Shoosmiths has advised Five Arrows Principal Investments (Rothschild & Co) in concluding a definitive agreement for a newco funded by Astorg, a leading global private equity firm, to acquire a majority stake in the Opus 2 group. This deal is the fourth major transaction the Shoosmiths team has undertaken for Five Arrows Principal Investments in as many months. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The Opus 2 buyout is the first investment made by Astorg’s newly raised Mid-Cap fund in what is a fast growing B2B market leader. Astorg Mid-Cap’s investment alongside Five Arrows Principal Investments (FAPI) and the founder Graham Smith-Bernal’s continuing support will enable Opus 2 to continue to develop its UK market and expand internationally.
Founded in 2008, Opus 2 is the leading provider of integrated software and services used in legal disputes around the world. Its cloud-based collaboration software is designed for case preparation and multi-party hearings enabling all stakeholders to work on a single platform. Opus 2 provides associated technology-enabled services including court reporting and real-time transcription, as well as virtual hearing services. The business has a blue-chip, global client base, including all of the top 50 UK law firms and 88% of the AmLaw 50 firms in the US.
Shoosmiths acted as lead counsel for the sell-side which comprised FAPI alongside the Founder, former and executive management. Marshalling the various interests and coordinating a competitive bidding process required a collaborative approach with Founder counsel (CMS) and management counsel (Dickson Minto) and detailed project management involving teams in Australia, Singapore, the US as well as the UK. Shoosmiths also advised FAPI on its reinvestment in the business.
Shoosmiths advised FAPI when it first invested in Opus 2. The same Shoosmiths team of partners Amit Nayyar and Claire Checketts and senior associate Bryn Jones led negotiations supported by associates Adam Frost and Sarah Maddock. Tax support was provided by partner Anika Chandra, associate Alexander Massey and principal associate, Jamie Chambers.
Sacha Oshry, Managing Director of Five Arrows Principal Investments, said:
“Over the past few years, Opus 2 has grown significantly, and we believe that the business is well-positioned for continued success. Thanks to the team’s hard work in getting this over the line we are excited to be continuing our journey alongside the other shareholders.”