Venture, M&A and restructuring

Our Venture and M&A team offers a multidimensional expertise in a wide range of legal, technical, and also financial areas. Our team provides its clients with support and protection of their interests when it comes to their growth prospects.

Our team has significant expertise in assisting clients regarding:

  • Due diligence
  • Development and venture capital
  • Mergers and acquisitions

1. Due diligences

Aston Avocats is involved in the early stages of the transactions and performs due diligence operations for investors and purchasers as well, especially in the new technology sector.

Our team also performs pre-audit projects (before any fundraising campaign) and vendor due diligences. These audits are most of the time conducted in coordination with the Employment, Technology – IP and Dispute Resolution teams.

2. Development and venture capital

Aston Avocats and its lawyers share their knowledge and expertise in the drafting of legal documents adapted at every stage of the operations: Letter of intent (LOI), audit report, shareholders’ agreement, Guarantee Assets and Liabilities (GAP), issue of securities giving access to the capital (preference shares, free shares, bonds convertible into shares (OCAs), bonds redeemable in shares (ORAs), BSPCE, BSA ….

With more than 60 supported operations (Business Angels, crowdfunding, regional, national and foreign investment funds, BPI France, CDC, offers to the public …), Aston Avocats is considered as a reference firm in terms of Private Equity, providing start-up companies with tailored legal guidance and advice.

At the 2012 Legal Awards, the English magazine “Acquisition International” awarded the French Private Equity Law Firm of the Year Award to Aston Société d’avocats and its team of legal experts. This distinction is awarded after a worldwide journalistic investigation and a vote of the clients, the professional environment and the peers of the nominated firms.

The Guide-Annuaire of the French business magazine “Décideurs” specialized in Private Equity (funds, directors, LPs, consultants) ranked Aston Avocats among the best law firms in “advice in venture capital operations”.

Aston Avocats is ranked 2nd, with an “Excellence” special mention, thus entering the top 10 of law firms.

Olivier Sanviti, lawyer at the Paris and Madrid bars, is described as the leading partner of the activity.

The firm is also ranked 3rd, with a “High Notoriety” special mention, in capital development.

3. Mergers and acquisitions

Our M&A team works alongside businesses in their external growth operations and minority or majority holdings. Aston Société d’avocats has also developed a recognized expertise in the capital investment area.

Aston Avocats is an active participant throughout the entire process of:  preparatory talks, term sheets, management of data room, drafting of the necessary legal documentation (acquisition protocol, earn-outs, guarantees regarding assets and liabilities, funding agreement).

The M&A team focuses on the interests of our clients during the acquisition process, acting as real deal makers above all.

4. Restructuring & Insolvency

The Restructuring & Insolvency team provides a multidisciplinary expertise in resolving on an amicable or legal basis, the difficulties that the businesses may encounter. The team works alongside with the Employment and Corporate teams in order to cover all the diverse aspects of the insolvency procedures.

Our lawyers may intervene at every stage of the procedure, both in the amicable phase (Ad hoc mandate or conciliation) and the legal phase (safeguard, receivership, liquidation).

Our team intervenes on several levels of the operation:

  • Acquisition of asset-based activities / business lines – strategic assets: acquisitions of strategic companies in a pre-insolvency or insolvency situation and representing an external growth opportunity for the firm’s clients (Due diligence of legal acquisitions, drafting offers of transfer, management of relations with the organs of the procedure, support in the implementation of pre-pack assignment, etc.).
  • Insolvency risks anticipation: pre-insolvency companies restructuring (restatement of bank debts, social and tax debts, management of the creditors, debt conversion mechanism, negotiation of new-money privileges, social restructuring, etc.).
  • Conflict resolution by amicable or legal procedures
  • Technical assistance during collective proceedings: drafting of all the current legal acts accompanying companies in collective proceedings (conciliation procedure / ad hoc mandate and liquidation procedures)
  • Sector monitoring: the monitoring of companies in difficulty is carried out for a range of clients with whom specifications are drawn up.

Because the employment dimension of a restructuring plan is a key factor in the success of these operations, the Restructuring team has a real expertise in managing and dealing with labor law issues specific to collective procedures. For this reason, we deal with the legal implementation of social restructuring measures (employment protection plan, voluntary redundancy plan, etc.) as an interface between the debtor company and the bodies responsible for the procedure (Judicial Administrators and Judicial Officials ) .

Aston Avocats also ensures the collective litigation post-restructuring.

Depending on the nature of the restructuring operations and the configuration of the debtor company and / or the candidate for the asset disposal, the Restructuring team assists its clients with its relations with public and territorial authorities.

Our team carries out intermediation missions to the MINEFI “Territorial Economic Issues” division, the Interministerial Committee for Industrial Restructuring (CIRI), the DGE, the Inter-company Mediation and the Regional CRPs in order to negotiate agreements Specific to the support of the activities of our clients.

We also negotiate national framework agreements for employment (APLD), agreements with the URSSAF on moratoriums or public subsidies to finance the acquisition of assets or the deployment of new services.

Unlike other players in the business, the Restructuring team has adopted an upstream positioning of the business lines to maximize its understanding of the stakes and the macro-economic needs of the companies. Our team very often accompanies trade federations, employers’ associations or associations of sectors in the structuring of their activities, which brings the Restructuring team closer to the companies’ managers.

With a strong technical expertise and a macroeconomic implication, the Restructuring team mainly carries out its Restructuring missions in the sectors of industry, construction, transport, catering, press, graphics industry, biotechnology, events, etc.