London Office Featured in Article About European Buyout Market
Ropes & Gray was prominently featured in an October 2010 Legal Business article about the recovery of the European private equity buyout market. The article details the continued investment by U.S. firms into the London market and highlights the successful launch of Ropes & Gray’s London office under finance partners Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz.
Ropes & Gray, Legal Business reported, is “the latest major private equity player with an impressive U.S. private equity pedigree to enter the London market earlier this year, having building a reputation as one of the go-to firms on the recent cycle of mega-buyouts.”
In September, Private Equity News shortlisted Ropes & Gray for “Banking and Finance Team of the Year.” The firm's London team has worked on many high-profile transactions since the office opening, most recently acting for Sankaty Advisors and GoldenTree Asset Management as Euro note purchasers in connection with the issuance of €110 million eight-year senior secured notes to refinance the debts of Almatis, the world's largest specialty alumina products producer, resulting in the company's exit from bankruptcy. Other matters include three high yield issuances for Liberty Global and its group of companies; representation of the second lien and mezzanine Lenders in the negotiation with Carlyle (as sponsor) of the financial restructuring of the French/US group, Zodiac Marine & Pool Group; acting for a private equity consortium consisting of Berkshire Partners, Bain Capital and Advent International in the US$1.1 billion leveraged buyout of SkillSoft; and acting for TPG in a co-investment with Goldman Sachs for the €1.2 billion secondary buyout acquisition of Ontex N.V.
“A lot of the European houses are now saying that they may have to instruct U.S. firms because they can provide the whole package from high yield to M&A and banking all in one place," Allen told Legal Business, "and that’s where we are looking to position ourselves.”
The Ropes & Gray London office is jointly headed by Allen and Goetz, and since the office opened in January they have been joined by finance partner Jane Rogers, who transferred from the Boston office in September, corporate partner Jonathan Bloom, finance partner Matthew Cox, restructuring counsel Dan Martin and finance counsel Tania Bedi, bringing the senior team to eight. With the addition of 16 associates the build-out of the London office continues to progress the firm's plan to have a team of 60-80 lawyers by the end of 2012.