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Dealwatch: Herbert Smith Freehills strikes gold with Polyus takeover bid

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has picked up a new client as a number of firms took advisory roles in Sacturino’s bid to buy the remaining part of Polyus Gold it does not own.

Russian billionaire Said Kerimov’s company Sacturino, together with its parent company Wandle Holdings, already owns a 40.2% stake in Russia’s largest gold producer Polyus Gold. 

Jersey-based Polyus, which had instructed Debevoise & Plimpton in 2012 for its stock exchange listing, turned to HSF, which advised with a team led by London corporate partners Mike Flockhart, Greg Mulley and global M&A head Steven Wilkinson.

Sacturino was advised by Norton Rose Fulbright with a London team led by partners Chris Pearson and Paul Whitelock supported by corporate partner Simon FT Cox and banking partner Rich Hughes. A Norton Rose team from Moscow is being led by partners Julian Traill and Alexander Tsakeov.

This time around Debevoise is on the other side of the deal table, acting for Sacturino alongside Jersey firm Bedell Cristin on the financing aspects of the deal, which values Polyus Gold at $9bn.

The financier for Sacturino’s bid VTB Capital was advised by Allen & Overy (A&O) with a team led by banking partner Sanjeev Dhuna and supported by corporate partner Richard Hough and tax partner Chris Harrison. Ogier Jersey also acted alongside A&O with a team led by partner Chris Byrne.

On Wednesday Polyus said the offer was disappointing and had ‘materially undervalued’ the company.

HSF has recently advised opposite EY for British American Tobacco as its long standing client signed a conditional agreement to acquire 100% of Europe’s largest eCigarette retailing network, CHIC.