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Data deal: Davis Polk advises Markit on US merger

Longstanding adviser Davis Polk & Wardwell has acted for Markit again as the London-based data provider signed a deal with US firm IHS for a $13bn merger.

Davis Polk’s team was led by New York-based Louis Goldberg and Oliver Smith, with Richard Truesdell and Mark Mendez acting on capital markets issues.

Giving tax advice were partners Michael Mollerus and Jonathan Cooklin, while executive compensation partner Jeffrey Crandall also acted on the deal.

Weil Gotshal & Manges is advising Colorado based IHS, in the deal which values Markit at $5.9bn, and is another example of a US deal which will take advantage of overseas tax base.

IHS shareholders will own about 57% of the combined company after the deal closes, and will pay $31.13 per Markit share.

Weil fielded a team across the US and the UK, led by corporate partner Michael Aiello, while tax partners Kenneth Heitner in New York and David Irvine in London also worked on the deal.

Banking and finance partner Allison Liff, capital markets partner Heather Emmel, executive compensation & benefits partner Paul Wessel all advised for Weil, while Washington DC antitrust partner John Scribner advised with technology partner Charan Sandhu.

Davis Polk has advised Markit on several mandates including its $1.5bn IPO, when the company listed shares on the Nasdaq exchange. The offering was the largest US IPO by a European issuer in 2014.

The firm also acted for Markit in 2015, when it repurchased $200m of its common shares, in a deal which is to be completed by the third quarter of this year. Also in 2015, Davis Polk advised Markit in connection with its SEC-registered secondary offering of 27m shares, which raised $685m.

Markit has turned to Proskauer Rose in the past when the data provider, alongside a dozen major banks, was accused by investors of rigging the credit derivatives market. The case resulted in a $1.87bn settlement.