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Private Equity Consortium Acquires SkillSoft in $1.1 Billion LBO

Practices: Private Equity, Tax, Finance

A global team of Ropes & Gray attorneys advised a private equity consortium in its $1.1 billion leveraged buyout of SkillSoft, a Dublin, Ireland-based Internet training and software provider of performance support solutions for business, government and academe.

The deal, announced February 12, is one of only a few LBOs proposed in Europe since the credit crunch. The all-cash bid by the consortium—comprised of Berkshire Partners, Bain Capital and Advent International—values SkillSoft at $10.80 a share, a 9.6 percent premium over the company’s closing price on the previous day.

Attorneys in Ropes & Gray’s Boston, London and New York offices advised the consortium. Ropes & Gray partner Jane Goldstein, who co-led the team, said the firm's new London presence (Ropes & Gray established an office in London this year) enabled the team to provide comprehensive M&A and financing advice on the cross-border deal. “Being in London is important because it helps us collaborate on deals with our own partners on a private equity platform,” she told The American Lawyer. “There’s certainly a huge market over there for these types of deals.”

In addition to Jane, partner David Chapin, along with debt finance partners Jane Rogers and Steve Rutkovsky co-led the effort. Other members of the consortium team included tax partner Christopher Leich.

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