France

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Conseil national des barreaux

Competition authority: Autorité de la concurrence

Financial regulator: Autorité des marchés financiers

IFLR1000 ranking categories in this jurisdiction:

Banking, Capital markets: Debt, Capital markets: Equity, Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation, M&A, Private equity, Project developmentProject finance, Restructuring and insolvency

Jurisdiction overview

The French legal system is based on a civil code, much like that of Spain, Germany and Italy. Many of France’s former colonies use French law as the basis for their own constitutions, particularly in francophone Africa. As a result many of the largest French firms have dedicated international desks in Africa, and around the French speaking world.

There is limited legislative regulation in place to restrict the practice of law in France, and lawyers from all bars in the EU are permitted to practice, if they have passed local examinations. The Paris bar is one of the largest of its kind in the world and is open to registration from foreign firms, which has resulted in a large number of international outfits setting up shop in the jurisdiction. 

The market's diverse nature has also allowed for a high level of specialisation, which in turn has also paved the way for smaller domestic boutiques to break off from larger firms. 

The market is also heavily populated by English and American firms, though there has been evidence of some US outfits withdrawing from the market in recent years.

IFLR1000 2019: France market trends and developments

Financial and corporate
Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy is one of the leading international firms in banking and finance work in France and is broadly strong in all other financial and corporate practice areas.

In the banking area during the research period the firm worked for lenders on large refinancing and assisted a large international syndicate on a green loan. It also advised borrowers on acquisition finance and refinancing deals. The firm has also assisted financial institutions on regulatory issues some of them arising from Brexit, including their relocation to France.

The firm is often involved in large debt issuances. Recently it has been advising issuers, joint lead managers, joint bookrunners, dealer managers and underwriters on notes issues, a green bond issue and a sovereign debt issue. It is also active in equity capital markets and has been advising the banks on a rights issue and an IPO, and working for an issuer on a capital increase. 

In M&A the firm worked for acquirers on deals in the financial services, telecommunications, media and consumer services sectors. It also advised on private equity deals, working for targets on healthcare and technology deals, and assisted acquirers on transactions in the telecommunications, real estate and retail sectors.

The international firm is often mandated to advise lenders and sponsors on the financing of energy and infrastructure projects, particularly in France, Africa, Turkey and Central and Eastern Europe.

The firm has an exclusive strategic alliance with restructuring and insolvency boutique Santoni & Associés and recently the duo advised lenders, creditors, and facility and security agents on LBO and other debt restructurings and insolvency proceedings work. 

A notable recent staffing change saw key asset finance partner Carine Chassol leave the firm to pursue a different career.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Accor €1.2 billion green multicurrency syndicated financing

•Advent International €1.9 billion acquisition of Zentiva from Sanofi

•CNP Assurances €7 billion EMTN programme

•Nenskra 280MW hydropower plant

•Peugeot €3 billion refinancing

•Republic of Benin €500 million 5.75% sovereign bond issue

•The House of HR II €680 million refinancing

•Tours-Bordeaux rail PPP €2.1 billion refinancing

 

Client feedback

"The firm is very strong, technical, very professional, always available and has an excellent client service." - Capital markets: Debt

"The firm did an excellent work. It has a well integrated team, good relationship with all stakeholders including 'the other side' which is highly constructive. They mastered a level of understanding of the technical and IP difficulties around the operations which was invaluable in the negotiations, protection and documentation subsequently. No issue was solved without a creative solution. We were very well advised by them and they always gave us their view regardless of whether it was difficult to hear, it was always objective which ensured we got the best deal possible." - M&A

"Excellent DCM team. They provide perfect support, have highly technical skills, are very client oriented approach and are always available." - Capital markets: Debt

"Excellent. Highly responsive, accurate and precise in all respects. Their advise included the overall conception of the joint venture as well as very practical aspects in its implementation. They also had excellent impact in contractual negotiations with our partners." - Investment funds

"Excellent work. The firm has a strong reactivity, and quality of advice." - M&A 

"The Allen and Overy team is very professional and highly skilled. Their expertise was objectively a key success factor."- M&A

"The firm was very quick and efficient. It has a very good quality price." - Capital markets: Equity

"The firm has a high quality of work. It has the ability to structure complex products, deliver in tight schedules, and overall provides team availability. Good added value of the international network when required." - Capital markets: Equity 

"Great firm, specialists in their areas, and it has nice people." - M&A

"The firm has an outstanding quality. It has a super smooth workflow. The availability of partners is key and they provide top quality advice. The firm has the ability to leverage off the network." - Capital markets: Debt

"The firm is reactive, professional and pragmatic." - Capital markets: Debt

"The firm provides high quality of work, it has the capacity to create and implement innovative structures, high reliability, and has the ability to deliver under constrained timing." - Capital markets: Equity

"The firm is efficient, responsive and reliable." - Investment funds

"Brice Henry and his team are extremely highly qualified in every aspect of banking and prudential regulation. They know how to handle very complex issues.  One of their precious professional assets is having a very good contact with the banking and financial regulators. Mia Dassas, counsel in Brice's team, is a brilliant regulatory lawyer." - Financial services regulatory

"The firm has good professionals that are reactive, available, always ready to assist and to find a solution." - Capital markets: Debt

 

Ashurst

Ashurst’s Paris office is recognised for its strength in acquisition finance and private equity. 

During the research period in banking and finance the firm advised lenders in debt refinancing, uni-tranche and revolving credit facility financing of acquisitions and real estate facility restructuring.

In M&A and private equity the firm acted for the purchaser in acquisitions of various renewable assets. The firm advised investors in share acquisitions in private equity groups, and advised purchasers in numerous leveraged buy-outs.

In project development a key highlight was work for the Office National de L’Eau et de l’Electricité (ONEE) on the development of the LNG-to-power project in Morocco, which involves two combined cycle gas power plants, a 400m gas pipeline, and a regasification terminal.

The firm hired three M&A and private equity partners within the research period: Anne Reffay, Vincent Trevisani and Noam Ankri, who joined from Jones Day, Watson Farley & Williams and DLA Piper respectively. Project development and corporate partners Mark Barges, formerly from Linklaters, and Vincent Trevisani, formerly from Watson Farley & Williams, also joined the firm.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•A&M Capital acquisition of the Bollé group

•Financière CEP €750 million refinancing

•Macquarie Capital’s Green Investment Group / Univergy International joint venture

•Omnes Capital $373 million acquisition of 32 renewable energy SPVs 

•Morocco LNG-to-power facility

•Maubourguet 24MW biomass power plant

 

Client feedback

"The firm is particularly serious and reactive. It has great capacities of analysis." - Asset finance 

"The firm is serious and hard working." – Banking

"The firm did an excellent work. It has very good knowledge of the regulation. It had a fast turnaround." - Capital markets: Debt

"The firm has a good understanding of the business and its client's expectations. It has professional lawyers." - Financial services regulatory 

"Ashurst has an impressive experience in acquisitions and sales of real estate assets as well as in sophisticated financings in France. Ashurst's team is able to deal with international and complex transactions." - M&A

"Ashurst's work met our expectations. They were working along us to make the deal happen." - M&A

“The firm is very strong across all areas." - Private equity 

"We have been very impressed with the reactivity and depth of knowledge of Ashurst. We will continue to draw on this expertise which we value highly." - Project finance

August Debouzy

August Debouzy is recognised for banking and M&A work. 

In recent banking and finance work the firm advised ING Bank in the granting and extension of credit facilities for acquisitions, and, mainly representing the purchaser, has advised in multiple LBO transactional deals. This includes advising Argos Wityu, a private equity group, in the acquisition of Factum Group, Nodixia and LADM. The firm also advised a client on refinancing of a portfolio of 13 solar and wind projects.

In M&A the firm has been involved in both local and complex cross border transactions, assisting the purchasers in acquisitions across aviation, thermal energy, telecommunication and security device, timber craftsmanship and renewable energy sectors. 

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Argos Wityu €2.3 million acquisition of Nodixia

•United Petfood France acquisition of Bynsa Group

•Raise Investissement €5 million acquisition of FLG Finances

•Thales acquisition of Ercom

•Spirax-Sarco Engineering €158 million acquisition of Thermocoax

 

Client feedback

"August & Debouzy is a top M&A French practice with lawyers accustomed to work in an international context." - M&A

"The firm's service was excellent. They were responsive, including timely turnaround of documents and legal advice.  They know the local laws and local market very well." - M&A

Baker McKenzie

In recent banking work Baker McKenzie acted for lenders in various financings including for acquisitions and general corporate proposes. 

In M&A and private equity the firm worked for both buyers and sellers in company and share acquisitions, including advising the Archer Daniels Midland on the acquisition of Neovia and advising seller EDF in the disposal of its interest in an LNG terminal to foreign financial investors.

The firm was also involved in representing borrowers and investors in series A, B, C and D fund raising and advising purchasers in LBO work.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Archer Daniels Midland €1.5 billion acquisition of Neovia 

•FirstRand Bank $700 million financing

•LVMH $3.2 billion acquisition of Belmond

•Ministry of Finance of Oman $700 million financing 

•Servier €2.4 billion acquisition of Shire

•Republic of Indonesia €101 million financing

•Turkey Wealth Fund €1 billion financing

Bird & Bird

The French offices of Bird & Bird is recognised for banking and project finance work.

In recent banking work the firm has advised on financing in the defence sector and worked for the export insurer on the financing of two Senegal aircrafts. A large portion of its recent banking work is regulatory advice to clients.

In M&A the firm has advised buyers and sellers in share and company acquisitions. It has also notably advised Widex, a hearing aids company, in its strategic merger with Sivantos. In other roles, the firm restructured an industrial group’s holding portfolio of motorway concession companies and advised buyers on LBO transactions.

In restructuring and insolvency work the firm has restructured clients in the hostels sector, and advised the corporate trust Equitis in the corporate trust termination and sale of an underlying property asset of Rive Defence.

During the research period Jean-Claude Vecchiatto, a banking and finance partner, joined the firm from Airbus while Bertrand Levy, a partner in corporate, joined from DLA Piper.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•EMPCorp acquisition of Syspay

•Sogecap acquisition of stake in Regaz-Bordeaux

•Noblelift Group acquisition of Savoye SA

•UrtheCast Corp $20 million acquisition of Geosys Group

 

Client feedback

"The firm provided a perfect work. It has very professional, pleasant and friendly lawyers." - Financial services regulatory

Bremond & Associés

Bremond & Associés is a restructuring and insolvency focused boutique.

During the research period the firm worked for the sellers and buyers in distressed company M&A, and aided companies in the process of asset sales, asset takeovers, and safeguard and bankruptcy proceedings. It has also advised on the debt restructuring and sale of the subsidiaries of an advertising group, and represented bondholders within the court restructuring of a toy retailer.

Within the research period, restructuring partner Timothée Gagnepain left the firm to join McDermott Will & Emery. 

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Asco Industries insolvency

•Jean Caby insolvency

•Jinjiang Industries Europe acquisition of Arche Group/SAM Technologies

•Ludendo - La Grande Récré restructuring

Brown Rudnick

During the research period the firm was active in restructuring and insolvency and advised creditors and investors of a distressed company in recovering and redeploying their investments in cross-border restructurings. 

It also assisted a large group of investors on the acquisition of securities and assets of the Maranatha Group in reorganisation proceedings. 

The firm has hired two new partners, David Chijner and Pierre-Alain Bouhenic, and three new counsels, Arnaud Moussatoff, Marta de Franciscis, and Emmanuelle Naulais, from DLA Piper. 

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Fosun €100 million acquisition of Lanvin Group

•Maranatha €400 million reorganisation proceedings

•Ymagis €60 million restructuring

 

Client feedback

"Very skilled and competent firm. It was very quick to react and always available." - Restructuring and insolvency 

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s strongest practice areas are M&A and equity capital markets but the firm is also active on other financial and corporate practice areas. 

During the research period, in banking work, the firm worked for borrowers on acquisition finance, a syndicated multi-currency revolving credit facility, and a sovereign loan facility. The firm is also active in the financial services regulatory practice across the European Union.

In the capital markets area the international firm recently worked for issuers on an IPO, a rights issue and bond issues. It also advised underwriters and sovereigns issuers in bond issues.

The firm is often involved in large M&A and private equity deals advising acquirers and sellers in the energy, financial services, health and real estate sectors.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Atalian €600 million financing

•BPCE $2 billion triple tranche (4%, 4.625%, and FR) bond issue

•Crédit Agricole $1 billion 0.75% green bond issue

•International Flavors & Fragrances $7.1 billion acquisition of Frutarom

•Neoen Euronext IPO 

•Showroomprivé €40 million rights issue 

•The Republic of Senegal €250 million bridge loan 

•Total €2.5 billion acquisition of Direct Energie

Clifford Chance

In France, Clifford Chance has a strong practice in banking, debt capital markets and structured finance and securitisation. 

In the banking area the firm recently advised lenders on acquisition finance, refinancing, equity bridge finance and corporate financing work in the energy, infrastructure and financial services sectors. It is also quite active on financial services regulatory matters working on fintech and Brexit matters.

In the debt capital markets the firm is active for issuers, dealers, joint lead managers and underwriters on standalone, green, sovereign, convertible and hybrid bond issues, and EMTN programmes. 

The equity capital markets team recently advised issuers and underwriters on IPOs. 

The firm also advised arrangers, originators, sponsors and guarantees on derivatives, securitisation and structured finance matters.

The firm is often mandated as counsel to acquirers and sellers on large M&A deals in the real estate, energy, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, technology and gaming sectors.

In project financing work the firm works mainly for lenders but also advises the project companies and sponsors in the energy, oil and gas and infrastructure sectors.

During the research period M&A partner Benjamin de Blegiers left the firm to join Weil, Gotshal & Manges. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Adyen Euronext IPO

•Dassault Systèmes $5.8 billion acquisition of Medidata 

•EQT Infrastructure III and IV funds €2 billion acquisition of the SAUR group

•Société du Grand Paris €5 billion green EMTN programme

•Thales €1 billion dual tranche (0.875% and FR) bond issue

•Tours-Bordeaux rail PPP €2.1 billion refinancing

•Tsinghua Unigroup €2.3 billion acquisition of group Linxens

•Unibail-Rodamco €3 billion four tranche (O.125%, 1.125%, 1.875% and 2.250%) bond issue

 

Client feedback

"The firm's work is of good quality. The firm is very open to discussion and it is available." - Capital markets: Equity

"The firm is very experienced, professional and has access to a global network." - Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation

"They are excellent professionals." - Project development

"The firm has a sound judgment, excellent legal skills and a good quality price." - Capital markets: Equity

"The Clifford Chance Paris team is extremely sound, combining technical ability with an experienced commercial sense and an understanding of the sensitive points for underwriting." - Capital markets: Equity

"We had a great experience with the firm." - Project finance

"The firm has a dedicated, available and efficient team. It has a solution oriented approach." - Project finance

"It is a very good law firm. It has smart lawyers, it is a pleasure to work with them." - Financial services regulatory

"It is a great firm with great people." - M&A

"It is a good law firm, with good knowledge of the debt capital markets. Members of the team are reactive and available." - Capital markets: Debt 

 

CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats

CMS Francis Lefebvre Advocats is active across many practice areas but strongest in capital markets and finance.

In banking and project finance recently the firm has advised lenders on facility agreements in MBOs and other acquisitions. It advised lenders and arrangers on syndicated loan agreements, and acted for borrowers in acquisition credit agreement financing in healthcare and mining sectors.

In capital markets the firm has acted for issuers, arrangers and permanent dealers in the establishment of, and updates to, multiple Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) programmes, advising on the issuance of bonds under them. This includes work with My Money Bank, ALD, and BNP Paribas. It has also set up Sociétés de crédit fonciers (covered bonds issuers) and advised lead managers on issues of bonds in the euro PP format.

In financial regulatory services work the firm has assisted the setting up of a fintech company that provides blockchain solutions for issuance and settlement of securities tokens.

In M&A the firm mainly advised the buyers in acquisitions, also undertaking financing work for them, in deals in printing media, IT, energy, consumer goods, travel, financial services, and the entertainment industry sectors. 

In restructuring work the firm has done work on subsidiary restructurings by parent companies and on pre-packs, and worked for high profile clients like Coca-Cola in the insolvency proceedings of local partners.

Geoffrey Levesque joined the firm as counsel and head of project finance from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. In M&A, Emmanuelle Brunel, formerly counsel, left the firm.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Advance Publications acquisition of Stage Entertainement

•ALD €6 billion EMTN programme

•Caisse des dépôts €1.5 billion NEU MTN programme

•Certas Energy France / Groupe DCC €7 million acquisition of Dubreuil Carburants

•Edify €50 million 3.75% bond issue

•Gare du Nord €937 million financing

•Immobilière de Santé €117 million financing 

•Mathevon International €12 million financing

 

Client feedback

"The firm is an excellent advisor. It is professional and available." - Capital markets: Debt

"The firm has good reactivity, and a high quality of work." - Capital markets: Derivatives

"Overall, we had an excellent impression. The firm is very competent and pragmatic, service oriented with short response times. There was a high involvement of the partners." - M&A

"The firm has an excellent deal making approach." - M&A

"It is an excellent law firm with a pragmatic and problem solver approach." - M&A

"The firm has a very good team. It is professional and has a client oriented approach." - Project development

"The firm is very good. Its key strengths are: top quality legal advice, pro-active in project management, innovative, pragmatic, commercially oriented, good balance and allocation of senior member’s involvement and skilled more junior workforce." - Project finance

Crefovi

Crefovi has offices in UK and France. Restructuring and insolvency work is where the firm is most active. The firm has been advising a client’s French subsidiary on the restructuring process, negotiating a lease termination and employment agreement termination. It also advised a client on shareholder agreements and an equity purchase transaction.

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei

De Pardieu Brocas Maffei is an independent French firm active across all financial and corporate areas with a particular strength in banking and restructuring and insolvency work.

In the banking area the firm is primarily mandated by lenders on acquisition finance, syndicated loans, LBOs, real estate finance and refinancing work. It also advises foreign banks, investment funds, fund managers, fintech companies, insurance companies and payment services on financial services regulatory matters.

During the research period the domestic firm advised acquirers and sellers on agribusiness, real estate, energy, technology and financial services M&A deals. It is also generally active in the private equity area representing financial investors on the sell or buy side in equity or mezzanine investments.

In recent capital markets work the firm worked for issuers, arranges and dealers on debt issuance, derivatives, structured finance and securitisation deals.

The firm also advised sponsors, lenders and borrowers on project finance work in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Representing creditors, lenders and debtors on debt restructuring matters is one of the firm’s strengths. It advised clients including Goldman Sachs, Renault, Tikehau and Toys “R” Us on large cases recently.

During the research period two members of the restructuring and insolvency team left the firm: partner Matthieu Barthélemy joined De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés and counsel Pauline Bournoville joined Herbert Smith Freehills. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Ardian €800 million stake acquisition in Alvest

•CGG €2.3 billion debt restructuring

•Etam group €260 million financing

•Lisea €2.2 billion debt refinancing

•Nexity €2.3 billion syndicated credit facility 

•Orano €8 billion EMTN programme

•SCOR $625 million 5.25% tier 1 bond issue

•Toys “R” Us debt restructuring

 

Client feedback

"The firm is reliable and knowledgeable." - Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation

"The firm is professional, responsive and has young team with potential." - M&A

"It is a firm with quality and its lawyers are available. There is a strong involvement of partners in projects. The firm has knowledge and practice of the financial sector. It is pluridisciplinary and loyal." - M&A

"It is a very reputable firm in the french restructuring market. It has a small size and has dedicated lawyers." - Banking

"De Pardieu Brocas is composed of lawyers of high expertise in the field of M&A, market law, regulatory law and debt capital markets. Its advise is highly reliable and brings value to the in-house counsels' decisions. They are client and business oriented, pragmatic and efficient. Having them by your side in negotiations is an outstanding asset." - M&A

 

Dentons

Dentons has strengths in capital markets, structured finance and projects.

In recent banking and finance work the firm has been active in acquisition and project finance.

In capital markets work the firm advised VINCI Airports on a 25 years public-private partnership (PPP) concession for Belgrade’s airport and was the main advisor for Keolis RATP Dev on the financing, through structured bonds, of the CDG Express rail link between Paris CDG airport and the city centre. The firm advised issuers in high yield bond issues and, in other work, provided legal opinion for the key client European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET) in relation to derivative transactions in electricity and gas. 

In M&A and private equity the firm represented both buyers and sellers in acquisitions. A firm highlight was advising Bayer on its divestiture with the sale of its agricultural businesses and assets to BASF. 

In project development, some examples of the firm’s work include drafting and negotiating ESCO agreements between Orange and Aktivco, and co-leading on a standardised power purchase agreement as part of Open Solar projects. It also represented EOLFI in the implementation of an offshore floating wind farm project.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised a main creditor in the pre-insolvency and insolvency proceedings of Toys R Us. It also advised clients on their debt restructurings.

The firm has hired Julien Bacus as partner from Ashurst and Charles Tissier as a senior associate from CMS Francis Lefebvre to work in capital markets. Siamak Mostafavi, previously with Jones Day, joined the team as senior counsel in structured finance and capital markets. Didier Fornoni, partner in corporate, and Emmanuel Scialom, partner in private equity, have left the firm to join Hoche Avocats and Frieh Associés respectively.  

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Belgrade airport PPP

•CDG Express Gare de l'Est - Charles de Gaulle Airport railway

•Faurecia acquisition of Clarion

•Faurecia €1.2 billion revolving syndicated credit facility

•Groupe Rocher €400 million acquisition of Arbonne International

•Lactalis €739.8 million acquisition of Aspen Pharmacare 

•Liberty House $500 million acquisition of Dunkerque plant from Rio Tinto

•Toys R Us €100 million insolvency

 

Client feedback

"The French team is really efficient and we appreciate their connections with their local branches in Luxembourg and the US as well. They are reliable, nice and clever. They always try to find solutions."- Banking

"The firm provided excellent support. Dentons has been our debt counsel for many years and know us extremely well which allows them to be very efficient and reactive." - Capital markets: Debt

"Dentons is a great law firm with knowledgeable partners in capital markets and structured finance and products." - Capital markets: Derivatives

"We are always impressed by the way Denton’s work. They are always very efficient, easy to work with and offer high quality advice. We have built a strong relationship over the years and have total confidence in Ralf Nitschke and its team." - M&A

"The firm has a long practice and deep knowledge of EBF documentation, it led us to save time and money. Good negotiation capabilities, providing sound advice. Very satisfied." - Private equity

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s Paris office is particularly active within private equity and M&A work.

In finance work the firm acted for buyers in acquisition financing – including LBO, uni-tranche and mezzanine financing.

In M&A the firm recently worked mainly for buyers in asset and share acquisitions. In other work it aided selling founders in a cosmetics sector deal, negotiated the sale of stakes in a laser manufacturing business, and aided in the establishment of joint ventures. The firm also worked for sponsors on bolt-on acquisitions in insurance brokerage, sports, AI, distance learning, archiving, technology and healthcare.

The firm hired Benjamin Aller, formerly from MJ Hudson, and Julien Vandenbussche, formerly from Tikehau, as partners in corporate. It has also hired new senior counsel in corporate George Pinkham from KWM. Meanwhile, Michel Frieh, a partner in corporate, left the firm within the research period to join Frieh & Associés. 

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•AEON Corporation $126 million acquisition of 48% stake in GeoProMining

•BASF acquisition of Solvay’s polyamide business

•Fosun International acquisition of St. Hubert

•Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan acquisition of a 40% stake in European Camping Group

Duhamel Blimbaum

The independent French law firm Duhamel is recognised for its work in financial services and regulatory matters.

In recent work the firm has been particularly active in real estate. It has advised the structuring of several real estate investment funds, including one that’s shariah-compliant, and has advised sellers, like Internos Global investors, in real estate acquisitions. 

Jérémy Blimbaum, a partner in corporate and M&A, has left the firm to join Solvaction.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•EQT Real Estate acquisition of 28/34 Rue du Chateau des Rentiers

•Principal Real Estate Investors acquisition of Internos Global Investors

Fidal

Fidal has been particularly active in restructuring and project and acquisition financing during the research period.

In banking and project finance the firm has acted for lenders on the financing of solar power plants and wind farms. It also advised lenders in equity bridge financing for an investment fund. Additionally, the firm represented borrowers throughout the research period, advising on the refinancing of solar assets, PPP financing, LBO financing, technology sector acquisition finance, and capex financing.

In restructuring and insolvency work the firm has been involved in insolvency procedures and restructuring work for funders, main creditors, investors and shareholders.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Boralex €285 million financing 

•Urbasolar refinancing

•Tenergie €50 million financing

 

Client feedback

"We had a very good experience." - Project finance

"The firm has very good knowledge of the banking practice and of project finance stakes. It has good negotiation skills." - Project finance

Fieldfisher

During the research period Fieldfisher merged with Jausas Legal, a Spanish law firm, expanding its reach.

In banking and project finance the team acted for lenders and arrangers in property and acquisition finance. The firm was also worked on junior, mezzanine and unitranche financings within the research period.

In equity capital markets work the firm acted as deal counsel roles and for lead managers and shareholders on various IPOs. It also advised joint lead managers and global coordinators on share capital increases, including an increase by private placement with an issuance of convertible bonds for industrial equipment financing.

In M&A the firm has mainly advised buyers in acquisitions within retail, smart home technologies, automotive, management consultancy, software provider, distribution services and research sectors.

In private equity the firm assisted Swen Capital Partners as a mezzanine investor in Omnes, a major shareholder in Mistral Informatiques. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•AwoX €10 million acquisition of the Belgian Chacon Group

•Bio-UV Group Euronext IPO 

•GL Events €107 million capital increase

•Groupe Le Piston Français €8 million capital increease

•Parts Holding Europe acquisition of Oscaro

•Pixium Vision €10.6 million rights issue

•Tristel €6.8 million acquisition of Ecomed Group 

•VOGO Euronext IPO

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

In France, international firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is active on asset and acquisition finance, debt refinancing, project financing, restructuring and M&A work.

In banking work during the research period the firm was mostly active on advising borrowers on acquisition finance matters in the infrastructure, financial services, energy and pharmaceutical sectors. It also worked on refinancing matters in the transport, food, telecommunication, consumer goods and health industries.

In M&A work the firm advised acquirers, project companies, sponsors and lenders in M&A and project finance deals on the energy, infrastructure, gaming, oil and gas sectors. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Antin €1.3 billion acquisition of Idex 

•DE/Siemens - Landivisiau CCGT power plant 

•Delsey financial restructuring

•Europe Snacks €350 million refinancing

•Fluxys €1.3 billion acquisition of a majority stake in Dunkerque LNG

•Sagemcom €300 million refinancing

•Smovengo financing

•The Blackstone Group acquisition of the Joa group

FTPA

During the research period FTPA was active in corporate transactional work. 

In M&A and private equity the firm had roles on the buy and sell side of acquisitions. It also advised financial sponsors on several LBO transactions, and advised investors in fund raising.

Elsewhere the firm represented debtors and distressed companies in pre-insolvency and insolvency proceedings, public debt restructuring and advised a private equity client during a creditor’s workout in conciliation proceedings. It also advised on the financial restructuring of a regional press media, the implementation of a security trust on real estate assets to repay majority shareholders, and advised potential investors in a takeover during safeguard proceedings.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Avenir Factory insolvency

•Aptar Group $500 million acquisition of CSP Technologies 

•Ultimate Software Group $300 million acquisition of PeopleDoc

•Thinet International restructuring

 

Client feedback

"The firm is readily available, reliable and professional. It is always providing the highest standard of advice." - M&A 

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

During the research period the Gibson Dunn & Crutcher French branch has been particularly active in M&A and private equity.

The firm has advised on the buy and sell-side of acquisitions, including advising seller GDP Vendome in the sale of its real estate portfolio of eight modern nursing homes to AXA IM – Real Assets, and advising an aircraft maintenance client, as buyer, in the acquisition of 100% share capital of Chromalloy France, an engine parts repair company. The firm worked frequently with key clients Argos Wityu, a private equity group, and OFI Advisors.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm has represented debtors and shareholders in the sale of assets as part of restructurings, and assisted insolvency practitioners in representing creditors in insolvency proceedings.  

During the research period Jean-Pierre Farges and Bertrand Delaunay joined the firm. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•AXA IM - Real Assets €250 million acquisition of portfolio from GDP Vendôme

•Grupo Vivarte restructuring

•Revima acquisition of Chromalloy France

•TPG Growth acquisition of TRACE

•Weinberg Capital Partners III and GIFI Groupe acquisition of Besson Chaussures SAS

•WernerCo acquisition of Zarges Group

Gide Loyrette Nouel

Gide Loyrette Nouel is one of the leading domestic firms and is active across all areas with a particular strength in financing work.

In banking work during the research period the firm advised lenders on acquisition finance deals in the retail, real estate and healthcare sectors. It also advised arrangers and borrowers on financing and refinancing matters, and represented sponsors and lenders on project financing work in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

The firm often works for underwriters and issuers in bond issues, high-yield bonds, tier 1 note issues and structured euro private placement deals. 

The firm was quite active on equity capital markets transactions recently, advising joint global coordinators, underwriters and arrangers on an IPO, a private placements of shares, secondary share offerings and rights issues. It also advised on derivatives and securitisation work. 

The M&A team worked for acquirers and sellers on deals in the media, financial services, real estate and infrastructure sectors.

In the restructuring area the firm worked for debtors on a liquidation proceeding in the insurance sector, and on a renegotiation of the financial debt of a casino operator. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•CBL Insurance Europe insolvency

•CDG Express Gare de l'Est - Charles de Gaulle Airport railway

•Cira EGX IPO

•CNP Assurances €7 billion EMTN programme

•EDF $3.75 billion three tranche (4.5%, 4.875% and 5%) bond issue

•Eurazeo €500 million acquisition of a group of clinics C2S

•Foncière des Murs €300 million rights issue

•Total $4 billion four tranche (2.218%, 2.434%, 2.829% and 3.461%) bond issue

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills has a strong international projects practice in France, and a team specialised in Africa based work. 

In the banking and finance area the firm acted for borrowers on acquisition financing, syndicated credit facilities and green revolving credit facility work. It also worked for lenders on renewable credit facilities, refinancing and syndicated credit facility deals. It is also active in the financial services regulatory space advising on Brexit related matters.

The firm is often mandated counsel to lenders on project financing work and is active in the energy and infrastructure sectors, with a particular focus on renewable energy deals.

In recent debt capital markets work the firm acted for issuers and arrangers on bond sales. It also has been active in structured finance and securitisation working for arrangers, originators, investors, asset managers and credit insurers on trade and financial receivables deals.

Telecommunications, technology, transportation and construction are the sectors the firm has been working on restructuring and insolvency matters. It advises creditors on debt restructurings, insolvency and liquidation proceedings.

During the research period Pauline Bournoville joined the firm as a partner to launch the restructuring and insolvency practice. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•AccorHotels €1.2 billion revolving credit facility

•Airbus €5 billion EMTN programme

•Bureau Veritas €500 million 1.875% bond issue 

•Capgemini €3.6 billion acquisition of Altran Technologies

•CVC Capital Partners €900 million acquisition of April

•Danone €2 billion green revolving credit facility 

•Essilor Luxottica €3.2 billion financing

•Société Foncière Lyonnaise €500 million 1.5% bond issue

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells has high capabilities across the corporate space and is active in all practice areas.

In banking the firm has recently advised arrangers and investors on acquisition financing, including senior term loan facilities in LBO acquisitions alongside a PIK notes. It also advised underwriters on the refinancing of marketing agency My Media Group.

In project finance the firm advised lenders and the arranger financing Mali’s first IPP project, a thermal power plant project.

In capital markets and structured finance work the firm advised borrowers in raising funds in a private placement of common shares. It advised on a residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) securitisation, a French covered bond issue, and several structured debt issuance programs, including updates to EMTN programmes. The firm also advised arrangers on the public securitisation of lease and residual value receivables from subsidiaries. 

In financial services regulatory work the firm has advised several banks on regulatory issues, including advising HSBC France on the impact of the implementation of the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) on their businesses. 

In M&A and private equity the firm advised on both the buy and sell side of acquisitions in biotech, fashion retail and aviation industry sectors. 

In project development, a firm highlight was advising shareholder Aéroports de Paris, of the CDG Express Infrastructure Company, in connection to the express rail link from Gare de l’Est to Charles de Gualle Airport in Paris.

In R&I, the firm advised the Bank of New York Mellon in connection to the restructuring of CGG, advising in safeguard and chapter 11 proceedings. It also advised multiple bank conglomerates on restructuring issues and the acquisition of distressed company assets.

Julien Martinet joined as partner in financial services from Jeantet and Luc Bontoux joined as a senior associate in banking from Weil Gotshal & Manges. Manaf Triqui, counsel in finance, has also left the firm to join Kramer Levin. 

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Albioma acquisition of Eneco France

•BRED Banque Populaire €1.3 billion MBS

•CDG Express Gare de l'Est - Charles de Gaulle Airport railway

•Kayes 90.24MW thermal power plant IPP

•LeasePlan €653 million structured finance 

•My Media Group €130 million refinancing

•Sangamo Therapeutics acquisition of TxCell

•Marina 30MWc solar power plant

Joffe & Associés

Joffe & Associés is recognised for its private equity and acquisition work. 

In M&A, the firm has advised on both the sell and buy side of acquisitions in advertising and marketing, nautical, food, digital press, technology, video game and machining industry sectors. 

In private equity, the firm has advised founders and managers in fund raising, including key fintech client Linxo Group in a repeat mandate of fund raising for the development of its B2B and B2C businesses. It has also represented investors in the development of a venture capital fund for a fintech investment. In leveraged buy-outs (LBOs), the firm has represented shareholders and managers on the sell side, and in management buy-ins (MBIs) the firm has acted for the buyers.

The firm has hired Oliver Dumas, formerly from Dechert, as a Partner in private equity, and Virginie Davion, formerly from EY Société d’Advocats, as Partner in corporate and tax.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Fountaine Pajot acquisition of Dufour Yachts

•My Media Group €10 million acquisition of Peak Ace

 

Client feedback

"Strengths: availability, good knowledge of the bankruptcy issues, actors and jurisdictions." - Restructuring and insolvency

"The firm has an excellent, fast response. It provided accurate advice and rigorous work." - Project development

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel

Kramer Levin is a full service law firm that has been active in several practice areas during the research period.

In banking and finance the firm had mainly regulatory roles; it advised financial institution clients on European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), Brexit, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD), payment regulatory systems, currency loans and equity capital structures. 

In capital markets the firm acted for a mix of issuers, arrangers and investors in euro bonds and listed senior unsecured bonds issues. The firm has also aided the establishment of multiple private debt funds and a securitisation fund, and offered legal opinion on the netting of derivatives, including over-the-counter (OTC) types.

In M&A the firm has mainly advised buyers in acquisitions, with a lot of transactions in real estate, including advising Assurances du Crédit Mutuel in the acquisition of shares, held by Eurosic, in six real estate companies. It has also advised parent companies on the sales of their subsidiaries and joint ventures.

In private equity the firm advised clients on fund formation, structuring French société de libre partenariats (SLPs), FBCIs and other investment funds mainly for food companies, solar and storage projects, real estate, venture capital and e-health.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised the receiving client in receivership proceedings for an automotive company and advised banks in restructuring proceedings. It acted for BNP Paribas in the safeguard proceedings of Financiere du Vignoble, and assisted Natixis in various loan restructuring proceedings. 

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•AG Real Estate €38 million acquisition of SCI Napoleon 

•Assurances du Crédit Mutuel €250 million acquisition of a stake in Eurosic 

•Grupo Vivarte restructuring

•Holding Le Duff €415 million refinancing

 

Client feedback

"The firm provided excellent work and it is dedicated to clients' needs." - Private equity

"The firm is very professional and reactive." - Capital markets: Derivatives

"The firm is business oriented, and has expertise in derivatives markets." - Capital markets: Derivatives

"The firm is reactive, has good knowledge of the context, and has a business oriented vision." - Financial services regulatory

Lacourte Raquin Tatar

Lacourte Raquin Tatar is recognised for its M&A, but has also been active in financing and regulatory work during the research period.

In banking and finance, the firm advised several lenders in acquisition financing, including work with mezzanine financing and secured loans. It has also set up a securitisation debt fund in French Fonds commun de titrisation (FCT) format, acted for lenders and borrowers in Euro PP Bond issues and has assisted borrowers in financial restructuring.

In financial services regulatory, the firm has advised on proposed acquisitions and provided confidential regulatory advice relating to brexit. 

In M&A, the firm acted mainly for sellers in acquisitions, like railway company SNCF in their disposal of Ouibus to Blablacar and BNP Paribas in the sale of share capital for a real estate property; however, they also advised buyers like BPIFrance. The firm also assisted the establishment of multiple joint ventures.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•GH Group €82 million financing

•CBRE GI €300 million acquisition of Marché Saint Honoré office property in Paris

 

Client feedback

"The firm is reliable, rapid and pragmatic." – Banking

"The firm was very competent, highly responsive and pro-active." - M&A

Lantourne & Associés

Lantourne & Associés offers legal advice in restructuring and insolvency, aiding distressed companies through various proceedings and preventative frameworks.

During the research period the firm provided consulting services and continuity plans for distressed companies in safeguard, receivership, rehabilitation and insolvency proceedings and voluntary liquidation.

LL Berg

LL Berg is an independent firm dedicated to private equity transactions.

During the research period the firm has advised many clients on LBO acquisitions, including the founders of DRT in the sale and reinvestment of part of their stake to Ardian as part of an LBO. It also advised on parallel acquisitions and, in other equity work, advised Cathay in its subscription to the global multi-million fund raisings organised by Glovo. 

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Ardian €1 billion acquisition of DRT

•IK Investment Partners acquisition of Mademoiselle Desserts

•Omnes Capital acquisition of the ABMI Group

 

Client feedback

"Beyond a sophisticated tailor-made advice, we have requested LL Berg for their strategic added value. Indeed, beyond the law expertise, they know how to place context at the centre of the chessboard by showing empathy and having a real "vision". Moreover, we have noticed that they have a real skill on the financial aspects, which is not the case for all legal advisors. LL Berg is the only French business law firm that wants to remain a "boutique" and works on big deals (such as Grand Frais, Mademoiselle Dessert, DRT, etc.). " - M&A

"We choose LL Berg as it is one of the few law firms that also chooses its own clients. We had to discuss hard to get them to accept us as clients as their deal flow is very important. Months of negotiations on this primary LBO undertaken with Qualium showed us why this firm is known as the "top of the range boutique" of the private equity French market. And of course, the team is punchy and open minded which makes deals more pleasant." - Private equity

"We hired LL Berg as we know they have been involved in major deals such as DRT, Almaviva, etc. They are one the few independent "mid cap pure players" in France. On the one hand, in this market leaded by UK/US firms, LL Berg represents one of the few independent alternatives in the mid & large cap segments. This is the reason why we contacted them because they are recognised as such by the market.” - Private equity

LPA-CGR

LPA-CGR avocats is a full service law firm that’s particularly active in real estate and energy. 

In banking and finance work recently the firm advised clients, including Barings Real Estate and Impact Field Marketing, on acquisition financing. It assisted financing aspects of the acquisition and development of a warehouse portfolio in Savigny-le Temple and Reau, and advised Infram Energy, a platform established to invest in renewable energy.

In M&A the firm advised a mix of buyers and sellers in acquisitions. The firm’s joint venture and acquisition transactions were mostly in real estate, renewable energy, retail and healthcare sectors.

In restructuring work the firm advised CNH International, a machinery manufacturer, in the asset acquisition from SBMTP and TP Group while they were in insolvency. It also advised a fund in the restructuring and refinancing of loan receivables, assisted in the framework of safeguard and insolvency procedures, and provided legal advice on distressed company site closures and redundancy plans.

Laetitia Ajzenman joined the firm as counsel in banking and finance, hired from Hudson Advisors. Antoine Pampouille, former counsel in banking and Finance, left the firm in the research period to become a partner at Gowling WLG. A new partner in restructuring, Sandra Hundsdorfer, was hired from GGV.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Albioma acquisition of Eneco France

•Impact Field Marketing Group €40 million financing

•DIF Infrastructures restructuring

•B&M €91.2 million acquisition of Babou

•Taisho acquisition of UPSA SAS

 

Client feedback

"The firm has good relationships and knowledge of the French banking sector." – Banking

"Chloe Thieblemont, partner at LPA CGR, always provides very accurate, efficient and sound advice on the transactions she is advising on. She is well-known for her constructive and innovative approach and is highly reliable. Alexae Fournier de Fay has also been working on our transactions and has been of great help and support. She knows the details of every single aspect of a transaction, and combines that with an accurate understanding of the real estate finance market, thus leading to the development of creative solutions and smoothing the negotiation process." – Banking

"The firm provided thorough work throughout the project and strong commitment." - M&A

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown has particular strengths in capital markets and project development work.

In recent banking and finance work the firm buyer on acquisition financing. It also advised on asset-based lending facilities.

In capital markets work the firm advised a rail infrastructure equipment company on its potential IPO, and acted for the issuer Medicrea International, a biotech company, in the issuance of equity warrants and senior secured notes listed on Euronext Paris. 

In structured finance work the firm advised lender Factofrance in the restructuring of a pan-European non-recourse trade receivables purchase programme to Linpac Group entities.

In financial services regulatory work the firm was the outside counsel to payments company Shopify, advising on regulatory obligations under recast EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2). It has also advised Pegasystems on financial regulation, including on MiFID II, anti-money laundering (AML) and EMIR.

In M&A, the firm has advised both buyers and sellers in acquisitions across industry sectors. It has advised on joint ventures, mergers and private equity group transactions.

In project finance work the firm demonstrated its expertise in mining transactional work. Some of the publishable highlights include advising Toro Gold on the financing of the Senegal Mako Gold Project, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) on the refinancing of the acquisition of two gold mines, and a conglomerate of banks as lenders for the refinancing of the Endeavour group.

In project development the firm has advised the Government of Benin in connection to a LNG-to-power project and thermal energy power plant. It’s also advised Maurel & Prom, the borrower, in the refinancing of its oil and gas operations in Gabon through a multi-bank term loan. In other project work, it advised on the development and financing of multiple solar PV projects and an airport in West Africa.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Africa Finance Corporation refinancing

•Cooper Vemedia €158 million acquisition of 12 brands from Sanofi

•Endeavour group $500 million refinancing

•Eurazeo €230 million acquisition of Indinvest Partners

•Mako Gold development

•Meru 40MW solar power plant

Nabarro & Hinge

Nabarro & Hinge is a boutique firm recognised for its finance work and M&A. 

In banking and finance a recent highlight was advising Clarins group on a bond programme. The firm also advised on debt refinancing, syndicated loan work and an export financing facility. In private equity related work the firm advised investors/lenders in acquisition financing, often through bonds issue proceeds and uni-tranche financing.

In M&A the firm mainly advised on mergers. In acquisition work, the firm was usually on the buyer-side of transactions in manufacturing, commercial establishment, real estate, nurseries and aviation industry sectors.

Magali Béraud has joined the firm as counsel in M&A from CMS Francis Lefèbvre.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Clarins €200 million commercial paper

•IK Investments Partners acquisition of NetCo Group 

•Sigfox €40 million financing

Neptune

A Paris and Lyon-based firm, Neptune deals most with private equity and is known for its fund raising work and mid-market M&A.

During the research period the firm has represented investors and companies in large fundraising rounds, was counsel to the sellers in a stake acquisition within the renewable energy sector, and advised an outgoing investor in the disposal of its shares.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Canaan Partners $42 million investment in Content Square

•Intel capital €30 million investment in Aledia

•Terreal group acquisition of GSE Integration

Racine

Racine is an independent full service firm that has been active in restructuring and M&A during the research period.

In recent banking and finance work the firm advised on the debt refinancing after a seven warehouse portfolio sale and advised on real estate acquisition financing. It also advised borrowers on bridge loan facilities and debtors on restructuring.

In M&A the firm represented buyers and sellers in share acquisitions in a variety of sectors including renewable energy, entertainment production, fashion retail, hospitality, commercial real estate, transport and aviation. The firm also advised on distressed company acquisitions, management buy-outs (MBOs) and fund raising for investors.

In restructuring work the firm advised Presstalis, a newspaper distributor in France, in its conciliation procedure and shareholder and major creditor negotiations. 

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Mediawan acquisition of ON entertainment

•Montefiore Investment acquisition of Banimmo France

•Transdev acquisition of Partopren Sanitrans

 

Client feedback

"The firm has wide skills on every aspect and it can work for shareholders, debtors and bidders. It has a very good restructuring team, it is pragmatic and realistic." - Restructuring and insolvency

Scotto & Associés

Scotto Partners is an independent boutique that is active across the corporate space, particularly within M&A and capital markets.

During the research period in private equity work the firm has worked predominantly with the management teams of target companies and on the sell-side on stake acquisitions, takeovers and secondary LBOs. Key clients included Indigo Group, EFront, Proxiserve, Comexposium, MC2i, Edilians, Opteven, Data 4, Siaci Saint-Honoré and Etanco.

The firm also advised SIG Combibloc on its IPO and CS Communication & Systèmes, as buyer in the acquisition of Novidy’s through a rights issue financing and a share transfer.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•              BlackRock €1.4 billion acquisition of EFront

•              Generali €500 million acquisition of Sycomore Asset Management

•              Mirova and MEAG acquisition of a €4 billion stake in Indigo Group

•              Latour Capital and Bpifrance €225 million acquisition of Plastic Omnium Group's Environment division

Shearman & Sterling

Shearman & Sterling is active across all financial and corporate areas, and has a focus on capital markets work.

During the research period the firm advised borrowers on acquisition financing, syndicate financing and revolving credit facility deals. It also advised lenders on debt refinancing and matters.

In the capital markets area the firm is experienced working on IPOs, rights issues, block trades, hybrid securities, equity-linked securities and high-yield transactions. 

In M&A the firm has often recently been counsel to acquirers on deals in the financial services, healthcare, TMT and energy sectors.

In restructurings and insolvency work the firm has advised on cases in the automotive, agriculture, energy and TMT sectors, advising debtors and creditors.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Acco group restructuring

•Bolloré €1.3 billion refinancing

•CGG €132.5 million capital increase

•Corning $900 million acquisition of 3M fiber and copper connectivity solutions business

•Ineos €770 million high-yield bond issue

•Neoen Euronext IPO

•Nexans €600 million revolving credit facility

•Trail Capital acquisition of Electropoli

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Skadden’s Paris office is known for M&A.

During the research period the firm advised on a merger to create a shopping centre, involving a novel stapled security share structure with listed shares. It also advised Scor, a listed reinsurance group in the successful defence against an unsolicited takeover proposal by Covéa. In other acquisition work the firm advised on both the buy and sell side.

Olivier Diaz, a partner in corporate transactional work, has left the firm to join Gide Loyrette Nouel.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•              Iliad €100 million acquisition of Jaguar Network

•              L'Occitane International $900 million acquisition of Elemis Group

 

Client feedback

"The firm provided excellent quality work and deliverables." - M&A

Spitz Poulle Kannan

Spitz Poulle Kannan is a French boutique firm specialised in financial services regulatory matters.

During the research period the firm advised banks on their Brexit reorganisations, reviewed financial companies in a regulatory perspective, and assisted investment firms setting up in France under MiFID II regulations.

Recent staffing changes included the departure of partner Mathieu Françon who joined Mayer Brown.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Santander Brexit reorganisation in France

•Perella Weinberg Partners investment firm

Squair

Squair is a corporate boutique in Paris.

During the research period the firm has advised mainly on the sell-side of acquisitions within media and the arts, and on the sale of a stake in a PR company. It has advised a target company, Fittingbox, an augmented reality company, on a convertible venture capital loan, and advised Rosa Unica in raising funds from Business Angels. The firm also assisted investors in purchasing equity.

Damien Gorse, an M&A and private equity partner, joined the firm from Luchtenberg within the research period.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Becker Trust €3.4 million investment in Biospeedia

•Fielmann €5 million investment in FittingBox

 

Client feedback

"The firm had excellent comprehension of our requirements. They demonstrated their expertise and maintained their focus on our specific needs. No improvement or weakness noted." - M&A

"The firm reached the highest expected standards." - M&A

"The firm was ultra-reactive and creative." - M&A

Stehlin & Associés

Stehlin & Associés is an independent law firm known for its M&A work. 

During the research period the firm was active on both sides of acquisitions, including advising sellers Artal Group and Mimran Group, and minority stake buyers Crédit Mutuel Arkéa and Bold Rock Management & Investments (BRMI).

The firm was also involved in distressed M&A, and advised purchaser CIM in the acquisition of the capital of Maison Bontout as part of a debt-to-equity swap.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•CIM acquisition of Maison Bontout

•Seaboard Overseas €317 million acquisition of Grands Moulins de Dakar and Grands Moulins d’Abidjan

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood is recognised for private equity and asset finance work.

In recent banking and finance work the firm has negotiated the financing and construction of SunStone Ships’s 10 small expedition cruise vessels and advised on the acquisition and financing of two explorer vessels, with tax lease financings and Norwegian export credit support, for buyer Compagnie du Ponant. In aviation the firm assisted the acquisition and financing of a number of Boeing 737 aircraft and ATR 72 aircraft, involving French SPVs and commercial loan structures, and advised lenders on aircraft lease financing. 

In private equity the firm advised Ecore, a recycling group, in the renegotiation of its management package in the context of a high yield refinancing. The firm also advised on the sell-side of LBO acquisitions.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Corsica Ferries acquisition and financing of four vessels

•Ecore Group €255 million refinancing

•Lion Air Group acquisition of a number of Boeing 737 aircrafts and ATR 72 aircrafts

Sullivan & Cromwell

In France, Sullivan & Cromwell is recognised for its work in capital markets and M&A.

During the research period in debt capital markets area the firm worked for underwriters and initial purchasers. In equity work it assisted issuers on capital increases, and underwriters on a IPO and a secondary offering.

In M&A firm advised acquirers and sellers on deals in the energy, real estate, TMT, infrastructure and oil and gas sectors.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Altran $2 billion acquisition of Aricent

•Altran €750 million capital increase

•Atlantia €1.056 billion acquisition of 15.49% in Groupe Eurotunnel

•AXA $862.5 million 7.25% bond issue

•AXA Equitable Holdings $3.156 billion NYSE IPO

•AXA $1.215 billion secondary offering

•Praxair/Linde AG $80 billion merger

•Prysmian group $3 billion acquisition of General Cable Corporation

UGGC & Associés

UGGC has been particularly active in LBO and M&A work during the research period.

In M&A the firm advised seller Dalkia in the sale of the majority of share capital of two biomass cogeneration subsidiaries. It also advised the seller Gemalto in the sale of its subsidiary Netsize. 

In private equity the firm assisted the strengthening of a company’s equity capital by acting for seller Vallourec in an acquisition of minority participation from Bpifrance subsidiary funds in Vallourec umbilicals. It also advised borrowers in an equity investment by private equity investors for company expansion and in fund raising.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Link Mobility acquisition of Gemalto’s Netsize subsidiary

•RedTreeCapital and FLC Holding acquisition of the rené clair building from AEW Ciloger

Veil Jourde

During the research period Veil Jourde has been active in corporate work

The firm advised an insurance broker’s management in buying back its majority shares from other shareholders, advised the buyer Publicis on IT and data marketing deals, and advised selling client Lagardère in multiple divestments, including the sale of its media hub. 

The firm has also assisted the reorganisation of a listed client to obtain a waiver from the Authority of Regulation (AMF) to deposit a public offer, and assisted private equity investors in fund raising.

In restructuring, the firm has advised distressed holding companies in creditor rebalancing and debt restructuring. It has advised buyers in asset acquisition within liquidation proceedings, supported shareholder 123 Investment Managers in Maranatha judicial adjustment and built proposals for potential takeovers.

 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Camaïeu debt restructuring

•Mazarine acquisition of Numéro

•Publicis acquisition of Xebia

 

Client feedback

"The firm provided very good support to the management during all the process of bankruptcy from the preparation of the first steps to the 12 months management with the judiciary administrator and the continuation plan." - Restructuring and insolvency

"Just perfect. The firm was very serious, very good." - Restructuring and insolvency

Viguié Schmidt & Associés

Viguié Schmidt & Associés is a relatively young firm, created in 2017 with the merging of Viguié Schmidt and SLVF, two independent French firms. The firm is particularly active in M&A work.

The firm has advised a mix of buyers and sellers in acquisitions, including LFB Group in the sale of CELLforCURE, a pharmaceutical establishment, to Novartis, and Aufeminin in the acquisition of influencer marketing agency Ykone. It has also advised several companies on the tender offers for Euronext listed companies.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Albelli Group acquisition of MonAlbumPhoto

•Aufeminin acquisition of Ykone

•Groupe Primonial €91 million acquisition of a stake in PREIM from UFF Banque

•Marietton Developpement acquisition of Vacances Heliades

•Novartis acquisition of CellforCure

•Total acquisition of G2mobility

 

Client feedback

"Nicolas Viguié and Inaki Saint Esteben are very reliable, dedicated and competent lawyers."- M&A

"The firm has great technical skills. The firm is able to deliver tailor-made services." - M&A

Weil Gotshal & Manges

Weil Gotshal & Manges is one of the leading corporate firms in France and M&A and private equity work is its strength.

During the research period the firm advised acquirers and sellers on M&A deals in the energy, real estate, technology and pharmaceuticals sectors.

In private equity work the firm advises sponsors in all segments of the market.

In the restructuring area it worked for debtors on restructurings in retail and oil and gas matters. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Advent International €1.9 billion acquisition of Zentiva

•Atos $3.2 billion acquisition of Syntel

•CGG $2.6 billion debt restructuring

•Elementis $600 million acquisition Mondo Minerals

•Orchestra-Prémaman €300 million debt restructuring

•Sika $2.55 billion acquisition of Parex

•Swiss Life AG €1.7 billion acquisition of a real estate portfolio from Terreïs

•Vinci €3.2 billion acquisition of Gatwick Airport

 

Client feedback

"The firm is impressive in its rock solid experience in M&A, both on international and domestic transactions. The team, especially Yannick Piette, is highly reactive and displays a true practical approach. The advice is sound and robust. The international network matches this." - M&A

"The firm has outstanding technical skills, the ability to build trust with clients, it has creativity and thinks out of the box. It is proactivity and reliable." - M&A 

White & Case

In France, White & Case has a broad financial and corporate practice with a strong finance and capital markets focus.

In banking work during the research period, the firm mainly advised lead arrangers and lenders on acquisition finance and refinancing work in the pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, retail and consumer goods sectors.

The debt capital markets team has acted for issuers on bonds and notes issues and tender offers, for joint global coordinators on notes issues, for joint lead managers on notes and bonds issues and for arrangers on EMTN programmes.

In equity capital markets work the firm advised global coordinators on rights issues and on a convertible bonds issue. It also advised on structured finance matters.

In M&A the firm has recently worked for joint venture partners, sellers and acquirers on telecommunications, automotive, pharmaceutical, retail and insurance M&A deals. It also worked on private equity matters, advising acquirers and sellers.

The projects team is often mandated counsel to lenders in the financing of infrastructure, energy and agriculture projects, and also advised sponsors and project companies on the development of projects in the energy sector including power and renewable energies work.

During the last year there has been some staffing changes at the firm. Project finance partner Victoria Westcott left to join Reed Smith and capital markets partner Gilles Endréo retired. M&A partners Saam Golshani and Alexis Hojabr and private equity partner Guillaume Vitrich all joined from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•A65 motorway €825.5 million refinancing

•Altran €750 million rights issue

•Atos €1.8 billion triple tranche (0.75%, 1.75% and 2.50%) bond issue

•Comexposium refinancing

•Ivory Coast €1.7 billion dual tranche (5.25% and 6.625%) bond issue

•Michelin €2.5 billion triple tranche (0.875%, 1.75% and 2.50%) bond issue

•Permira €1.3 billion acquisition of Exclusive Group 

•Safic Alcan refinancing