David Butts

David Butts

Managing Partner
Co-Head of International Private Equity, CMS Sofia

CMS Sofia
Landmark Centre
14 Tzar Osvoboditel Blvd
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria
Languages English, French
Private Equity

David Butts is Managing Partner in Bulgaria, Head of Life Sciences & Healthcare International M&A and Co-leader of International Private Equity for CEE. David co-heads a team of experienced international private equity lawyers and has worked on several of the largest M&A and private equity deals in the CEE region.

David’s wide experience in M&A and corporate matters across CEE is backed by significant experience in commercial matters relating to life sciences & healthcare, TMC, intellectual property and competition issues. He has been working in the CEE region for over 17 years. David’s clients include private equity funds, life sciences & healthcare companies, telecommunication companies, real estate investors, insurance companies, and FMCGs companies.

His experience in the legal profession includes working at one of Canada’s pre-eminent corporate and commercial law firms, acting as General Counsel for the Canadian subsidiary of a multinational pharmaceutical company, and being the founding partner of a commercial law firm located in Montreal, Canada, where he practised commercial law with an emphasis on M&A, intellectual property protection and technology licensing. 

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“A problem-solver who can find solutions in real time around the negotiation table”

Chambers

Relevant experience

  • Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, on: 
    • the sale of the KAI Group, a leading manufacturer of ceramic tiles and other building materials, to a Luxembourg-based affiliate of Mohawk Industries Inc., one of the world’s largest flooring companies;
    • the acquisition of Provimi Pet Food for an enterprise value of EUR €188m, across 7 jurisdictions (The Netherlands, France, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Russia and Czech Republic), followed by the sale to Pamplona Capital Management for an enterprise value of EUR €315m;
    • their first deal in Ukraine; a lifesciences acquisition involving the purchase of a majority stake in a chain of female health (primarily IVF) clinics;
    • the exits from its portfolio companies across Central and Eastern Europe, including on the exit from BTC.
  • Quinn Group on the sale of Hilton in Sofia. Work included negotiation of the Share Purchase Agreement, negotiating of the transactional documents, review and revising of the corporate structure of the transaction as well as post-completion transactional assistance. This was part of a package sale where CMS also advised Quinn Group on the sale of Sheraton Krakow Hotel in Poland. This was a cross border transaction covering Poland, England, Ireland and Switzerland, with a financing component under New York law.
  • Landmark on the sale, by way of competitive bid process of Landmark's property portfolio in Bulgaria, Croatia and Turkey to Bridgecorp Jsc for EUR €210m, via structured auction. This multilevel deal is said to be the first management buy-out in the sector and the sale involved half a dozen of companies and concerned six jurisdictions. It included working with a major international financial adviser in setting up a virtual data room; communicating with the prospective bidders in a competitive two-round bid process; receiving and evaluating the bids; drafting a share purchase agreement, non-disclosure agreement and other related documents; negotiating with the preferred bidder, general corporate transactional support, and providing post-closing assistance.
  • CableTel on the financing and acquisition of 14 telecommunications companies in Bulgaria and Macedonia, at a deal value of approximately EUR €50m. Subsequently, advising the shareholders of CableTel on their partial exit from the abovementioned business to private equity firm EQT.
  • CVCI and NBGIon their acquisition of 90% of the share capital of Prestige 96 – one of the leading produces in the confectionary industry. Work included a legal due diligence, assistance in the structuring of the transaction, the negotiation of the transaction documents, and the very closing mechanics. CMS has also advised on the merger control aspects of the deal and on the obtaining of unconditional merger clearance from Bulgarian CPC.
  • Alveda Pharmaceuticals on the sale by way of competitive auction of a portfolio of sterile injectables to IGI Laboratories, Inc.
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Education

  • 1990 - Degrees in Civil and Common law, McGill
  • 1983 - BSc in Pharmacy, Dalhousie
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Life Sciences & Healthcare

David Butts is Managing Partner in Bulgaria, Head of Life Sciences & Healthcare International M&A and Head of the Life Sciences & Healthcare sector group for CEE. David manages a team of experienced international life sciences & healthcare lawyers and has been working on some of the largest life sciences & healthcare M&A deals in the CEE region as well as on various other life sciences & healthcare corporate and commercial matters.

David’s broad experience covers commercial matters relating to pharmaceutical, intellectual property, competition, marketing and advertising issues in the Life Sciences & Healthcare sector. He has been working in the CEE region for over 17 years. David’s clients include pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech companies, as well as consumer products providers and clinical research organisations.

David was appointed Director of Pharmacy at an acute care hospital at the age of 21. His experience in the legal profession includes working at one of Canada’s pre-eminent corporate and commercial law firms, acting as General Counsel for the Canadian subsidiary of a multinational pharmaceutical company, and being the founding partner of a commercial law firm located in Montreal, Canada, where he practised commercial law with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property protection and technology licensing.

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Enthusiastic sources state: "He is a knowledgeable practitioner with a lot of experience globally, particularly in Eastern Europe. He is somewhat superhuman – he can travel between two cities in one day and offer brilliant advice in both!"

Client Quote, Chambers, 2015

Relevant experience

  • Takeda Pharmaceutical on its EUR 9.6 bn transformational acquisition of the global drug company Nycomed.
  • A major pharmaceutical company on establishing its operations in 10 countries across CEE. CMS incorporated the legal entities, obtained all necessary local registrations and licences and helped to negotiate and put in place distribution agreements. We also assisted with putting employment contracts and internal data protection procedures in to place, and have subsequently assisted it in areas ranging from intellectual property to litigation
  • A US based global pharmaceutical company on its acquisition of an international tissue banking organisation, including coordinating due diligence and transactional matters across various European jurisdictions.
  • Various multinational pharmaceutical companies, on the setting up and conduct of clinical trials in Bulgaria.
  • Alveda Pharmaceuticals on the sale by way of competitive auction of a portfolio of sterile injectables to IGI Laboratories, Inc.
  • An international pharmaceutical corporation on the execution of a proposed Licence, Supply, Manufacturing, Promotion, and Distribution Agreement with a distributor in Bulgaria, as well as in respect of advertising matters and donation activities directed to hospitals and doctors in Bulgaria.
  • A pharmaceutical company on a contemplated agreement with a Bulgarian wholesaler/distributor, regarding the import and distribution of products.
  • A pharmaceutical company on a contemplated acquisition of a Bulgarian distributor, including in respect of corporate compliance matters.
  • Various companies in respect of due diligence and compliance audits, including coordinating roll out of Global Compliance Programs across CEE.
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Education

  • 1990 - Degrees in Civil and Common law, McGill
  • 1983 - BSc in Pharmacy, Dalhousie
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