IFLR1000 – 2013

EU Competition

« De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés is a good choice before the French Competition Authority (FCA) although the team has no office in Brussels itself. In France, through 2011-2012 the team handles some cases involving global companies such as Trip Advisor in hot areas such as online practices. The team also broke new ground securing new decisions by a national authority in an FCA case. The firm has been busy providing advice on competition matters in a variety of cases, supporting transactions or in relation to investigations and court driven interventions primarily before the French Competition Authority (FCA). In one public case the firm acted for Synhorcat, the French association for hotels, restaurants, bars and caterers, the Place du Louvre Hotel and Guilguiffin Château in a law suit against Trip Advisor and Expedia, which involved the Ministry of Tourism, in relation to damaging practices by the online travel sites. The case resulted in fines against the sites. The firm also acted in a case before the FCA which led to the first ever decision by a national competition authority in a particular area and also handled state aid and cartel investigation cases. »



« De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés has an active practice in core banking transactions led by Sylvie Perrin and Guillaume Ansaloni. The firm in general has grown quickly in prominence and in terms of lawyer numbers and through 2011-2012 handled a number of cross-border asset finance deals. The firm advised Veolia Transdev on the negotiation and structuring of financing arrangements totalling €272 million with a syndicate of banks led by Santander for the acquisition of trains and operational capital for the Rosenheim rail network in Germany. The firm also represented Schoeller Arca Systems on setting up a cross-border asset finance transaction to finance industrial equipment and moulds. The deal, which saw the firm draft the financial documents in coordination with legal counsel in nine countries, closed in December 2011. In another core financing deal, the firm advised Touax on a club refinancing of existing indebtedness totalling €90 million with lenders Société Générale and pool of lenders. The team was also kept busy on distressed related finance deals often working with a combination of debt capital markets advice. »


Capital Markets

« De Gaulle receives both debt and equity mandates. In 2011-2012 the team was busy acting on Alternext related transactions and it won some interesting public entity related debt issuance work. In 2012 the firm promoted another partner in Stéphanie Roy. The firm has a solid base in corporate and M&A, which sees it advise on public M&A deals. On the debt side, the firm has acted as sole advisor to the French national employment insurance scheme UNEDIC on a series of bond issuance through 2009 to 2012. In 2011 and 2012, the firm advised UNEDIC on a €2 billion issuance at 2.375% due 2014, a €250 million issuance at 1.37% due 2013, a €2.5 billion issuance at 1.75% due 2015 and a €1 billion issuance at 3% due 2019. On the equity side the firm advised on a public M&A transaction that involved a sale of a stake in a company to the public through an IPO on the Alternext, a public offering (which needed a prospectus) and a delisting from the Alternext Brussels and Paris. »


Corporate M&A and Private Equity

« This firm is a good up-and-comer in the market for M&A, especially on the domestic   mid-market front. “They have some good deals and good people,” says a competitor,  while another tips the firm as a “rising name”. The firm won mandates in M&A and private equity. The firm advised the French sovereign wealth fund Fonds Stratégiques d’Investissements (FSI) in its investment into the fund raising of professional social network Viadeo for €24 million. The investment was completed in April 2012.  In early 2011 the firm had also acted for insurance group holding company Covea on the sale of Château Beychevelles, a Bordeaux Grands Crus to Castel and Suntory. »


Restructuring and Insolvency

« De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés is listed for the first time in this section. The firm has been bolstering its team with the hire of Valerie Lafarge Sarkozy, who specialises in bankruptcy and insolvency litigation often on behalf of banks, and a team from Proskauer Rose. In 2012 the group was led by three partners.  The other key names (…) Didier Bruère-Dawson, who has strong experience of trustee work. The firm covers tax, labour and corporate law aspects. The firm handled some complicated cases covering all aspects of restructuring, distressed M&A, insolvency and liquidations. The firm advised clients on sauvegarde proceedings, in cases before the French courts and on cross-border distressed situations. The team also won a series of small-cap mandates from a leading French bank. The firm’s cases varied from €10 million to over €100 million. »


Project Finance

« De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés has an eight member team working for sponsors and banks, and targeting areas such as renewable energy. Through 2011-2012, the firm was especially active in the renewable energies space, working on wind, solar and other projects. The firm advises clients including Credit Mutual CIC and the Caisse des Dépots. The firm handled a number of project financings, notably for Veolia and Verbund. On behalf of Veolia Transdev, the team advised in relation to a project concession for the operation of a rail system in Bavaria, Germany. The €200 million deal involved financing from a syndicate of lenders led by Santander Bank to fund the acquisition of equipment and operational costs. For Verbund International and Poweo Production, the firm advised on a strategic alliance in order to work on a wider spectrum of power and industrial projects in France. Among the work, the firm conducted due diligence for the alliance. In other work, the firm represented Helianthe and MS Capital on the acquisition of a rooftop solar production portfolio off Turkey focussed French company Green Planete and assisted Credit Mutuel CIC on an €8 million 15 year project financing to SPIE Batignolles for the refurbishment of a public swimming pool and an €18 million financing to Theolia Group to establish a 15MW wind energy project. »