Press Release

Global Team from Kirkland & Ellis LLP Advises Advantage Partners in First LBO Outside Japan

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP was lead counsel to Advantage Partners, LLP, an Asia-based private equity firm, in connection with its agreement to acquire 100 percent of GST AutoLeather, Inc. from SILLC Holdings, LLC. The transaction value is undisclosed.

The deal highlights the early success of Kirkland's Hong Kong office. Established in January 2007, the office has already advised more than two dozen private equity clients in Asia.

Advantage Partners, which started providing services for the first buyout fund in Japan in 1997, recently opened its first office outside Japan in Hong Kong. U.S.-based GST is a global provider of leather upholstery for automotive seating and trim for many of the world's major automotive manufacturers.

The global Kirkland team comprised attorneys from Kirkland's Asian, European and U.S. offices. The team was led by partner David Patrick Eich and included Jesse Sheley, Hao William Yu and Jun Zhao (all of the Hong Kong office) on acquisition, Linda K. Myers and Stephanie S. Liang on U.S. debt, Stephen A. Gillespie and Neel V. Sachdev on European debt, Erik C. Dahl and Michel Debolt on equity, William R. Welke and David C. Kung on tax, Alexandra Mihalas on benefits and Tobias D. Chun on environmental. The team received additional support from Paul R. Steadman, Michael Timmers and Jenny N. Lee.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a 1,400-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex corporate, restructuring, tax, litigation, dispute resolution/arbitration, intellectual property and technology matters. The Firm has offices in Hong Kong, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Munich, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.