Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Avast Software, one of the world's major players in the antivirus market, and a selling shareholder consortium on the sale of a significant minority stake to CVC Capital Partners, one of the world's leading private equity and investment advisory firms.
Supporting the successful completion of the deal included advising on the new US borrower financing that supported CVC's acquisition of an approximate 40 percent interest in Avast, which values the Prague-based business at around US$1 billion.
Partner Michal Smrek, who is based in Prague and leads the Firm's relationship with Avast, said: "We were very excited to support Avast again and in such an important transaction. It is another milestone in our long term relationship with this company.
"In 2010 we advised Avast's founders on the initial private equity investment in the business by Summit Partners and, with lawyers in Prague, London and New York working on this further round of investment, we've underlined the truly global nature of the integrated service White & Case can provide to help clients achieve their ambitions."
Alan Rassaby, Avast Software General Counsel and Company Secretary, said "For Avast this transaction was complex and challenging. On our side the interests of Czech founder shareholders, Summit, as well as US-Czech management team had to be facilitated. White & Case put together a first class team for us, combining lawyers who not only know Avast and its needs, but also understand the demands of private equity sponsors…and it worked perfectly."
Partner Ian Bagshaw, London-based co-head of the Firm's private equity practice in EMEA, said: "This fantastic mandate clearly demonstrates the rationale behind strengthening our private equity capability in EMEA. White & Case was able to support Avast on a US borrower financing solution for CVC and, at the same time, represent the selling shareholders on this significant transaction. It was also a great opportunity to work closely with CVC and Summit Partners."
Partner John Reiss, the firm's Global Practice Leader for M&A, said: "This eye-catching transaction is an early example of the way in which our clients will benefit from the obvious synergy between the enlarged private equity practice in EMEA and our worldwide bank finance practice. It also underlines our commitment to the international private equity market and ability to support deals carried out via all types of financing."
Avast provides free antivirus software which can be downloaded from the internet and its products are used on more than 200 million PCs and other devices worldwide. It sells additional, premium products to subscribers to its basic free software package.
The White & Case team which advised Avast and the selling shareholder consortium was co-led by partners Michal Smrek (Prague) and Ian Bagshaw (London), and included partners Eric Berg, Justin Wagstaff (New York), Ales Zidek, Damian Beaven and Jiri Tomola (Prague) as well as associates Jakub Zavadil (Prague), Jakub Mencl (Silicon Valley), Steven Hannah, Sevda Staykova, Marcus Booth, Charlotte Dixon (London) and Heather Borthwick (New York).
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