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White & Case and Latham & Watkins Advise on Avast IPO

White & Case and Latham & Watkins Advise on Avast IPO

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White & Case has advised cybersecurity provider Avast on its USD 816.6 million initial public offering. The joint bookrunners — UBS, MS, BAML, Jeffries, Credit Suisse, Key Banc, and Barclays —were represented by Latham & Watkins.

Avast was admitted to the Premium Listing Segment of the Official List and the Main Market of the LSE. The USD 816.6 million offer size, priced at 250 pence per share, includes gross primary proceeds of around USD 200 million and represents 25.3% of the shares in Avast.

Its market capitalization at the commencement of conditional dealings is approximately USD 3.231 billion, and according to White & Case, “it is the biggest ever software IPO on the London Stock Exchange.” 

“Our relationship with Avast has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years,” said White & Case Partner Ian Bagshaw, who co-led the firm’s deal team. “We advised the company on a number of key transactions, including its USD 1.3 billion acquisition of AVG Technologies N.V. as reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 17, 2016, the initial private equity investment by Summit Partners in 2010, the minority investment by CVC Capital Partners in 2014 as reported by CEE Legal Matters on February 7, and its recent acquisition of Piriform. Advising Avast on a London IPO of this magnitude and strategic significance has been hugely exciting, and is another milestone in our relationship with this ambitious and successful company as it begins the next chapter in its exciting growth story.”

Avast is headquartered in Prague, and it has offices in the USA, Germany, China, South Korea, and Taiwan. It is the global leader in digital security products, with more than 435 million users worldwide.

The White & Case team advising on the transaction was co-led by Partners Ian Bagshaw, Jonathan Parry, and Jill Concannon (in London), and included Partners Jan Andrusko (in  Prague), Guy Potel, Steven Worthington, Prabhu Narasimhan and Justin Wagstaff (in London), and London Associates Lucy Bullock, Helen Levendi, Marissa Florio, Alexander Underwood, Kelley Trueman, Will Summers, Elena Ruggiu, and Disha Chandrachud.

The Latham & Watkins team included Partners Brett Cassidy and James Inness.

Editor’s note: After this article was published, Kinstellar announced us that they advised the underwriters of the IPO. The joint global co-ordinators were Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment Bank, the joint bookrunners Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, and Jefferies, KeyBanc Capital Markets acted as co-lead manager, while the financial adviser was Rothschild. Kinstellar’s team was led by Partner Jan Juroska, and further included Counsel Martina Brezinova, and Junior Associates Jakub Stastny and Michal Matous.

Czech Republic Knowledge Partner

HAVEL & PARTNERS, attorneys-at-law, with offices in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Pilsen, Olomouc, and Ostrava, has a team of 220 lawyers, tax advisors and 500 employees in total, is the largest independent law firm in Central Europe.

Our clients include large international companies, leading Czech and Slovak firms, including strategic state-owned companies and public sector authorities, as well as medium-size businesses, individual entrepreneurs, and investors. We advise approximately 100 of the Fortune 500 companies, and almost 50 of the Czech Top 100 companies. HAVEL & PARTNERS currently provides its services to a total of 2,000 clients. We have the most comprehensive international support available to both Czech and Slovak law firms. We provide legal and tax advice in 12 world languages in more than 90 countries around the globe. Up to 70 % of the transactions we deal with involve an international aspect.

HAVEL & PARTNERS was named the best law firm operating in the Czech Republic by the prestigious British rating agencies Chambers and Partners (2020) and Who’s Who Legal (2018, 2019). It is also the most successful law firm, providing the most comprehensive legal services in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, based on the total number of all nominations and awards in all years of the Law Firm of the Year awards. The firm became the absolute winner of this competition four times in the last six years, receiving the main award Domestic Law Firm of the Year in the Czech Republic (2015, 2017, 2018, 2020) and ranking as one of the most recommended law firms in all categories of law. Our company is also a three-time winner of the Law Firm of the Year award for Best Client Services (2015, 2016, 2019). In the field of M&A, HAVEL & PARTNERS is the best law firm in the Czech Republic based on the annual International Advisory Experts awards (2018, 2019). In Slovakia, it also won the prestigious global M&A Today Awards (2013–2018) for Mergers & Acquisitions six times in a row, and repeatedly won first place in the ranking by Lawyer International Legal 100 (2017, 2018). Prestigious international rating agencies EMIS DealWatch and Mergermarket have ranked HAVEL & PARTNERS among the leading law firms by the number of transactions completed in the entire CEE region since 2009. Based on annual awards of the Acquisition International magazine, HAVEL & PARTNERS has become the Law Firm of the Year 2019 in the M&A category in the CEE region.

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