Legal Business Blogs

A £1.2bn deal: Shearman, Slaughters and Paul Weiss advise on Fairfax’s takeover of Brit

Shearman & Sterling and Slaughter and May are among firms to have landed roles advising on Canadian insurance group Fairfax’s £1.2bn takeover of specialty insurer Brit as the group looks to boost its presence in the City.

Within a year of being listed on the London Stock Exchange, FTSE 250 insurer Brit turned to Slaughter and May on the takeover, with corporate heavyweight Jeff Twentyman and Richard Smith leading; as well as competition partner Bertrand Louveaux,; employment partners Jonathan Fenn and Roland Doughty; and financial regulatory partner Jan Putnis.

Leading US firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison also represented Brit covering US law aspects with London-based global capital markets and securities group Mark Bergman advising.

Shearman’s team acted for Fairfax on the deal which will see Brit shareholders receive 305 pence comprised of 280 pence in cash and a final dividend of 25 pence. Its team London-based partners Jeremy Kutner and Laurence Levy in M&A, financial regulatory partner Thomas Donegan, finance partner Iain Goalen, and Sarah Priestley for tax advice. The Brit in-house legal team is led by Tim Harmer.

The acquisition will see Canada’s property and casualty insurer gain a significant presence in the City, becoming one of the largest insurers on the Lloyds market. The UK insurer, which was majority owned by Apollo Global Management and CVC, is known to underwrite policies in the Lloyd’s market across a range of commercial insurance and reinsurance classes with a focus on property, casualty and energy business.

Apollo, which was the largest shareholder of Brit with a 39.7% stake, was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell with a team led by corporate partners Tim Emmerson and Ben Perry.