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Deal watch: Eversheds Sutherland races to advise Formula 1 team on administration as Cooley acts on $126.8m tech IPO

Eversheds Sutherland has landed a major role on the administration of Formula 1 team Force India as Cooley advises a UK IT company on its $126.8m IPO and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) acts on a $388m Philippines agribusiness deal.

Finance partner Jamie Leader led Eversheds as it represented Brockstone Limited, the services company linked to Force India driver Sergio Pérez, on a High Court administration application intended to safeguard the jobs of 400 employees.

With the application approved, Eversheds will now advise administrators Geoff Rowley and Jason Baker of FRP Advisory on the management of Force India.

Force India’s financial crisis comes as its team principal, Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, fights a worldwide freezing order and is also attempting to ward off an effort by India to extradite him from Britain to answer fraud charges.

According to Leader, it was a challenging mandate for the Eversheds team due to the timescale; the administration application was made on 20 July with the hearing taking place a week later on 27 July.

The hearing was also subject to a last-ditch intervention from soft drink company Rich Energy, which had a £30m cash injection rejected by the court.

Leader told Legal Business: ‘Most of the major stakeholders felt that the team be put under the control of independent professionals to solve its financial problems. The company was under the control of directors who were not in a position to support it. It’s really important that we were able to save 400 jobs.’

Elsewhere, Cooley has represented UK IT company Endava on its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. The listing saw Endava issue 6.3 million shares at $20 each, giving the flotation an overall value of $126.8m.

A transatlantic team including Boston partner Nicole Brookshire, Reston, Virginia-based partner Richard Segal and London partner Ed Lukins picked up the instruction.

Lukins told Legal Business: It is a first in terms of a UK plc going straight for a US listing with a dual-share class structure, similar to that employed by Snap and Google. Enhanced voting rights are not a feature of European markets, but afford management greater flexibility to execute Endava’s stated strategy.’

Davis Polk & Wardwell also landed a role on the listing, advising bookrunners Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.

Finally, HSF has exercised its foreign law alliance with Singapore firm Prolegis to advise on a $338m deal financing.

The firm acted for a bank syndicate as it financed Philippines company AEV International’s buyout of Gold Coin Management Holdings, one of Asia’s predominant agribusiness companies. The syndicate consisted of DBS Bank, Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank and Standard Chartered.

HSF partner and head of Asia finance Adrian Cheng led for the firm, alongside a team of associates.