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Baker McKenzie Enhances Leveraged Finance Team With Significant Hire

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has hired Ben Wilkinson from White & Case where he was a partner in the Debt Finance practice. Ben will join the Banking & Finance practice in London on May 3rd, to help build out the Leveraged Finance team.

With over 16 years in the legal industry, Ben’s experience includes advising investment banks and private credit funds in relation to cross-border acquisition finance transactions, in particular those with complex capital structures. He regularly advises lenders, borrowers and financial advisors in connection with the bank financing of acquisitions of public companies, and also acts for a variety of lender syndicates, steering committees, sponsors and companies in relation to various restructuring matters.

Ben is an important strategic hire with a focus and strong experience in cross-border leveraged / acquisition financing transactions, particularly on the lender-side, which will significantly expand our capabilities in the leveraged finance space.

Matthew Dening, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie’s Banking & Finance practice group, commented: “Ben has an outstanding reputation in the acquisition finance and bank lending market. Expectations are that 2021 is going to be very busy as financial performance re-stabilises with pent-up refinancing and liquidity that has yet to be deployed, creating key opportunities. Ben’s appointment will put Baker McKenzie in a solid position to take advantage of these openings.”

London Managing Partner Alex Chadwick added: “We are very excited about Ben joining our Banking & Finance group in London. His practice is firmly aligned with our strong industry focus and his hiring represents our ambitions to become one of the leading transactional Firms globally. Ben has a long track record of doing deals in the financial sector which supports our ambitions to strengthen our relationships with sponsors. We will continue to grow our transactional partnership in London and other key markets, both laterally and organically.”

Ben Wilkinson’s hire comes after a number of recent lateral appointments including M&A partner Nick Rainsford who joined from Ashurst, private equity partner Justin Hutchinson who joined from Kirkland & Ellis, Adam Eastell a partner from Slaughter & May and Nick Bryans, also from Ashurst.

Baker McKenzie is a transactional powerhouse with over 2500 deal lawyers and expertise in over 46 countries. We excel in cross-border deals – over 60% of our deals are multi-jurisdictional. We are global and local, combining money market sophistication with local excellence.

Kirkland Represents Hosen Capital on Successful Fundraising

Kirkland & Ellis advised Hosen Capital (Hosen), a leading private equity firm focused on investing in middle-market control and growth opportunities in the food and consumer sectors in China, on the fundraising and final closing of its third USD fund at $800 million. The fund receives strong support from a broad mix of global investors, including prominent sovereigns, pensions, endowments, financial institutions, corporates, family offices and fund of funds.

The Kirkland team was led by investment funds partners Carol Liu and Jennifer Feng and included investment funds partners Josh Westerholm and Christopher Scully, financial services regulatory partner Romin Dabir, tax partner Aalok Virmani, government and internal investigations partner Nick Niles, employee benefits partner Elizabeth Dyer and banking regulatory of counsel Julie Kunetka.

Read Hosen’s press release

Kirkland Advises InPost S.A. on Proposed Acquisition of Mondial Relay

Kirkland & Ellis is advising InPost S.A., the Polish parcel locker firm formerly backed by Advent International Corp. and recently listed on Euronext Amsterdam, on its proposed acquisition of 100% of the shares of Mondial Relay, the leading French eCommerce out-of-home parcel delivery platform, from Otto Group for approximately EUR 565 million. The proposed acquisition would allow InPost to take a major step in its ambition to become Europe’s leading out-of-home solution for eCommerce.

The proposed transaction remains subject to the completion of the consultation of Mondial Relay’s employee representative body and the obtaining of certain regulatory clearances.

The Kirkland team was led by transactional partner Laurent Victor-Michel and associate Louis Gosset; tax partner Nadine Gelli and associate Sonia Bouaffassa; antitrust and competition partner Matthew Sinclair-Thomson and associates Shahrzad Sadjadi and Samantha Hobson-Jones; technology & IP transactions associates John Patten and Ben Zeris; with additional support from transactional partner Adrian Maguire, Ben Leyendecker and associate Sebastian Haefele.

Read InPost’s Press Release

Kirkland Represents Bluescape in $115M Equity Investment in Evergy

Kirkland & Ellis represented Bluescape Energy Partners LLC in a common equity investment of approximately $115 million in Evergy Inc. Additionally, C. John Wilder, Executive Chairman of Bluescape, and former U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, will join the Evergy board effective March 1. As part of the transaction, Evergy’s Finance Committee charter has been amended to include competitive analysis and benchmarking of key operating, customer, financial and sustainability performance metrics.

The Kirkland team was led by transactional partners Shubi Arora and Enoch Varner, and associate Josh Teahen; capital markets partner Julian Seiguer; and debt finance partner Arthur Lotz.

Read the Evergy press release

Kirkland Advises EQT on Expanded Partnership in IVC Evidensia

Kirkland & Ellis is advising EQT Private Equity on the additional investment and renewed long-term commitment in IVC Evidensia. As part of its long-term commitment to IVC, Kirkland advised EQT Private Equity in making a substantial investment through its EQT IX fund; Silver Lake is making a new substantial minority investment in IVC; Nestlé is also increasing its minority stake in IVC. The aggregated new investment from the expanded partnership transaction totals €3.5 billion and values IVC at an enterprise value of approximately €12.3 billion.

Headquartered in Bristol, UK, IVC is a leading veterinary services provider with a network of more than 1,500 clinics and hospitals and approximately 22,000 employees across Europe.

The Kirkland team was led by transactional partners Roger Johnson, David Holdsworth, Tom Bartram, Andreas Philipson and associate Irfan Ahmed.

Read EQT’s press release

Kirkland Counsels Authentic Equity on $230 Million IPO

Kirkland & Ellis advises Authentic Equity Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company formed for the purpose of entering into a combination with one or more businesses, on its initial public offering of 20 million units at $10 per unit and the sale of an additional 3 million units at a price of $10 per unit pursuant to the underwriters’ full exercise of their over-allotment option. Total gross proceeds from the offering were $230 million before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other expenses.

The Kirkland team was led by capital markets partners Christian Nagler and Debbie Yee and associates Chris Fox and Ibe Alozie; transactional partners Mike Movsovich and James Hu and associate Michael Chung; tax partners Scott Fryman and Mike Beinus; investment funds partner Alexandria Glispie; and ERISA partner Elizabeth Dyer.

Read Authentic Equity’s press release