reading

PE Firms Poised for Diversity Drive

Sponsors and dealmakers can satisfy investor demand for greater diversity and leverage opportunities for fund innovation. By Tom D. Evans, Kem Ihenacho, David J. Walker, Clare Scott, Jennifer Cadet, Anne Mainwaring, and Catherine Campbell Diversity has become a key focus for every industry in recent years, and private equity, like many other parts of the … Continue Reading

Six Sanctions Questions for PE to Scrutinise

The key issues PE deal teams are facing amidst rapidly changing global sanctions and guidance. By Les Carnegie, Charles Claypoole, Tom D. Evans, David J. Walker, Ruchi Gill, Alli Hugi, Thomas Lane, and Catherine Campbell Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has created new headwinds for PE firms, as a matrix of sanctions and export controls … Continue Reading

PE Goes to Hollywood

The film, television, and digital content production industries are ripe for PE investment, thanks to shifting revenue structures and European quotas. By Tom D. Evans, Farah O’Brien, Libby Savill, David J. Walker, Rachael Astin, Jon Fox, and Catherine Campbell The extraordinary growth of entertainment streaming platforms over the last decade has made investments in the … Continue Reading

Rising Regulation of Fintech Innovation — Implications for PE Investments

Assertive regulators are bringing greater clarity and new challenges as they step up oversight of fintech innovation. By Stuart Davis, Tom D. Evans, Nicola Higgs, Christian F. McDermott, David J. Walker, Brett Carr, Catherine Campbell, and Charlotte Collins As the fast-growing fintech industry thrives, the sector has begun to attract greater regulatory scrutiny. We expect … Continue Reading

Pension Consolidator Vehicles — A New Solution for PE

Pension consolidators are emerging as an effective solution to manage defined benefit pension plan risk. By Tom D. Evans, Victoria Sander, David J. Walker, Shaun M. Thompson, Paul R. Lawrence, and Catherine Campbell As inflation soars and market uncertainty creates additional volatility for UK defined benefit pension (DB) plans, PE firms now have a new … Continue Reading

The Reproductive Sector — Fertile Ground for PE Deals

The fertility sector is likely to present growing opportunities for PE as an emerging, multifaceted industry. By Heather B. Deixler, Tom D. Evans, Elizabeth M. Richards, Linzi Thomas, Eveline Van Keymeulen, David J. Walker, Betty C. Pang, Stuart McRobbie, and Catherine Campbell The global fertility sector, which has grown significantly in recent years as demand … Continue Reading

Cannabis Rethink Sparks PE Interest

The once shunned cannabis sector now offers attractive PE opportunities in many jurisdictions. By Stuart Alford QC, Tom D. Evans, Eveline Van Keymeulen, Elizabeth Richards, David J. Walker, and Catherine Campbell In years gone by, the prospect of significant PE investment in the cannabis industry would have been unthinkable for many. However, regulatory and legal … Continue Reading

Why Music Deals Sound Attractive to PE

PE investors may like the sound of music deals but complex issues remain. By Tom D. Evans, Andrew Gass, Kem Ihenacho, David Little, Lisbeth Savill, David J. Walker, Jonathan West, Rachael Astin, Amrita Ahuja,  Oscar Hayward, and Catherine Campbell Music deals, particularly the acquisition of rights to songs and recordings by popular music artists, continue … Continue Reading

The Rise of the Competitive Scheme and Other Developments for Private Equity P2P Bidders

Private equity’s growing appetite for UK-listed targets comes with the need for Takeover Code-savvy dealmakers. By Doug Abernethy, Richard Butterwick, Tom Evans, David J. Walker, and Catherine Campbell Amid stiff competition for attractive private targets, PE firms are competing more regularly against corporates and rival sponsors for listed targets, requiring skillful navigation of the dynamics … Continue Reading

New Year, New Considerations for PE Under UK’s National Security and Investment Act

Under the new legislation, BEIS may block or impose conditions on deals. By Tom D. Evans, Jonathan Parker, David J. Walker, Stephanie Adams, and Catherine Campbell The UK’s National Security and Investment Act (NSI Act), is now officially in force, granting powers to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to … Continue Reading

ESG on the Rise in M&A Transactions

Dealmakers should continue to weigh the impact of ESG issues on M&A deals as ESG standards evolve. By Richard Butterwick, Pierre-Louis Cléro, Paul A. Davies, Tobias Larisch, Michael D. Green, James Bee, and Catherine Campbell Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues have become increasingly important for corporates in recent years, driven initially by investor and … Continue Reading

UK High Court Sanctions £10.1 Billion Annuity Book Transfer From PAC to Rothesay

The judgment clarifies the Court’s approach to proposed transfers under Part VII of FSMA, as well as the scope and application of s. 110(1)(b).  On 24 November 2021, the High Court of England and Wales (the Court) sanctioned a £10.1 billion annuity book transfer from The Prudential Assurance Company Limited (PAC) to Rothesay Life Plc … Continue Reading

Private Equity Market Study, Eighth Edition

By Tom D. Evans, David J. Walker, and Catherine Campbell Current Trends The M&A market is constantly evolving — from the predominantly seller’s market of H2 2019, through the tumultuous times of H1 2020, to the strong rebound of H2 2020 and to the highly competitive seller’s market of H1 2021 — deal dynamics are shifting. … Continue Reading

Private M&A Market Study, Eighth Edition

By Robbie McLaren and Catherine Campbell Current Trends The M&A market is constantly evolving — from the predominantly seller’s market of H2 2019, through the tumultuous times of H1 2020, to the strong rebound of H2 2020 and to the highly competitive seller’s market of H1 2021 — deal dynamics are shifting. Deal terms vary by transaction … Continue Reading

Could PE Benefit From the Universal Adoption of “Super Senior” RCFs in Leveraged Financings?

By Francesco Lione, Charles Armstrong, Tom Evans, Dominic Newcomb, David Walker, and Catherine Campbell Undrawn credit lines are essential to private equity but in short supply from banks. Undrawn revolving credit facilities (RCFs) are essential to private equity. They are a backup in the event of mismatches in the working capital cycle, provide comfort for a … Continue Reading

ESG Toolkit Expands for European PE

By Paul A. Davies, Tom Evans, Nicola Higgs, Farah O’Brien, David Walker, Michael Green, Hannah Berdal, Anne Mainwaring, and Catherine Campbell Green shoots emerge as PE firms consider new ways to incorporate ESG into dealmaking. Market sentiment and the increasing importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) to firms’ competitiveness across the market, combined with … Continue Reading

Watch What You Write: Communications on Personal Devices Could Be Disclosable in Litigation

By Tom Evans, David Walker, Daniel Smith, Aisling Billington, and Catherine Campbell The location of the data is not sufficient to avoid a disclosure order. When it comes to personal devices, people increasingly communicate across multiple platforms, often in an informal and unguarded manner. However, high levels of litigation driven by the COVID-19 pandemic (including insolvency … Continue Reading

Europe Set for Increased SPAC Activity

As interest in European SPACs heats up amid an increasingly receptive regulatory environment, dealmakers must navigate market differences. By Tom Evans, Chris Horton, James Inness, Mike Turner, David Walker, Tom Channing, and Catherine Campbell While US special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) IPOs and related M&A activity grabbed the limelight in 2020 and early 2021, European … Continue Reading

NFTs — A Digital Opportunity for PE Sponsors

Beyond creative works and consumer products, NFTs open up new avenues for IP monetisation in the technology, life sciences, and pharmaceutical industries. By Stuart Davis, Tom Evans, Christian McDermott, David Walker, Gabriel Lakeman, Catherine Campbell, and Amy Smyth Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), one-of-a-kind cryptoassets stored on blockchain technology, have soared in popularity as artists, gaming companies, … Continue Reading

Working Out Worker Rights — What Recent Developments Mean for PE

Worker classification, employee rights, and equal pay are among the issues that require careful consideration in light of recent and forthcoming changes. By Tom Evans, Sarah Gadd, David Walker, Terry Charalambous, Adam Ray, and Catherine Campbell The COVID-19 pandemic, and the growing emphasis on ESG metrics (particularly the “s”), has heightened the focus on worker … Continue Reading

Tackling “Long COVID” in PE Acquisitions — 4 Symptoms for Dealmakers to Examine and Treat

From potential cartel behaviour to repaying government loans, deal teams should remain alert to lingering issues rooted in a company’s response to the pandemic. By Alexander Crosthwaite, Tom Evans, Sebastian Pauls, David Walker, Maarten Overmars, and Catherine Campbell The recovery of the European PE market since the early days of the pandemic has been impressive … Continue Reading

English Court Confirms Expansive Jurisdiction to Reverse Transactions to Defraud Creditors Even Outside Insolvencies

The ruling confirmed that Section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986 has extensive international reach, and does not require a transaction at an undervalue to leave the debtor with insufficient assets. By Simon J. Baskerville, Oliver E. Browne, Jessica Walker, Daniel Smith, and Chris Attrill The English High Court has held that a creditor pursuing … Continue Reading