Eduardo J. Fernandez

Partner

Paris
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
21 boulevard Malesherbes
75008 Paris
T +33 1 53 43 45 30
F +33 1 53 43 46 99
efernandezwillkie.com

Eduardo Fernandez is a partner in Willkie's Corporate & Financial Services Department in Paris. Eduardo focuses primarily on mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. He is co-head of Willkie's European Committee and co-managing partner of Willkie's Paris office.

A native New Yorker, Eduardo commenced his career as an associate in Willkie's New York office. He is fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Eduardo regularly represents some of Europe's most prominent private equity sponsors on leveraged buy-outs (LBO), leveraged recapitalizations, late stage growth capital investments and distressed M&A opportunities and has acted on several of the most prominent LBO and growth capital transactions in recent years on the French market.

Eduardo has extensive experience advising both privately held and publicly listed companies on French domestic and cross border acquisitions and dispositions in a broad range of industries, including in the business services, consumer products, food and healthcare sectors. Eduardo also advises on corporate venture investments and strategic alliances.

Chambers Europe (2022), Chambers Global (2022) and several other professional guides, including IFLR and Legal 500, rank Eduardo among the leading individuals practicing in Private Equity (High End Capability) and Corporate/M&A in France.

In 2020, Eduardo was cited among the top M&A lawyers in France (based on deal count and deal value) by Mergermarket and recognized among the top 10 M&A lawyers in France by MergerLinks.

Highlights

Eduardo Fernandez is a partner in Willkie's Corporate & Financial Services Department in Paris. Eduardo focuses primarily on mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. He is co-head of Willkie's European Committee and co-managing partner of Willkie's Paris office.

A native New Yorker, Eduardo commenced his career as an associate in Willkie's New York office. He is fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Eduardo regularly represents some of Europe's most prominent private equity sponsors on leveraged buy-outs (LBO), leveraged recapitalizations, late stage growth capital investments and distressed M&A opportunities and has acted on several of the most prominent LBO and growth capital transactions in recent years on the French market.

Eduardo has extensive experience advising both privately held and publicly listed companies on French domestic and cross border acquisitions and dispositions in a broad range of industries, including in the business services, consumer products, food and healthcare sectors. Eduardo also advises on corporate venture investments and strategic alliances.

Chambers Europe (2022), Chambers Global (2022) and several other professional guides, including IFLR and Legal 500, rank Eduardo among the leading individuals practicing in Private Equity (High End Capability) and Corporate/M&A in France.

In 2020, Eduardo was cited among the top M&A lawyers in France (based on deal count and deal value) by Mergermarket and recognized among the top 10 M&A lawyers in France by MergerLinks.

Selected Significant Matters

Private Equity

Recent representations of:

  • Ardian on
    • the sale of Solina, the leading European manufacturer of ingredient and seasoning blends for the food industry, to Astorg
    • its acquisition of a majority stake in AD Education, a European education platform specialized in arts, digital and audiovisual
    • its acquisition of Oktogone Group, a leader in digital education and training (via portfolio company AD Education)
    • its acquisition of the European operations of SAE Institute, a leader in audiovisual and creative media higher education (via portfolio company AD Education)
  • IK Partners on
    • the contemplated sale of Exxelia, a global leader in the design, manufacture and sale of high-reliability ("Hi-Rel"), complex, passive electronic components and rotary joint assemblies for mostly aerospace and defense applications, to HEICO Corporation
    • the contemplated sale of Linxis Group, a leading global supplier of industrial equipment and automation solutions for the food, pharma and cosmetic industries, to Hillenbrand, Inc.
    • its acquisition of a majority stake in Batisanté, a leading compliance and safety services provider, primarily servicing residential buildings and professional customers in France
    • its investment in Safic-Alcan is a French independent distributor of specialty chemicals
    • its acquisition of a majority stake in Kersia, a global leader in biosecurity and food safety from Ardian
    • the acquisition of Vivalto Santé, a leading provider of private hospital services in France (as member of an investor consortium)
    • the investment by Insight Partners in i@d, the leading French digital network of real estate agents (in consortium with Five Arrows Principal Investments)
    • the sale of a significant stake in Questel, a major worldwide technology player in the area of intellectual property management, to Eurazeo
  • Intermediate Capital Group on
    • the sale of Etanco, the leading European designer, manufacturer and distributor of building fasteners and fixing systems
    • its acquisition of a controlling stake in Circet, the leading telecommunications network service provider in Europe
    • its investment in Biogroup, a leading French operator of medical diagnostic laboratories
  • PAI Partners on
    • its acquisition of a majority stake in Euronext listed Amplitude Surgical, a French leader on the global surgical technology market for lower-limb orthopedics
    • the sale of a majority stake in leading retirement and nursing home operator DomusVi to Intermediate Capital Group and Sagesse Retraite Santé
  • TA Associates on its acquisition of a 25% stake in Foncia, a major provider of residential property management services in Europe, majority owned by Partners Group
  • Vaultier7 on
    • the sale of its participation in Axel Arigato, a cult sneaker brand
    • its investment in Joone, a French-based company specializing in eco-conscious baby and mother-care products
    • its investment in Vestiaire Collective, a leading global platform for desirable pre-owned fashion

M&A

Representations of:

  • A world-renowned luxury brand and fashion house on
    • its acquisition of Orlebar Brown, a clothing brand specializing in tailored men's swim short,
    • its acquisition of a minority stake in, and strategic commercial alliance with, Farfetch, an online luxury fashion retail platform, and
    • the sale of its historic cosmetics business to Coty Inc.
  • Bonduelle on
    • the sale of a 65% stake in Bonduelle Americas Long Life to Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
    • its acquisition of Ready Pac Foods, the U.S. market leader in single-serve salad bowls
  • Cérélia on
    • its acquisition of General Mills’ European dough businesses,
    • its acquisition of US Waffle, a privately-held frozen foods manufacturing company based in South Carolina
    • its acquisition of Wewalka's North American pizza dough business
    • the disposal of certain assets of Cérélia's North American Canned Refrigerated Dough and Pie Crust business
    • its acquisition of North American cookie specialist English Bay Batter
    • its acquisition of De Bioderij, manufacturer of ready-to-use pancakes and Dutch poffertjes
  • Ethypharm (backed by PAI Partners) on the acquisition of Altan Pharma Ltd
  • ISS A/S on
    • the sale of its "ISS Hygiène et Prévention" subsidiary to Weinberg Capital Partners,
    • the sale of its French waste management business unit, ISS Environnement, to Paprec Group,
    • the sale of its French landscaping business subsidiary, Espaces Verts, to Chequers Capital
  • La Martinière Groupe and its main shareholders in connection with the combination with Média-Participations creating the third-largest publishing group in France
  • Mademoiselle Desserts (backed by IK Partners) on
    • its acquisition of Les Délices des 7 Vallées, a French-based producer of frozen industrial cakes and pastries, from Sagard
    • its acquisition of the French bakery, Patisserie Michel Kremer (MK Patisserie)
  • Mailjet and its shareholders, including Alven Capital, Iris Capital, Seventure Partners, on its acquisition by Mailgun, a leading email delivery platform backed by Thoma Bravo
  • Pomona on its acquisition of eight concession holders within the Relais d'Or Miko network (exclusive distributor of Unilever premium brand ice creams in France)
  • Technip Energies (and predecessor companies) on
    • an investment in McPhy Energy's €180 million capital increase, to fund global scale-up of zero-carbon hydrogen
    • the sale of Technip Benelux NV to Ludancom
    • the sale of Technip Germany GmbH to ATOP, and
    • its acquisition of the Zimmer polymer technology business of Air Liquide
  • TRACE, the leading African music and entertainment company, and its founder and management team, in the sale thereof to TPG Growth
  • Questel (backed by Eurazeo, IK Investment Partners and Raise Investissement) on the acquisition of NovumIP from Paragon Partners
  • Unipex, a leading French life science ingredients distributor, and its founders and management team, in the sale thereof to Barentz International
  • Vilmorin & Cie, one of the world's leading seed companies, on its acquisition of two independent South American seed companies, Sursem (Argentina) and Geneze (Brazil) from Pampa Capital

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