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Dealwatch: HSF, Debevoise, Weil, and Freshfields double down on Sky Bet sale

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) continues to cash in on its ever strengthening relationship with Sky as the digital giant goes through a major overhaul of its operations, this time advising on the company’s £800m sale of a stake in Sky Bet to private equity group CVC Capital Partners, which instructed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Sky Bet, which was formed in 2001, has a strong partnership with Sky Sports and has built a large roster of TV, mobile and online gaming products, including Sky Poker and Sky Bingo. Sky Bet made £182m in revenue in the last financial year, but Sky were keen to offload the betting unit after securing takeovers of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland for £7.4bn earlier this year.

HSF’s global head of M&A Stephen Wilkinson handled that European expansion and the London office again profited from Sky’s business overhaul, with London-based corporate partner Mark Bardell advising Sky on the sale of Sky Bet. Tax partner Howard Murray and TMT partner Amanda Hale supported Bardell on the sale. Goldman Sachs worked with Sky on the sale, advised by Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Private equity partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, David Innes, advised Sky Bet management on the deal while Richard Ward, London co-managing partner, advised on tax elements. Freshfields corporate partner Tim Wilmot advised CVC Capital Partners, with Andrew Craig providing IP advice.