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  1. Innovation
    1. Davos: winning trust in a digitalised, connected world
    2. Using technology to serve our clients
    3. Finding the balance: human touch versus high tech
    4. Connected Future: a global infrastructure report
    5. ShopBack seals latest major fundraising in Singapore
    6. FinTech reshapes financial services as sector booms
    7. WeWork: pioneering a new way of office working
  2. Anticipation
    1. Coty picks CMS as global adviser following beauty parade
    2. E-Procurement sets new commercial tone for EU contractors
    3. Tristan completes EPISO 5 fund raise amidst political turbulence
    4. Portuguese renewable energy sector heats up with EUR 600m Novenergia sale
    5. New challenges in a changing world
  3. Supporting Growth
    1. Cinven acquires PPF as European pet food market flourishes
    2. Advance takes centre stage with theatre group acquisition
    3. Advent seals EUR 1.9bn Zentiva deal as healthcare booms
    4. Liberty sells European assets to Vodafone in EUR 18.4bn mega-deal
  4. Managing Risk
    1. New lab services agreements for Honeywell following Homes spin-off
    2. Creating a tax-effective structure for a private equity investment
    3. Climate change liability – new litigation risks
    4. Protecting trade marks across Europe
    5. Markel takes Hippo to task in complex insurance arrears dispute
  5. Inside CMS
    1. CMS breaks ground with first global tech start up programme, equIP
    2. From China to Chile: cultural differences and the ties that bind
    3. Facing the future
  6. CSR and Diversity & Inclusion
    1. Helping to achieve a better world
  7. Partner interviews
    1. Interview with Olga Belyakova
    2. Interview with Jeremy Tan
    3. Interview with Laura Houet
    4. Interview with Ramón Huapaya
    5. Interview with Daniela Murer
    6. Interview with Christopher Jordan
    7. Interview with Herman Boersen
    8. Interview with Sibylle Schnyder
    9. Interview with Clemens Grossmayer
    10. Interview with Robert Stephen
    11. Interview with Mary Allan
    12. Interview with Matias Somarriva
    13. Interview with Denis Redon
    14. Interview with Joaquim Sherman de Macedo
    15. Interview with Eleanor Lane
    16. Interview with Niklas Zaugg
    17. Interview with Joachim Kaetzler
    18. Interview with Andreas Otto

Advance takes centre stage with theatre group acquisition

"CMS’s work ethic is second to none – the firm is very client-friendly and worked very hard on very difficult deadlines to produce an excellent transaction for us while managing risk in thoughtful and comprehensive ways."
MICHAEL D. FRICKLAS 
Chief Legal Officer Advance / Newhouse Partnership

In our first corporate transaction for  the client, a multijurisdictional CMS  team advised Advance / Newhouse Partnership (Advance) on its agreement to purchase 100% of the shares of Stage Entertainment from CVC Capital Partners and Joop van den Ende.

Advance is a diversified, family-owned company that operates and invests in  a broad range of media, communications and technology businesses. Its recently appointed General Counsel had been a long-standing client of CMS (and previously Olswang) for commercial media work while in his prior post of General Counsel of Viacom Inc. 

Stage Entertainment is one of the world’s largest theatre producers and owners, operating 20 theatres and partnering with world-renowned creative talent to produce hit shows attended by over seven million visitors annually. The shows include Tina: The Tina Turner Musical in London and The Lion King in Hamburg and Madrid.

A CMS team with lawyers from France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the UK advised Advance on the acquisition.

The team was jointly led by CMS London partners John Enser and Louise Wallace and CMS Amsterdam partner Reinout Slot. Lawyers specialised in corporate, media, real estate, tax, employment and share incentives, intellectual property, competition and banking worked on  the transaction.

Louise Wallace said, “The value of this business derives from a complex combination of real property, IP licences, know-how and people across multiple countries which necessitated the delivery 
of highly specialised multidisciplinary advice under a challenging timescale.”

Stage Entertainment will join Advance’s strong portfolio of creative media and technology companies. Advance is one of the largest shareholders of Charter Communications, the second largest cable operator in the US, Discovery, a portfolio of premium video programming brands, and Reddit, a social news and interest forum. Advance also owns and operates Condé Nast and Condé Nast International (Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Architectural Digest, Wired and The New Yorker); Advance Local and American City Business Journals, together one of the largest local media groups in America; and other companies. It has also recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire Turnitin, the leading provider of academic integrity software and solutions.

Reinout Slot added, “The sellers of Stage comprised a private equity investor as majority shareholder, along with the founder of the business, who was stepping down, and ongoing management, so we had to deal with significant competing interests as the transaction progressed. There were also complex tax and pensions issues to contend with.”

Michael D. Fricklas, Chief Legal Officer of Advance, observed, “This was our first major acquisition of a significant European business under our new capital deployment programme. CMS was an excellent partner and provided leadership in a large number of critical areas. CMS’s work ethic is second to none – the firm is very client-friendly and worked extremely hard on difficult deadlines  to produce an excellent transaction for us while managing risk in thoughtful and comprehensive ways.”