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Deal Watch: CC, Freshfields and A&O act on Liberty Global’s €6.9bn acquisition as Dentons and LG float Hurricane

Three Magic Circle firms have scored lead advisory roles on Liberty Global’s €6.9bn acquisition of Netherlands’ largest cable operator Ziggo, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Clifford Chance (CC) and Allen & Overy (A&O) all acting on the deal.

A&O’s Amsterdam-based corporate partner Annelies van der Pauw led for Liberty Global and competition partner Paul Glazener worked on the antitrust aspects, as the joint entity will have around 90% of the regulated Dutch fixed line cable market, while CC’s finance partner Mark Huddlestone headed up the team to advising the lenders.

Longstanding Liberty Global adviser Ropes & Gray led on financial aspects for the company in London, with partners Tania Bedi and Jane Rogers advising alongside the firm’s London co-managing partner Maurice Allen.

The firm has also previously represented the international cable company on the financing of its €3.1bn acquisition of Germany’s third largest cable TV operator Kabel Baden-Wuerttemberg from Swedish private equity group EQT Partners AB, in a deal where the antitrust permission to go ahead with the deal was overturned by the German courts in August last year.

At Freshfields, a four-strong Amsterdam-based team advised Ziggo led by partner Jan Willem van der Staay, while Shearman & Sterling acted for Ziggo as legal counsel on financing matters, with City-based European capital markets partner Apostolos Gkoutzinis leading the team.

New York-headquartered Shearman previously acted for Liberty Global on its $23.3bn acquisition of Virgin Media in 2013.

Subject to the necessary approvals, Liberty Global and Ziggo anticipate that the offer will close in the second half of 2014.

Elsewhere, Dentons and Lawrence Graham have advised Hurricane Energy, which focuses on oil reserves in reservoirs beneath the North Sea and has already signed investment and drilling deals with BP and Transocean, as it prepares to float on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange with a value of £272m.

Hurricane, which is expected to start drilling in the second half of 2014, was led by Dentons corporate partner Jeremy Cohen, alongside energy partner Danielle Beggs and environment partner Sam Boileu.

Cenkos Securities acted as Hurricane’s nomad and broker, with Lawrence Graham’s head of corporate Geoff Gouriet advising alongside senior associates Rebecca Gordon and Jenna Beever.