London, February 2 2005 — LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – White & Case’s team of London-based private equity lawyers closed three transactions in just a few days to get 2005 off to a sprint start. All of the deal teams were led by partner Alan Greenough, who joined White & Case in 2004 to head up the Firm’s private equity capabilities in London. The three transactions each covered a distinct aspect of the private equity mix: a secondary buy-out, a corporate purchase of a private equity-owned asset, and a development capital investment.
Commenting on the significance of the transactions, Alan Greenough, head of White & Case’s Private Equity team in London, said: “It was a very busy period for our team in December 2004 and January 2005: each of the deals had its own challenges and points of interest and, as always, a tight timetable. We’ve made a good start to the year and are optimistic about our prospects for the rest of 2005.”
The three transactions that White & Case acted on were:
· Advising the existing management and employees, as well as the new MBI candidate, in the secondary buy-out of Tragus Holdings, the company behind the UK restaurant chains Café Rouge and Bella Italia. Tragus also owns the Abbaye and Mamma Amalfi brands, London’s Leadenhall Wine & Tapas Bar and the Oriel restaurant in the UK capital’s fashionable Sloane Square. ECI Partners sold Tragus Holdings to buy-out firm Legal & General Ventures, following an initial MBI of Tragus, backed by ECI, in May 2002. Reports have valued the transaction at approximately £107m. The White & Case team acting on the transaction was led by partner Alan Greenough, working in conjunction with associate Sam Tyfield.
· Advising Actis Capital LLP on its investment, in conjunction with the Emerging Markets Partnership, of US$43.2 million to acquire a major stake in Starcomms, Nigeria’s leading fixed wireless telecom operator. Actis currently has US$1.1 billion under management in Africa and is a significant investor in leading African telecoms operators. Starcomms provides pre-paid voice and data services to over 145,000 subscribers including retail users, corporates and community centres. The company uses CDMA technology which provides high quality voice and 3G-type telecoms services to its customers. As such it is the first business of its type to attract international private equity in Africa. The White & Case team advising Actis was led by partner Alan Greenough, working closely with partners Paul Marchand and David Eisenberg, and associates Ana Slijivic, Catherine Chan and Barbara Kong.
· Acting for UnitedGlobalCom (UGC) on its acquisition of an 87% stake in UK satellite channel business Zone Vision Networks, from global private equity firm Advent International and the company’s founders. The transaction was valued at US$65m by UGC, consisting of $US50m cash and US$15m of UGC stock. As part of the transaction UGC is also merging two of its own businesses with Zone Vision Networks. The White & Case team advising UGC was led by partner Alan Greenough, working with partner Paul Marchand and associate James MacArthur.
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White & Case is a leading global law firm with nearly 1,900 lawyers in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms. White & Case has also been named Best US Law Firm in London, Eastern Europe Law Firm of the Year and Eastern Europe Corporate/M&A Firm of the Year by leading legal benchmark publications. http://www.whitecase.com.
The combination of US, UK, Swedish, German and other-qualified lawyers that White & Case’s corporate group is able to provide in London gives clients a real competitive advantage in their transactions. The London team has expanded in the last twelve months with the recruitment of Corporate and Private Equity heavyweight, Alan Greenough, leading M&A Mining and Minerals specialists Glen Ireland and Tanneke Heersche, two new Property partners, seven new associates and four new trainees. For more information, please go to http://www.whitecase.com/practices/group_detail.aspx?groupid=830.