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12 May 2014

Speechly Bircham advises management on sale of a majority interest in Longview Partners

This article was written prior to the formation of Charles Russell Speechlys, through the merger between Charles Russell and Speechly Bircham.

Speechly Bircham has advised the management shareholders on the sale of a majority interest in Longview Partners, the specialist asset management firm, to Northill Capital (subject to regulatory approval).

Northill's investment in Longview represents approximately 55% of the firm's equity. Northill will buy out 100% of the shareholding of Keith McDermott, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-Founder, who retires on completion of the transaction. The balance of the equity acquired by Northill will be from the remaining shareholders including Ramzi Rishani, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and co-Founder and the management team.
Longview was founded in 2001 and manages $19.5 billion on behalf of predominantly institutional investors. As a result of the transaction, Ramzi Rishani and existing partner Marina Lund, will become co-CEOs of Longview Partners LLP, with Ramzi Rishani continuing in his role as CIO.

Marina Lund said "Speechlys were brought in late into the process to represent the other shareholders, a broad group. They quickly got up to speed under tremendous pressure and identified key areas for our attention. They were available around the clock and were highly responsive and supportive."

The Speechly's core team comprised private equity partners Malcolm MacDougall and Adam Crossley, on the corporate side, and partner James Meakin and assistant Robert Birchall, on the tax side. Malcolm said "we were delighted to act for the management shareholders on the transaction. This was a complex deal undertaken on a short timetable. It was a pleasure working with the management team."

Northill Capital were advised by Dechert LLP, Ramzi Rishani by Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Keith McDermott by Herbert Smith Freehills.