Kirkland, Milbank and Covington shepherd Bain’s $5.3bn Guidehouse acquisition

Kirkland advises marquee client Bain as Milbank and Covington counsel Guidehouse and tech investor owner Veritas

Kirkland & Ellis, Milbank and Covington & Burling are acting in Bain Capital’s $5.3bn acquisition of government and business consulting firm Guidehouse. 

Kirkland is advising core client Bain on the deal, while Milbank and Covington are guiding Guidehouse and tech investor Veritas, its current owner.

News of the deal follows a rebound in M&A activity in the US in the third quarter despite activity showing few signs of improvement globally. US dealmakers advised on deals worth $356.5bn during the quarter according to a Reuters report – up 35% from the same period last year. 

The Kirkland team advising Bain was led by corporate partners Christopher Thomas and Matt Whited; debt finance partners Yuli Wang and Melissa Hutson; capital markets partner Josh Korff and Michael Kim; and tax partners Mike Carew and Christine Lehman; with support from corporate associates Frankie Gregg and Elizabeth Garai. 

The Milbank team that acted for Veritas and Guidehouse was led by global corporate M&A and private equity partners Rick Presutti and Lowell Dyer with associate Jonathan Schwartz. Advice was also provided by executive compensation and employee benefits partners Mike Shah and James Beebe; corporate finance and securities partner Antonio Diaz-Albertini and tax partner Max Goodman.

Meantime Scott Freling led the Covington regulatory team. The team included Brooke Stanley and Paul Rowley (government contracts); Heather Finstuen, Jonathan Wakely, Ingrid Price and Ian Carrico (national security); Justin Schenck (trade controls); and Horst Henschen, Martin Juhasz and Grace Kim (ex-US regulatory).

Guidehouse’s clients include the US military and federal government along with numerous state and local governments and commercial companies such as large banks and utility firms.  

The Virginia-based company has more than 17,000 professionals globally and has been owned by Veritas since 2018, when the investor bought PwC’s US public sector business and rebranded it as Guidehouse. 

The acquisition marks the latest multi-billion dollar deal that has seen Kirkland called in to advise Bain, including its €3bn acquisition and financing for Italian paper giant Fedrigoni last year and the $17bn joint acquisition of athenahealth alongside Hellman & Friedman in 2021. 

Earlier this year Kirkland also said it was acting as US counsel to Bain in its $3.16bn take-private of Chinese data centre operator Chindata Group. King & Wood Mallesons acted as PRC counsel to Bain, while Chindata was advised by Weil Gotshal & Manges. 

Guidehouse said it would continue to operate under its current management team, led by chief executive officer Scott McIntyre. 

Baird is serving as financial advisor to Bain, while PwC is serving as accounting advisor. Guggenheim Securities, Jefferies and Goldman Sachs are serving as financial advisors to Guidehouse and Veritas. 

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