Top ranked Technology Law Firm Fieldfisher advised Tokyo listed Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd., on a landmark technology acquisition of Wahanda, the Tech City online marketplace for health, beauty and wellness, which has operations in the UK, Germany, and Lithuania and is rapidly growing across Europe. Wahanda's current management will remain with the business going forwards. Recruit, with its existing Japanese business Hot Pepper Beauty, hopes for this business to become the clear No 1 European on line beauty platform.
The deal valued at £112.5 million cash for the shares acquired (approximately JPY 20.4 billion) marks the second substantial acquisition for Recruit in Europe in recent months, following on from the acquisition of restaurant reservation service Quandoo in March.
Senior Corporate Partner and Head of Inward Investment David Kent was introduced to Recruit last year and won a beauty parade to represent them working with Fieldfisher's negotiating team led by Corporate Partner and Head of Technology Sector Tim Bird, Director Guy Burman, and associate Mekalai Thambiah.
Kazumasa Watanabe, of Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd. said: “This investment will allow us to further improve our international position in the hair and beauty industry. We recognised in Wahanda a world-class team and a company that had already established itself as the market leader in Europe. We look forward to supporting them with the aim of becoming a global leader in the beauty industry.”
Tim Bird commented:
"It has been a real pleasure to work closely with Recruit's legal team Makiko Yamamoto and Yoko Matsumura, and their commercial team, alongside Bank of America Merrill Lynch as financial advisers, and KPMG on tax. We often worked through the night and combined skills with the Recruit legal team to get the deal done."
David Kent added:
"This is the largest of a series of M&A transactions since I joined Fieldfisher indicating the pull and technology expertise of the firm's top-ranked IP and corporate lawyers in helping overseas companies acquire in Europe. We all worked our socks off to identify and resolve important issues of principle throughout the transaction to the satisfaction of both sides. It was a great pleasure to meet and work with Makiko and her legal team"
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