Corporate Finance

Our corporate finance team helps clients plan and implement complex and innovative corporate finance transactions.

In the US, our team provides advice to both US and overseas borrowers and lenders, in a wide range of debt financings and equity transactions. We work with our clients to understand their needs, identify potential financing sources, and to achieve their financing goals.

In the UK, we work on IPOs (both on the Main Market and on AIM), secondary issues from open offers, placings and rights issues, and public company takeovers, such as the US $270m takeover of KazakhGold. We have worked on over 50 IPOs and capital raisings on AIM and the main market in recent years.

Our corporate finance team assists clients with:

  • raising seed, start-up, development or expansion capital
  • mergers, demergers, acquisitions and disposals of private companies
  • mergers, demergers and takeovers of public companies, including public-to-private deals
  • management buy-out, buy-in or similar of companies, divisions or subsidiaries
  • equity issues by companies, including IPOs
  • raising capital via the issue of other forms of equity, debt and related securities for the refinancing and restructuring of businesses
  • raising capital for specialist corporate investment funds, such as private equity, venture capital, real estate and infrastructure funds
  • financing joint ventures, project finance, infrastructure finance, public-private partnerships and privatisations
  • secondary equity issues, whether by means of private placing or further issues on a stock exchange especially where linked to one of the transactions listed above
  • raising debt and restructuring debt


We are increasingly acting for companies in the FSU and through our Hong Kong office in the PRC and the Asia-Pacific region. We offer advice on complex cross-border transactions for which we are able to call on our staff in offices round the world.

Recent work
 

  • Advising Christopher Kane on the acquisition by Global Luxury Brands Group Kering
  • Advising Anya Hindmarch on the investment by Mayhoola
  • Advising Jonathan Anderson on the acquisition by LVMH
  • Advising Nicholas Kirkwood on the acquisition by LVMH
  • Advising Newbay Media LLC, part of the Wicks Group (a New York based private equity firm) on the acquisition of Intent Media Limited, a UK magazine publisher
  • Advising Reply Limited on the acquisition of various UK companies, most recently a software development consultancy, Solidsoft Limited
  • Advising Celtech Holdings Limited on the sale of a UK tissue paper manufacturer, Northern Tissue Group Limited
  • Acting for Soho House, the luxury private members’ club group, in the sale of a majority stake to Yucaipa company
  • Acting for the majority shareholders on the sale of their stake in QPR Football Club to Tony Fernandes’s Tune Group and previously acting on the takeover of QPR Football Club by the selling shareholders
  • Advising Natalie Massenet, the founder of online luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter on its £350m sale to Swiss luxury goods Richemont
  • Acting for the founders of the South Beach Diet in the sale of the South Beach Diet brand to MidOcean Partners
  • Advising a South American Family Office on various investments in AIM listed gold mining company, Serabi Gold plc, by way of share subscription and rule 9 whitewash
  • Advising Columbus Nova, a New York based technology fund, on its investment in German listed technology company, Pyrolyx AG
  • Advising Hugh Willis on his acquisition of a 35% equity stake in Morgan Hunt Limited, a leading UK recruitment agency
  • Advising Jennifer Moores on her investment in Harry’s of London Limited alongside US Private Equity House, Palladin Retail Partners
  • Acting for Cantor Fitzgerald and Panmure Gordon on the AIM IPO of Globalworth, a Romanian property developer
  • Acting for London listed gold mining company KazakhGold on a partial offer from Russian gold miner Polyus Gold for a consideration of US$270m

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Diversity

We are an equal opportunity employer committed to enhancing diversity within the workplace.

We recognize and value the benefits that a diverse workforce can bring to the organization. Diversity is not limited to gender and ethnicity, and includes factors such as religion or belief, disability, age, marital status and sexual orientation. All our employees and Partners are responsible for the promotion and advancement of equality and diversity within the Firm.

Much of our work on diversity in the last three years has been about putting good monitoring tools in place to ensure that we understand where the gaps are within our workforce, making changes to our strategies and communicating our policy on equal opportunities and diversity to our staff and training those involved in managing and recruiting others.

Since 2002, Withers has experienced a period of growth. The expansion of our client base has highlighted our clients' need for a highly skilled and diverse workforce. The business need to support diversity is evident and Chris Priestley (a Partner in our Commercial group) has been nominated to ensure that Diversity is high on the partnership agenda.

Diversity Audit

In 2006 we undertook our first diversity audit of our workforce, monitoring age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity and disability. New joiners are monitored on an ongoing basis. Our diversity statistics are published below.

Communication of our commitment to Diversity

Each year our staff are asked to acknowledge their understanding of and commitment to the Firm’s Equal Opportunities Policy as part of our annual audit.

Our Supervisors and Partners receive training to ensure they understand their obligations in implementing our equal opportunity policy in the workplace.

In addition, all interview panelists are trained in the Firm’s approach to diversity and given guidance on our structured skill based approach to interviewing.

Promotion and Access to Development

Opportunities for promotion are communicated and made available to all staff on a fair and equal basis. A skills framework is used in all promotion, appraisal, and pay discussions to ensure a consistent and fair approach across the Firm.

Selection of candiates for promotion to 'Of Counsel or Partner' status is undertaken by a panel of Withers Partners, whose selection decisions are based upon technical expertise and pre-defined partner competencies.

Training is made available to all staff and Partners in line with our business needs. Training needs are recognized formally via our appraisal process, which is objective and skill based, to ensure a fair and equal approach.

Recognition for Diversity

Withers was ranked 2nd (out of the top 100 law firms) for having a high percentage of female equity partners in The Lawyer Career Report Survey 2006.

Withers also ranked 2nd (out of the top 50 firms) for Diversity with respect to women and ranked 1st for Diversity with respect for Gay and Lesbians in the Vault survey 2006.

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