For this award, consideration will be given to mergers and acquisitions work, as well as disposals, joint ventures and equity capital markets listings. It is not the value of the deal that will concern judges as much as evidence of outstanding transactional advice and commitment to the client in the context of one exceptional deal.
2017 WINNER: Clifford Chance
Advised National Australia Bank on the three-and-a-half year long demerger and subsequent listing of CYBG (Clydesdale Bank). The deal was particularly complex, requiring the creation and separation of a standalone bank and achieved through a three-cornered demerger via an Australian court-approved scheme of arrangement.
FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER
Andrew Hutchings, Piers Prichard Jones
In a year that saw the firm advise on the largest deals of 2016, including the £79bn takeover of SAB Miller by AB InBev, it was the team’s work advising London Stock Exchange Group on its proposed merger of equals with Deutsche Börse that stands out.
Successfully defending client SAB Miller against several opportunistic bids by AB InBev before agreeing the £79bn sale. The team managed to help secure six price increases during the course of the transaction, including the largest UK break fee ever.
SHEARMAN & STERLING
Advising Liberty Global on its $8.2bn acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications, giving its client a much stronger position in Latin America. The structure of the offer included four different share alternatives based on different exchange ratios, as well as a very aggressive timetable to announcement.
SLAUGHTER AND MAY
Slaughter and May advised Royal Dutch Shell on its £47bn acquisition of BG Group, the largest takeover in the oil and gas sector in over a decade. The integration of BG’s business into Shell’s required a huge amount of structuring and advice, including liaising with the shareholders and the Takeover Panel.
Travers Smith advised longstanding client Micro Focus on its $8.8bn acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise in a rare example of a UK tech company making a major investment in the US, through what was effectively a reverse takeover for the purposes of UK listing rules. The combined company will have annual revenues of $4.5bn.
WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES
Advising the Singapore Exchange on its takeover of the Baltic Exchange by way of a UK scheme of arrangement, an unusual structure for a private company acquisition in the UK. This deal was also particularly unique because the rights of the large number of commercial members of the Baltic Exchange also had to be satisfied.