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19 Jan 2023

Stephenson Harwood advises Circet on Scopelec Group takeover out of receivership proceedings

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Law firm Stephenson Harwood has advised the Circet Group, a telecom network service provider, on its takeover of the Scopelec Group.

The Circet Group is a global actor in the telecom sector, present in 14 countries, employing approximately 13,000 people worldwide, including 3,800 in France, and with a combined turnover of €2.42 billion.

The Scopelec Group, Orange's historical service provider specialising in the deployment and maintenance of telecoms networks, was France's oldest and largest cooperative group. It had 2,300 employees and a turnover of almost €500 million in 2021. The Group faced considerable difficulties following the loss of major contracts with France's leading telecommunications operator, and was subsequently placed in receivership proceedings.

On December 28 2022, Circet's offer to take over most of the business of the Scopelec Group, including 1,100 employees, was selected by the Lyon Commercial Court after a competitive tender involving six other candidates. As part of the restructuring, two ancillary business lines were acquired by Foliateam and Kyntus.

This deal, which involved complex negotiations with government bodies, court-appointed administrators, the Lyon Commercial Court and multiple additional stakeholders, is one of the largest restructuring deals of 2022 in France.

The Stephenson Harwood team was led by Alexandre Koenig, who heads the firm's restructuring and insolvency practice in Paris, with the support of partners Jean-Julien Lemonnier (competition), Soazig Préteseille (employment), Guillaume Briant (corporate), Yann Beckers (finance), Omar El Arjoun (tax) and Boriana Guimberteau (IP/IT).

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Alexandre Koenig

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