Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner advises GetCourse Founder/CEO on private equity deal with Goldman Sachs, Winter Capital Partners and Baring Vostok

27.07.2021

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner team is advising Sergey Mikhaylov, a founder and the CEO of the GetCourse online educational platform, on a USD 50 m private equity deal with Goldman SachsWinter Capital Partners and Baring Vostok Capital Partners funds

Sergey Mikhaylov comments on BCLP’s efforts:

“BCLP have been very professional and quick. To go into detail:

First, when the investors or their lawyers introduced yet another clause explaining it as being ‘market practice’, as a founder, I did not feel  particularly up to arguing with them as I had only scant experience, having participated in only three such deals throughout my career. Yet BCLP lawyers, who have handled dozens of transactions, were just the ticket for commenting on whether the investors’ proposals were, indeed, ‘market practice’  or required some amendment. 

Then, at a certain point (and on many occasions in fact), negotiations segued from the commercial plane onto a purely legal one, transforming into a dialogue between the parties’ counsels. I personally sometimes found the legalities too complicated. Yet it was clear that my counsel could always come up with logical and comprehensible arguments to support their views. You feel very confident negotiating with the support of such a team.

Then, all communications over the deal were online calls that could start at 7 pm and continue until 11 pm, sometimes on a Friday night. When this happens, the founder just goes to bed afterwards while the lawyers follow up by revising the documents. This gives the deal momentum.

Finally, ease of communications. I was able to instruct them via an instant messaging app, send screen shots with comments, dictate voice messages. This saved me lots of time.”

“We are grateful to Sergey for entrusting this deal to us. It was both exciting for us and highly important for GetCourse. We sincerely wish the entire GetCourse team, with all its extended now list of shareholders included in the first place, every success and prosperity ”, comments Anton Sitnikov, Partner, Head of Corporate/M&A.

This is the third venture capital and private equity project in the online education sphere the BCLP Moscow team has successfully handled just in the last 18 months. 

Set up in 2014, the GetCourse platform is currently helping more than 20 thousand schools, teachers, coaches, educators and bloggers by providing a set of functional modules for creating online courses and educational websites, facilitating marketing activities and content sales, as well as email services and end-to-end analytical tools. The company’s GMV of USD 600 m in 2020 is on course to top USD 1 bn in 2021, placing it on a par with leading global online educational platforms.

Goldman Sachs is a leading global financial institution delivering a broad range of financial services across investment banking, securities, investment management, etc.

Winter Capital Partners is an investment fund focused on investing in technology companies in education, healthcare, financial and consumer services around the world, with over USD 1 bn in assets under management. 

The Baring Vostok funds focus on private equity investments in Russia and the CIS, having invested more than USD 3.7 bn over 27 years.

The project was led by Anton Sitnikov, Partner, Head of Corporate/M&A (Russia) and Mikhail Filatov, Senior Associate, Corporate/M&A.

Other key BCLP team members who contributed to the project:

Corporate/M&A: Associate Elena Shelomenzeva supported by Mikhail Kuznetsov and Marina Galitskaya;

Tax: Anna Zelenskaya, Counsel, Head of Tax Advisory (Russia), Denis Khramkin, Senior Associate;

Intellectual Property: Anton Nefedev, Counsel, Head of IP in Technology (Russia).

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