Benjamin Godard’s practice primarily focuses on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets, as well as corporate and bank financing matters. Mr. Godard has developed his experience in both domestic and cross-border transactions, advising private and public companies, investment funds and banks.
Transactions in which he has been involved include:
- Kering (ex-PPR) in connection with its €1.2 billion sale of Conforama to Steinhoff, a South African manufacturer of home furnishings;
- Ares Life Sciences, an investment fund created by the Bertarelli family, in connection with the €1 billion cross-border merger of the French-listed company Stallergenes with and into the parent company of the U.S. group Greer Laboratories to create a leading allergenic immunotherapy company registered in the U.K. and listed on the regulated market of Euronext Paris, known as Stallergenes Greer;
- J.C. Flowers & Co in connection with its €832 million leveraged buyout acquisition of Compagnie Européenne de Prévoyance, the leading French loan insurance broker;
- Imerys in connection with its €251 million share capital increase via a public rights offering in France and an international private placement (in compliance with Regulation S) outside the United States;
- Parrot in connection with:
- its €298 million share capital increase via a public rights offering in France and an international private placement outside the United States in compliance with Regulation S and within the United States to qualified institutional buyers; and
- the implementation of a strategic and capital partnership between its subsidiary Parrot Automotive and Faurecia;
- Cheetah Mobile, the world’s leading mobile utility and content app developer, in connection with:
- its US$58 million acquisition of MobPartner, a leading global mobile advertising platform; and
- its US$57 million acquisition of News Republic, a leading media content app developer;
- Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate in connection with its sale of Massalia Shopping Mall, an investment company set up to develop the Prado shopping center in Marseille, France, to Klepierre and a private co-investor;
- Fiducial Real Estate in connection with its acquisition of Uffi Real Estate Asset Management, resulting in an increase of the real estate assets managed for third parties within the Fiducial group for an amount of approximately €330 million;
- SCOR in the sale of its stake in Gecimed in connection with Gecina’s mandatory tender offer on such shares; and in connection with several subordinated debt offerings;
- IDEX Corporation in connection with its sale of Faure Herman to Le Garrec et Cie and BNP Paribas Development; and
- Key Safety Systems on the French aspects of its acquisition of substantially all of the assets and operations of Takata Corporation.
Mr. Godard also advised corporate borrowers (Ball Corporation, Cemex, Esselte, HellermannTyton, Insight Enterprises, KP1) and lending banks (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo) on the French aspects of bank financing transactions.
In addition, Mr. Godard taught French corporate law to LL.M. students of the University of Cergy Pontoise from 2012 to 2015.