Simpson and Kirkland land top roles on $1bn Melrose-KKR deal

KKR turns to Kirkland as regular adviser Simpson takes sale side 

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Kirkland & Ellis have taken the lead roles on Melrose Industries’ $1bn (£627m) sale of construction manufacturing assets Crosby and Acco to private equity house Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).

Simpson Thacher acted for Melrose, leaving longstanding client KKR to turn to Kirkland on the deal.

Both Crosby, an Oklahoma-based manufacturer of rigging and lifting equipment, and Acco, a smaller Pennsylvania producer of custom-built material handling equipment, were originally acquired as part of Melrose’s 2008 buyout of engineering group FKI.

London corporate partners Adam Signy and Derek Baird led for Simpson Thacher, acting for FTSE 100-constituent Melrose, with London credit partner Euan Gorrie, antitrust partner David Vann and New York-based tax partner Gary Mandel also on the team.

Simpson Thacher is a regular adviser to KKR but on this occasion the buyout house instructed Kirkland, with the former firm already engaged on the sale side.

Kirkland fielded a team led by Chicago corporate partner Jeffrey Fine, alongside private equity partners Gavin Gordon in London and Jon Ballis in Chicago, and US debt finance partner Linda Myers.

The deal, which is being led out of London and Chicago, is expected to complete in the final quarter of 2013.

Last year Signy led for Melrose on the debt and equity fundraising aspects of its £1.5bn acquisition of German utility meter manufacturer Elster Group.

Recent Simpson Thacher mandates for KKR include March’s $3.9bn (£2.4bn) purchase of industrial machinery manufacturer Gardner Denver.