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Keensight Capital Acquires Majority Stake in Smile

October 10, 2019

Paris – Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, has advised Keensight Capital in connection with the LBO of Smile group, a transaction structured alongside with Eurazeo PME and the management team as minority shareholders.

Keensight Capital replaces Eurazeo PME as majority stakeholder of Smile group, the European market leader in digital based projects and open source technologies. With an annual revenue of €102.5 million in 2018 and of c.€130 million in 2019, the Smile group has offices in seven countries and employs 1,700 experts working each year on hundreds of strategic digital projects for large corporate clients across Europe. The Smile group has experienced during the last years a very strong growth, due to its organic development as well as to the successful acquisitions of Virtua, Adyax and Sensiolabs which have been completed since 2017.

Keensight Capital will support the Smile group’s organic growth, in particular through the development of the consulting offer launched in 2019, as well as its international expansion, especially in new geographies.

The Paul Hastings team was composed of corporate partner Olivier Deren with associates Charlotte Dupont and Vincent Nacinovic, tax partner Allard de Waal with associate Thomas Pulcini, employment partner Stéphane Henry with associate Alexandre Ruiz, antitrust associate Joséphine Fourquet and leveraged finance partner Olivier Vermeulen with counsel Marc Zerah and associates Louis Fearn and Yanniv Gilquel.

Simmons & Simmons (partner Jérôme Patenotte with associates Savina Jouan and Alexandre Vernisse) advised Eurazeo PME. The management team of Smile has been advised by Jeausserand Audouard (partners Erwan Bordet with tax counsel Carole Furst and associates Eléonore Gaulier and Antoine Le Roux), Willkie Farr & Gallagher (partner Paul Lombard with associates Mathilde de Wiljes and Louis Renucci) advising CAPZA for the unitranche financing.

At Paul Hastings, our purpose is clear — to help our clients and people navigate new paths to growth. With a strong presence throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S., Paul Hastings is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative global law firms.