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Dealwatch: Linklaters, A&O and HSF win places on Sabadell’s £1.7bn TSB offer

Linklaters, Allen & Overy (A&O) and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) have all been instructed on the high profile £1.7bn takeover offer for TSB by Spain’s Banco Sabadell, in a bid made less than a year after Lloyds floated the bank.

HSF is acting for TSB with a team led by senior partner James Palmer and corporate partner Mike Flockhart. Palmer has been advising TSB, alongside fellow corporate partner Nick Moore and outsourcing partner Nick Pantlin, and worked closely with general counsel Susan Crichton, on its initial public offering (IPO) and all aspects of its separation of Lloyds Bank, including on the material business and IT services arrangements required for TSB to operate as a standalone bank post-IPO.

Linklaters heavyweight corporate partner Matthew Bland, who led on the initial £1.5bn IPO of TSB for its longstanding client Lloyds, is understood to be leading on talks with Sabadell for the lender as well. Bland has represented Lloyds Bank for nearly a decade. His position as adviser on the £1.5bn IPO follows lead roles on Lloyds TSB’s takeover of HBOS in 2008 and related £5.5bn recapitalisation, as well as a £22.6bn combined rights issue in 2009. A&O partner Richard Browne, meanwhile, is leading a team advising Sabadell.

TSB, which is already the UK’s seventh largest retail bank with 4.5 million customers, is being spun off by Lloyds through a gradual sell-down of its stake in the business following an IPO in June 2014. The bank’s board has indicated it is willing to recommend the offer should agreement be reached on other terms and conditions.