Legal Business

Deal watch: HSF, Travers and Linklaters front of the queue on Intu acquisition as WFW picks up $2.3bn Asia energy project

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), Travers Smith and Linklaters are all acting as retail property powerhouse Hammerson acquired its rival Intu for £3.4bn, meanwhile Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe have advised on a $2.3bn coal-fired power project in Vietnam.

Hammerson’s £3.4bn buyout of Intu will create a £21bn pan-European shopping mall giant and bring London’s Brent Cross, the Birmingham Bullring and Manchester’s Trafford Centre under single ownership.

HSF is representing longstanding client Hammerson on the deal, with a team led by corporate partners Alex Kay and Caroline Rae. Kay has a well-established relationship with Hammerson, having previously advised the company on a €1.85bn joint venture acquisition with Allianz of an Irish retail property loan portfolio.

Corporate consultant David Paterson and antitrust partner Susan Black complete HSF’s team advising on the transaction.

Linklaters corporate partners William Buckley and Iain Wagstaff are acting for Intu on the deal while Travers Smith finance partners Anthony Foster and Andrew Gregson are representing major Intu shareholder Peel Holdings.

Wagstaff told Legal Business that Intu was an established client of the firm, with Linklaters doing work for them since the 1980s. He described the deal as ‘reasonably intensive’ and insisted ‘we are having a really busy end to the year on the public M&A side’.

Elsewhere, WFW is advising on the first international tender project in Vietnam over the last 15 years, acting for the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) on the development of a $2.3bn 1200MW Nghi Son 2 coal-fired power project.

WFW’s team acting on the deal is led by Hong Kong energy and infrastructure counsel Linh Doan. WFW also combined with its associated law firm in Vietnam, LVN & Associates, for domestic law support on the transaction. MOIT is a relatively new client for the firm, joining its books in 2015 when Doan arrived at the firm.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe acted as co-counsel to MOIT, led by Hong Kong senior counsel Peter Cleary. Allen & Overy Vietnam managing partner Adam Moncrieff is leading the team advising the sponsors, Marubeni Corporation and Korea Electric Power Corporation.