Kirkland & Ellis fielded two separate teams to advise both Bain Capital and BC Partners on a €3 billion private equity deal.
The firm advised the two private equity operations, which entered into a partnership to each acquire 50% of Italian labels and packaging products company Fedrigoni. This was done via a combination of reinvestment by Bain via a new fund and new investment from BC Partners.
A different Bain fund was the seller on the deal and received separate legal advice from Latham & Watkins.
Kirkland announced its role advising Bain on the buy-side of the transaction. That team was headed by London-based corporate partners Jacob Traff and Adrian Maguire, and financing partners Matt Merkle and Neel Sachdev, according to the firm’s statement.
However, Kirkland also provided advice to BC Partners, in a secondary role alongside White & Case, according to people with knowledge of the matter. That advice was handled by a separate team headed by corporate partner David Higgins, one person said. Kirkland declined to comment on that role.
Although fielding two teams on M&A deals is relatively rare, it has become acceptable industry practice for law firms to advise separate bidders in private equity transactions. This deal is unusual given Bain is effectively transferring part of the ownership of the portfolio company between its funds, requiring it to have both buy-side and sell-side advisers.
White & Case’s team advising BC Partners was led by Milan corporate partner Leonardo Graffi and London-and-Milan-based corporate partner Michael Immordino, according to a firm spokesperson.
Latham & Watkins put forward a Milan-based corporate team headed by Cataldo Giuseppe Piccarreta, alongside corporate partners Giorgia Lugli and Giovanni Sandicchi, who advised Bain as the ‘sell-side’ advisors for the deal, according to a spokesperson from the firm.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2022, according to the press release.
Fedrigoni, which counts 4,500 employees, was first acquired by Bain in 2017. Commenting on the new partnership, chief executive office of Fedrigoni, Marco Nespolo said: “The last 4 years have seen Fedrigoni undertake a very comprehensive and successful transformation, on product portfolio, geographic footprint, go-to-market, operating model, culture, and governance.
We look forward to sharing the next leg of the journey with an additional, very relevant investor and partner, whose trust makes us feel honoured”.